Comedian Anthony Davis is 5-foot-11, describes himself as “overweight” and usually rocks a red, bushy beard. It is hard to imagine anybody would confuse him with the NBA superstar of the same name.
However, Davis is often mistaken for the 6-foot, 10-inch New Orleans Pelicans.
“I get tagged in a lot of stuff about him,” says Davis, who performs at the Scottsdale Comedy Spot on Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8.
“There are three or four pages that have tagged me, and I’ve had to reply, ‘It’s not me, but I’ll still do my best if I can coach,’ a bunch of times. If you go on my page, the first picture is me in a bed lying with my shirt off doing a boudoir picture, so I don’t know how they don’t see that.”
The comparisons don’t bother him, though. It motivates him to keep working so someday his name will pop up above or alongside the basketball star on Google.
The comedian, who fixes hospital computers by day, has been performing nearly five years since he bombed during his debut in Baltimore. He remembers that day vividly. It was “traumatic.”
“I went up the first time and my first joke was, ‘If you like jokes about trucks, you’re going to love me,’ and the lady in the back yelled, ‘We don’t. (expletive),’” he remembers.
However, a single giggle during a joke was enough to capture his interest and keep him hitting the stage. Performing and causing laughter has become an addiction. He just hasn’t told a joke about trucks since then.
Davis’ comedy routine is authentic, often telling stories about his real-life experiences—from figuring southerners’ lives to his life in California with his wife. The goal, he says, is to make the audience laugh while looking like a “complete idiot.”
“I got on Grindr (an LGBTQ social networking app accidentally. Where I’m from a grinder is a sandwich. I legitimately thought it was an app for guys to talk about what kind of sandwiches they like to eat, and where to get them. And I was on there a good day and a half before I realized it wasn’t about that.”
Early in his career, Davis tried too hard to be observational and created what he thought was a funny routine. Now, he is more focused on being himself. He just wants to elicit laughter and talks in his native Southern twang, something that is mistaken as an act.
“Seriously, nobody would actually want to talk like this,” he says, laughing. “It sounds awful.”
Davis travels around the nation to perform. His Scottsdale show is his first. His goal is to elevate his career so he can perform full time. For now, the daily grind of an up-and-coming comedian is still new, and he is enjoying every moment.
“I did Baltimore to Grand Rapids, Michigan, a 15-hour drive one-way, just to do two 6-minute sets and drove all the way back. My car smelled like farts and McDonald’s for days,” he says. “But I love it. I just want to make people laugh and make enough money to do it that I can support myself and my wife. That’s what I really care about.”
Scottsdale Comedy Spot, 7117 E. Third Avenue, Scottsdale, 480.945.4422, thecomedyspot.net, various times Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8, tickets start at $10.