As part of We Own The Laughs.com’s Comedian of the Day, have a few laughs and get to know comedian Franck Juste. The Brooklyn, NY native shares some of his favorite moments in stand-up comedy and lets us know how he always owns the laughs.
Name: Franck Juste
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY/Van Nuys, CA
Instagram/Twitter/Facebook: @franck_juste/Dread Blampton
Years in Comedy: 3
Haven’t we seen you somewhere before: I play First Man, the first black superhero on Sherman’s Showcase.
Comedic Influences: Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Burr, Patrice O’Neil, and skits on rap albums.
Favorite Comedy Album: Chris Rock “Bigger & Blacker”
Favorite Comedy Special: Patrice O’Neal “Elephant In The Room”
Favorite Comedy Movie: “Snatch” if that counts.
Favorite Comedy TV Show: “In Living Color” the greatest sketch show in history.
Favorite Comedic Character: Damon Wayans when he does Oswald Bates. I grew up in Brooklyn during the 90’s. We had a lot of ghetto philosophers using SAT words out of context to make a silly point kinda like most alpha male podcasts do lately which is probably why I’m immune to it, but find that content hilarious.
Favorite City to Perform In: Don’t know if I have one yet. I’ve only done shows in three cities (LA, Brooklyn, and Austin) maybe Brooklyn because being from NYC our lingo can be kind of shorthanded so some bits hit harder.
Favorite Topics to Joke About: Race! white women, white people, gentrification, and relationships.
Favorite Type of Audience for a Comedy Show: Non-Sensitive folks who wanna have fun.
Favorite Comedy Club: To perform at? The Comedy Chateau is a great venue. The owner and bookers are some of the most generous folks I’ve been lucky enough to meet. To see shows…The Comedy Store, I’ve seen folks I admire work shit out only for me to see it pop up on their special and it was dope to kinda have accidentally witness the evolution of a bit.
How did you discover your passion for comedy:
A lot of ways really. I would say growing up in Brooklyn at the time, the east coast just churned out assholes so one of the best defenses was just being armed with a powerful witty retort as a kid. I always liked talking shit and making people laugh about it, I grew up during the peak “Yo Momma” era and destroying each other in the lunchroom at school was THE SHIT.
What do you remember most about your first time performing stand-up comedy:
Rushing through my jokes (Laughs). Being nervous as fuck. I was high as a birds titty.
How would you describe your comedic style:
Larry David and Lil Kim had a baby and he was raised by a single Claire Huxtable.
Describe your process for comedic writing:
I’ll have a premise in my head a few days and write it out in notes and in a note book with some takes. I kinda list a bunch if takes or POVs under the premise of the joke in like a bullet format. Then workout how I’ll actually say it at mics or on my partner. God bless anyone who is with a comic, because you’re life is an unending shitty open mic. Y’all are angels. But she hears a lot. After all that I’ll kinda of write it out fully in a notebook with all the moving parts. I call it word math, that sounds mad nerdy.
Describe the comedy scene in your area:
It’s really supportive. I’m surprised by how supportive it’s been so far. I’ve managed to do some really cool shows and performed at major venues in a short amount of time on the field it feels like, and it’s really been just because folks have been mad supportive and generous. It’s awesome.
How do you judge success in the world of comedy:
I don’t know. If you’re doing what you love(stand-up comedy)getting paid well enough that you can sustain and even elevate the standard of living for your family I guess. But that could be any amount of money. If you’re fulfilled and happy.
Who are some of your comedic peers that you enjoy watching perform or inspire you personally and professionally:
Marvin Telp! He’s really brave on stage, I’ve known him for maybe a decade now from back in NYC but he’s really show me to be balls out on stage. Sadiqua Scarlet also she from Brooklyn and old school Brooklyn like myself, I met her out here and she keeps that early 90’s energy on stage whether improv or doing a set. I love it. It keeps me honest when I’m sharing a show with her.
What’s been your most memorable moment in comedy:
So this ain’t stand up but it probably speaks to me being a comedy nerd for so long. RIP to Gilbert Gottfried but one time back in 2014 I want to say. I was out in the union square area if Manhattan hanging with my brother Carl and I saw Gilbert Gottfried walking along and I fanned all the way out. He probably didn’t expect to have someone like myself fan out over him but I ran up on him I think I said “n*gga that iago the parrot from Aladdin, what up I love your stand up. I took a picture with him and everything. I also ran down Mario Cantone as well and fanned out but I didn’t snap a picture. That instance was weird because I’m a large muscled black guy who wears Jordan’s and Mario Cantone is a huge upper west side gay man. I probably scared him a bit.
What have you learned most from your failures in comedy:
Write, write, and write…. I don’t think I’ve failed in any way because it’s a learning experience and you gotta learn from those bombs and those moments where you fall in your face. I do Muay Thai and I spar a lot, so I’ve learned more about fighting and stand up comedy by the times I’ve been blasted in my face by my coaches (what’s up Aaron Fisher, Josh Aragon and Eddie Arizolla). Fall down 7 times to stand up 8 times. You fail to get better.
How do people react toward you when they realize that you can make people laugh:
People get that the outlandish sh*t I say in conversation is purely for jokes. Which is good because you shouldn’t take the crazy sh*t a comic says seriously wether it’s on stage or in a conversation about the zeitgeist. I’m almost always gonna look to take a piss out of something.
Describe building a career in stand-up comedy:
I don’t know, I’m still doing that. Lowkey I think Nepotisim is bad however I’ve slightly benefited from nepotism and I want some more of that nepotism to help me out. I do think you gotta have your shit together though. If and when you get the “look” from the industry you gotta show up and show off or you’ll ruin it for those behind you coming up.
If you could change one thing in the world of comedy, what would it be:
Annoying seeing some white guy in his 40’s or 50s complaining about how the industry shuts him out or how rough it is dating…. bro you had a societal head start and you couldn’t win. You probably just suck.
Best advice you’ve ever received from a comedian:
I met Deray Davis few years ago and he said to keep writing and keep micing. The only way to get good at something you suck at is to keep doing it. Brandie’s Boyd told me I don’t have to have a clean five but it’s a great way to get in front of more folks and make dough. Daphnique Springs told me to do as many festivals as I can. All three are things I’ve found to be true in my little bit of time doing this.
If you were releasing a comedy special this week, what would it be called:
“Bodega Superstar, Barber Shop Knowledge, & Other Things”
Funniest encounter you’ve ever had with a celebrity:
When I was 18 working as an usher for AMC on the Upper West Side, Usher came with a date and whenever celebs came, we had protocol because some people especially teenagers would screw around and try to sneak in whatever theater they were in. I was in the office with the manager of the theater and Usher with his date, after getting ran down by fans. I talked to them and said “Alright I’m going to usher Usher to his seats” his date chuckled while Usher kind of scowled at me. He’s a short dude to all of 5’8″.
Weirdest place you’ve ever performed any form of comedy:
I did stand-up comedy at a drug dealers trade show. It was in a sketchy warehouse that looked like if this was happening in the early years we should’ve been raided by the feds. Every crew was there with a table and their latest new grows and stuff. It was hilarious because the entire audience was high as fuck. So there was a seriously delayed response for laughs. I made the most money thus far in my comedy career at that show. Plus I got so much free weed and edibles.
A Franck Juste Fun Fact:
One of my income streams is personal training; I used to be fat and then worked out to loose 100 pounds which is what led me to be a personal trainer. I’ve probably developed the courage to do stand-up teaching group fitness and making folks laugh while working out. I still do it. It’s fun.
Where would you like your laughs to take you:
I wanna be the black Ray Romano. I also think Jarrod Carmicheal has a career I want to mirror. I want a sitcom that get syndicated and still the respect of my stand up peers. I think he should get his flowers. He’s a great stand up. His show was a hit and it has that formula but was fresh, plus Ray’s later acting work has a seriousness to it I personally appreciate.
What would you tell a potential comedian if they ask you how they can own the laughs:
Lean into the uncomfortable but don’t be edgy for edginess’ sake. That’s a cop out for cornballs.
What are your thoughts on the future of comedy:
It looks promising for the most part, the newer comics I’m seeing are really inspiring me to write a lot and lean into the uncomfortable and awkward shit in my life or the awkward shit that’s going on in public.
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:
The Jeffersons! It would be an episode where reparations for black folks gets passed and so Florence quits and moves next door.
If you could choose ONE comedy club and THREE comedians to perform with on your perfect comedy show, how would it go:
The Comedy Cellar w/ Lin Sun, Marvin Telp, & Miles Anthony Garison
What’s next for you:
Potty training my daughter.
Why should a person always laugh at life:
Because we’re here for a good time and not a long time so try to make sure you spend most of that time smiling.