Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Comedic actor, Brandon T. Jackson is teaming up with Craig Robinson for a new NBC sitcom called, Mr. Robinson. The 30-minute show, which premieres in back-to-back episodes TONIGHT, features  Robinson as a struggling substitute teacher waiting on his big break as the leader singer of a funk band, The Nasty Delicious. Jackson plays his unemployed, unapologetic brother, Rob, who is as serious about his women as he is his music.

Jackson has enjoyed the spotlight ever since he was 14-years-old. The preacher’s kid from Detroit has carved out a successful career as an in-demand stand-up comic and tv/film actor who’s appeared in such films as Big Momma’s House, Lottery Tickets, and Roll Bounce. He’s also appeared as a series regular on Nick Cannon’s MTV sketch comedy show, Wild ‘N Out, which makes perfect sense because his comedic timing is impeccable.

I got a chance to chat with the 31-year-old single father, who was gigging at Atlanta’s famed Uptown Comedy Corner, about the show and his return to prime time. During our interview, Jackson talked candidly about the importance of finding purpose and keeping the faith. He also sounds off on social media, pop culture’s obsession with fame and why “hoes is winning!”

Check out a few excerpts from our interview below:

On purpose and 15-seconds of fame…

Lately I have been asking myself, ‘What‘s your purpose?’ A lot of people don’t really focus on their purpose. So many people get caught up in this fame thing. This ‘15-second of fame’ and that seems so corny to me now. I love going to work on a TV show sitcom (like back in the day) and love being on something that is classic. But everybody is famous now for no reason. I’ve been famous for 11 years now and I’m still like, what do you do with it? Do you mentor kids or do something thing to help bring people together? That’s where I am right now.

On being real about his stand-up comedy…

Black American needs to embrace each other right now. It’s time to talk real issues. It feels like were in 1994-95 again and we need to try and up our game. We are running around talking about ‘my followers’ and ‘I have more followers than you.’ Really? But when you get these followers what are you doing? Where are you leading them? What are we doing? What is our generation doing? There’s a hip-hop generation that is above us like our aunts and an older brothers that still remembers what happened to us in the 90’s and now these same incident are occurring today. So with comedy, I like to talk about real stuff.

On why faith is crucial to personal development…

God and faith is everything to me. There was a point in my life when I didn’t believe anymore and HE showed me. I had a point in my life when I didn’t have that spirituality and it showed in my life. Whatever you believe in, do you but try to find that peace within yourself that makes you a better person.

On his character ‘Ben’ in Mr. Robinson

He [Ben] sounded just like me. I read the script and was like; this is something I would say. I fell in love with him. My manager called me and said there is this role that they’re casting for and he sounds just like you.

On being inspired by Martin Lawrence to continue stand-up…

I heard Martin [Lawrence] say something in an interview and I never understood it until now. The road can be so addictive that sometimes you forget that you’re an actor. I’ve been on the road for three years waiting for the right thing to come along and I developed my stand up so that I can shoot it one day. When I was preparing to star in Big Momma’s House, I met Martin for the first time.  He flew me to Vegas to come see him so I could get a feel for his comedy. He gave me great tickets and a room and showed me so much love. I was like wow!  I’m at the Palms and his show is sold out in Vegas. It was so profound and on the next level. I was killing my acting gigs but he made me feel like, ‘Yo! I gotta get back on my live stage work.’ That’s when I realized I wanted to go back and do stand-up again.

On why ‘Hoes’ is winning…

I do a joke in my routine about there being a civil war  in this generation between hoes and ladies and that the hoes are winning! (LOL) Real ladies have to fight for real now. Then they have the guy who’s like, ‘hey babe, let’s put a pole in the kitchen’ and she’s like, ‘Umm, I thought you were saved.’

Check out the trailer for Mr. Robinson below and don’t forget to tune in TONIGHT at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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Photo Credits: NBC.com and RayCornelius.com

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