Epps says he's 'got it popping'

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

Mike Epps said that he "can't get away from [comedy.]"

The Def Comedy Jam star is coming to the Comedy Connection at the Hu Ke Lau in Chicopee on Aug. 20 and, while his career has been busy with film appearances, he told Reminder Publications that performing on stage is like "therapy for me."

"I can talk about my problems and they are not problems any more," he said.

After coming from a background of stand-up comedy, Epps became known to film audiences as "Day-Day" in Next Friday and Friday After Next with Ice Cube. He also appeared with Ice Cube in All About the Benjamins.

Epps was seen earlier this year in the Ed Norton role of the remake of The Honeymooners, a film that he said "wasn't a movie I wanted to do. It was a movie to do."

He did admit that he had watched a little of the original television series and said that The Honeymooners remake was a "feel good" movie.

Upon reflection he added, "It's cool."

His new film Roll Bounce is due out soon, he said. It's a roller skating movie set in the 1980s and stars Bow Wow. He said his role in the film is to supply the "comedy relief."

He said the older he becomes, the more he appreciates film making, and that he didn't care for the start and stop of movie production when he was younger.

"I can dissect it and appreciate it," he said.

He is currently working on a new half-hour show for HBO. When he made the statement, someone in the background asked "You've got a show for HBO?"

"I've got it popping baby," Epps said in reply.

Epps said it is more difficult for young people to break into comedy today than when he did over a decade ago.

"Comedy is like the NBA or the NFL. You're up against 144 people," he said.

"Comedy should have a draft," he added with a laugh.

For Epps, though, he was "born into this s***."

"I have no choice to be good at it," he said. "I do it for survival."