From Stand-Up Routines to Sporting Life
By PATRICK HEALY
Published: February 27, 2012
As a Yale-trained actor as well as a stand-up comedian used to shutting up yahoos in the audience, David Alan Grier rarely feels rattled onstage. But he was nearly beside himself during a recent performance of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” the Broadway musical in which he plays the drug dealer Sporting Life, a role most identified with Cab Calloway and Sammy Davis Jr.
Every time Mr. Grier entered a scene, strutting like a peacock among the poor of Catfish Row, the same young woman in the audience burst out giggling.
“Some people think I play for laughs, that I’m just ‘In Living Color,’ ” he recalled in an interview the other day, referring to the popular sketch-comedy series that ran on Fox from 1990 to 1994 and also starred the Wayans brothers and Jim Carrey. “But I never wanted to be a comic. I wanted to be a leading man — the black lawyer, the black doctor, the black policeman.”
. . . between his hilarious comedy and his dramatic roles to avoid looking at his face and cracking up. Goes with the territory of being good at what he does . . . and he is an excellent comedian. I'm sure he can translate that talent into the more dramatic roles. There's so much of life that's a comedy, even if it doesn't always deserve a laugh.