Quotes & Jokes by Franklyn Ajaye
Moving to Australia was not a career move, but a quality of life issue. It has no guns, no God, and no gangster rap. As an Ethiopian cab driver said to me the other day when I was returning from a gig in Sydney, "Australia is a peaceful, democratic place." I like the relatively stress free lifestyle. It's worth the drop in income.
I have no desire to be hip to the latest black slang and do the stereotypical black thing. I was a Richard Pryor fan, and I have used profanity in my act. But when it becomes a whole thing that defines blacks, we're limiting ourselves. The enemy is us.
I don't think that comedians have a tradition of trashing the next generation.
You can’t wait forever for an audience to get the joke, but you should give them at least two seconds to join in before you go on to the next one.
Ideally, you want to be in a fifty-fifty power-sharing arrangement with the audience – both of you are there for a mutually enjoyable experience.
Black cats don’t worry about going bald. We know we don’t have a lot of options, so we adapt to it pretty fast. Black cat will look in the mirror and say, “I’m bald… can’t be pulling no hair from over here and combing it over there… so I just shave this shit off.” White dudes they fight baldness to the death. I know a white guy with one hair, got it swirled all over his head.
Bombing teaches you how badly you want to become a comedian. Because unless it’s a burning desire, you’ll quit when the consistent bombing becomes too much to take.
On a good night, I'm just into the flow and seeing the pictures and words in my mind clearly before I say them. On a bad night, which to be honest are nowhere near as bad as when I was starting out, I just concentrate on performing the routines correctly. I focus on my delivery.
If I'm crisp and economical in my delivery, have smooth transitions, movement and animation, and flights of fancy, that would get me an A.
When you take a pause before delivering your punch line, you will be using silence as a creative entity in itself.
Be prepared to cut your little extra lines that come after a big punchline and move on to the next joke or routine to give your set more punch and crispness. You can keep them in your set, but if the audience applauds your big line, don’t do your tag when it dies down, just move on.
I don't like the fact that most black people or black comedians have to present themselves in a flamboyant way. It's good if you can do that, but I don't like to think that's the way all black comedians are. I'm not that type.
I think women seem to handle celibacy better. Well, at least when you talk with them, they're very nonchalant about it: 'Oh, no, no, I haven't made love in about three or four months, and I really haven't missed it at all. I've been doing a lot of horseback riding.'
Don’t try to give a funny opinion; give your opinion in a way that will be funny.
You must not be afraid of small bits of silence. To use it well is the height of confidence and skill for a comedian. It increases the tension in a good way and adds contrast like a curveball complements the fastball of a good pitcher.