Actor and comedian Craig Robinson may be best known for his role on NBC’s The Office or movies like This Is the End and Hot Tub Time Machine, but when he’s not making audiences laugh onscreen, he’s touring with his band, the Nasty Delicious. Formed in 2007, the group melds electric funk, soul and stand-up for a live performance. We caught up with Robinson before he hits the stage at the Chevalier Theatre on April 6 for the Craig Robinson & the Nasty Delicious tour.
Where did the name Nasty Delicious come from? It just came to me one day. I had a couple other band names—I think one was the Chocolate Love Booger—but they didn’t stick. Then one day, Nasty Delicious was just it. Have you ever eaten something that’s so good that you make a face like it’s nasty? You’re eating something delicious, but your face is saying unh! [Laughs.] You don’t even understand it [because] it’s so good.
Do you prefer performing on stage or in front of the camera? Live on stage. It’s my work and it’s something I’ve created. On camera, it’s things that have been written for me. I revel in it and it’s a blast, but being on stage and connecting with people—and having a conversation essentially—there’s nothing like it.
Funniest person you’ve ever worked with? David Alan Grier. He’s fearless. He’s a majestic human being. … He’s vulnerable in a strong way, and he’s brilliant. You immediately feel like he’s your best friend. We did a movie called Peeples with Kerry Washington and a bunch of other talented actors, and he was the man. I’ve been loving David since In Living Color, and then to work with him was an honor.
Greatest comedic influence? I have a long list, but I think Eddie Murphy. I knew I loved Eddie Murphy, but I didn’t realize until about 10 years ago maybe—I was watching Raw—and I didn’t realize how many mannerisms I’ve stolen, like his voice and things that I think are funny. They just come out.
What do you hope the audience takes away from your show? When we’re all in the show together, everybody’s rocking their heads together, everybody’s laughing together and that’s what it’s all about—a togetherness. It’s about serving each other and supporting your fellow man. We get to see a lot of bad stuff going on, a lot of hatred and evil acts, especially nowadays. We see this #MeToo movement, but we don’t see someone showing people how to be a gentleman or how to just talk to each other. I touch on things like that and I want people to forget about their problems and come together.
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