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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Donnell Rawlings @ Carolines in NYC
Friday, March 02, 2007

To say my schedule’s been hectic the past few weeks would be a vast understatement and last weekend I really needed to get my laugh on. Thankfully Donnell Rawlings, the Chappelle’s Show alum and current co-host of New York City’s Power105.1 FM’s morning show, Mornings with Egypt and Ashy, was performing his stand up act at Carolines on Broadway. For those who don’t know, Donnell’s voice is instantly recognizable as the one that yelled “I’m Rich Bitch” at the end of each episode of Chappelle’s Show. I had interviewed him for Soak magazine (issue #21) a handful of months ago and not only did I want to see his act, but I also had some unfinished business to speak with him about, as everyone who read our interview knows.

Back when I originally spoke with Donnell we had a great conversation about his career, including working with the likes of Dave Chappelle and Charlie Murphy, but things took a turn, a very funny turn, when I told him I didn’t own an iPod. In true Donnell Rawlings style I was berated for not being technologically savvy, and even worse, he told me I was blowing opportunities to speak with the many gorgeous women in my gym thanks to my lack of an iPod. When we finished the interview and he did a drop for my radio show, The Adam B Experience, he closed it by screaming “let’s experience an iPod son!” Well, thanks to a PR company sending me one I now have an iPod and yes I brought it with me to the show.

The night started off with a female comedian, Dawn B., who had a lot of fun with the crowd and potentially sent a 12 year old kid to therapy with a joke about his mother that the kid’s parents and older brother thought was hilarious but the 12 year old turned beet red because of. Marc Theobald followed Dawn B. and cracked me up quite a few times. His old person / homeless man voice is one of those things you can’t help but laugh at and his description of needing to pee and not quite making it was priceless.

At this point I had already completed my two drink minimum and Donnell was ready to hit the stage. The part of his act that made me laugh the hardest was the story he told of being caught while masturbating. It’s a very funny bit and it involves him ending up in the shower with nothing but his boots on, soaping up despite the water not being on. His reasoning, which I will not ruin for anyone, was priceless (and is also going to be my reasoning whenever anyone questions anything I’m doing that might look the least bit strange).

After the show I met up with the comedians and Donnell immediately turned to me and said “so you finally got an iPod?” I triumphantly pulled my Shuffle out of my blazer’s inside pocket for all to see. After a quick laugh we started talking about the CNN show he was on the day before where Paula Zahn asked the question “Hip-Hop: Art or Poison,” which was apparently rhetorical for Zahn because she only thought of it as poison. Being a personality on one of New York’s largest Hip-Hop radio stations Donnell knows exactly what’s being played right now and he also knows how and why some of those songs make it to the airwaves. It was interesting to note that although during his act he took a few shots at rap music, deep down he’s quick to defend it. This is the perfect example of who should be criticizing Hip-Hop and why Paula Zahn was way out of line. When Donnell feels something is wrong he’s speaking from his own Hip-Hop perspective, but when Zahn is bringing it up it’s from the angle of someone who knows next to nothing about the culture.

Deep conversation not withstanding, I spent the vast majority of the night laughing. And although I now have an iPod I will close this story with something that will open me right back up again for a barrage of jokes from Mr. Rawlings. There’s a bit he does in his act about The Lion King which is pretty funny, even to me… a guy who's never seen the movie. Aaaand go.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:02 AM  
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