Mark Caesar is a New Orleans comedian whose career stretches back well over a decade. He’s also a two-term war veteran whose comedy video “Shit New Orleans Girls Say” has racked up millions of views. In 2011, he founded Piss Yo Pants Comedy, LLC and has since toured internationally. On November 21, he’ll appear at the Mahalia Jackson Theater alongside Shack Brown, A.J. Johnson, Rude Jude and others at A Crunk Azz Comedy Show.
How do you describe the comedy landscape in New Orleans?
The scene right now is booming. There’s a lineup of comedy shows that’s coming here that’s ridiculous. As far as the landscape for comedians from here, we never had a comedy club. By us not having a club, there’s no place for us to say ‘This is where we go for comedy.’ The closest thing we have to that right now is the Howlin’ Wolf Den. You would think, in a big city, there would be a comedy club. It’s seventh fiddle. Nobody ever goes past second fiddle on something.
How did you get your start in New Orleans comedy?
I was 15 years old and used to remix songs. I’d take a song and remix it with my friends’ names in it. I remixed 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” to “L.I.M.P.” because one of my friends got hurt playing football.
Who were the New Orleans comedians you looked up to?
New Orleans comedy is weird. Somebody I used to really like was my homeboy, Brian Bonhagen. He used to perform with a trenchcoat on, no matter what the weather was and was part of the Westbank Mafia. I used to really look up to Bri and his joke-telling style. His style of storytelling… he would take it down, then he’d go up, he’d take it down, then he’d go up, then he’d slam it with a punchline.
What about nationally? Who do you look up to?
Chris Rock is probably my favorite. But I respect everybody for different things. Rock has his storytelling style. Dave Chappelle has his storytelling style. I like Kevin Hart. I like Katt Williams. I like something from everybody. But as far as, ‘That’s the way to do it,’ that’d be Rock.
Has being from New Orleans informed your comedy in a specific way?
You get your material from where you’re at. But I’m also blessed to have traveled all over the world and interpret it in my own New Orleans way. I’m ’bout as New Orleans as it gets. I’m from Freret Street. I had gumbo for breakfast today. When people come to see me at shows across this country, that’s what they want to see. They want to see my New Orleans thing.
For even more Mark Caesar, check out our video interview with him below: