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Jonathan Slocumb . . .
Keepin’ it Clean, Makin’em Laugh
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On the Dock

 Nov 1998
Volume 4 Number 1

jonathan slocumb

COVER STORY
13 Jonathan Slucumb - Keepin' it Clean, Makin' em Laugh

This comedy concerts open with feel-good music like the old Arsenio Hall show.  He is as funny as Chris Rock. However, Jonathan Slocumb’s gospel-style background music, his ability to carry a tune and his “clean” humor sets the fast-rising young comic apart from the pack.

FEATURES
24 Polygamy: I Refused to be a Part of It!

24 A Tantalizing Taste of Tanzania

24 Clarence Thomas - I am a Man

24 Giving

24 Never Too Late to Come to the Lord

24 Love: From the Ideal to the Real

24 We've Been Setting Standards for the World Through the Millenniums

2 THE PUBLISHER’S POINT

A THE STORY FROM THE OTHER SIDE
3 Foreigner

INTERVIEWS - DIVERSITY AMONGST US:
4 Millie Jackson - Still Hot, Wild, and Unrestricted!

4 The Tales of Buchi Emecheta - Nigerian Author Makes the Mark

5 Diva on a Mission - Susana Baca

13 Jonathan Slucumb - Keepin' it Clean, Makin' em Laugh

HISTORY/BLACK MEMORABILIA

6 Before Marcus Garvey . . . There Was Martin R.

WHERE WE LIVE
10 We Live in Southeast, Too! A Look at Overlook

13 EVENTS

15 FOOD & FUN: RECIPE

NEWSCAP
16 The Hispanic Population Boom: Challenge or Blessing?

20 POETRY PIER

21 MONEY TALKS . . .

Jonathan Slocumb. . .
Keepin’it Clean, Makin’em Laugh

This comedy concerts open with feel-good music like the old Arsenio Hall show.  He is as funny as Chris Rock. However, Jonathan Slocumb’s gospel-style background music, his ability to carry a tune and his “clean” humor sets the fast-rising young comic apart from the pack.

 “I entertain God’s people," says Slocumb, who somehow managed to bring in the laughs on HBO’s often very raw Def Comedy Jam. “That’s the one, probably the only time. I’ve really been nervous because I didn’t know if they would receive me," says Slocumb, whose performance itinerary spans from night clubs to BET’s Bobby Jones “Gospel Show”.

He has a recurring role on the “Steve Harvey Show” where he plays Clyde the Slide, a singer from a fictional 70s R&B band, The High Tops. This year he released his first of five CDs,“Laugh Yo Self 2 Life.” 

Like most African-American comedians, Slocumb takes a punch at hairweaves and imitates Jesse Jackson, Sr. during his routine. He also jests about living in the projects, African-American speech patterns, and the cultural differences between Blacks and non-Blacks.

However, unlike other successful comedians, Slocumb gets most of his material from the church. “Yes I’m a Christian and am also a comedian. I think those two aspects can work well together without compromising one or the other," says Slocumb.

On this debut CD, the Atlanta native warms the audience with:  “And y’all good?  Thank you for looking good. That means y’all know God. Y’all know God?" And the audience responds with “yea!” as Slocumb continues, “…cause, see when you (are ) ugly, that’s the devil.  And when you ugly don’t nobody  wanna be around you. See, that’s what the word ugly stands for - - U.G.L.Y. - -  u got to love yourself!"

Some of the CDs funniest moments are his telling of contemporary Biblical stories. He imitates the voice of Jackson to explain why an ark needs to be built, and T-Bone from the ‘hood to explain the story of David “Holyfield” and Goliath. In a rare moment when gospel music isn’t used as mood music, Slocumb uses the blues to tell the story of Job.

His second CD will not “have as much of a church tone to it,” he says.  Slocumb plans to allude more to everyday events while “keeping it clean and wholesome.” He quickly adds, however, “I am always going to do at least one story from the Bible. On the next CD, I’m going to do Adam and Eve and the Snake telling a story on Jerry Springer.”

Gospel is Slocumb’s passion and he’s doing for this form of African music what Bill Cosby has done for jazz and Sinbad for 70s funk. In addition to the Christian gospel, he laces his message with self-pride, “Whatever your culture, wherever you are today, be proud of it," he says. “I’m just happy to be proud to be Black.”