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"One on One w/TuRae"

Timecha catches up with comedian TuRae, and gets his story on becoming a Def Comedy Jam alum.

I want to start off by saying I love your logo. It shows you and you’re showing your teeth. The logo says, “Life is Funny and Keep Laughing.” What else do you believe in?

I would say keep laughing because, number one, I need it. I believe that a lot of things are continually made better if you laugh through them. I believe laughter is a good emotion.

You are a super busy guy, always in airports and doing standup. What has been the most exciting aspect of your career so far?

I will have to say when I taped Def Comedy Jam. That was exciting to me because that was something I said I was going to do. Years ago, I was standing in my bedroom and Def Comedy Jam was in its heydays. I was dabbling in comedy at that point. I remember watching Def Comedy Jam one night and I didn’t have any doubt in my mind that I can do the show. That’s when I said, “I’m going to do Def Comedy Jam one day.” My friend and I used to anticipate that Def Comedy Jam check. It was funny because when I got that Def Jam check it was like $1200. I remember framing it because it was a realization of a moment that I can say is exciting, not to take away from any other things I’m doing in my career. Def Comedy Jam was a combination of a lifetime effort and at that point it was the only goal I had set for myself in comedy. The process of me getting on Def Comedy Jam was so crazy. When I saw Mike Epps on stage, I wanted to be on. So I called Kevin Hart and he said he was going to make a call. When Kevin called me back he didn’t say much, he just gave me a number. When I called, I found out it was Bob Sumner’s office. The secretaries asked my name then put me on hold. Bob answered the phone excited, and he made mention of coming down to the club that night. I looked at my phone because I know I dialed a 310 area code, which is LA. I asked him where he was going. He asked, “What do you mean?” I told him I was home in Jersey and he said, “Who is this?” I said, “TuRae.” He said, “Oh, I thought this was DeRay.” I said, “Well I guess I’m not taping?”

The next year they brought the auditions to Philly, and I made it through. That weekend I spent in L.A. with the comedians. Meeting the comedians, the camaraderie of us all being there to tape was exciting. I taped with Rasheed, who passed away unfortunately, before he had a chance to see his airing. It was a magical time, being in LA, in a nice hotel, and my parents were there. It was a time to be a comedian, be accepted, paid, respected and everything that came along with it. Everything I thought it was going to be, it was. I feel I had a great performance. Just to be a comedian right now and to be generating work for myself is truly exciting and a blessing for me. I sometimes realize when I struggle and I grind, I know not to complain because a lot of comedians would kill to be where I am. I realize that at my level of comedy, I could be here forever and I don’t want to be. But, at this level, by being a road comic, you can make an existence forever. It can wear on people, it wears on me. I know I’m capable of more and I see more down the road for myself. There are things I appreciate about the work. I’m on tour with Sommore, and it’s eye-opening to be on tour with a female as opposed to a male. When you are on tour with a woman, it’s more of a love thing. They like to see Sommore. They like to see how she’s dressed and what she’s talking about. It’s like they are friends. It’s a great experience for me to be her opener as well as being on the road with her.

I can definitely say that you got it going on. I think it’s super hot that you are opening for Sommore. Speaking of Sommore, you were on the Royal Comedy Tour. How is that going?

Our last dates were early in April. We start back up early spring next year. We do about 40 cities in three months and that has been a great experience for me. I had the chance to work with established and very funny comedians: Sommore, D.L. Hughley, Bruce Bruce, Don “DC” Curry. They took a moment to talk to me. Sometimes when you are on the road, it’s like friends and family. They looked out for me and told me about my comedy. Last show, I worked with DC and he told me I came a long way since I started. I let him know that meant a lot to me. He also told me to start wearing suits. He informed me that I don’t need to look out in the audience and see someone dressed like me. He gave me some really good advice.

Tell us, what‘s happening in June?

My birthday weekend is at the Laff House on June 11and 12. I bring all my friends and a lot of comedians and we have fun. We have a great audience and this is something that is not to be missed.

Any last words of advice?

Yup! Comedy is going through another resurgence. Comedians need to prepare themselves to get this work and be professional. I think comedians should embrace this business a little more. This is what we do for a living. I live a very blessed life by doing comedy for a living and not too many people can say that. You really can’t penetrate standup comedy, either you can do it or you can’t. The YouTube skits are great, but standing on stage telling jokes; you can’t beat it. If you are not funny, you can’t stand on stage and tell jokes. The demand is still there and comedians need to grip onto that and realize how many opportunities have evolved from comedy. Marketability is key.

Website: comedybyturae.com

Twitter: @ComedyByTuRae

Facebook: TuRae Fan Page
- Slapstik Magazine

"Featured Comedian:TuRae"

If you’re having a conversation about Philadelphia comedy and how big it’s become, chances are that comedian TuRae Gordon will be brought up at one time or another. By far one of the most talented and successful comedians that Philadelphia has to offer, Turae combines characteristics that are often looked over in comedy; a broad range of topics, thought-provoking subject matter, passionate delivery and story-telling, confident stage presence, and, of course, hilarious punch lines.

TuRae started his comedy career after being encouraged by his friends to start professionally telling jokes. After winning a stand-up competition at the famous Laff House comedy club, they gave him the position of “House MC” where he developed his comedic style. After that, he’s moved on to be featured on numerous comedy programs on Comedy Central, HBO, BET, Starz, WB, and NBC.

TuRae's highly successful "Soul Comedy" show, every last sunday at the Laff House comedy club

Being able to write a joke about virtually any subject, Turae has a following that’s as diverse as the Philadelphia comedy scene itself. And loyal too. Whether it be a comedy club in McDonough, Georgia, or his monthly “Soul Comedy” show in his hometown of Philadlephia, there will be a dense crowd of fans who eagerly anticipate what Turae has to say about… Well, anything.

As successful as he’s become in the U.S. and abroad, Turae remains connected to his Philly roots. It’s rare if there is a comedy event happening in the Philadelphia region that he doesn’t know about. Having the admiration and down right respect of all Philadelphia comedians, he can be credited to advising and even inspiring comedians who may seek his advice or aspire to gain his level of success.

TuRae’s comedy cannot be categorized into a single subject. If there’s a current event or popular topic of discussion, chances are that you’ll see him joke about it the next time he’s onstage. What makes him universally appealing to people of all age’s and backgrounds is his range of subject matter. Whether it be a joke about politics, the complexities of raising children, or relationships, his unique perspective makes him able to take any subject and extract the funny out of it.

It can be said that TuRae spends most of his time on a stage, whether it be a local comedy club or a theater venue. As if being a road comic hasn’t taken enough of his schedule, he throws his own comedy shows at various locations throughout the area. One of them being his highly successful “Soul Comedy” shows, one of which has recently found it’s home at the Laff House.

TuRae is constantly on tour and has many upcoming events in Philadelphia. You can keep up with him on Twitter @ComedyByTuRae or visit his website, ComedyByTuRae.com.
- itsalwaysfunnyinphilly.com


- Kevin Hart's "Laugh At My Pain" Movie

- Comedy.TV

- the Monique Show

- Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment Standup

- Comedy Central's Live @ Gotham

- Byron Allen's Comics Unleashed

- BET's One Mic Stand

- Tv One's The Funny Spot

- ComedyByTuRae: No Limitations

- BET's Comic View

- The Sumner Report

- Partners in Crime.

- HBO’s Def Comedy Jam

- Def Comedy Jam Competition

- The WB’s Comedy After Midnight

- World Cup Comedy Clash

- Just for Laugh’s Comedy Festival Montreal



TuRae’s comedy career began while attending Temple University. Encouraged by friends, he entered and won his first open mic competition at the famous Philadelphia Laff House. The club immediately named him house MC providing the opportunity to develop his thoughtful and unique point of view. Drawing on his urban upbringing and experiences, the 6’6” failed basketball star and neighborhood geek demonstrates an engaging and earnest style of comedy with broad appeal.

In 2007, he traveled to London, England where he won the World Cup Comedy Clash at London’s Hackney Empire Theater. In the summer of 2008, TuRae performed at the prestigious Just for Laugh’s comedy festival in Montreal where “industry watchers lauded TuRae’s strong point of view” as reported by The Hollywood Reporter who went further naming him a “standout” of the New Faces showcase. TuRae headlines clubs and colleges and has competed in and won a number of competitions including the Def Jam Comedy Competition and The WB’s Comedy After Midnight.

Last fall witnessed TuRae’s debut on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham. With more than 10 stand up appearances on the BET network programs such as Comic View, The Sumner Report, One Mic Stand , and Partners in Crime, TuRae has become a recognizable face on the network and a favorite in the marketplace. The urban comedy magazine Humor Mill voted TuRae one of the Top Comedians of 2009 and also described TuRae’s performance on the 2008 season of HBO’s Def Comedy Jam as “one of the funniest of the season.” In 2009 TuRae delighted viewers on the nationally televised formats: the Starz Network’s Martin Lawrence Presents; 1st Amendment Standup & Byron Allen’s Comics Unleashed. In 2010 TuRae joined 4 fellow Philadelphia comedians to bring laughter to the troops during the ROK Comedy Tour of Army & Air Force bases in Korea. The wave continues as TuRae was selected to host the national, sold out Royal Comedy Tour covering over 20 cities.

TuRae currently resides in the New York area and can be seen regularly in clubs around the city.