Rod Man: Villa Rica's Funny Man
Featured in Villa Rica News & Views
We had the chance to chat with the hilarious Rod Man, Season 8 winner of The Last Comic Standing. He has local roots - he graduated from Villa Rica High School, worked in Douglasville, and he still has family that lives in the area. We talked about his memories of Villa Rica, his recent win and what's coming up next for him. Find out more about him and his upcoming show dates at rodmancomedy.com.
How long did you live in Villa Rica?
I lived in Villa Rica from the time I was born until three and then we moved to Atlanta and then I came back in the eighth grade. Carroll County, Douglas County, I-20 West, that's my neck of the woods. I graduated from Villa Rica High School, I'm a Wildcat!
How often do you come back to Villa Rica?
A lot. The family is there, everyone's there. My wife's family is from there and my family is from there. I'm there at least four times a year.
Yeah, it's a great place to live.
Yeah, it is. Good people and very family oriented. You know your neighbor. You don't see many neighborhoods where you know your neighbor and leave your door unlocked!
Do you get nervous performing or are you past that?
No, I still get nervous. I think you need a healthy nervousness, because you're always going – every show is new. I mean, I know I'm funny, but I don't know if this particular crowd is going to get my funny. I'm at a different place now, because people are actually coming to see me, so they expect funny. It makes it a little easier, but their expectations are higher for your funny.
Do you find that different places you go your jokes are taken differently? Like in some places your jokes will go over well and others they'll just bomb?
I don't do a lot of bombing [laughs], but jokes can be regional. For example, soda – I grew up saying drink, but in Chicago they say soda pop. Sometimes you have to learn the local lingo to put in your joke. The joke should never not work. I try to find a common bond instead of focusing on the differences.
I think you have such a gift of taking the ordinary and turning it into something really funny.
Yeah, thank you. I'm always trying to think about what people are really doing. For example, the kiosks in the mall – you have all of these little kiosks and then the big stores all around. That's why they're so aggressive. It's just finding those little every day things and trying to find the funny in it.
Part of winning the show is a development deal. What's going on with that?
Yeah, we're in the process of developing that now. We're trying to develop a 'Rod Man show'. That's not the name of it, but it will be based on my comedy. Hopefully we can bring it to your living rooms soon. The TV world is a whole different ballgame. I know how to get on a stage and do some stand up, but TV has a lot of moving parts and I'm just trying to learn everything.
Do you know if you're coming to Atlanta?
I did the Punchline right after the show, so a lot of people missed that, but we have special plans. I'm going to tape my one-hour DVD special there. It's not on the calendar yet, but we're going to put it out there soon.
Have you ever done a show in Villa Rica?
Not in Villa Rica. When I first started I used to host at the Ramada Inn in Carrollton and all of the Villa Rica people used to come. We used to pass out flyers and put them on people's mailboxes. That was our method of marketing back then.
Other than winning the title, do you have a favorite memory from the show?
My favorite memory was JB Smoove [host of the The Last Comic Standing]. He was so funny and motivational. He was always animated and telling you to look at his socks and his suit. He was a funny dude. He would get you focused for the show that day.
Do you have fond memories or funny stories about living in Villa Rica?
I used to live on Herrell Road. The house is no longer there. That was my grandmama's house. She used to burn stuff. She would set bon fires in the yard for no reason at all. It might be your clothes that you're going to wear to school that day, but that was my grandmama. Playing sports was always cool. I had a high school basketball coach names Jesse Bonham. We had to learn these quotes every day at practice and if we didn't know the quote, we had to get on the line and run suicides. He would come up with quotes every day and I still use that to this day. I love quotes.
I bet when you come back home, it brings back a lot of memories.
Yeah and you just go around riding and say I used to do this here and that there. I married my high school sweetheart, so there are all kinds of memories around there. It's a great place.
What would you consider the most unusual thing that has happened in your career?
I did go to sleep on stage in Seattle after some soul food. I called it Sleepy Soul Food. It knocked me right out.