Deon Cole gives audiences a glimpse into what it takes to create material for a comedy special — even when the jokes don't work

By Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

Q: Have you been performing standup at all during the pandemic?

A: I have not. I have not performed anywhere, I've just been filming a lot. This is the longest I've gone not performing standup and I'm actually terrified (laughs). I know I have to go back. But I'm terrified.

I'm definitely not going to no clubs, that doesn't feel safe. But they've been having stuff in parking lots and outside and those are places I could go. And they've been asking me. But I've just been like, nah. I just don't want to do it halfway; I'm not going to feel the energy that I think I really want to feel. So I'd rather just wait.

Q: What is it like to film "Black-ish" these days?

A: Our days are longer, definitely. It takes longer for us to shoot because they have to sanitize each time we come in a room and then go out. Or they have to sanitize every time they move a camera around. They have to sanitize our wardrobe; we have to put our clothes in a special bag before they can wash them. Our makeup takes longer and we all have to be in different cubicles to get our makeup done; and you can only get it done once, so you can't just be walking around getting touch-ups all the time.


You're wearing a mask all the time except when you're shooting a scene. And when they call cut, we put our PPE back on. We're tested everyday. Even when we don't film we have to be tested. I'm not filming tomorrow but I have to be there in the morning to go test.

I'm glad to be working. But man, it's so high risk and so different. But as long as everybody stays on their game — which they have been — and stays responsible, we're going to be good.

Deon Cole's "Workin' It Out" is available on the Netflix Is a Joke YouTube channel.

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