By Ariel Worthy
The Birmingham Times
Comedian Earthquake is a veteran. Not just in comedy, but also in the military.
Earthquake, who will perform at the StarDome Friday through Sunday, served nine years in the United States Air Force and reached the rank of sergeant.
While stationed in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, he would take advantage of an Open Mic Night at a local bar and found out that he could make people laugh. There were also some moments he can look back on with a laugh during his service.
He remembers dropping a live nuclear missile while loading it into an aircraft.
“I was trying to go to a 2 Live Crew concert,” he said with a laugh. “They thought I was on drugs, but when they did a drug test all they found was incompetence. The only thing they did was no longer allow me to touch any other plane and put me in the snack bar.”
Earthquake was eventually honorably discharged as a conscientious objector and demoted to Airman First Class. The military taught him a lot, he said.
“The military helped me with discipline and helped me relate to different people than just the tribal part of you,” he said. “Most people associate with their tribe of people, but when you’re in the military you meet people from all different aspects of the country and the world.”
That’s how the Air Force and comedy are similar he said. “They’re similar because you keep meeting new people every time.”
Earthquake said he’s anxious to see the newly-renovated StarDome.
“The StarDome is beautiful. The service, the crowd, the capacity. It’s run by a competent owner [Bruce Ayers] who genuinely loves comedy; not someone trying to make a quick buck,” he said. “It’s a good spot, and I’m sure it’s even better now.
“I enjoy coming to Birmingham because they have some of the most fun comedy clientele,” he said. “They know what comedy is. [Bruce Ayers] has always been a leader when it comes to comedy. It’s always one of my favorite places to perform.”
While he enjoys standup he is no stranger to TV. He was a recurring character on the hit show, “Everybody Hates Chris.” That was his favorite set to work on, he said.
“They were my friends, they allowed me to be myself. It was a beautiful thing, and Chris Rock is one of my best friends. All of them are family – Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, all of them.”
Currently he can be seen on “In the Cut” and he plans to be on the theater stages soon.
“I’m doing a play with Tasha Smith called “Two Can Play That Game,” he said.
Earthquake is among the new wave of comedians popular around the country.
“I think we need to define what comedy is,” he said. “You must be funny. I don’t get caught up in the internet comedians because they still have to fit the job description. You have to stand on that stage and make people who don’t know who you are, laugh. And when it comes down to it, that’s what [comedians] are trying to do: be funny.”