Hey guys! Prometheus here and I recently had the opportunity to talk with Jamie Kennedy about his new comedy special, “STOOPID SMART!” We also discuss navigating comedy in the PC era, “Malibu VS Kickin’ it,” and more! Check out the trailer, and our conversation below!
JAMIE KENNEDY = JK
JOSHUA SCAFIDI = JS
JS: Hey Jamie, thanks for the phone call!
JK: Thanks for having me!
JS: So, you have a comedy special that just came out, STOOPID SMART!
JK: Yes, I do! It just came out on Monday the 25th.
JS: How’s it feel?
JK: I love it, man! It’s my third special. I’m excited to have it out and be out there, putting out stuff for my audience. A lot of people wanted me to put out something new, so I did it, and it’s a good time. I’m really happy with it.
JS: And it’s Stoopid, with a double O.
JK: It’s like a little nod to hip-hop.
JS: What gave you the inspiration for the special, Jamie?
JK: Well you know, people say he’s stupid, stupid smart. They say you’re so smart, you’re stupid. Some of the special’s stupid, some of it’s smart. It’s a mix.
JS: Awesome. Where did you record the special?
JK: Did it at the Rec Room, in Huntington Beach California.
JS: Nice. Now, I remember you from way back with “Malibu’s Most Wanted,” and “Kickin’ it Old School.” What made you want to do stand-up? What made you want to get out in front of a crowd and tell jokes?
JK: I’ve always done it. I just got more famous as an actor, but it’s something that I’ve always done. It’s another way to outlet, you know.
JS: So, would you say stand-up is your first passion?
JK: They’re both great, it’s hard to pick. I’m a Gemini, I have multiple interests, but I do love doing stand-up, and I love comedy. When you’re doing stand-up and the crowds feeling you and they’re into it, it’s great. When you’re doing a scene in a movie, and you really nail it, that’s great too. I love them both.
JS: Two different animals, though.
JS: So question for you, as a stand-up comedian and someone who really enjoys stand up, who did you look up to growing up for comedians?
JK: I would say, you know, growing up I loved Eddie Murphy, George Carlin.
JS: Two of my favorites.
JK: I loved Joan Rivers, Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison.
JS: All great comedians, absolutely. Now I think probably the first thing I saw you in was "Malibu’s Most Wanted." That was a good long time and ago, and that movie is hilarious. And then I saw you in Kicking It "Old School," which was also hilarious. Looking back on those two movies, “Malibu’s Most Wanted” vs “Kicking It Old School,” when you where first kind of getting your name out there, which movie was your favorite?
JK: “Malibu” was definitely my baby.
JS: That movie was funny (laughing).
JK: It made a big impact, people really liked it. “Kicking It Old School” is slowly creeping up there; people are finding it on places like Tubi, seeing it in a new light. I put my heart and soul into that movie too. That was a fun movie to do, but I’d say Malibu.
JS: Now, comedies changed quite a bit since back then. As a comedian now in the PC era - what do you feel like has changed? Do you feel like it’s a little harder to navigate as a comedian?
JK: I think you kind of have to be bulletproof. There are certain jokes you would do, that people would get mad, you know. Some of them are old stereotypes, you kind of have to be a little smarter, bend something on their ear. People have heard everything but I would think that people who are offended by stuff they are going to be there, but there are going to be people who don’t get offended by anything, more passionate.
There’s a bit of a war going on right now. It forces you to say something in a funnier way that people can get it, you know what I mean? But some people are always just going to get offended no matter what.
JS: So, moving forward Jaime, would you do drama, serious roles? How do you feel about that?
JK: Yeah, I’ve done it! I did it with Criminal Minds, and I did it with CSI and some different movies, like Three Kings, if I could get a really good drama, I’d love to do that.
JS: I actually did see you in Criminal Minds now that you bring that up, and I saw Three Kings. I like that movie. But yeah, I did see you in Criminal Minds. How was that?
JK: It’s great. It’s always great to get a role and have to do something where people don’t expect you to be that way. You know what I mean? People expect you to do something funny, they don’t expect you to be like that, and then there’s a lot of people who did Criminal Minds, where it gave them a chance to act – Jason Alexander, Frankie Muniz, James Van der Beek.
(They) went against what people normally see them as, and they were playing creeps. It was awesome, I would do it again in a heartbeat. They really open the doors, a lot of people really loved me in that tv show and I owe them a lot. It’s such a legendary show.
JS: It is, and it was cool to see you in such a different role. I know what you’re getting at – breaking the typecast, you don’t want to just be a comedian. That’s why I wanted to ask, see what you were thinking career-wise, moving forward.
JK: I’d love to do more drama, more intense stuff, thrillers. I’ve done a lot of comedy and I think I made a mark, and now – my next chapter in my career.
JS: I think comedy and drama go hand in hand.
JK: Definitely. They’re one tone off. You know what I mean?
JS: Exactly, like one beat off. So, have you always been a jokester? Back in school, were you the class clown?
JK: I don’t know if I was a class clown, but I was definitely somebody who liked to have fun. I definitely rebelled in school. I wasn’t like a truant, but I definitely questioned everything, that’s for sure.
JS: OK. So, we can relate there. I was always questioning everything. Still do. Gets me in trouble sometimes.
JK: Oh yeah.
JK + JS: (laughing.)
JS: Aside from stand-up, what else are you working on, Jamie?
JK: I did another show on Pluto that just came out, called “Coming to the Stage,” and I’m the host of the next three seasons. It’s young, up and coming comics, and I’m the host. Then I have a movie called “Crabs in a Bucket,” it’s like a little indie drama. It’s got Jeremy Piven, Taryn Manning, and Bruce Dern. I don’t know, it was supposed to come to the festivals right now but we're in kind of a funk. (Laughing.)
JS: Strange times. How are you out there? You staying safe?
JK: Yeah, I’m good. A lot happening, you know. I think we got to get a lot of things right in this country and in this world but in the meantime, sometimes people want to take a break from the news. That where our stuff comes in, I think.
JS: Totally agree.
JK: I appreciate it man, listen be safe, we’ll talk soon.
JS: Absolutely, Jamie. Thank you again for your time.
That’s it for now folks! Be sure to catch Jamie in “STOOPID SMART,” and let me know what you think! Comment below and until next time, keep on geekin’ on, my friends!
Joshua “Prometheus” Scafidi