*His mama named him Jerry Brooks, but Hollywood knows him as J.B. Smoove, the veteran stand-up comic who is perhaps best known for playing Larry David’s freeloader house guest in HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
The 47-year-old actor, writer and comedian now finds himself in the upcoming NBC series “Bent,” a romantic comedy about a laid-back surfer contractor Pete (David Walton) and his no-nonsense client Alex (Amanda Peet) who clash – and ultimately influence each other’s lives for the better – as they renovate her Venice, Calif. home.
Smoove, also an alum of “Russell Simmons Def Comedy Jam,” “Pootie Tang” and “The Chris Rock Show,” was added to the series at the last minute as Clem Patterson, “an opinionated electrician and wingman” for Pete.
“My character Clem, I dig this guy because the cool thing about when you jump into a character that you’re not used to playing, you get a chance to actually walk through it,” he told critics at the Television Critics Association Press Tour Friday in Pasadena. “We have time to gel, we have time to create these forks in the road where we kind of find out about a character as you go along. And that has happened, which is fun.
In the audio below, Smoove talks about his time as Leon on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and transitioning from a largely improvisational series to his current scripted gig. (The “Bent” premiere date has yet to be announced.)