Sitting down with Dean Edwards

Braley Garland

From talking backstage with Dean Edwards after his performance for UPB’s Weeks of Welcome, you would never guess that this down to earth guy eating a slice of cheese pizza has worked with some of the world’s most famous comedians.

“I don’t call this work, I call this fun,” Edwards said about being a comedian and performing in stand-up and skit shows. “I’m always chasing the first time I was on stage.”

Edwards’ show was a hit with the audience, at one point he actually walked through the audience to talk to people in the back. He involved the audience in his act as much as he could, even trading jokes back and forth with an audience member who came in late.

Edwards decided he wanted to become a comedian at a young age after watching an Eddie Murphy stand-up routine on television. His parents were always supportive of his career, and his dad even convinced him to move back to New York City to pursue his career more after college.

“My parents have always been my biggest supporters,” he says.

His first time on stage was in February of 1992, but he wasn’t getting many shows. In June of 1995, he decided to move back to the Bronx, where he got his first big break on Def Comedy Jam with host Dave Chappelle. From there he got many gigs from headlining comedy clubs to hosting cable shows. Then he was approached by “MadTV” and “Saturday Night Live.”

“I started recording my auditions to see what I could improve on,” he said. This helped him be able to see his strong areas and it led him to many opportunities, including his two season stunt on “Saturday Night Live” with fellow cast mate Will Ferell.

Edward says the hardest part of being a comedian is being lonely on the road. If he is just going to a one night gig he travels alone and has to leave his wife and two daughters at home.

Edwards was open with the crowd about all of his friends, and how he thinks of all people as just people. He also confessed to the audience that the only time he has been star struck was in the presence of Beyonce.

Even though he calls Kevin Hart and Tracy Morgan his friends, it is easy to tell that he treats people all the same no matter what. He is a down to earth funny man who filled a Thursday evening with good laughs.