(Ronnie Jordan performed on Friday night in Cafe Q — see a review of his performance in Wednesday’s Chronicle)
Prior to his Quinnipiac debut on Friday night, comedian Ronnie Jordan finished a daytime show in New Jersey earlier in the day. He managed to make it to Quinnipiac for a night show, and had no plans of slowing down. Sounding upbeat and positive, Jordan continues his travels across the United States where he lives his dream of performing stand-up, mostly for the college-aged crowd with whom Jordan feels he can especially relate. Jordan’s act is heavily derived from his days as a college student and one’s typical college experience.
Jordan started comedy as a college student where he tried stand-up for the first time during an open-mic night. The night was a success, and Jordan soon after performed at a comedy club in downtown Atlanta and began his journey from there.
It did not take long for Jordan to break through.
“I was blessed to be around the right people at the right time,” Jordan admitted.
After only eight months of stand-up, Jordan landed a spot on BET’s “Comic View” and toured with the Queens of Comedy. Jordan has also had the opportunity to work with comic heroes of his own like Dave Chappelle, Mike Epps and Mo’Nique. One of Jordan’s most memorable experiences was opening for Earth, Wind and Fire for a few months at the beginning of his career. And meeting NBA legend Michael Jordan was also a dream come true for the funnyman, who had wanted to meet the basketball great since the age of 5.
Jordan proudly admits that he has not worked a job since 2001; however, his work schedule prior to making it in comedy was grueling with two jobs. He also had the pressure on his back of being on academic probation when he first began to hit the ground running in comedy.
Not only was Jordan working at T.G.I. Friday’s from early in the morning to the afternoon, but he also worked in his father’s restaurant an hour-long drive away from Friday’s. Often, Jordan would not get to the comedy club until after 10 p.m. and would stay as late as 3 or 4 the next morning if it was during the weekend with multiple performances.
Jordan believes he would be a chef now if comedy did not end up working out.
“I have been cooking since I was five,” Jordan said. “The Food Network is my friend.”
With his performance at Quinnipiac a few hours away, Jordan hopes students take something away from his act.
“I want to be one of those comedians that you tell people about,” Jordan said.
Jordan also mentioned liking East Coast audiences, in particular.
“You guys aren’t offended as much. If you can make the East Coast laugh, you can make anyone laugh,” Jordan said. “I’m talking about the whole East Coast, from Maine to Florida.”
Jordan is fortunate to have the blessings of his family to continue his job, which often means staying on the road for months at a time without seeing his wife. Jordan acknowledges its difficulty, while maintaining the need to keep people happy and that there is no way to do it without support.
“When you look up and its eight years later and you are still living your dream, you cannot complain,” Jordan said.
Photo credit: RonnieJordan.net