Big Jay Oakerson

Big Jay Oakerson

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Biography

When "Big" Jay Oakerson dropped out of college to pursue a career in standup comedy, his mom's response couldn't have been harsher than if he'd taken a job bouncing for strippers at bachelor parties; she kicked him out of the house until he agreed to cut down on his standup habit. In the meantime, Oakerson took a number of dead-end jobs -- jobs like driving around strippers and escorts. And that wasn't the worst of it. "I had a gun put in my face in Atlantic City," Oakerson says, recalling his job playing Winnie the Pooh at a kid's birthday party in the 'hood. "Afterward, the father wouldn't let me in the bathroom to change, so I took off the Pooh head, and the kid started crying, and the father was furious. I ended up being chased down the street with the head in my hands, still wearing the costume. That was as scary as any stripper problem I ever had."

Fortunately, Oakerson's work-related problems were about to end. In 2001, his story-based brand of standup won him the Salem Orb-E Future Faces Competition (the comedy portion, that is), and he was given the chance to perform at New York City's noted comedy club Carolines on Broadway. "I did one show with Kim Coles [of In Living Color fame], and they ended up keeping me," Oakerson says. So the now-27-year-old Queens resident left the world of shit work and made comedy his full-time job, flooring audiences with anecdotal bits about ultramacho frat boys or being too fat for karate. ("I was a clear belt," he quips.) Aside from regular standup gigs, Oakerson can be seen co-hosting Spike TV's Movies on Tap every Sunday with fellow comic and good friend Patrice O'Neal. This comes after a recent spot on Dave Attell's Insomniac Tour, appearing on Comedy Central's Premium Blend, and working as a writer for Chappelle's Show.