Comedian Tommy Davidson promises to bring Pittsburgh “a little bit of happiness” during his four-night run—March 17-20—at the Pittsburgh Improv this week.
“Pittsburgh lost the Super Bowl. They need a little happiness,” said Davidson. “Pittsburgh is one of my favorite places.”
Although he performed in the Golden Triangle about two years ago, Davidson said he plans on talking about subjects that appeal to everyone including President Obama and women on this go round.
“Pittsburgh should expect the unexpected,” he said.
The comedian, best known for his work in the ground-breaking sketch comedy, “In Living Color,” began his career as a stand-up comedian in Washington, D.C., delivering laughs at various comedy clubs.
From there, promoters booked him as the opening act for A-list performers like Patti LaBelle, Kenny G and Luther Vandross.
Davidson said he learned life lessons from each experience, but the most valuable one came from songstress Patti LaBelle.
“She said to give 100 percent to all that you do. I love what I do and I give 110 percent,” Davidson said.
The funnyman took LaBelle’s advice to heart and has been moving non-stop ever since.
Once he moved to Hollywood, Davidson met Robert Townsend. That meeting led to a starring role in the movie, “Partners in Crime.”
“Partners in Crime” was the conduit for Davidson meeting Keenan Ivory Wayans who got him involved with “In Living Color” alongside Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans.
“‘In Living Color’ was like climbing Mt. Everest and everything else is like smaller mountains. We did so much and the talent was so high. It was funny as hell. The second we did it we knew it was going to be a hit,” said Davidson, whose hilarious impressions of Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Jackson and other entertainment icons have become infamous.
The show ran on Fox from 1990 to 1994. It is currently in syndication on Si TV and Centric, introducing laughs to a whole new generation.
His years on “In Living Color” led to three Showtime specials: “On Strength of New York,” “Illin’ in Philly,” and “Takin’ it to D.C.”
Armed with national exposure, Davidson delved back into movies. He played alongside Halle Berry in “Strictly Business” and from there selected high-profile films like “Woo” with Jada Pinkett Smith; “Booty Call,” with Jamie Foxx and Vivica Fox; “Juwanna Mann,” and “Ace Venture II: When Nature Calls.” Last year he starred in “I Am Comic” and “Black Dynamite.”
In addition to movies, Davidson also played in several television shows including the leading role in Disney’s “The Proud Family.” He also hosted Fox’s “The NFL Show” alongside Michael Irvin and Tony Siragusa.
Next fall, Davidson will portray fellow actor and friend Will Smith in the animated series, “Youngins.”
The show is a cartoon about Smith’s childhood. It will be a part of the Hub Network lineup in 2012.
“It’s an honor and a challenge to do this. I want to do a great job. Will has been so successful and for him to want me and my skill level, it’s amazing,” he said.
Moviegoers can see Davidson on the silver screen in May alongside Cedric the Entertainer in “Chicago Pulaski.”
When Davidson isn’t making people laugh stateside, he travels to military bases cheering up our troops. It’s a labor of love he has been doing for 20 years.
“It’s the best because people are stuck where they are. They are not going home they’re going back to their barracks. I like it because everyone is from a state and I feel like I’m performing in the States,” he said.
Davidson has performed in Japan, Guam, Portugal and Italy.
(For tickets to Davidson’s Improv show, visit http://www.improv.com or call 412-462-5233.)