Philly native Skeet Carter is taping his first comedy special in his hometown

Skeet Carter

Eight years ago, Skeet Carter was cutting hair at a local barbershop, cracking jokes and living life quite normally. Once the Philly native found out he had a son on the way however, everything changed. Fast forward to 2019 where Carter has numerous comedy club shows under his belt from around the country, worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and even just finished a contract with LiveNation. Now the funnyman is taking another leap in his career, filming a comedy special. This weekend, Charles “Charlie Mack” Alston will be presenting Skeet Carter at the Temple Performing Arts Center to tape his new special “I’m So Stupid” in front of a live audience. Carter sat down with Metro to discuss how he got his start in comedy, what inspires him and why now is the best time to take this major career step. 

Philly native Skeet Carter is taping his first comedy special in his hometown

You’ve been in the comedy game since 2011, but why choose now to tape a comedy special?

In this industry, they say it takes ten years for you to become the comic that you want to be: To find yourself, to make enough noise for people to know who you are, and to become respected as the comedic talent that you are. So with that being said, I toured around the country, I performed at every comedy club and I was able to project Skeet Carter and show people who I am. But it’s all about timing, I just finished my contract with LiveNation, I had a monthly show there that I would sell out, which is an accomplishment, but at the same time not so much because anybody can do a monthly show. I wanted to stop that and take the step in doing a theater show and headlining it myself. So this is the biggest venue that I’ve done on my own, and I wanted the cameras to be involved with this. I feel accomplished enough in the comedic community where all the big names know who I am to say yes, let’s film it now. Also, I love the stage. I’m not a big social media guy who does a lot of videos or skits, so my high comes from being on that stage. If I can get this out as a special, I think I can make the world fall in love with the character, or the comic that I am.

Was filming the special in Philly a given since you’re from here?

Yes, it’s my home base and I just had to do it here. I think if I did it somewhere else it wouldn’t have represented me. I don’t think that I would have been able to feel right with myself if I filmed somewhere else like Los Angeles. That’s where a few people told me to film, but that’s not my hometown and not my people. I believe that I owed this step and moment of history to the people who have been a part of it, everyone who has supported me from the beginning.

How would you say your comedy has progressed over time?

Over the years, you get more in-tune and comfortable with yourself. So now I’m more confident in what I have to say and not questioning myself about ‘Oh, should I say this? Will this joke go over well?’ I’m confident that I’m funny, and people want to hear what I have to say. Once you feel that way, you know that you’re ready, and you have to be ready. It’s like a dog that smells fear from a person, people can see when you’re not ready and scared. So I grew out of that, and now if just the perfect time.

Skeet Carter

Is there anyone you take inspiration from?

Well, what keeps me going is my son. When I first started comedy, my son was due right around the same time, and it was even kind of nerve-wracking because I thought he was going to be born during my very first show. When I found out I had a child on the way, it was something that made me take advantage of what people were saying. I was a barber cutting hair, and people would tell me I was funny and needed to get on stage, and I also happened to be cutting hair in that barbershop with Kevin Hart’s brother. I saw what [Kevin] was doing on stage and in the movies, this was in the beginning about eight years ago, and since I had a baby on the way I needed a way to make money and decided to take it really seriously. I never did an open mic or anything like that, I just put my own comedy show together and jumped into this. I rented a venue, I booked a few comedians and I headlined for 30 minutes at this show, and the response that I got was overwhelming. I found out I really love this. My son gave me that, and my drive is to continue because I believe that was a sign. My son is eight and he doesn’t fully understand, but I do feel like I have to live up to his expectations of who he thinks I am. Every day that I see him, I know I have to try harder and stronger, and that’s what has led me to this.

What specifically do you love about performing stand-up in front of a live audience?

Oh man, just the blessing of getting to do stand-up and once you’re off the stage and you’re shaking hands with people and the things that people say to you. It’s really just as simple as making someone laugh, and making someone forget about the pain that they’re going through. At the beginning of my show, I say to leave your problems at the door, comedy and laughter is medicine. It helps you get over anything you’re really going through, and I just realized that I’m a healer. I heal people who are going through problems, and being on stage is a power. The healing that we give, that’s one of the things that really keeps me going. It’s not just a job, it’s not just a profession, I believe there is so much more to it.

Catch Skeet Carter at the Temple Performing Arts Center Nov. 23 at 7 p.m.

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