Alonzo Bodden on assless chaps, cop-on-black violence and open-carry Jesus

Was it the "open-carry Jesus" comment of "assless chaps" that caught your eye?

Alonzo Bodden

Sidesplitters Comedy Club, 12938 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. July 14, 8:30 p.m.; July 15, 8 p.m. & 10:15 p.m.; July 16, 8 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.; and July 17, 7 p.m. $10-$16., 813-960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com.

A former airline mechanic, Alonzo Bodden is a big time gearhead. He likes working with his hands and gets involved with projects like hosting Speed Channel’s "101 Cars You Must Drive" or being guest contributor on the Science Channel's new show "How To Build Everything" (ask him about steam rollers). As a comedian, the season three winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing would like to try and, calmly, point out some of the hypocrisy in our society. Basically, pay attention, use common sense and leave your macho (and any other) bullshit at the door.

With everything going on in the news, and being a black man in America, how do you deal with Being-A-Minority-In-America-PTSD?

I gotta be honest man, I'm just tired. It's such a repetitive narrative, we already know how the story is gonna go, it's going to be another black man with super strength or some reason you have someone subdued on the ground and you sit back and shoot them. I honestly...there's no jokes to be told, there's no words to be said.

I don't know what we can do to get people to understand this is real. We're getting video of the actual shooting. It's "The Purge." A friend said to me, "Why go to the movies?" We can watch "The Purge" on the streets now.

Your podcast is "Who's Paying Attention?" What do you want people to pay attention to the most?

I wish people would read more, get past the headline and read the article. I wish the media — Lewis Black is a friend of mine and one of my comedy heroes, he said years ago there are these facts, and that facts, but what happened to the fact facts?

Our media is a for-profit industry and it's no longer the fact checkers. You know who I want to pay attention? I want the media to pay attention. I want them to scare the shit out of people. I want you to run when 60 Minutes knocks on your door like in the old days. I want you to ask Donald Trump, “So how do we get 12 million people to just leave the country and what do we do to fill the void of work not being done?” I want someone to ask Hillary Clinton — and I'm a Clinton supporter — “How could you be so stupid as to put 20,000 emails on a personal server? Do you not have anyone on your staff, perhaps a millennial who is familiar with the internet, who could say, 'this is a bad idea.”

I want those reporters again. As Adam Corrolla said, “I want the angry white guy with a cigarette blowin' smoke in your face asking tough questions.”

What motorcycle do you currently ride?

A touring bike BMW 1600. I have a few, I call it my "Jay Leno starter set." I have a BMW GS, which is like a two-wheeled Hummer without all the negative social connotations. Just like every SUV, it is made to go off-road and I only ride it on the streets of LA. I also have a Triumph cruiser and a Ducati sport bike.

Are you into the biker culture? Have you played Sturgis or anything like that?

No, No, No. I've played biker rallies, but I do Americade, which is the gentlest rally you will ever see, it's a bunch of touring bike riders who go to a lake in upstate New York. That whole biker mentality, that whole "I wanna pretend to be a bad-ass, I watch Sons of Anarchy? Here's my thing with the biker mentality — you guys wear assless chaps. I know you want to beat me up, and you're bad-ass, but when you're wearing ass-less chaps I just can't be afraid of you.

What's the best car to drive across the Canadian border to escape a possible Trump Presidency?

There is radio show I do in LA called The Ride, and we cover everything from bicycles, cars, trucks, motorcycles, we talk about anything that can move you from point A to point B. Yesterday we test drove the the Ford Raptor pickup truck and I was like, yep, this is it. This is the zombie apocalypse vehicle. So you need a Ford Raptor and you should probably put a small motorcycle in the back in case something happens. But you can crash through borders, run over zombies, run over people whose guns don't kill people but people kill people.

This is something I've always wondered about. I'm not a gun guy, but if I were a gun guy, I'd want a gun that does kill people. The guns that don't kill people, that falls into the assless chaps category. I'm not afraid of assless chaps, I'm not afraid of guns that don't kill people.

So you're in favor of gun control?

I'm in favor of common sense. To me, common sense is we register our cars, when I sell you a car, I tell the government so I'm no longer liable for it. The government has never snuck into my home to seize my car. The government knows what motorcycles I own and they haven't sent the helicopters.

Education — just do it like cars. You have to learn something about it, you need a license to have one, you can't drive a NASCAR or top fuel dragster on the street, you can't have assault weapon with an 80 round clip. If you are such a person that you are being attacked by 80 people per minute, maybe you need to work on yourself. Maybe it's your personality. If there is a threat of 75 people attacking you, maybe it's you.

Again, just common sense. And I get it, I like things mechanical, and there is a beauty to them, but most of the gun guys I know wouldn't mind registering a gun. I loved when the there was a politician in Missouri who said we should make buying a gun as difficult as it is to get an abortion and the right wing lost their minds. Because Jesus doesn't like abortion, but open carry Jesus likes to have a machine gun.

Your voice and pacing is calm and measured, and what you're act often asks people to be cool and non-violent, but don't you ever just want to punch a motherfucker?

Yeah, there's times, but — I don't know if you've noticed — the police kill us.

I think it's because I'm a big guy. I don't know if we’re more measured or lazy, but I'm not hyperactive. I used to work with Dane Cook a lot, and I always told people if I ran and jumped on stage like Dane, do you know how much it would scare the front row? Let the big guy move slow.

With the timbre of your voice, do you get the voice gig Morgan Freeman turns down?

I wish I did. I'm starting to get more, I did a video game this year, but I can't even tell you what game it was. I did not know the level of secrecy in the video game market. Back in the 80's I worked in the defense industry, I built top secret airplanes at Lockheed... the video game secrecy is the same level. I had to sign non-disclosure agreements, and they didn't tell me the name of the game. But it was fun to do.

The biggest voice over job I was up for I got bumped by Danny Glover. If I ever meet Danny Glover, I'm going to be like, look, you have Lethal Weapon money, you don't need this job. I'm having a mid-life crisis and I'm broke.

You donated a kidney to your brother?

Yeah. More important than the kidney, I had a colonoscopy on behalf of my brother. That was more invasive...the kidney they can take every week, the colonoscopy, that's when we knew I loved him.

Most poignant moment you've had, the one that makes you go “yeah, this is the right thing.”

I've had that feeling from the first show, but I would say the moment I knew I was a comic was 1997, I had been doing comedy for four years, and I was at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal. They have a show called New Faces of Comedy, and they bring in 10 unknown comics, and you do your show. And when I walked off stage, there were guys there like Dom Irrera, Chris Titus, Joe Rogan and the manager Barry Katz and they all came up and were like, “Wow.” Suddenly I was a comic and not an open-miker. I had worked as a doorman at the Laugh factory, all that went away that night. I walked off stage that night and got the respect of other comics, and that's when I was like, “Yeah, I'm a comic.” I'll always remember that moment.

I have this theory that comics are the new prophets, not everybody understands what you're saying at first, but it makes sense after. So, do you think some day you could build a religion?

I didn't know how easy it was, but yeah. No doubt we could. People will believe anything. But we're not the new prophets, we're the old prophets. I have tattoos of jesters, and I love the jester because the jester is the only one allowed to speak truth to power. He could tell the king the truth, but if it wasn't funny, then it was off with his head. And I've always loved that. That's what we comics do. We’re the ones who speak truth to power, we're the ones who generally don't have an agenda, we don’t like anybody, so we make fun of everybody, we call bullshit on everything. That's always been our job, and I love being a part of that.

Watch a preview of Alonzo Bodden's second Showtime special, Historically Incorrect.

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