Comic Rodney Perry reveals the 9 comedians (and 1 musician) who have inspired his career

Rodney Perry is connected. The 48-year old comic-actor is almost like Kevin Bacon; he is just a degree from a number of mega-stars/fascinating entertainers.

“I am probably one degree from most of Hollywood,” says Perry, calling from his Atlanta home. “It’s incredible. Who would have ever guessed?”

He will perform at Goodnight’s this weekend. Before then, he revealed his 10 picks for fascinating people he’s worked with through his comedy career.

1. Mo’Nique: “I enjoyed being her sidekick (on the late night talker “The Mo’Nique Show”). She saw me me perform, and the next day I got a call and she asked me to work with her. She’s so funny and generous.

“After she called me we met up and she spent $3,000 on a shopping spree for my wife and I (15) years ago. I asked her how I could repay her and she said for me to do the same for another young comic someday. We’re dear friends. I just spoke with her last week. I admire and respect her so much.”

2. Tyler Perry: “I learned so much while I worked on “Madea’s Big Happy Family.” Tyler is the hardest working person I’ve ever been around. The guy is directing, producing, writing and wearing crazy costumes. He’s always busy.”

3. Eddie Murphy: “Eddie is the reason I do comedy. I met Eddie at a party years ago at his house. He went up to me and said, ‘Hey, funny man.’ I was blown away not just because he knew who I was but he called me funny man. Can you believe that? Eddie is still the funniest guy in the room. We had a chance to talk comedy and I’ll never forget it.”

4. Kevin Hart: Kevin is one of the nicest guys in the industry. When I had a stroke (in 2016), he didn’t know but me but he sent me a nice chunk of money. He’s hilarious and a great guy. I don’t get why he can’t host the Academy Awards. He made a joke. He’s a comedian. Let him host the show. He would be incredible.”

5. Steve Harvey: “I met Steve Harvey on the set of ‘Johnson Family Vacation.’ Steve taught me about preparation as a comic-actor. When it comes to work, Steve is meticulous.

6. Cedric the Entertainer: “I met him on ‘Johnson Family Vacation’ as well. The cool thing about Cedric was the insight he offered. He talked a lot about what it was like to be part of the ‘Kings of Comedy’ tour. He showed me what the possibilities are in the world of comedy.”

7. Tony Rock: “Chris Rock is the star. I get it. But Tony is so funny. He’s the comic I urge people to get to know. Chris Rock might be a better stand-up than his brother but Tony is a quality act.”

8. Solange: “This is not one you would expect but I meet a lot of musicians. I was at a party and I look up and see who is the DJ. She was playing some killer hip-hop.”

9. Bill Bellamy: “We hosted a show together (‘Who’s Got Jokes’). Bill taught me how to host a talk show. We were like Batman and Robin.

10. Byron Allen: Byron goes way back (The comic was one of the hosts of “Real People”) to the ‘70s. Not only is he a very funny comic, he has incredible business savvy. I don’t know how many people know this but Byron is a billionaire. I didn’t know that until he pulled up with a custom Bentley.”


Who: Rodney Perry

When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4-6; 10 p.m. Jan. 4-5

Where: Goodnights, 981 W. Morgan St., Raleigh

Tickets: $20 Friday and Sunday, $24 Saturday

Info: 919-828-5233 or goodnightscomedy.com

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