Chinedu Unaka


What did you want to become when you were a child?

I wanted to be immortal. I was also the type of child who didn’t dream of becoming one thing, but many things. I remember writing down on a paper in Elementary school that I wanted to play for the NBA on the weekdays and play for the NFL on the weekends; while also making music and movies and helping kids to learn. My interest would rarely shift, but it was always vulnerable to expanding to include much more.


How did your family & friends react when you told them you wanted to become a comedian?

My friends supported me from the beginning and one of them was even responsible for me starting as a result of a dare. They have always been encouraging and respectful towards my interest in comedy. Not to mention their continued attendance at my shows made me a better writer. I always hated doing the same jokes too many times in front of them. My siblings have also been very supportive and weren’t surprised when I said I wanted to be a comedian. I have always loved joking around and can get really silly fast when people I trust surround me. I haven’t told my parents yet, jk. My parents were cool with it until it became clear this wasn’t just a hobby I’m good at, but something I truly loved. It was hard for them to complain too much though, since I graduated from grad school and was finding a way to pay my own rent and bills.


Who or what inspires you?

Everything around me inspires, but what really gets me going is watching a good movie, hanging with close friends or some alone time at Starbucks. My favorite comedians are Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Bill Burr.


What aspects of your job do you like best/least?

The best part about being a comedian is the stage time. It’s why I do it. There isn’t a better feeling in the world than making a crowd full of diverse people laugh at a joke you thought of. I think laughter is the greatest compliment you can give someone. You can fake applause, a shout, but you can’t fake a genuine laugh. The least favorite part about being a comedian is the fan that wants to tell you a long joke after the show.


What do you believe is the biggest misconception about stand-up comics?

The biggest misconception about comics is that we’re all depressed people, some sure, but not all of us. Doing stand up comedy is actually a great way to deal with your problems in the open; the laughter is the crowd telling you you’re not alone and that what you're dealing with is pretty common. Laughter is truly the best medicine and there’s no fear of overdosing. 


How do you handle criticism when it comes your way?

I welcome it with an open mind. I’m always down to learn something new. 


How do you bounce back from a defeat?

I learn from it. If you learn from a loss it isn’t a real loss, it’s growth. 


What makes you happy?

Performing, family, friends, good Laker games and almond butter.


What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

I love the show Big Brother on CBS and I don’t know why.


Describe yourself in 5 words:

Diligent, smooth, nerd, caring and funny


What do you most value in people?

Honesty and loyalty


How do you define success?

Finding balance between work, family and fun


When was the last time you laughed so hard/much that you ended up crying? Thanksgiving – when my little brother and me get together the jokes are flying. No one is safe


What serves as the greatest motivation for you in your daily life?

God and IG quotes


Which person do you admire most?

My dad and the old Kanye


Name 3 things people don't know about you:

  1. I love M&Ms;

  2. My favorite rapper is Lupe Fiasco, and

  3. I’m a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. 


What is your motto?

In order to catch the dreams you follow you must enjoy the chase.


What do you wish to have see achieved in 2017?

Star in my own or on a TV show, & make it to 2018.


Any advice for those wanting to become comedians?

If you don’t love it stop it, you’re going to quit I promise. If you do love it, don’t quit you’re going to be okay.


Any last words?

Obama I’m going to miss you.


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