In Your Own Words With Bobby Brown Jr.

Could you share your experience as a comedian in Jacksonville?


“I started standup in Tallahassee in 2018, and since then I always wanted the opportunity to meet and learn from all the great comedians I was looking up to. People like Ali Siddiq, Dave Chappelle, Luenell, etc. But none of them were ever coming to Tallahassee [or] Florida at all, so I came back home to Jax and found the Comedy Zone over in Mandarin. I had no idea the Comedy Zone existed my entire time growing up here, but once I did, I just started showing up to every show, and it was exactly the inspiration and type of community I needed. I was taking notes, meeting every comedian, buying their merch and trying to get them on my podcast, “The Writer’s Block.” I would get a guest spot sometimes or book a podcast but never consistently. But over time, people started to remember me and give me a chance, and I swear I was knocking them hoes out of the park! Ali Siddiq was the first to show me real love at the club. My first time on a professional comedy club stage was his sold-out show, and he was my first big celebrity guest podcast interview. Right now it’s on my YouTube with 3,000 views. The staff at Comedy Zone saw the interviews I was doing and instead of cutting me out, they propped me up and we became content partners producing my podcast helping me meet all these amazing comics. At first, I didn’t think I was important, only getting 50-100 views, but over time I learned the actual real-life impact I was making with these comics was something I never expected. And then maybe the last two years, it’s put me in a really unique position where now I have all the tools and resources to become one of the next great comedians. There’s no pressure on a comic from Jacksonville, our scene isn’t built that way. This place has allowed me to be patient and learn and fail in private so that when those shining minutes of stage time do come my way, I’m poised and ready for the moment. “

What does comedy mean to you?

Obviously, Lil Duval is the biggest comedian to come out of the city — his impact and the doors he opened for people here to even have a vision of a superstar comedian. When I started, I used to only wear Jaguar jerseys on stage because he used to do it. You can’t just get that type of love and support; It takes a lot of real-life work and grinding to get that love of the people here. I feel like my job now is to keep being the young, funny, hard-working comedian trying to make a name with my standup, podcast, Bobby in the Streets public interviews, all of it. And whenever my day comes to be the comedy superstar symbol for the city, I’ll be ready to carry that torch with pride. As far as having a platform here I didn’t realize people were even paying attention to me until about six months ago. I thought the internet was all bots. When I went to Hollywood Laugh Factory for Chocolate Sundaes and passed my first impression spot, I felt like there were real people starting to show me love. And when I came home, I came home to so much love and support, I was like “Damn, where did everybody come from?” But it made me so happy, man. Of course, I want to be popping and famous online but the real impact is what you can do when a person is in the same space as you: How do they feel? That’s what I feel Jacksonville helps me do. I built most of my early career from real-life and I’m really proud of that. I see people doing skits online and blowing up because of it, and people say, “Bobby, you gotta do this,” but I always knew in real life, on that stage, in the moment, I’m way funnier than what y’all are watching on your phones. Of course, I’d get impatient or sometimes even discouraged just because I would love to be more popping on Instagram/TikTok, but Jacksonville keeps me in reality. In ways, sometimes being a comedian in Jacksonville feels kinda like being a side chick. The main girl is music. This city loves its music and musicians. But on the fourth weekend, they might want to dip out and try something a little different. On those nights, it’s up to us to be good and memorable enough that people wanna come back and tell their friends about it. “