The First Time: Chris Redd

Comedian Chris Redd was at the start of his stand-up career when he made the bold decision to enter a comedy competition. He’d grown comfortable at open mic nights and was getting five-minute sets at more established clubs too, but when he took the stage at the competition, his set was met with deafening silence.

“I bombed so hard,” Redd remembers in the latest installment of Rolling Stone’s “The First Time.” “Onstage, I was like, ‘What’s up y’all — I bought this shirt but I kept the tag on it, because if I don’t win this competition, I’m taking it back to the store.’ And no one laughed, but then one dude was like, ‘Take that shit back!’”

Elsewhere, Redd spoke about honing his craft at a dingy open mic night in the back of a bowling alley, as well as the harshest heckle he ever encountered at the storied — but now defunct — Jokes and Notes comedy club on the south side of Chicago. The comedian also spoke about impersonating Kanye West for the first time on Saturday Night Live after the rapper’s infamous Oval Office meeting with President Donald Trump.

While Redd only had a day to come up with the impression, he cracked, “It was somebody I was a huge fan of already, so I kinda knew his voice. And I was mad at him enough at the time to be able to just find it.”

Redd also spoke about the first time he read the script for his new movie, Deep Murder, which arrives in theaters today, June 14th. The film manages to blend the disparate genres of comedy and soft core porn, and Redd recalls, “At first I was like, there’s no way this is gonna be good – and then I read it and I was like, there’s no way I’m not doing this movie.”

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