Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots is launching a new performance series in Philly this week, and the focus isn’t music. The legendary emcee has teamed up with Quincy Harris of Fox 29’s “The Q Show” for “Delirious,” a comedy showcase highlighting buzzworthy touring comedians as well as Philly talent on the rise.
Thursday night’s show at Punchline Philly will include standup from Seth Herzog, Janelle James, Seaton Smith, Jamar Neighbors and Michelle Wolf. There will even be music from DJ J.Period and Black Thought himself.
We chatted with the legendary emcee about what inspired him to step into the comedy space and why “the darkest hours produce the best art.”
What are your hopes for “Delirious?”
I feel like this show has a lot of potential to evolve into something special. I don’t want to be the next “Def Comedy Jam” — I don’t want to be the next anything. The fact that I’m doing this is about firsts. I want to present something original. I want people to come out and enjoy themselves because these are trying times. Historically, the darkest hours have always produced the best art.
You’re known for being a musician. What sparked your interest in comedy?
Having worked on “Late Night” and “The Tonight Show” for the past eight years, I do comedy every day so I’m always around lots of comedians. We’re a few floors down from “SNL” so I get to interact with them. I’ve been doing a recurring bit with Seth Herzog of “The Tonight Show” at a place in New York City called The Slipper Room for the past year or so. I sat in on a couple of Jeff Ross’ comedy “Roast” battles and yeah, it’s something I decided I wanted to do.