Marvin Dixon Talks Diva Comics, Hollywood, and the Best of the South Comedy Tour

Ever since Dave Chappelle abandoned the throne of funniest person alive, comedians from all over the nation have been vying for the crown. This Sunday, catch some of the candidates when the Best of the South Comedy Tour lands at the James L. Knight Center. The show features staples of the Southern comedy community, including Tyler Craig, Larry Dogg, Rayzor, JJ, Malik, and Henry Welch. In addition, Jacksonville natives Lil Duval and Doo Doo Brown will be in the house, as well as The Rickey Smiley Morning Show's Benji Brown. Rounding out the lineup is Miami's own Marvin Dixon, who promises to give the audience "more funny for their money."

Last week, Cultist talked with Dixon about the South and not giving a damn.

New Times: You moved to Atlanta, right? How, if at all, has the Miami comedy scene changed?

Marvin Dixon: Really there's no difference. Being raised in Miami -- through elementary school, middle school, and high school -- a lot of people show me love. A lot of people didn't know I had moved because I still come back and forth all the time to see family and everything. I really just moved to Atlanta because of what I do career-wise. Black entertainment is more prevalent in Atlanta as opposed to Miami. But Miami always shows me love. People always come out.

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What made you all decide to put the tour together?

I always tell people that you get more funny for your money. But a lot of comics, such as myself and Malik S, do shows with the so-called big names. And a lot of times, they don't want us on the show because, in actuality, they can't follow us. So they'll make bogus excuses like, "We have similar styles." Or, put someone else on to open for them who's not funny. There's been times where I've done a show with a big-name comic and I tell them they can go on first and they decline. People just want to see a funny show. A show is supposed to escalate from funny to funnier, not from unpopular to popular. That's how it's really supposed to flow. So we just decided to do a show together. And coincidentally, all the comics are from the South, which in my opinion ... I always say the funniest comedians in the country are from the South and the Midwest.

What makes Southern comedians better than the rest?

We have an I-don't-give-a-damn attitude. We go for what we know. We go for what we've been around and how we've been raised. Everybody in the country can relate to the South. In New York, the comics are, to me, more regional. A lot of them talk about things like subway trains, and we don't have that. So we don't know what you're talking about. When you go out to LA, a lot of comics are very Hollywood and think they're stars instead of keeping it real and being true to themselves. The funniest comics in LA are not from LA; they came from the South and the Midwest. When you get a straight LA comic -- born and raised or just raised -- they don't bring it like that. You got a handful in New York, and a handful in LA. The South got a whole potful. You might eat for a day in those places, but in the South you'll eat for a month.

-- Marques Brantley

Best of the South Comedy Tour. James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $28.50 to $44.50. Call 800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com.


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