We’re putting the club back in Comedy Club. Literally. Our new Raw Material series at Hyde Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails turns the Sunset Strip hot spot into an intimate comedy club experience unlike any other. Happening every other Tuesday, with comedians like Natasha Leggero, Brent Morin and Neil Brennan in the mix, plus curated menus by Executive Chef Chris Crary, there’s no way you won’t leave laughing and oh-so-satisfied.
We caught up with Raw Material host James Davis to chat all things comedy, Crenshaw and more.
You’re about to take the stage to host Raw Material, any pre-show rituals?
I pray for a great set and then I go over the jokes that I feel like will do really well in the crowd and what I’m working on. I mix 1-2 jokes I’m working on with what I know will do well, then I visualize myself killing it. The way I watch the DVDs of the greats killing it.
And who are the greats to you?
Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Hart…all those guys. And, of course, Dave Chapelle. He’s the Michael Jordan of comedy as far as I’m concerned.
So, where do you draw your inspiration from?
My life, honestly. I just find the hilarity within negative or sad things or just things that are original about me. I talk about being not hood but hood adjacent.
It just means I grew up a block away from where it got real…I was on the edge of the neutral zone. I grew up a block away from Crenshaw Boulevard…when they would cruise Crenshaw Boulevard and it would get too packed then they would cruise my street.
Alright, we’ve got to ask – what’s your go to pickup-line to get a girl to laugh?
Honestly…I like the ice breaker of “what do you do?” Then I get to say I’m a comedian. But I force them to ask. You always need to get them to ask the right questions so I can get to the positive attributes of myself early in the conversation. Like being funny, being driven. That’s about it. That’s what I bring to the table. Being funny and having a plan.
What’s the best show you’ve ever done?
Best show I’ve ever done…there’s been a lot of great shows. But probably when Drake was just coming out, it was one of his first performances in L.A. at Cal State L.A. and I was opening up for him. I did an entire set for a theater of people waiting for Drake and I smashed it the entire time. It felt like I was doing my dream special.