Home Comedian of the Day Comedian of the Day (9/27/21): Kellz “Jokenword” Barksdale

Comedian of the Day (9/27/21): Kellz “Jokenword” Barksdale


As part of We Own The Laughs.com’s Comedian of the Day, have a few laughs and get to know comedian Kellz Barksdale. The Burlington County, NJ native shares with us some of his favorite moments in stand-up comedy and lets us know how he owns the laughs.

Name: Kellz “Jokenword” Barksdale
Hometown: Burlington County, NJ/Sacramento, CA
Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Snapchat/Tik-Tok: @Jokenword on everything except FB: Kellz Jokenword Barksdale.
Years in Comedy: 9 long struggling years
Haven’t we seen you somewhere before: Sirius XM, Comedy Time on Youtube, Overall Christian Comedian on AMTC (Actor’s Models & Talent for Christ)
Comedic Influences: TK Kirkland, Earthquake and Tony Roberts
Favorite Comedy Album: D.L. Hughley “Notes from the G.E.D. Section”
Favorite Comedy Special: Eddie Murphy “Raw”
Favorite Comedy Movie: Kings of Comedy (used to know this word for word)
Favorite Comedy TV Show: The Carmichaels
Favorite Comedic Character: I like the dumb best friend in most sitcoms (Cole, Duane Knox ((1 on 1)), etc.)
Favorite City to Perform In: San Diego & Baltimore San Diego because their crowds have been knowledgeable and Baltimore because they don’t give it up easily but when you get them on your side they’re rocking.
Favorite Topics to Joke About: I love joking about relationships
Favorite Type of Audience for a Comedy Show: I love poetry crowds honestly; I like the fact that they pick up and catch every word.
Favorite Comedy Club: Laughs Unlimited for what Jenn does to help comedians, but Ice House Pasadena. . . If you can’t KILL there….quit.

How did you discover your passion for comedy:

I did skits in college (That I initially didn’t want to be a part of LOL), not knowing I was funny, then everybody on campus was always running up on me quoting my quotes from the videos.

What do you remember most about your first time performing stand-up comedy:

I remember standing behind a podium in a library shaking uncontrollably and every laugh I got felt like a drug.

How would you describe your comedic style:

A guy in a fight throwing windmill punches hard AF and frequently! 

But when I deliver a joke I want the audience to think these 3 things while laughing 

  1. “Oh I didn’t realize I knew that.” 
  2. “I never saw it from that perspective”
  3. “That is WILD truthful”

Describe your process for comedic writing:

I am a better punch-up person than I am sit down and write. So, I will write a story out as LONG and as drawn out as possible not even looking for punchlines and then I trim from there.

Describe the comedy scene in your area:

Sacramento is dope, super friendly, super supportive, literally 2 levels of talent up here either working comic or open mic comic. In addition to those facts, the black and white comedy scene isn’t that far off from one another neither.

How do you judge success in the world of comedy:

With comedy no matter who you are there are three things you are striving towards: 

  1. Getting Funny
  2. Getting Money
  3. Staying Original

Success is freedom, when you are writing your type of comedy and performing on your schedule and when comedy is your primary focus that all equates to success.

Who are some of your comedic peers that you enjoy watching perform or inspire you personally and professionally:

  1. My brothers from back home Steve Brown, Will Wright, and Sean Conner my first 4 years they pushed me beyond belief
  2. From North Cal: Insane Wayne and Anthony K every time I see them it shows me I have more work to do.
  3. Favorite female comedian peer: Chanel Ali she’s a beast and makes it look effortless also is a breath of fresh air.
  4. From South Jersey/Philly: That whole scene is crazy but Jonas is my favorite comedian from back home.

What’s been your most memorable moment in comedy:

A lot of them but when I stepped out on faith and went to Orlando, Florida with $57 in my bank account to win a Christian Comedy Competition in front of thousands of people was probably the biggest.

What have you learned most from your failures in comedy:

Pride also goes before the fall. My worst bombs came from me being overconfident because I killed in those venues the week prior.


How do people react towards you when they realize that you can make people laugh:

They always want me to prove it!

I hate telling people I am a comedian cause I hate when people start “laugh watching” waiting for me to be hilarious in regular life and not buying tickets.

Describe what it’s been like building a career in stand-up comedy:

It’s been a beautiful struggle, trying to talk about something and stay true to what I believe. It’s been tough because I’ve been a transplant twice so even though I’m not a “new” comedian people like to believe it when they see it. So it’s kind of like an ant pushing a ball up a hill then the ball starts to roll backward on them and they have to roll it up the hill again.

If you could change one thing in the world of comedy, what would it be:

The damn politics! 

The hanging out just to get on stage. 

I wish it was like a job where people asked for your recommendations, resume, and maybe a clip.

Best advice you’ve ever received from a comedian:

“Before telling a joke you have to introduce yourself and let the crowd know who you are and what you believe in.” – Tommy Too Smoov 

“People aren’t here to hear your jokes; they are here to meet you!” – Tommy Too Smoov

“You don’t look comfortable in front of n****s; you should probably write for those crowds instead of trying to come out here and feed them something they not interested in.” – T.K. Kirkland 

(I took that and said be more truthful)

If you were releasing a comedy special this week, what would it be called:

Keltz in memory of boy’s dad, DJ Farmer who used to perform with music his son, in the early stages of my comedy career. A show host couldn’t say Kellz so he’d call me Keltz and it would make DJ Farmer crack up.


Funniest encounter you’ve ever had with a celebrity:

Meeting Kel Mitchell, I was getting ready to do a show. So I was in the bathroom I saw I had something in my eye. I washed my face in the sink (pre-covid) look down and look up and Kel Mitchell is standing next to me washing his hands. I looked over and was like “Bro are you Kel”?

Weirdest place you’ve ever performed any form of comedy:

First day in LA I performed in the backyard of somebody’s house which was the front yard of somebody else’s house and they were pissed. The green room was behind some washer and dryer in the front yard back yard.

A Kellz Barksdale Fun Fact:

I am an introvert and I DO NOT start conversations with new people, but I am very comfortable standing in front of 100+ people.

Where would you like your laughs to take you:

I want to be able to bridge comedy with poetry and make that a real genre. 

I want to do one sitcom and make a living off those credits for a while. 

Lastly, I want people to know that I do comedy cause I believe The Most High gave some quiet kid from the suburbs of NJ a gift and that anything is possible if you believe.

What would you tell a potential comedian if they ask you how they can own the laughs:

Stay truthful, vulnerability is your best ability.

What are your thoughts on the future of comedy:

I think comedy is in a good place, there are always internet comedians that come to stand up and I can only hope that the more eyes that see what we do will create more revenue too.

If you could write one episode for one classic TV sitcom which show would it be and give a brief detailed sentence on the episode:

I would love to write an episode for The Office and the episode would pretty much be about Stanley, Dwight, and Michael going to speak to juvenile delinquents. Michael would be trying to recruit kids to work, Dwight would be a volunteer deputy (or whatever he was) and Stanley is only there because they needed a black guy, and that the kids wouldn’t be scared of him yelling at them. 


If you could choose 1 comedy club and 3 comedians to perform with on your perfect comedy show, how would it go:

I would love to write an episode for The Office and the episode would pretty much be about Stanley, Dwight, and Michael going to speak to juvenile delinquents. Michael would be trying to recruit kids to work, Dwight would be a volunteer deputy (or whatever he was) and Stanley is only there because they needed a black guy, and that the kids wouldn’t be scared of him yelling at them. 

What’s next for you:

The perfect show I’m at Sacramento Punchline (Still gotta get passed there) with the comedians that I like working with now.

Host: Me 

Feature slot: (Steve Brown or Will Wright)

Feature slot: Tommy Too Smoov

Headliner: Tony Roberts

Why should a person always laugh at life:
Next up I need to finalize the jokes for my album “Kxltz” I want to film it on my 10th year anniversary [hence the x it signifies 10].

Watch Kellz Barksdale @ Punch Line Sacramento:

Follow Kellz Barksdale’s comedic journey on these social media websites:
Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Snapchat/Tik-Tok: @Jokenword
Youtube: Kellz Barksdale
Personal Website: Kellz Barksdale


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