As a tastemaker and trendsetter on the growing comedy scene in New Orleans, Mark Caesar is always very good at being cool, collective, and comedic ally hilarious. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Mark about his new groundbreaking comedy stage play , his comedy album and everything before and in between .
Interviewed by: Laycee-joyce Taylor
Lay- how you doing Mr. Caesar
MC- Hi I’m good. Coolin
Lay- known as one of the best comedians in New Orleans. How did you get your start in comedy?
MC- I started off doing comedy when I was 15 as a writer for a comedian that’s from New Orleans that’s actually a national comedian …I started off writing for her…just been going from there … going on 15 years in the game
!!! Insert Adrian and Alex!!!!! lol
Lay- What part of New Orleans are you from? As it is very important that people have to understand where you are from to understand your comedy.
MC- I’m from Uptown New Orleans
Lay – And what ward is that? For people who don’t know.
MC- the 13th ward Ferret St, Valance and Magnolia … the whole yea
Lay- A lot of people were introduced to you that weren’t deep into comedy via social media , social media very important and people from new Orleans and all over the world were introduced to you via the “shit new Orleans girls say” videos . Was that your first large project that you put out on social media or can we go back to some other projects?
MC- before we put that video out.. we had another video that we put out called that was h*t rappers say to producers and that one was like 60,000+ on youtube and that was way before instagram days and that was a huge video .That was before shit new Orleans girls say video was the biggest because it really had people and to this day people come up to me and be like man I was at such and such place and see the video I wasn’t living here after the storm and that video just brought me back home and it did a lot for a lot of people and to this day people hit me up bout the video and how much they love the video … someone from Seattle hit me up yesterday about this video … That’s crazy.
Lay- that’s dope because being a comedian there’s always some truth in everything a comedian says. a deeper * audible * into it and that’s basically the mind frame of a lot of quote end quote hood fee’s in new Orleans so it was a mirror image “like ohhhhhhhh I do say that “
MC- they’ll be like “ion talk like dat “while talking like that…so it’s funny
Lay- When exactly did you start doing social media videos?
MC- 2011 (crickets) yeah 2011 we started doing videos (laughs) we started with Dubb productions / Pissyopants comedy we went from there just putting them out …. And from there we were dropping videos every Tuesday and we would do Pissyopants Tuesday as we were adding members to the team
Lay- was there anything special about the day Tuesday that suck out more than any other day of the week?
MC- yeah it stuck out because we did Laugh and Sip which was our weekly comedy show on Thursdays
( Lay —– I was going to get to laugh and sip you beat me there. you beat me there)
MC – drop the video on Tuesday and get the hype around Thursday but you could see this thing live on Thursday’s just getting the people some time to get there shit together give them some time and give them some funny then get them some more funny.
(Insert Deuce and Adrian)
Lay- a lot of people like to jump into doing social media videos or trying to get on stage to do standup comedy or get into the sphere of comedy not fully understanding how hard a lot of comedians have worked to get that social media following or have a large turnout at a live performance. When did you realize you wanted to be a professional comedian?
MC- I was doing comedy at 15 but I never thought at even in 2003 I never thought I was going to be a comedian.. I thought I was going to be a Baseball player.. And after going to the military and just seeing things.. I started taking it a little more serious in 2008.. I started taking it more serious …..2007 …. 2007 …..I started seeing money for it … when I started getting paid for shows … and you know that goes.
Lay – how long does it take you to formulate your jokes? Or are you one of those people that just says ahh this is funny I’m running with it let go?
MC- …nahhhhh …..it takes a while …it’s a whole process 1st I have to get the though in my mind then I get the thought down then I make the thought a topic then I add on to the topic and build a structure of the joke and build the body of the joke … then add a body and a punch line and all of that just to make sure it’s a well structured joke … there is a difference between saying funny stuff and telling a joke. You have to formulate it.. It’s a science… There are steps involved …. you can’t just take get any elements off the periodic table and make anything … shit has to go together so that defiantly with I do with my jokes I try to make sure everything goes together
Lay- You’ve traveled all of the states and abroad doing comedy and you take a liking to helping up and coming artist that’s trying to get out their dreams . I’m not asking who you have helped but what was the process going into picking members of Pissyopants comedy or trying to find people that fit into the niche of styling of comedy that you are putting into the universe.
MC- the people I grew up loving was in living color and Mad TV even more so than SNL.. because at the time the crews were super diverse nobody was like nobody .. If you had a skit you could only see that one person doing that skit or that joke and that’s how I wanted pissyopants to be.. I’m all about originality… I want people to be as original as possible. Because you’ve got it ….you might as well just get it out. That was my whole process. I don’t think Mario P has a joke like Brady or I don’t think Royal has a joke like Shervey . I don’t think Courtney G has a joke like me. No one was alike but we all meshed.. You’re not gonna put seasoning from two different companies in your gumbo?!?!?
Lay – right
MC- I just wanted to make sure that we stood out and were different
Lay- And you guys were definitely different and innovators in the comedy scene in New Orleans as far as standup comedy and sketch comedy. They had a lot of people doing it but they weren’t taking it to the extent that pissyopants took it.
MC- I definitely feel like we brought comedy to the forefront in New Orleans without a doubt. I think ive been in the game long enough to say that and know that and if anyone else doesn’t agree with that they are just hating because no one was on social media with it when we grabbed it … I mean they were on social media saying they were comedians .. But they weren’t putting out the material they weren’t putting out the stuff to bring people into the venue if you weren’t on the pavement passing out flyers nobody was coming to see you do comedy unless someone knew you for being funny. That’s a small number.. You may know people but it’s just different when you’re out there with social media because you actually have fans in the venue that come see you . And we definitely changed the direction of New Orleans comedy without a doubt.
Lay – There’s always been a lot of sketch troupes and comics but to see a packed house in Café Istanbul hen you started Disclaimer Comedy that was so dope it was like you guys own living color and mad TV . How did you come up with the great idea,”HEY we are gonna get some wigs, some props, and wild out on stage “?
MC – Disclaimer Comedy was supposed to start off as a recorded comedy show. So all of our videos were supposed to come under Disclaimer Comedy it was supposed to be a TV show , we were supposed to make a plot and try to sell it . But it as were growing it’s hard for everyone to get together. It’s very time consuming trying to film 8 skits a week so we decided to say “hey, let’s put these skits on stage …” It worked out and I was super happy about it. It was my baby so I definitely wanted to see it turn into what it did
Lay- You are also a part of “The Second Line Show” a influential urban sketch show in New Orleans
MC- Yeah it’s growing
Lay – What’s the difference between Disclaimer comedy sketch shows and The Second Line Show
MC- its supper different , the second line show it more formulated than disclaimer its way more organized and more formulated and more of a schedule . those aren’t stand up comedians those are ….so its different they dedicate their whole time to a sketch as far as when you are a sketch and stand up you are juggling more things . you have more stuff to deal with …. it’s a lot to remember line for line and punch line for punchline movement .. its theater comedy . it’s a monster it takes a lot .. that would be then main difference .. you deal with people that’s more theatrical than stand-up.
Lay – There are basically 3-4 different realms of comedy. Between standup comedy ,comedic acting , writing , and comedy directing which one do you feel as though is the hardest ?
MC – Directing is super hard because you have to get other people to buy into your vision of how you see it so that’s hard especially with people who already know they are funny … it’s like “MAN I KNOW IM FUNNY “ YOUR NOT GONNA TELL ME HOW TO DO IT … but it’s so much more that goes into it . then stand up the preparation is hard for to go out there with no assist and just go stand out there in front of however many people and just make them laugh that’s hard too .then on the side of actually producing a show that hard trying to ensure that people are actually going to be there to laugh at you.. All of them have their difficulties but I wouldn’t say one is really harder/easier than the other
Lay – Now you have put on a difficult hat by wearing all of these hats yourself for you new stage play , your baby “When You Broke You Drove” coming to everyone October 27th in New Orleans . Can you tell me . welp .. Everyone for the most part is broke and drove (laughs)
MC – yeah …!! Anybody who would think about it if you here the topic you’ll be like….. Damn …..when I’m broke I am I am drove … but when I’m paid I’ve got boocoo places to go .
Lay- like hummmmmmmm finger the chin emoji
MC- you know what you got a point ….and I want the name.. I’m very critical of my names … whatever name I want it to jump out and grab people .that’s the thing with the name of the play , It’s from Juvenile song “ha” Juvies 1st big single … that line always stood out to me because when you are broke you are drove . So this play is about a guy who graduates college for computer design and coding. he’s trying to get an entry level job but they want 2 -3 years experience ( YOU KNOW HOW THAT GO ) but he’s not getting a call back on these jobs so he decides to build his own app … he has his friend reach out to someone he knows down the line to a social media star. the problem that this social median star is having is that people are stealing her videos so she’s getting pissed off And threatening to leave social media .he designs the app for he that brings all of her fans and followers over to the app and once he makes the app they get a million subscribers in one week now companies start making offers to buy it. Now he has the decision to I sell this app and make more money than I have because I’m broke or do I stay true to my friendship and be loyal and just let it grow on its own
Lay – umm that’s interesting… And a dope New Orleans story too between Birdman and Master P they didn’t sell out when they got there
MC- they didn’t
Lay – they just waited it out.
MC- I just want the play to inspire somebody maybe there is someone out there looking like man I don’t know which way to go I don’t know what to do and I hope this play can open the eyes off people and let them know hey… you can sit out of something. I’ve turned down plenty of opportunities …………………..I’ve turned down a chance to go on tour..even with Sinbad and I thought I missed my shot then because I got deployed to the middle east I thought that was it for me . I was hurt …I was devastated..But I came back in a year and I got right back at it even when I was overseas I was doing shows for the people who were on my base. There is no such thing as a missed opportunity I say …unless there was a chick you really wanted to get and she got pregnant and got married but that’s different ……( laugh)
[Enter Alex and Adrian]
Lay – You recently had a breakthrough moment with the release of your comedy album. What is the name of you album and where can we find it?
MC- my comedy album is” I think I’m brain washed … thank you to everyone who has supported the album to this date we put the album off on June 1st and to this date with just having it on iTunes and going out and doing shows we’ve sold 500 copies . So I want to say thank you to everybody who brought the album …. (I feel like I’m platinum in the streets ya heard me ) I really really appreciate you guys it means a lot. I’m going to put it on sound cloud on October 26 and it’s definitely for sale on I tunes.
Lay – What inspired the title “I Think I’m brainwashed “
MC- Me and a friend were talking about my childhood and she didn’t grow up how I grew up. See I’m from Uptown. Its real it’s raw. And I’m not just saying “ I’m from uptown don’t play with me “ like some people say . No IM REALLY REALLY FROM UPTOWN.. MY PATNAS GONE, HOOD MAMA, and I would always tell stories about certain things I’ve done. for instance when I was 5 years old I missed my school bus and I went in my mama room like “hey maaaaa I missed school bus” and my mama was like “your ass better walk” messing with me because she was mad I missed my bus . So I decided that I was going to grab my booksack and I walked to school like a mile and a half away at 5 years old
MC – seriously I was small AS SHIT . I crossed ferret I crossed St. Charles I crossed Pyrtania
Lay- BY YOURSELF
MC- by myself
Lay- at five-years-old
Lay – you a whole gangsta
MC – She was like that’s not normal. All of this stuff in my life I thought was normal. Like that’s not normal. I always said I never had a house key growing up it was like you had to leave a window open for us or something like after school you had to climb through a window to do your homework and I didn’t know I always thought that was normal …. One time my mama send me on a field trip with $10 worth of food stamps to the zoo.. I thought all this stuff in my life was normal and it wasn’t and I realize that I think im brainwashed and that was the motivation behind the album. I couldn’t be happier with what the album is doing its .real
Lay- like I said earlier, you are just a renaissance man of comedy. You also had a radio show that came on in the mornings. What’s up with it sir .The Mark Caesar radio show
MC- Man I miss my show so much I really miss it man. We used to cut up… it was me Shervey and calligraphy and Dj GCUE every morning on monstars radio and we would just act a fool . Every morning we would have a different topic and we would just go in on it we would do horoscopes g cue would do the go nuts mix and we would just have a really good time. we were a trending topic every morning . I want to bring the show back. I can’t promise when I just be so busy with touring and when I bring it back I want to dedicate to the timing properly because that’s actually my life dream. My dream isn’t to sell out the superdome it’s to be on the radio every morning that’s what I want to do. I want to get peoples day started right. That’s my life goal I’m going to do it I’m going to get it done it gotta be right
Lay- just hearing you say this it sounds like your passion . It’s what you are going to do . Free The Mark Ceasar show . I used to listen it it in the morning on my way to school or work. Use to hit the tune in app … the geaux nuts mix ya’ll belonged on Q93 or 102.9
MC- Free Boosie Fridays, hump day weds ,everyday it was just something , whatspoppinmonday’s we really had it going on .
Lay – if there is any advice you could give to any up and coming comedians that aspire to do anything that you have been awesome enough to accomplish. What you would tell them?
MC- I would tell em just be you. that’s the first thing once you know who you are and what you want to do everything else will come in second nature .just do you . I told my manager in February that by October we won’t be able to take bookings because we don’t know where we’ll be at and now it’s October and I’ve written a play. I had no idea that I was going to write a play. I wrote the play while I was touring. You just never know. Whatever you wanna do you can do it. Just trust me. If you want it you can go get it. That all I’ve got to say and I’ll tell that to anybody any comedian I’m working with . Speaking of comedians I’m working with I want to shout out some new young comedians in the game. Sleepy . I’m so proud of this dude. He was nominated for best comedian at the NOLA music awards and he just told his first joke in Covington in February. Sub tweet Shawn , man I can’t say enough about Sub tweet Shawn he just made 18 years old He’s at LSU doing his thing everything he drops is instantly viral . He’s funny on stage and he’s funny in videos. Even in the new “Mind if I praise god?!” video
Lay- That’s Mr.Dolphin right ?
MC- yup the dolphin all that, That’s piss yo pants comedy.
Lay – Thank You for your time Mr. Caesar
Don’t forget October 27th When You Broke you Drove $20 Gen Admission tickets . Not in New Orleans? WYBYD is coming to 20+ cities in the United States follow @pissyopanys1 on twitter for further details!