Arts & Culture News

Comedian Tommy Davidson Talks Dallas, Television and Shows at Arlington Improv

Tommy Davidson will be at the Arlington Improv for a special engagement May 1-4, telling jokes, singing, and fingers crossed -- doing his spot-on President Barack Obama impersonation.

Most people know Davidson for his work on In Living Color with the Wayans brothers. But your kids, or nephews, or nieces (or maybe you) might also know him as the voice of Oscar Proud from Disney Channel's The Proud Family. (I playfully asked how he's managed to stay so grounded being a Disney star and all and managing not to go off the deep end, like Lindsay or Miley. He just laughed.)

When I called Davidson, it was 8:30 a.m. in L.A. I apologized for presumably waking him for a blog story, but he told me interviews have been his life and blood while stepping into a new direction with his career.

"Press is just keeping my face out there and enhancing my live performances," he said.

Davidson grew up consumed by television. He would watch shows like Laverne & Shirley, and says TV helped shape his comedy and acting skills. In fact, at one point in our conversation he admitted that television was his best friend growing up.

That's why when In Living Color was awarded a TV Land statue, it didn't make him feel old, it made him feel lucky.

"We were just glad to get the dog-gone thing," he said. "That was like a miracle really to me." While on the hit show, Davidson often performed his Sammy Davis, Jr. impression. He owns the rights to a story of the famous entertainer and has a movie script ready to go but isn't sure when it will be made.

Since In Living Color, Davidson has worked on a whole slew of things, including a Showtime special, Chocolate Sundae, which he described as In Living Color meets The Carol Burnett Show with stand-up comedians and sketches.

But right now, he's headlining a national tour that stops here next week and he's thrilled to come back and visit, even calling Dallas, "my city."

"You've got Asians. You've got a Latino influence there. And there's a large black thing happening in Dallas. And all kinds of income levels from lower income to rich. But they're all there in the same city," he says. "The atmosphere in Dallas -- the fact it's more spread out, there's more people, the weather is different, it's all these factors that just make people like hackle hounds."

Did you hear that, Dallas? Hackle hounds. Don't disappoint him.

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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner