A few weeks ago, I had the honor of interviewing Robert L. Hines, acclaimed comedian, hailing from Chicago. If you are a hardcore YouTuber, you may know him from his BigDogEatChild Skits as Tobias R. Jones from Jones Big Ass Truck Rental &Storage
Or better yet, you may have tried to order” to order Dinosaur meat from his alter ego the other day.
I hope you’ve seen Hine’s clips. He’s the funniest man on Youtube, FYI. Before Hines hit it big, he was a correctional officer upholding the law by laying down the law. As of 2012, Robert’s newest comedy routines are peppered with his unique experiences guarding prisoners, instigating a unilateral hush from fans, staff and strangers alike. People are nearly in shock, swelling with anticipation duringHines’ dramatizations which are spruced with humor, spontaneity and surprise
Right below is a Q&A with Robert L. Hines. I have to admit, some of his answers made me LOL and gasp in awe! Read Question 11 and you’ll see why
1.) Have you lived in Chicago all of your life? If so, can you tell me how you incorporate that into your comedy acts?
Yes, I was born and raised on the SOUTH SIDE! I don’t really do much about Chicago, because I entertain all over the country. I do a lot of stuff based on my family and I do characters based on people I know, so in that sense it does have a South Side flavor. But, it would be difficult for the rest of the country to feel the humor in a dude sellin’ bootleg three-peat t-shirts. Besides, who needs a brother doin’ a Harry Carey imitation?
2.) What are your plans with the upcoming “The President of the United States is a Black Man From Chicago” show?
We’re gonna entertain the hell out of people, and raise some money. The Republican Primaries were so crazy. Since they settled on Mitt, it’s been a little
dull, so we put together a show to celebrate how entertaining those people can be. It’s got singers and dancers, a very cool band, some guests droppin’ in. We’re gonna stage it in LA first, then the plan is to take it to Chicago and some other markets.
Where else are you going to get a show that opens with a production number about how Romney took a busload of Black folk to the NAACP convention? It’s called “Rootin’ for Mitt at the NAACP”, and it’s about how it would suck to be the only Black guys cheering for Romney. And, I’ll be doin’ some singing.
The girls are pretty hot here
we’re feelin’ all their rhythm
and if we weren’t with Romney,
then we probably could get with ‘em
3.) What was it like being a correctional officer? What were the inmates like? Did you help some of them find solace with your humor?
It was pretty boring most of the time, but that’s what makes it dangerous. About the time you think nothin’s about to happen, then something happens.The inmates? That depends on what classification of inmate. Maximum security is the best, minimum security is the worst— because they are younger and they’re trying to establish themselves as tough guys. Maximum security guys smell better, too. Those young guys in minimum security smell like a combination of sour milk and rhino rump.
They had me in medium security for a while and I coudn’t wait to get back to my armed robbers, murderers and car jackers. Those are my guys! Did I help any inmates? Yes, but I have to say that most of the people whoturned their lives around did so because they had grown tired of being in the system. My humor probably did more to help to diffuse violent situations. If you can get em’ laughing, they’re a lot less likely to stay in a mood to rip, puncture or tear each other up.
4.) What song best describes you as a person?
“Happy Feelings” by Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly.That’s what I’m trying to do, spread happy feelings all over the world.
5.) Which comedians inspired you?
There are quite a few cats. Some of the Chicago guys— Bernie Mac, Shay Shay,Daran Howard, Evan Lionel. Richard Belzer was a big influence. Then there’s Eddie Murphy. And, every black comedian owes a debt—and maybe a joke— to Richard Pryor. He really changed the game. And I also like Franklyn Ajaye quite a lot. When I was a young, like four or five, I would see those guys on TV— the Belzers and Franklyn Ajayes— and I would think, ‘Those guys are so cool. I want to do that.’ Because they would be so laid back, and so hip, and so happy on
6.) Have you been to the D.C/ Maryland area? If so, what parts? Did you perform at any venues there?
Years ago, I helped a guy I know who was a photographer. We stayed somewhere near the zoo, in a wonderful hotel. In fact, there was some sort of gala for BET or something where I heard Ashford and Simpson. I’ve never played D.C. but it would be great to get out there with the POTUS in a BMFC show.
7.) In the future, would you like to perform in the D.C/Maryland area? If so, where and what do you hope to see, eat,
or do there?
8.) What were your struggles as an up and coming comedian in the industry?
I think first you have to find out if you are funny. Then you have to find your style.Then, if you want to really make it, you have to leave your home and come to L.A. So, once you learn the craft, then you have to learn the business and how to sell it.
9.) Who is your fave celebrity that you have met thus far?
I work out a lot at a comedy club in LA where Chris Tucker and the Wayans drop in alot, which is cool. But the guy I have most enjoyed getting to know and become friends with is James Avery who was “Uncle Phil” on Fresh Prince.
10.) What is everyone’s favorite routine of yours?
The new jail material is getting an amazing response. And that’s a little surprising, because it took me a while to make it funny. When white people move in it requires big truck and Mexicans to unload it. When you ‘ghetto move-in’ it requires a duffle bag. Also, the jokes about my
family go over well. When I describe a ‘ghetto move-in’, it always makes people laugh.
11.) Would you ever like to team up with Biz Markie on a performance of some sort? If so, please give me details.
That’s funny you should ask. I recently did a pilot for a new TV series with Biz that is being shopped, even as we speak. Biz is very talented. He’s known for being a rapper, but he’s also an outstanding DJ. Very cool dude.
Tune in next week for part 2 of my interview with acclaimed comedian Robert L. Hines. If you are a fan of Hines or his alter ego Tobias R. Jones, comment below with your thoughts or business ideas. Tobias is always up for a new endeavor in Chicago.