Watch: Comedian Jay Pharoah shares his love of representation and comedy

Comic-actor Jay Pharoah, who hosted the first Los Angeles CultureCon, took a few questions from theGrio's James L. Gilmore.

At the inaugural CultureCon LA, held recently at Rolling Greens On Mateo in Los Angeles, theGrio video producer James L. Gilmore got to have a few words with its host, comedian and impressionist Jay Pharoah — who steals scenes in Tim Story’s current horror comedy, “The Blackening” — to talk culture, comedy and cult classics.

Below is a transcript of their conversation.

Comedian-actor-impressionist Jay Pharoah, who stars in Tim Story’s horror comedy “The Blackening,” was the host or the recent CultureCon LA . (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

James L. Gilmore: TheGrio at CultureCon. With Jay Pharoah, the man, the myth, the legend. So yeah, man, CultureCon. We’re getting a lot of Black executives, creatives in the same room. Is this your first time out? How do you feel like?

Jay Pharoah: I mean, it feels good to be with, you know, with people with new innovative ideas that are going to push the industry forward. You know, a lot of Black creatives are getting opportunities that we probably didn’t get about 10 years ago. So, it’s just an exciting time.

Gilmore: Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. So “The Blackening” — we know you were in “The Blackening,” all-Black cast, Black creator, Black writer Tim Story. We’re trying to see a little bit more in, like — with theGrio, we amplify Black voices, Black stories. How does it feel like being a part of something like that that hasn’t really been seen in media now?

Pharoah: I mean, it’s just it’s a special feeling, man. I mean, to be a part of a cult classic, like you’re saying something innovative that’s never been done before. I mean, it’s just a blessing. Who knew that it was going to be turned into what it turned into? I mean, of course, with the brilliant writing from Tracy Oliver and Dewayne Perkins, of course on the paper. Yeah, it read. Usually, if something reads on the paper, you know when you’re going to perform it, but it’s going to kill. And then and when you have somebody like Tim Story, who gives you the freedom to go and try things, I mean, it’s just a recipe for success.

So I feel real blessed right now to be a part of it, man. And, just, I’m proud of everybody in the film, I mean myself included. But I’m not tooting my own horn and be like, I’m proud of myself, but I’m happy to be a part of this film, for sure.

Gilmore: Fair enough. So, coming from the comedy space, we’re going to go ahead and ask you: Give me your top three or five comics that made you say, “Hey, this is what I want to do!” I know it’s a hard question. Let’s go.

Pharoah: Easy. Number one, Eddie Murphy. Number two, Robin Harris. Number three, Bernie Mac. Number four, Chris Rock. Number five, Dave Chappelle. Above all of that, it is Richard Pryor.

Gilmore: There you go. All there. They all there. Jay Pharoah here at CultureCon, theGrio. Thank you, boss.

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