Craig Robinson A Black Comedian With A Story

Craig Robinson shares story of his life, not big but enough to show us who is he

Craig Robinson knows how to keep a show going. During a four-day stand-up tour in Fairbanks, Alaska (“the North Pole,” he quips), the 41-year-old music-teacher-turned-comic made the mistake of pregaming on tequila shots chased with beer before a gig, according to The Vibe Magazine.

“The show was going so well… Then I was like, T need to go to the bathroom. Y’all wait,’” Robinson recalls. Moments later, his stomach rebelled. “I vomited onstage. But I kept going. It was as if everything went to a higher level. I could do no wrong. Nothing was going to stop me.”

This Puff mentality has sent Robinson’s acting career on an upward slope, anchored by his deadpan turn as paper-pusher Darryl Philbin on NBC’s The Office, which ends its eight-year run this May. His dry wise­cracks leave permanent impressions, even in bit roles like Judd Apatow’s knocked up (playing a discriminating bouncer) and Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls, his one-way ticket out of obscurity.

“I was in this shitty condo when my manager told me I got that part,” says Robinson, who reunites with Perry in this spring’s Peeples and co-fronts the summer comedies Rapturepal-ooza and This Is the End with the Seth Rog’en squad.

“You ever scream privately to yourself? It was one of those.” Consider it an aha moment for a guy whose baby steps into stand- up involved a botched attempt to impress a chick. Before moving from his native Chi­cago to L.A. in 1999, the master’s degree holder nurtured his comedy gene in college through open mics.

“I was at some sorority talent show, and two guys I knew went up and did comedy. It blew my mind,” he says. “I saw them like they were superheroes. They had this power to get this response from you. That’s when I got hooked.”

Now transitioning from the sidelines to the forefront, Robinson spearheads an upcoming autobiographical NBC pilot, where he plays a music teacher. On top of filming Hot Tub Time Machine 2 this summer, he’ll be moonlight­ing as a member of the funk-psych band the Nasty Delicious, another dream materialized.

“When I was teaching, I yearned to have a band to the point where I would be at shows and be conducting bands from the audience,’ says Robinson. “Now, I have a band. What it’s becoming is a bunch of people who love to play together and some serious-ass musi­cians. I just get out the way and let them rock, so I look like a genius.”

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