Gary Owen is an actor/comedian who is currently filming the Screen Gems comedy “Think Like A Man” based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”. He is one of the headliners on the upcoming “Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Jam” which begins this September. He is taping his own one-hour comedy special on Sept. 2nd at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Besides movies and stand-up, Gary also co-stars as “Zach” the barber on Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” TV series. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Gary about his comedy and also his films.
Mike Gencarelli: Can you give us some background on your current tour?
Gary Owen: I just finished shooting a movie titled “Think Like a Man” with Michael Ealy and Jerry Ferrara, so I have been off the road for about six weeks. I am in Miami this weekend then during the first week in September I will be shooting my hour long special from Mandalay Bay. For the rest of the fall, I am on the “Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Jam” which puts us in a different city every Friday and Saturday. I will be working through the rest of the year…so it’s good.
MG: What can you tell us about working on “Think Like a Man”?
GO: The film is a romantic comedy about six friends who are all at different stages in their relationships. I play the happily married guy. What happens is the girlfriends/wives of these six guys get a hold of a book title “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”. In the book are all these different tests to put a guy through to find if their guy is the right one for them. One night while hanging out the guys start talking and realize that their ladies are putting them all through the same tests. We find a way to get the book and we jump the gun and start doing what they think they want us to do. However we aren’t actually doing the things and that’s when chaos ensues. It’s a really funny film and I can’t wait for it to come out.
MG: How did you land the spot as a headliner on “Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Jam”?
GO: About a year ago I did the Mike Epps comedy special which aired on Showtime. Cole Black who puts on all the “Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Jam” saw that and put me on the tour. However prior to the tour starting, they have me doing my own hour long special.. then it’s on to the tour. I am very excited!
MG: What can we expect to hear about in your set?
GO: A lot of my comedy is about my life. I am married to a black girl and I married real black! I didn’t go Hillary Banks. My wife is from Oakland and went to public school. I couldn’t break up with her if I wanted to because I am sort of scared of her [laughs]. I said if I was going to this and marry a black woman I was going to be in it to win it. I wanted one that was inner city black! [laughs]
MG: You are filming the special on Sept. 2 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, do you know when and where it will be airing?
GO: We don’t just yet. I know they are going to be doing some creative cross promotions as they want the special to air about a month before the movie comes. By doing that out it allows them to promote the movie while my special is airing. I can’t say right now but we have received word that one of the networks is interested in buying the special.
MG: How does if feel to be named by Ebony magazine “Black America’s Favorite White Comedian”?
GO: That’s unreal and it was like Dirk Nowitzki in the finals! Who knew? When I first got on television I was on BET and couldn’t get on another network. BET liked me and kept airing me and they were the ones who gave me my first job. Most of the stuff I have been on like “House of Payne” and the films I have appeared in have black lead actors. I love black people and they love me back!
MG: How do you feel doing stand-up differs from when you are acting?
GO: It’s a natural transition. When you’re doing stand-up you hope it leads to doing sitcoms and then onto movies and in the same token with sitcoms and movies you are trying to build you stand-up base. The more people you can reach the better. I am always going to do stand-up. It’s my drug!