Kevin James has fallen in love with stand-up comedy again. The popular “funny man” has always been involved in the comedy world, but took a bit of a hiatus from performing on stage to focus more on his TV and movie game. Recently, however, the New York native has caught the stand-up bug again and this time around James says he is more ready, hungry and confident to pick up the microphone. James sat down with Metro to talk about his career, his motivations and dive into what you can expect at his stand-up tour in Atlantic City this weekend.
Kevin James talks new tour and how he’s fallen in love with stand-up comedy again
The “King of Queens” star has always been familiar with stand-up. “It’s something that I’ve been doing all my life and all of my career,” James said. But the actor let the art form take a back seat when he dove head first into numerous TV and film projects. “To be honest, there was a long time where there was a stretch of me doing TV and doing movies and jumping over to Vegas to do shows with Ray [Romano], kind of coasting on my stand-up. I haven’t been working it as much, I used a lot of my material in my Netflix special but once that was done, it was done. I had never really spent and dedicated time to stand-up, it’s something I really wanted to go back and do.”
That day has finally come, and although this can’t really be classified as a “come back”, it can be classified as a “come up”. James wanted his new show to truly be from his heart and soul, which is something that the actor admires in other comedians. “You can tell the difference with someone dabbling in stand-up and when someone’s really in it. You see guys like Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle and even [Sebastian] Maniscalco and Brian Regan– these guys are really committed to stand-up. [They’re] really funny guys and you can tell they are dedicated to it. I was not, I was just not doing it. So I’ve dedicated myself to doing it and I’m falling in love with it again.”
Falling back in love with stand-up provided James with the outlet he needed to highlight his strengths and showcase his initial passion. Getting back on his A-game didn’t require him to change up his approach or hunt for new techniques, instead, the 54-year-old utilized the greatest asset he had garnered over the years–confidence. “It hasn’t changed as far as my sense of humor and the way I approach a joke, but I think my confidence level [has]. When you stay in the pocket and you have more confidence in doing so, it really opens up the doors to do more stuff and to be funnier and expand and try different things on stage. Really a great way to write for me,” says James.
“When you’re confident and you know what you’re doing as opposed to being nervous up there and just trying stuff and saying hopefully they like it, instead if you have faith and you believe in yourself and you think, they are going to enjoy this and have fun with it– you can take your time with it. You’re not rushing jokes, you’re really standing in the quiet moments and leading them through stories and down a path. That to me has changed the most, my confidence level being on stage and having fun with the audience and guiding them through this thing. You really are guiding an audience, like you know when to throw a punch here, or to step back and let them relax for a second and then hit them hard again. Or you try to do it that way anyway.”
Kevin James will be performing at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ ) this Sunday, May 26th at 7 pm. For tickets visit theborgata.com