You may recognize Damien Lemon’s gorgeous gap-toothed grin from MTV’s Guy Code, where he equips men with the (much needed) skills to NOT play themselves in life and love. Every Thursday, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Damien on our TV screens as the host of TruTV’s newest show, Comedy Knockout.
Comedy Knockout pits comedians against each other in a series of fast-paced challenges, with the audience having sole discretion to decide who the funniest person in the room is. Each show ends with one comedian crowned champion, one eliminated, and one ultimately forced to face the crowd and apologize for their shameful defeat. We caught up with Damien in the studio for his to uncover some unknown facts about the Gotham-based funnyman.
He’s been doing comedy for over a decade, but first found out he was funny when he was 9 years old.
“I was introduced to Eddie Murphy via Delirious at age nine (yeah, I know…poor supervision). I watched it at my friend Monty’s house. I saw it to the point where we learned it, like you would learn your favorite album. That was probably my most pointed introduction to comedy. Once I learned how to get a laugh, I was drawn. There was power in that.”
His favorite city to perform in…
“New York City is great because it’s home. There’s a wealth of diversity. There’s a bunch of places to do standup and a lot of great comedians, so it keeps you sharp. It’s diverse in so many different ways. There are so many things that you can talk about that someone in the audience may relate to. On the road, Austin is a good comedy city, in Seattle I had a good time, and Chicago is fun.”
The funniest person in his family is…
“My brother-in-law, Slade. He could do comedy! If he wanted to, he could be a hell of a standup. I’ve got a lot of funny people in my family. There's a lot of jokes when we get together for birthdays or holidays. A LOT of jokes, A LOT of slick talk, it’s a fun time. My people’s got jokes. I haven’t ranked them, though. There’s only one trophy. Second place is only the first to lose.” (laughs)
He’s a HUGE hip hop fan! The last song he listened to on repeat was…
“[Kanye West’s] ‘Ultralight Beam.’ That was the most aggressively repeated song that I’ve listened in the last 2-3 months. It’s such a moment. It makes you feel like you went to church even though you didn’t. You listen to that for 6 minutes and go back to sinning.”
On his list of funny emcees…
“There are tons of funny rappers. Kanye is funny when he wants to be. [Notorious] B.I.G. was super funny. Redman was funny. Eminem can be offensively funny. Cam’ron is very funny because he can be so disrespectful. It’s a long list of funny rappers.”
If he wasn’t doing comedy…
“At one point, I wanted to be a child psychologist. I wanted to [help] the kids around seventh and eighth grade, where you can go in either one or two different directions. That’s when a lot of kids need the most guidance, right there when you’re about to hit high school, sh*t can go wayward. That was the path I was one before I realized there wasn’t much money in uh….saving the youth. It was actually my professor who told me that. I was a psychology major. He told me if you want to be competitive in psychology, you need a Ph.D. and that just stands for ‘P.oor H.ouse D.octor.’ I was like ‘DAMN, thank you!’ YOU NEED TO BE A GUIDANCE COUNSELOR!”
He’s a sneaker enthusiast, who needs your help!
“I just enjoy sneakers. I enjoy having fresh sneakers on. I wouldn’t’ consider myself a sneakerhead. I’m not one of those people that saves boxes. I like to be fresh. There’s a definite distinction between a sneakerhead and a sneaker enthusiast. I like sneakers. One of the sneakers I’ve always wanted was the Air Jordan Fear 5. I’ve always wanted those. I haven’t seen them anywhere for less than $650 and I can’t really force myself to spend $650 on a pair of Jordans. I’m good. Not at this point in life but if anyone reading wants to bless me, I’ll definitely take those!
Comedy Knockout airs Thursday at 10:30ET/9:30C on TruTV.