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Many great musical performers have come out of Washington DC. Duke Ellington, Chuck Brown, George Clinton ... and now, Larry Poon. From the mean streets of Southeast, Larry has clawed his way to the top of show business. His live act incorporates singing, dancing and tales of his fast-paced life. His humanitarian efforts have made him a legend in philanthropy circles. And he also throws the meanest haymaker this side of the Rio Grande. Larry will be at The State Theatre in Falls Church on Friday, June 24, so he took some time out from his "Floss Across America" tour to answer a few questions via e-mail from Dcstandup's Chris White.
Thanks for doing this, Mr. Poon. Let's start by talking about your early career. You really blew up in Europe -- Luxembourg, to be exact. Americans know so little about that place. What's it like?
I'll be honest with you Chris... I don't remember much of it. I was hitting the sauce pretty hard back then. The hookers were hot and had all their teeth ... so I guess it was a nice place.
But you're all cleaned up now?
The only thing Iím addicted to now is entertaining the people. That and alcohol. And I canít leave out online porn or Bacon Cheeseburgers from Five Guys.
Everyone has to have a vice. Let's talk a bit about your personal life. A lot of people don't think of you as a family man, but you have four sons ... do you get to do regular dad things with them? Do they ever go on the road with you?
The road is no place for children ... plus as you know my youngest son Arvedious is retarded and he has severe bladder control issues. Could you imagine the cleanup challenges that the maids in the hotels I stay at would be faced with? At home I have to line his room with newspaper ... and he still gets feces on the walls. I'm on the road a lot, so when I do have time off I like to take the kids out. Since I'm gone so often, my manager Nate Diamond is a surrogate father of sorts. For example, he's actually coaching my eldest son's little league baseball team at the moment.
If you don't mind my asking, where is the boys' mother?
I'm so sorry ... how did it happen?
Yo Chris, Nate Diamond here, Larryís manager and 4 time winner of the Hormel Chili Cook off. Who are you? Barbara Walters? Listen jackoff, I donít understand why you are trying to upset Larry. This man pours his heart out on stage each and every night. He does countless benefits each year for kids with cancer and those burned kids. And all you can think of to ask is how did his wife die? Whatís the point in drudging up the painful memories of what happened that night? Iím close to cutting your interview with Larry short pal.
Uh Ö my apologies. Letís change subjects ... Nate mentioned your humanitarian streak. What's the cause du jour?
Flossing. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I'm passionate about flossing.
About that ... I've heard that Water Piks are just as good as floss. Maybe better. Your comments?
Listen Jack, Iím an old-fashioned guy. I like my beer cold, my steak & cheese sub hot, my queers queer, and my oral hygiene dictated by a brush and a string of floss. Donít let these new-age assholes try to spin you on some Pik action. Water Piks are for pansies ... and bad comics who think doing an impression of Bill Cosby is still funny.
I want to make sure I get some info on your entourage. I read on larrypoon.com how you've lost some friends on your way to the top ... Milo Zosko and Lil' Paco. Do you think about them often?
Oh. OK. Well, what does it take to be a part of Larry's entourage?
Youíve got to have skill, talent, drive, and a burning passion for throwing it down Poon style whenever, where ever. Thereís a famous NWA line that says ďThereís a lot of brothers out there flakiní and perpetratiní but scared to kick realityĒ. My entourage has been with me a long time and if you have a chance to read their profiles on my site you will realize two common themes. One, they are all very loyal. And two, I need a new entourage because these people are freaks.
I have noticed your entourage is a bit of a sausage party ... why no women?
I actually have a few women that are in my entourage. When I do larger shows I usually bring the Larry Poon Dancers with me. Unfortunately due to some legal issues that I wonít get into now they will not be able to appear at the show on the 24th. Iím always looking for extra writers because my current joke writer Shaky Rutherford can be unreliable from time to time, so if thereís a funny chick out there who is hot and wants to write for me... send a couple examples of your work to email@example.com. Make sure to include a few pictures of yourself. Iím talking full body shots. None of that headshot crap. Iíve seen a lot of thin faced fat chicks in my time, so please send pictures of your entire body. And donít send one in where you are posing behind a car. Iím on to that scam. That means you got an okay looking upper body, but the bottom half looks like something that belongs to one of the pigs that you see in a Richards Simmons ďSweatiní to the OldiesĒ tape.
Part of what makes you (and your entourage) legendary is your refusal to shy away from physical conflict. Why is it that you end up in so many fights? Any self defense tips to share?
Well I guess itís because-----------------------
Yo, Nate Diamond here. That question is completely inappropriate. Larry Poon is not a violent guy. Yes, he has been in a few altercations, but far from many. Larry often tells the story of the time he was throwing back some drinks with his good friends Clay Aiken and Brutus ďThe BarberĒ Beefcake in the Trendy Zombie club in Manhattan, when Clay was suddenly accosted by a couple of hooligans. Larry was acting in complete self defense when he stabbed those two guys in the throat and face. Larry Poon is not an abuser. You may recall the story of the time a hooker asked him for money after sex and he punched her in the stomach and ran out the door. Larry didnít punch her because heís a violent guy. He just didnít have the money. Next question pal, and letís drop the Geraldo style of questioning.
I apologize. We all love hearing your tales of the stars. Who's your favorite Hollywood running buddy?
Itís so hard to mention names because I donít want to offend anyone that I may accidentally leave out. For example, I was asked this exact question a few weeks ago by a reporter for the LA Times. I rambled off a list of about 10 people. The next day I get a call from comic legend Don Rickles screaming at me because I didnít mention his name. But, a few people that do come to mind...my good friend Cameron Diaz, Sinbad, Erik Estrada. I canít leave out former Diffírent Strokes star Todd Bridges. (Man, heís a hoot. And surprisingly a very nice guy for someone who was acquitted of attempted murder)
Really, Todd Bridges? How did you meet him?
True story. I was doing a gig out west with R Kelly and Englebert Humperdink. Iím in the dressing room meditating. Thereís a little known fact about yours truly. I meditate before every show. Itís relaxing and refreshing. Anyway, so Iím in what I like to call a ďdeep sleepĒ, similar to the ďsleepĒ that occurs after Iíve had 14 Yuenglings and 9 Cranberry and vodkas on a typical Saturday night. So, Iím in my ďsleepĒ and suddenly I feel a tapping on my shoulder. I wake up and turn around. Itís Gary Coleman. Heís working security detail at the venue and he wants to know why the fuck Iím in R Kellyís dressing room. I tell this little fuck that this is my dressing room. The little bitch tackles me. Suddenly Todd Bridges who was working the hotdog stand outside comes in and separates us. Todd and I got to talking about what a psycho Gary Coleman is. We hit it off and have been friends ever since.
You have a very distinct look. Tell us about the shades. Are they custom made?
I Ďm not sure-----
Yo, Nate Diamond here again. Larry wardrobe is furnished by Russell Simmons' Phat Farm clothing line. Russellís line of ďLounge wearĒ was specifically designed for Larry. The shades? Ha! Well Chris, next time you travel overseas look for Emporio Armaniís ďPoonifiedĒ sunglasses for pimps, players and people that are in the know. And hey, donít buy any replicaís jackoff. Make sure youíve got the real deal.
We all know about Larry Poon's musical gifts. What other talents do you have?
I was on a championship Four Square team back in elementary school. I set the DC City school record for most time spent in the King Square. If it wasnít for a wrist injury in 5th grade I probably would have tried out for the High School team. I also do a little acting. In fact Iíll be shooting a pilot for the UPN network in the month of July. I play the ďwacky uncleĒ in a show tentatively called ďYouíre not my daddyĒ! If it gets picked up Iíll probably have to move out to California, which something Iíve been dreading. I donít like the L.A. lifestyle. Too many fake people.
If not for show business, what do you think you'd be doing?
Show business is in my blood jack. Itís all I know. Itís all Iíve ever known. Some people wake up and when they crawl out of bed they hate going to work. When I wake up each day and pick myself up off the ground or on occasion out of a heavily soiled bed I get excited about what the day has in store for me. I canít see doing anything else, nor have I ever dreamed of doing anything else. Itís kind of odd you asked me that question because I had a conversation with someone last night about the very same topic. I was banging my local whore Cinnamon. Sheís great, a real sweet girl. Dumber than a Gallagher joke, but real sweet none the less. Anyway, I finish up on her and we got to talking, and she asked me what I wanted to be when I was growing up. I told her I wanted to be a singerÖ.kind of like a Neil Diamond, but without songs about coming to America. But you know what Chris? I was telling her about how I had to hide that dream away for years. All because of a kid named Tommy Dean. This bastard had the audacity during career day to tell me that being a singer like a Neil Diamond was stupid and unrealistic. So I had to change it to what my old man didÖ being a steamfitter. A steamfitter is a noble and hard construction job, but I didnít want to be in a deep pit on a hot summer day working on 18Ē diameter pipe. Thatís a tough job. I just wanted to entertain the people. So I had to go on a stage in front of a packed audience for career day and tell them I wanted to work on large commercial pipe. What 7 year old kid wants to work on a construction site for a career? All these other kids came out dressed as doctors, lawyers, politicians, and Iím standing out there with a fucking monkey wrench in my hand and wearing a hard hat!!!
Sorry for the rant. Man, Iím tired. What was the question?
I forget. The people lucky enough to see you in DC have caught you at smaller venues. How does the big stage change the Larry Poon experience?
I'm currently on my Floss Across America tour so I've been working at a lot of different types of venues. My good friend and fellow entertainer Tony Bennett once told me to treat every audience like they are in my house ... in my kitchen ... making pancakes ... and that's what I do.
What can we expect to see on June 24?
The 24th will be an amazing show. Rory Scovel is one of the funniest comics in DC and The Hazzards are a must-see act.
And finally, what's next for Larry Poon?
Right now, my schedule is extremely hectic with the Floss Across America Tour being in full swing. This past week alone, I was in California, Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Washington DC. There are a few things coming up that I can share with you. As soon as I get a chance to jump back in the studio Iíll be doing a follow-up to my chart topping album Poonified. Nate Diamond is also currently scouting out potential venues for the Larry Poon One Man Show which hopefully will debut in a few short months.
Larry Poon is at the State Theatre June 24 with headliner The Hazzards. You can get more information and order tickets at www.thestatetheatre.com. Larry's Web site is larrypoon.com.
Feature acts are the backbone of the comedy industry -- the aspiring stars who travel the country while trying to build up their acts, their reputations, and their bank accounts. As they pass through the DC/Baltimore area, we'll be doing our best to chat with them and share the conversation with you.