In his quest to highlight rising stand-up comics around the country, superstar Kevin Hart came to the Twin Cities last summer to film part of the second season of his Comedy Central show, Hart of the City.
In the episode that airs Friday night, Hart sat down with four local comedians – Ali Sultan, Earl Elliot, Greg Coleman, and Bruce Leroy Williams – to talk about their careers in standup and what makes the comedy scene here special.
"The show sheds a light on comedians and comedy scenes that don’t have a spotlight,” Sultan told City Pages. “You get to see great talents that wouldn’t get a shot on traditional shows.”
All of the comics featured are budding stars in Minnesota who've performed and headlined at clubs and comedy rooms across the state. You'll get to see material from each of them in the episode, which was filmed at Baddies Comedy Co. in St. Paul back in August.
Here's a sneak peek:
Meet one of the comics
GoMN had a chance to talk with Earl Elliot about his experience working on the show.
Originally from Columbia, Maryland, Elliot has been living in Minneapolis for 9 years and doing standup for about 5-and-a-half.
What was your response when you got a call back for the show? I've learned to never get my hopes up in this biz because I am hyper sensitive and try to scathe heart break (no pun intended) as much as possible. Some call that tough skin, I call it a Tuesday night.
What do you like to talk about in your comedy? Dating, relationships, Disney movies, silly stuff, family. Anything that's relevant at the time.
What was it like meeting Kevin? It was good! He puts you at ease – you don't feel nervous or starstruck around him.
Did you already know the other comedians involved? Oh yeah, we see each other like 10 times a week. It's a small comedy world. Just like any other job, you know your coworkers.
What was your favorite part about the experience? Getting paid. (Laughs) Meeting Kevin ... and Comedy Central sent me to New York City to film a commercial for Metro PCS which was really cool.
Watch it here:
What is special or different about the comedy scene in Minneapolis? One thing that stands out are the number of young comics out here trying to get started. It's a good city because there are a lot of clubs and open mic opportunities here, compared to other cities that might only have one open mic night per week.
Where can Minnesotans go to see more from you? I host the Lack of Beards Open Mic at theTerminal Bar [409 E. Hennepin Ave.] every Thursday night. All beards are actually welcome, I just can't grow one at 32 years old. Comics sign up to get on at 7, show starts at 8 p.m.
Hart of the City airs Friday at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central.
Wanna watch it with Elliot? He'll be hosting a viewing party at The Pourhouse in downtown Minneapolis.