Laughing in downtown with Uptown Kevin Brown
BY KEEGAN PROSSER
Uptown Kevin ‘Dot Com’ Brown is probably best known for his role as the large but lovable side kick to Tracy Morgan’s “Tracy Jordan” on NBC’s “30 Rock.” But what you might not know is that Brown is also one of the people who helped to jumpstart the careers of some of the biggest names in comedy.
An American comedian, film and television actor, Bronx-born Brown got his start in the entertainment industry booking hip hop shows around New York. When the crowds got too big and the venues got more difficult to work with, he decided to switch to comedy – and open his own club.
“I realized that when people are laughing, they are too busy to fight,” Brown has said.
From 1992-1995, Brown and his brother Dre created and produced “The Uptown Comedy Club” TV show that broadcasted on FOX 5 network. Located in the heart of Harlem at 125th St, the show received National success in the 90’s for introducing the masses to acts including JB Smoove (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Flex Alexander of (“One on One”), Chris Tucker (“Rush Hour”) – and Tracy Morgan.
Brown studied acting at the T. Schreiber Studio in New York City and has appeared in several movies: Sarah Jessica Parker’s blockbusters “Did You Hear About The Morgans?” and, “Sex in the City Part 2,” “The Departed” with Leo DiCaprio, “Lucky Number Slevin,” “50 Cents Get Rich Or Die Trying,” and “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen,” among others.
On stage, Brown appeared as the lead in Marq Overton’s one-man play “Die Laughing” (2008) at the Diversity Players of Harlem and as an actor and executive producer of the stage play “Box,” an off-broadway production about four Haitian stowaways to America.
While Brown’s character on “30 Rock” goes by “Dot Com,” the actor had already been using the moniker prior to being cast. In fact, Brown had adopted the tag several years before the audition as a way to differentiate himself from others with the same name.
At the “30 Rock” audition, upon entering the room, Tracy Morgan recognized his old friend, Kevin Brown, whom he had not seen since the early 90’s on the comedy circuit. Tracy introduced Brown to Tina Fey as “Dot Com” – and the name stuck.
In addition to acting, Brown is an accomplished comedian, having started telling jokes when he realized there was more money to be made on the performance side of the business.
As a stand-up comedian, Brown has appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” MTV’s “Human Giant and NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and BET’s “Comic View.” Brown also opened for Morgan at Caroline’s Comedy Club in Times Square in May 2010 – and served as a headliner at Caroline’s later that year.
When not impersonating Morgan or Terry Crews (Old Spice guy) on stage, Brown likes to practice martial arts (he’s a Certified Black Belt) and Bikram (Hot) Yoga.
He’s also gearing up for campaign life: Dot Com For President, 2016.
Kevin “Dot Com” Brown performs at Parlor Live Comedy Club Dec. 13-15. $15-30. www.parlorlive.com.