Mal Hall
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Mal Hall

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States
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The best kept secret in music

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In a few minutes, Mal Hall, comedian, would be on stage at the vintage Comedy Store in La Jolla before a small midweek audience. He'd tell them about being half-black and half-Asian. Laughter ensues.

“Go ahead, let it out!” he'd say. And they did.

Bright and talented, Hall killed.



A cool night, an hour before showtime, other comics on this “Best of San Diego” bill loitered near the door, grabbing a smoke, muttering material they'd try out in front of a predominantly youthful crowd.

Hall hung out in the lobby, sipping coffee, collected. “I don't get nervous,” he said. “I'll ask the other comics if the audience is good, or tight, how they're reacting.”

Each is after laughs, a comedian's sustenance.

Hall, 25, is not an unknown. He plays local universities and military bases and is a regular on radio shows like KGB-FM'S “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” and Rock 105.3's “The Mikey Show.” This year, he won the Orange County Comedy Competition held at the Irvine Improv.

He's even made his way to L.A. and the intense comedic landscape there: “L.A. has the feel of 'I've seen Eddie Murphy. Make me laugh.' It's elitist, people sitting cross-armed.”

As for San Diego, “Nice, polite. You don't get a lot of rowdy people. They're out to have fun.”



Hall, whose first name is really Malacochran, grew up deep in the East County, attending Potrero Elementary and Pine Valley's Mountain Empire High School. Next month, he'll return to the high school to deliver a keynote speech at graduation.

“I was a nerd in high school,” he recalls. “I didn't play football. I was shy.”

His dad was in the Navy and worked as a handyman. His mom was an instructional aide at the elementary school and a librarian. When Hall was in the 10th grade, his parents divorced, his mom raising three boys and a girl.

Education was a key at home and when Hall dropped out of Grossmont College, “I didn't tell my mom for the first six months. She's Asian and going to college and graduating is a big thing.” Now, she comes to see her son perform and laughs at his humor.

He recalls that “at 16, I saw a tape of the 'Eddie Murphy Raw' movie. My mom had hidden it. I found it. I watched and thought, 'That was awesome!' ”

Hall prides himself on relatively clean material though some four-letter words snuck into the Comedy Store set that included a risque (and hilarious) piece on the sexual accoutrements of black men and Asian men.

There's always big laughs from Asians in the crowd, he said, like at a recent UCSD show where, Hall says, “the student body is 130 percent Asian.”

As for black audience members, he said, “They know I make fun of the stereotype. He's been accused by black friends of acting white and addresses it in his comedy this way: “I wear clothes that fit, have a clean criminal record, talk in complete sentences. I have a 40-hour-a week job with benefits. I suggest trying it.”



On this night, the gathering is with him from the start. The material is accessible, sharp, original: “I just got back from Vons (the supermarket right behind the Comedy Store). Do we need more gum from Orbit? Mint Mojito?”

When he moves into the ethnic stuff, the laughs are big. “I'm half-black/half-Asian. I don't know where these eyebrows came from.” Then, “If I'm at the park and they're picking teams for basketball, I'm black. And if I'm at SDSU during finals week and someone needs help with their calculus (pause) I'm still black.”

Afterward, cooling down, Hall acknowledges a good night: “Comedy is really hard. I did well.”

He recalls that it was Dec. 18, 2006, “the first day I did stand-up. I have it on video. I watch it once a year to see how I've progressed.”

He's influenced by the work of Dave Chappelle and Jerry Seinfeld: “Both make me laugh. Chappelle's a genius. I like observational humor.”

As for the future, “I try not to look at the big picture. I take it in months. My goal for the year is to get a TV credit, as a comedian. I want to be the funniest comedian in San Diego.”

How about this? He's hoping to star in “Rush Hour 4” (taking over for Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker): “I'll play both of them. It'll be awesome.”

Mal Hall. Awesome. - UT San Diego


January 16, 2013
Filed under News
ACE brought the comedian Mal Hall’s humorous storytelling to UAH last Wednesday for a two hour show about personal anecdotes, weird people and other random jokes.
Hall found his way into comedy unexpectedly as a college student at San Diego State University when he interning with a media company. He never thought he would become a comedian, but he fell in love with the feeling of making a crowd laugh, and has since been a comedian for six years. Hall has a lot of experience at comedy clubs and often travels to college campuses around the nation to bring his shows to students.
UAH students loved Hall because he made the crowd feel like they were at his house or at a party just listening to him talk and tell funny stories. “All I do for my comedy is tell stories and what I see every day in a funny way,” he said. Many of those at the event were impressed that he had been able to keep the crowd listening and entertained for so long.
Hall’s show was unique because of the personal connection he was able to create with the crowd and his attitude toward the students. “I love to meet entertainers like Mal because they are all fun in their own way,” Jordan Bardley, a Freshman volunteer for ACE said.
To see his past shows and get to know Hall you can friend him on Facebook as Mal Hall, or follow him on Twitter @MalHall. - The Charger Times (University of Alabama Huntsville)


Headlining March’s Laugh Out Proud comedy show, San Diego’s only LGBT-oriented comedy night, Mal Hall is not afraid to be blunt.

“We need to start calling out assholes in our society,” Hall said. “We don’t anymore because we’re afraid of confrontation. We will watch someone leave the bathroom without washing their hands and not say anything about it. That’s disgusting.”

Hall’s stint for Laugh Out Proud is Thursday, March 8 at 8 p.m. at Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave. He will be joined by local LGBT comedian Arthur Montalvo and Los Angeles-based LGBT comic Jiavani Linayao. The show’s co-producers, Sarah Burford and Sean Wherley, will round out the evening’s entertainment.

“We want comedians who are comfortable, respectful [and] understand how this place is different than any other comedy club or venue,” said Wherley, who is also doing a 15-minute set for the show. “We have smart audiences. We like to put up comedians who are smart.”

Wherley said he is pleased to present both Hall, a straight ally to the LGBT community, and Linayao, who identifies as bisexual, at Laugh Out Proud, and said he believes they have a lot to offer.

“Hall is from San Diego [and] lived in Hillcrest,” Wherley said, “and his sense of humor, being half-black, half-Asian, is something the audience is really going to appreciate and connect with being a minority in its own right.”


Comedian Jiavani Linayao (Courtesy Laugh Out Proud)
Linayao, who is both African-American and Filipino, calls her act quirky. “I think of things that I find funny or silly. If it makes me laugh, then I’ll try to present it in a way that makes other people laugh.” Both Hall and Linayao said they draw much of their material from everyday life experiences.

“My act is just a lot of stuff that I hate: Wal-Mart; grocery stores where you have to bag your own groceries; people leaving shopping carts leaning up against someone’s car,” said Hall. “It’s stuff where you just go, ‘Wow, I don’t believe nobody says something about that.’”

Hall has performed at universities across the country as part of NBC’s Diversity Tour. He appeared as a guest personality on San Diego’s Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw Radio Morning Show, and served as an in-studio comedian on The Mikey Morning Show and AJ’s Playhouse. Hall currently lives in Los Angles but hosts a monthly comedy show in downtown San Diego at the Tipsy Crow.

Linayao, who writes comic material for CBS, said she enjoys working a LGBT crowd and is pleased to be presented with the opportunity to do so in San Diego. “I love to do anything where I can support the LGBT community,” she said. “I like events that strengthen the community. This is one of those.”

Linayao also said it is hard for LGBT comics to go to mainstream clubs in San Diego and do gay material.

“It’s such a different atmosphere here,” Linayao said, adding she was glad San Diego had a regular venue for LGBT comedy at Martinis Above Fourth. “I love that they’re opening up that stage for those comedians,” she said.

Jim Simpson, co-owner of Martinis Above Fourth with Doru Tifui, said Laugh Out Proud’s regular night on the second Thursday of each month is a staple of their entertainment lineup.

“It’s an integral part of the cabaret series we’re developing, with comics and music and a new thing coming up very soon, called Boylesque,” Simpson said. On Thursdays through Saturdays, Martinis offers live entertainment. On Mondays, the lounge shows video clips from Broadway and film musicals.

Live comedy, Simpson said, ties neatly into Martinis overall mission of providing cabaret-style entertainment in Hillcrest, which he said no other bar or lounge in the area offers. “Everyone needs a good laugh. It’s something we believe in,” Simpson said.

The business partners, who purchased Martinis in September 2011, have done some remodeling, including a professional stage, sound system and lighting.

Simpson said he and Tifui had a vision for bringing cabaret-like shows to Martinis. “We wanted to do this for the community,” Simpson said. “The opportunity presented itself and we went for it.”

The cover charge for March’s Laugh Out Proud comedy show is $5. Guests are invited to come early for drinks and dinner in the lounge. Reservations for dinner are encouraged and can be made by calling (619) 400-4500 or visiting martinisabovefourth.com. - Gay San Diego


By Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph
Photos by Leetal Elmaleh
(Published in the July 2010 Issue)

“It’s cool being half black and half Asian, because I get to pick when I’m black and when I’m Asian. If I’m at a park and they’re picking teams for a basketball game, I’m black. I always get picked. But if I’m at a college during finals week outside a library, and somebody needs some help with their Mac book or some calculus…I’m still black. I suck at math.” -Mal Hall

Comedian Mal Hall is mad at me because I’m always saying that within 12 months he’ll blow up so big in Hollywood, he’ll forget all his friends in San Diego.

In the meantime, while he still remembers our names, Hall books and hosts The Gaslamp Comedy Show, held the last Thursday of each month at The Tipsy Crow (formerly Bitter End) on Fifth Avenue. The venue’s downstairs showroom has a big-town feel: bar in the back, great sound system, brick wall with iron beams and, thanks to Hall’s network of comedian friends, a dependably excellent night of comedy.

On this night, Hall presents Rajan Dharni, Geoff Keith and Michael Kosta, all professional touring comics.

During his 12-minute opener, Dharni wonders why we don’t use homeless people for advertising. After all, they already have signs: “I’m homeless, but my feet are warm—UGGs.”

Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson veteran Geoff Keith follows with a mischievous 25-minute set, in which he explains to his girlfriend why he acts so differently around his buddies: “Babe, that’s just me being happy.”

Headliner Michael Kosta, who’s appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, begins by reliving the horror of removing contact lenses while hammered, and finishes by admitting his mom thinks he’s way too cocky up on stage: “So I told her—look, Janice, nobody speaks to Kosta that way.”

Maybe you had to be here. Maybe next time, you will be.

The real star of the show is Hall. He not only cajoles his comedian buddies into coming down from L.A. to perform, but also puts out an L.A.-ready 15 minutes himself. His descriptive tale of sitting next to a double-wide lady on a plane flight has the packed house rolling. His style is one part Cosby and one part…baseball superstar Ichiro Suzuki?

“That’s real cute, Chainsaw. I’m way funnier than Ichiro. Tiger Woods also—then again, most trees are funnier than Tiger. More faithful, too.”

Mark Christopher Lawrence, a regular on the NBC sitcom Chuck and frequent Gaslamp Comedy Show performer, says, “Mal Hall is one of the brightest rising stars that I have had the pleasure to work with since [late cult comedian] Mitch Hedberg.”

Such praise makes Hall uncomfortable as he battles the typical comedian’s schizophrenia: self-loathing one moment, and “I rule!” the next.

But mostly, Hall rules, booking, hosting and performing at a club Lawrence calls “the grittiest, dopest, most fantastic place to get down in San Diego.” Hall compares The Tipsy Crow’s downstairs comedy showroom to The Comedy Cellar in New York City, where Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock once had the honor of performing.

“Sometimes I don’t get to pick. I was driving up to LAand forgot I had my blinker on. That’s Asian. Apolice officer noticed and pulled me over—now I’m black again.” –Mal Hall

Make no mistake: it’s Hall’s relentless energy that packs the room for two shows on the last Thursday of each month. Catch this rising star while you still can.

“Oh, I’ll still do The Tipsy Crow as long as I’m able,” says Hall.

I hope so, because a year from now I want to bring this PacificSD article to one of Hall’s shows so he can autograph it. I already know what he’s going to say:

“Oh, cool, I remember this article. <cursory glance up> And who can I make this out to?” - Pacific San Diego Magazine


In a few minutes, Mal Hall, comedian, would be on stage at the vintage Comedy Store in La Jolla before a small midweek audience. He'd tell them about being half-black and half-Asian. Laughter ensues.

“Go ahead, let it out!” he'd say. And they did.

Bright and talented, Hall killed.



A cool night, an hour before showtime, other comics on this “Best of San Diego” bill loitered near the door, grabbing a smoke, muttering material they'd try out in front of a predominantly youthful crowd.

Hall hung out in the lobby, sipping coffee, collected. “I don't get nervous,” he said. “I'll ask the other comics if the audience is good, or tight, how they're reacting.”

Each is after laughs, a comedian's sustenance.

Hall, 25, is not an unknown. He plays local universities and military bases and is a regular on radio shows like KGB-FM'S “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” and Rock 105.3's “The Mikey Show.” This year, he won the Orange County Comedy Competition held at the Irvine Improv.

He's even made his way to L.A. and the intense comedic landscape there: “L.A. has the feel of 'I've seen Eddie Murphy. Make me laugh.' It's elitist, people sitting cross-armed.”

As for San Diego, “Nice, polite. You don't get a lot of rowdy people. They're out to have fun.”



Hall, whose first name is really Malacochran, grew up deep in the East County, attending Potrero Elementary and Pine Valley's Mountain Empire High School. Next month, he'll return to the high school to deliver a keynote speech at graduation.

“I was a nerd in high school,” he recalls. “I didn't play football. I was shy.”

His dad was in the Navy and worked as a handyman. His mom was an instructional aide at the elementary school and a librarian. When Hall was in the 10th grade, his parents divorced, his mom raising three boys and a girl.

Education was a key at home and when Hall dropped out of Grossmont College, “I didn't tell my mom for the first six months. She's Asian and going to college and graduating is a big thing.” Now, she comes to see her son perform and laughs at his humor.

He recalls that “at 16, I saw a tape of the 'Eddie Murphy Raw' movie. My mom had hidden it. I found it. I watched and thought, 'That was awesome!' ”

Hall prides himself on relatively clean material though some four-letter words snuck into the Comedy Store set that included a risque (and hilarious) piece on the sexual accoutrements of black men and Asian men.

There's always big laughs from Asians in the crowd, he said, like at a recent UCSD show where, Hall says, “the student body is 130 percent Asian.”

As for black audience members, he said, “They know I make fun of the stereotype. He's been accused by black friends of acting white and addresses it in his comedy this way: “I wear clothes that fit, have a clean criminal record, talk in complete sentences. I have a 40-hour-a week job with benefits. I suggest trying it.”



On this night, the gathering is with him from the start. The material is accessible, sharp, original: “I just got back from Vons (the supermarket right behind the Comedy Store). Do we need more gum from Orbit? Mint Mojito?”

When he moves into the ethnic stuff, the laughs are big. “I'm half-black/half-Asian. I don't know where these eyebrows came from.” Then, “If I'm at the park and they're picking teams for basketball, I'm black. And if I'm at SDSU during finals week and someone needs help with their calculus (pause) I'm still black.”

Afterward, cooling down, Hall acknowledges a good night: “Comedy is really hard. I did well.”

He recalls that it was Dec. 18, 2006, “the first day I did stand-up. I have it on video. I watch it once a year to see how I've progressed.”

He's influenced by the work of Dave Chappelle and Jerry Seinfeld: “Both make me laugh. Chappelle's a genius. I like observational humor.”

As for the future, “I try not to look at the big picture. I take it in months. My goal for the year is to get a TV credit, as a comedian. I want to be the funniest comedian in San Diego.”

How about this? He's hoping to star in “Rush Hour 4” (taking over for Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker): “I'll play both of them. It'll be awesome.”

Mal Hall. Awesome. - Sign On San Diego - Lee Grant


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Mal Hall is your best friend.

Hes a comedian, from San Diego, the oldest of four and pizza lover.

Mal makes him home in Los Angeles and is currently one of the brightest up and coming comedians in the country. He has quickly evolved into a popular and successful college act, performing at hundreds of campuses across the country. Mals conversational style, keen observations and cool delivery have proven to be greatly appreciated and well received by his audiences, both young and old.

Mal is a regular feature act for national headliners Alonzo Bodden and Anjelah Johnson, and can be found with them at clubs and theatres all across the country! A finalist of NBCs Standup For Diversity Showcase in 2009, Mal was a popular member of their nationwide college tour in 2010. This year Mal shot his first television project for FuseTV as a correspondent on the hilarious clip show OffBeat.

Stand-up is Mals primary passion, but hes working on a way to get paid to do the other love of his life, eating pizza! When not performing comedy, Mal plays basketball, cooks, plays video games (on the easy setting), goes to movies and continues to pursue his interests in acting, hosting and writing.