You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Brandon T. Jackson

10 Comics to Watch

Since starring as Bow-Wow’s best friend in the 2005 roller disco movie “Roll Bounce,” Brandon T. Jackson has, appropriately, been on a roll.

At the wrap party for that movie, the then-19-year-old Jackson — a Detroit comic who was discovered at the Laugh Factory — got his next break when he asked Essie Chambers, VP of development for Nickelodeon’s teen channel, the N, if he could get her a drink.

“Actually, I tried to hit on her, to be honest,” Jackson says. “She was like, ‘You don’t know who I am, do you?’ I said, ‘No, do you want a drink?’ She said, ‘Do you want a show?’ ”

Co-produced with Wayne Brady, Jackson’s sketch comedy special, “The Brandon T. Jackson Show,” debuted on the N in December of 2006.

This summer, Jackson is returning to the feature world in his biggest role yet — as one of the stars of DreamWorks’ upcoming Ben Stiller comedy “Tropic Thunder,” in which he plays a rapper-turned-actor who’s starring in the film’s film-within-a-film: the most expensive war picture ever made.

Jackson’s co-stars include Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr.

With the film wrapped, Jackson is hitting the road to perform and is planning a standup show that raises money for the nearly 40 high schools in Detroit that were recently shut down as part of the city’s cost-cutting measures.

He’s also doing his own promotion for “Tropic.” After pitching Paramount, the film’s distributor, with ideas about promotional webisodes, he was given a budget to go out and shoot material. “We did a ghetto ‘Entourage’ thing,” Jackson explains. “I take my friends on a whack-ass adventure though Hollywood, we get caught by the cops. ‘Superbad’-type stuff, we try to find stars.”


“I was the youngest, blackest actor on the set,” says Jackson, noting his “Tropic Thunder” role… and quickly correcting himself to account for Downey Jr.’s character, who notably wears makeup in the film to appear African American. “The blackest without makeup.”

More Film

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Interscope Films Relaunches With Full Slate at Tribeca (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Interscope record label’s interest in film/music crossover isn’t exactly a secret: With hit companion albums for “A Star Is Born,” “Black Panther” and “La La Land,” they’ve seemed to own the soundtrack space at times in recent years. And the company hasn’t completely made a secret of its desire to move into film production. [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame': Fans and Theaters Assemble for Biggest Marvel Movie Ever

    For San Diego resident Shawn Richter, “Avengers: Endgame” is more than the conclusion to a monumental period in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the West Coast branch chair of Avengers Initiative, a cosplay charity that raises money for causes like the Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charities, the comics of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are [...]

  • Jillian Bell appears in Brittany Runs

    Amazon's 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' Sets Summer Release

    “Brittany Runs a Marathon” will be rushing to theaters on Aug. 23. Amazon Studios dated the comedy on Wednesday. The pic, starring Jillian Bell (“Rough Night,” “22 Jump Street”), won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. The flick follows the titutal Brittany, who decides to run around New York City in order to [...]

  • Lionsgate Hires Lynn Whitney in Marketing

    Lionsgate Hires Former Warner Bros. Exec Lynn Whitney

    Lionsgate announced Wednesday that Lynn Whitney will become head of worldwide paid media, partnerships, promotions and consumer products. Whitney was formerly the executive VP of worldwide media at Warner Bros.   In her new role, Whitney will build out media campaigns for movies like Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron’s romantic comedy “Long Shot.” “I am [...]

  • El silencio de otros

    Film Review: 'The Silence of Others'

    “Forgiven but not forgotten” is a platitude we routinely use to end disputes both petty and grievous, but it’s the reverse outcome — the mass forgetting of crimes and conflicts never truly resolved — that itches away at a post-Franco Spain in “The Silence of Others.” Soberly chronicling the ongoing legal battle of General Franco’s [...]

  • A Womans Work-The NFLs Cheerleader Problem

    Tribeca Documentaries Explore Gender Issues in Sport

    Up until recently, what it meant to be a professional female athlete in a world dominated by men wasn’t an issue that garnered high volumes of public interest, let alone national headlines. But that all changed in October 2017 when stories from the New York Times and the New Yorker detailing sexual allegations and improper [...]

  • Lizzo Coachella Valley Music and Arts

    Lizzo Joins Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez in Stripper Film 'Hustlers'

    After the release of her third album and a pair of high-profile Coachella performances, Lizzo announced today that she will be joining Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez in the stripper-themed film “Hustlers.” Based on a true story, the film focuses on strippers who band together to turn the tables on their wealthy Wall Street male [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content