He went from working the the comic chit’lin circuit to writing for Saturday Night Live and recieving the presitigious Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy/Variety Series.
Now he’s a regular on the HBO show “Curb Your Enthusiam.”That’s great, but first thing we wanted to know was where did JB Smoove come from.
“I was a hip-hop dancer in this group,” said Smoove. “I was J Smoove and my boy was J Groove. Groove and Smoove. This was during the early days of Hip-Hop. I added a B and kept the Smoove.”
On February 25th you can catch him in the new film “Hall Pass” alongside Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis and Christina Applegate. It’s produced and directed by the Farrelly brothers. The same guys behind “Dumb and Dumber” and “There’s Something About Mary.”
“I’ve been a huge Farrelly Brother’s fan,” Smoove told reporters. “For me it’s like a double dream come true getting to work with Owen Wilson. Me and Jason worked together when we were writers on Saturday Night Live. I stayed a writer and Jason ended up being a castmember. Now he’s doing his movie thing. So, we reconnected. That was awesome.”
Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know and it appears JB knows some folks. Doesn’t really matter how to us as long as there’s another brother getting work in Hollywood. Our Lee Bailey asked him to summarize what the film was all about.
“The movie’s about two guys who always look at other women when they go out with their wives,” he explained. “So their wives give them a Hall Pass for a week to see if they can still get another woman and hilarity ensues. I play one of the buddies named Flats and I get a chance to watch from the sideline and live through these guys’ experience a little bit.”
A female reporter present asked the rhetorical question ‘Is a hall pass a good idea?’ Of course it’s not, but we knew Smoove would say yes. The comedy is in the explanation.
“Of course it’s a great idea ladies and gentlemen. You have to take the word hall pass and break it down. Take the h away from hall and you get all, then you take the p away from pass and you get ass and what do guys want? All the ass! C’mon ladies and gentlemen!”
Does JB know of anyone who has ever gotten a hall pass?
“There are plenty of celebrities out there that believe in this philosophy,” he joked. “This movie is just a way of presenting it in a nutshell. Women put guys through tests all the time. They say a woman takes a man and molds the man into who they want the man to be in their relationship, but these women in this movie give their men a chance to go find their true loves away from their wives. ‘Go out there and see what you can do!’ Of course these two guys aren’t going to go out there and get any women! They’re past their prime! You’re past your prime, you’re past you’re prime. I am past my prime!”
Sounds like some pretty funny to us. Especially with the feigned cluelessness for which Wilson is famous coupled with the one-liners of SNL alum Jason Sudeikis. Christina Applegate can be pretty funny as well. What’s Smoove’s angle in all of this?
“I’m the funny best friend, but I am the guy that’s pushing these guys,” he explained. “I want to see some action, I want to hear some good stuff. I’m like ‘C’mon guys!’ These guys have a hall pass for a week. It would be one thing if you had a hall pass and your wife is there when you get home, she’s gone for a week. That means you can chose to take a shower or not to take a shower, you can brush your teeth or not. She’s not there to tell you ‘You stink!’ I would lay up in my bathrobe playing John Madden, eating what I want to eat, staying up as late as I want. I think I would choose certain days to take a bath because I would think ‘Hey, I’m not going anywhere. So, I’m not dirty!’
The term suspension of disbelief comes to mind when you over think the concept. There’s no woman that I know of that would subscribe to this line of thinking. But, hey, it’s a movie…just go with it for the sake of laughter. Smoove explains how it correlates to real life relationships.
“That’s the thing. It’s a test! Men don’t test their women, women test their men. We are the chasers. We want you to be with us. We all know what makes the world go ’round. Men, we’re just hanging on for the ride. Those ladies know what they have in these two guys. Let’s see what you’ve got. If you guys can go out there and get some women, God bless you. But I don’t think you can. They want to prove to themselves that they still got it and prove to their wives they can at least still get on the block.”
“Hall Pass” opens in theaters nationwide Friday, February 25th. Smoove is also working on the wildly popular HBO comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm” starring “Seinfeld” creator Larry David. Smoove plays his oft-times nemesis Leon.
“What happens this season is we shot five in New York and five in LA. We’ve got a little bit of Leon in New York City. Which I consider a great platform for Leon because Leon is one of the most grimy guys on television. Leon and New York are a match made in heaven. We were going to shoot for March, but Larry thought up another idea and we’re shooting one more this Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I don’t know what it is. I never know what it is until I get there.”
For all those funny people out there that fear grabbing the mic and slinging jokes because of possibly falling flat on your face? Fear not because even the best fail. It just provides a catalyst for improvement.
“I got booed at the Apollo,” JB reminisced. “The legendary Cab Calloway was hosting, I was a guest. Keith Washington was on the show as well. And women were just captivated by this guy. Cab said ‘Coming to the stage, Keith Washington. But first…’ and it all went down hill from there. He (continued saying), “This guy is slick. This guy is so slick we call him JB Slick…” All the ladies rushed the stage like ‘Ohmigod!’ Then he got my name wrong. That was it for me.”
That’s pretty cold but, then again, at least you got to meet Cab Calloway. Once again, you can catch “Hall Pass” this coming Friday at theaters nationwide. As it stands, JB Smoove is not sure when “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will premiere but we will keep you posted.