Like much of America, Lil Duval has been watching the Presidential conventions. “Hillary Clinton should have made Michelle Obama her Vice President,” Duval, aka Roland Powell, declares.
Powell is up on current events but a lot of the diminutive stand-up comic’s material is designed to take the audience away from what’s happening today.
“What I offer is an escape from all of the craziness out there,” Powell says while calling from Atlanta. “I just want to make people laugh and have fun. There’s so much serious stuff going on. You look at people getting shot and the world of politics. It’s good to get away from all of that.”
The material Powell renders is personal, which can be amusing or poignant – or both. “When you come see me, you get to know me,” Powell says. “It’s about who I am and how I feel.”
Powell, who will perform at Goodnights Comedy CLub in Raleigh this weekend, understands that good comics – like comedian and actor JB Smoove – transcend material. “My advice for young comics is not to get caught up in jokes,” Smoove says. “If your jokes fail, what do you have left? Let your personality come out. You need something to lean on if something fails.”
Powell laughed when he was hit with Smoove’s view. “JB is right,” Powell says. “I don’t sell my jokes. I sell myself. That’s the way to do it if you’re a comedian. “
Many fans will know Powell from television. “Guy Code” and “Hip Hop Squares” are some of the MTV2 shows he has appeared on regularly. He also hosts the viral video show “Ain’t That America.”
“But it’s not like I’m dependent on television,” Powell says. “I don’t need TV or Hollywood to dictate what my future is. I have the Internet, which is my Hollywood. I jumped on that early in my career. It helped me get where I am today. It’s all because I’m not reactive, I’m proactive.”
Powell is a constant presence on the Internet and active on social media. “I’ll jump on what the next thing is, too,” Powell says. “You got to always be looking ahead. A big part of being a comic is getting the word out. And the other part of is delivering when you perform. I have no problem delivering it.”
Powell will star in DJ Pooh’s forthcoming film “Grow House,” which also features Malcolm McDowell, Snoop Dogg and DeRay Davis.
“It’s an amazing cast and movie,” Powell says. “It’s a great opportunity. I have a great part and I love DJ Pooh. It’s a cool film. Who knows what that will lead to? But the important thing is that I have my stand-up. Everyday I’m coming up with material. There’s always something happening with my life. Everything I do comes from a real place.”