JB Smoove's Road From Comedy Clubs To "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

JB Smoove's Road From Comedy Clubs To "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

Jerry Angelo Brooks, best known by his stage name, JB Smoove, has come a long way in the comedy industry. JB Smoove's career has been characterized by near-misses and almost success stories. However, with every setback, he kept pushing harder, aiming to make it to the big stage. Those heartbreaking moments never broke him or made him give up. The comedian trusted his talent of making people laugh to get him where he wanted to be. Slowly and surely, JB reached those heights and is highly regarded today. Get inside the story of his journey from comedy clubs to the big screen.

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JB Smoove's Early Life & Education

JB was born on Dec. 16, 1965, in Plymouth, North Carolina. He moved to Mount Vernon, New York when he was five years old. Living in New York influenced his passion for comedy and his comedy style. He attended Mount Vernon High School and graduated in 1983. After high school, JB studied engineering and graphic design at Norfolk State University, Virginia.

Standup Comedy Beginnings & Improv

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - AUGUST 22: J.B. Smoove performs at The Stress Factory Comedy Club on August 22, 2009 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)

Growing up in New York City impacted JB's career heavily. In a chat with Backstage, he said, "I was born in North Carolina and came to New York when I was 5 years old, so I'm definitely a New York baby. Every borough has its own flavor and style, and you get a chance to experience all of those." The New York Knicks fan explained that seeing things firsthand and figuring out the styles to employ on stage helped to prepare him better for what was to come. The city also provided many opportunities to perform at different clubs, which helped his career progress quickly.

Immediately after starting standup comedy, JB Smoove began an improv class. With that, he was able to discover who he wanted to be onstage and offstage. The improv class helped him grow into his roles as an actor and comedian. He explained, "It (improv class) really allowed me to step away from myself and be more grounded in the moment, which is what improv skills teach you. For me, [improv is] the No. 1 thing that helped me in my transition from an actor and comedian."

Read More: JB Smoove Net Worth 2024: What Is The "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Star Worth?

JB Smoove's Career Highlights

JB Smoove
JB Smoove performs as Leon Black onstage during An Evening with Leon Black and Friends during TBS Just for Laughs Chicago 2010 at Park West on June 18, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. 20056_004_5124.JPG

JB actively performed standup comedy in Harlem, New York City's Uptown Comedy Club. In 1992, he made his TV debut on Def Comedy Jam, a standup comedy series. He also played Trucky in the 2001 comedy movie Pootie Tang. From 2002 to 2003, JB starred in the short-lived TV comedy series Cedric The Entertainer Presents. Then, in 2003, he bagged a writing and bit-part actor gig on Saturday Night Live. JB auditioned twice for SNL but didn't get cast. Hence, he decided to take the writing gig. He revealed, "It was one of those things where I said, if I take this job [as a writer], I'd have to move back to New York, but it would look good on my résumé. So, I became a writer." SNL did not renew JB's contract in 2006, causing him to sack his talent agents and try to get his career going again.

Working With Larry David On JB Smoove's Road From Comedy Clubs To Curb Your Enthusiasm

jb smoove
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 19: (L-R) Larry David and J.B. Smoove attend HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Season 11 Premiere at Paramount Theatre on October 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO)

In 2006, JB traveled to Los Angeles to attend the funeral of his friend and music producer Oji Pierce. During his stay, he auditioned for the role of Leon Black on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. While at the audition, JB met with the show's creator and main star, Larry David. Both men had a positive conversation, and JB joined the show's cast in 2007. JB joined Curb Your Enthusiasm in its sixth season. He was initially meant to be a recurring character but became a regular after showing off his comic talents and great on-screen chemistry with Larry.

JB enjoyed working with Larry and always speaks fondly of him. He said of his co-star, "I feel like the universe works with you somehow. Somehow, I was supposed to meet Larry; I was supposed to work with him. I always wanted to meet him, always wanted to work with him, and my wife actually told me I was going to be on the show. She felt like, 'I know you guys are going to be good together.' She knows I love to improvise, she knows the show is improvised, there's something about the show that was my language."

Read More: "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Seasons, Ranked

Writing A Book On Leon Black

Besides playing Leon, JB also wrote a book about the character. The Book Of Leon: Philosophy Of A Fool was released on Oct. 10, 2017. While speaking with Vulture, JB shared that although he and Leon are polar opposites, there is a bit of his famed character inside him. JB further shared that he wrote the book so people could understand who Leon really is. He added, "I wanted to be true to this beloved character. While I was writing the book, I would always put my durag on then put my slippers on, and really live vicariously through this dude. That's what folks love about Leon as a character, and I wanted that honesty to come through the pages."

Other Acting Credits

JB Smoove starred in Curb Your Enthusiasm from its seventh season until the show's 12th and final season ended on April 7, 2024. Besides Curb, the father of one has starred in movies like Comedy Hall Pass, We Bought a Zoo, The Smurfs, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Other TV shows JB has starred in include Til Death, Everybody Hates Chris, American Dad, Real Husbands of Hollywood, Blockbuster, and History of the World: Part II, a sketch comedy series. The comedian, who is married to Shahidah Omar, won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series in 2021 for his role as Chief Billy Bills in Mapleworth Murders, a comedy-mystery series.

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via: https://www.hotnewhiphop.com/796029-jb-smooves-road-from-comedy-clubs-to-curb-your-enthusiasm

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