Epps: Bigscreen star keeps his act sharp onstage

Comedy Impact Report 2012: Standup - Mike Epps

Even though Mike Epps has been busy booking feature film roles, he’s never taken a break from standup.

“Standup is like my main girl — the one you always come back to. She’ll never leave you unless you leave her,” he says. “In the fall and summer, I do clubs. That’s where I hone my skills as a comic, where I develop material, character, everything. When the first quarter pops up, I go out and hit the big markets, like D.C. and Atlanta, with my new work.”

Epps believes it’s important to pay one’s dues on the comedy-club circuit, and his dedication placed him as one of the top-earning standup acts of the year, selling 91,000 tickets during the first half of 2012 alone.

On the film front, Epps describes working on “The Hangover Part III” as “like being in a comedy ‘Avengers’ movie with Zach (Galifianakis) and Bradley (Cooper).” As for playing Richard Pryor in next year’s “Nina”? “That was scary as hell,” he says. “I was a Pryor fan growing up. Being born an hour away from where he was born, it was easy to tap into the diction. It was an honor to play such a comedic icon.”