Affion Crockett is the next big thing as far as comedy is concerned in Hollywood. After becoming a fan favorite on MTV’s hit show “Wild ‘N Out,” Crockett was simultaneously cast on another MTV show titled “Short Circuitz.” After the shows aired, Crockett became an overnight phenomenon. He has even developed a cult following via internet on websites such as You Tube and TMZ, where fans can download clips from his sketch comedy anytime of the day. Crockett’s most notable downloads are for his impersonations of well-known entertainers such as Russell Simmons, Chris Rock, Jay-Z, David Blaine, and Ludacris.
A native of North Carolina, Crockett grew up in an army household. As a child, he was constantly moving around and traveling. In total, he attended 14 different schools. Most people don’t know but Crockett was actually a shy kid. He was always the new kid in school so he had to kick back and be observant. As he reflects on his past, Crockett credits the constant change of environments for bettering his impersonation skills. Crocket’s first impression was of Al Pacino’s “Tony Montana” character from Scarface. When Crockett realized he could make his mom laugh, he knew he wanted to be an entertainer. He felt that if he could make his mom laugh than he could make anybody in the world laugh.
Growing up in a military family, it was only natural that Crockett’s father believed in discipline and responsibility. Crockett remembers how his dad always preached having a plan B. They use to argue over the fact that the young Crockett wanted to be an entertainer. But Affion felt that if he planned for a plan B he was basically telling himself that he was going to fail at plan A. So Affion decided to put all of his focus on plan A and just follow his entertainment dreams.
In 1995, three months after graduating from college, Crockett made his television debut on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam.” It was a major turning point in his life. For the next few years Crockett toured throughout the south before finally making the jump and moving to Hollywood.
One night during one of his stand-up routines, actor/producer Nick Cannon was in the audience. Cannon, who serves as an executive producer for MTV, was so impressed with Crockett that he cast him in MTV’s hit show “Wild’ N Out.”
When Crockett sat down with the Sentinel, I asked him if he has ever been confronted by one of the celebrities he has impersonated. He told me that the closest he has come to that situation was when he bumped into Ludacris after the Ludacris skit aired. Affion said that all Ludacris did was laugh.
Growing up and being heavily influenced by hip-hop, I asked Crockett how he felt about the recent public attacks on hip-hop. “People need to educate themselves,” Crockett said. “Hip-hop isn’t responsible for the degradation that goes on. Rap music and commerce are the reason why we hear the negative lyrics.” Crockett doesn’t believe every emcee wants to talk about guns and calling women outside of their name. But when you work for someone and they tell you that’s what sells and their cutting your check, it’s not as easy as we think to say no.
Similar to Jamie Foxx, Affion Crockett is a versatile superstar. As an accomplished actor, dancer, rapper, comedian, music producer and director, Crockett is destined for unparalleled success. That is why he is able to relate to hip hop so well. He recently dropped a mix tape titled “No Joke” which is hosted by DJ Delz. And let me be the first to say that it’s a dope mix tape. Crockett can really spit.
Most people don’t know but he actually started out as a dancer. After winning numerous break dancing and popping contests, the thrill of being on stage dancing is was originally ignited his passion to perform. Crocket feels that dancing was God’s gift to him. He said that even to this day, nothing is better to relieve stress than break dancing. “There were times I was flat broke and that’s all I had, was to go to a corner and let loose.”
So the key question I had for Crockett was what’s up next? Crockett told the Sentinel that he is set to appear in a blockbuster comedy entitled “The Better Man”. Even though he has a small role, the truth is every time Crockett shows up on set, he steals the scene - even from the movie’s star Martin Lawrence. The movie is about a successful talk show host that moves from Los Angeles to reunite with his family in the Deep South. Its has all-star cast featuring Lawrence, Mike Epps, Cedric the Entertainer, James Earl Jones, Michael Clarke Duncan, Joy Bryant, Monique and Nicole Ari Parker. “The Better Man” is scheduled to drop early in 2008. It’s sure to make Crockett the next big thing in comedy.