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All right? From the Longhorn Radio Network, the University of Texas at Austin, this is in Black America. I think that I'm always enjoying it. I'm always kind of pinching myself going, man, I can't believe this. And that's what's good about it, man. I mean, you know, to be honest, man, to be just really honest, I feel like I'm the luckiest. The luckiest guy in the world, the most blessed guy in the world, to be able to do what I'm doing.
And to be able to take all the talent for everything that you've been given and blessed with, and to actually, you know, make them work for you. Because a lot of times, comedians or people who try to get shows, and they don't really get the right show, and then we feel we've got the right show, the right thing, and so to reflect, you know, I'm always reflectin' anytime, I got to spare time, I'm always reflectin'. Comedian and actor, Jamie Foxx. Last September, Jamie Foxx returned to Network Television, starring in the second season of his own sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show, on the Warner Brothers Television Network. Foxx plays Jamie King, a young man who comes to Hollywood seeking the big time. But the big time is working for his room and board at the King's Towers, the aging and once famous hotel owned by his hot Helen. Co-creating and produced by Jamie, the show is the highest-rated program on the WB Network. Foxx also is known for his funny character portrayals on the hit TV show In Living Color. He also has a recurring role as the character Crazy George on the Fox Television Series Rock.
I'm John L. Hanson Jr., and welcome to another edition of In Black America. On this week's program, former What's Happening star, Haywood Duane Nelson, an actor comedian, Jamie Foxx, in Black America. I think the most important thing is to run these stuff from the positive people. Anything you've got positive people around, positive things happen. When you surround yourself with all types of people who really just got their hands in your pocket, they ain't really meeting you no good. And bad things can happen. I mean, with the death of two pockets and biggie, we see firsthand that bad real bad things can happen. And I think that turning it over and making it positive and having a positive thing and a positive outlook on things and making sure that you surround yourself with positive people does nothing but help you. He's not just starring in his own television program. He's not just a leading man on the silver screen. He's not even just a multi-talented stand-up comedian, singer, writer or producer. He's all that and more. Born in Dallas, Texas, Jamie Foxx is the hottest thing to hit television since The Cosby Show. In just one year, the Jamie Foxx show has surpassed all expectations.
Besides the four-day work week with his own show, Foxx has found the time to star in Columbia Pictures' booty call, the truth about cats and dogs, and 20th century Foxx is the great white hype. In addition to his film and television career, Foxx has established himself as a successful recording artist and a stand-up comedian by the way he studied classical piano as a child and music while in college. Next year on the silver screen, he will star in the feature film, The Players Club, the directorial debut for Ice Cube. Recently in Black America, spoke with his multi-talented performer. I actually went into the top of the club for the first time. Like I was seeing these guys on the stand-up, they're really going to give him the amateur night. Then I saw Eddie Murphy on stage getting down and I was like, man, this is the way to go. And I guess around 22 is when I started doing stand-up every day. Okay, and what do you get most of your material for?
Just everyday life, man. I mean, you know how you run into people that just bug wild or crazy. You just take that and you recuperate until you sit and then from here, different stories or just, you know, living your everyday life, everything keeps on folding. So you can never run out of material. I understand that you're a Renaissance man. You studied classical music as a child. Yeah, it's a matter of fact, I did. I studied classical piano when I left high school, you know, got into that and everything, but it was really kind of slow, man. So I guess around 21 is when I first went on stage, kind of left the music thing behind the first and then I figured, you know, I could just stand up and bring the music in. So that's what I do now. Okay. How did you get your own television program? I had the idea for the Jamie Foxx show, I lived in Vegas. And it was just a metal going to the WV printing on his feet and make it happen. Make it happen. The WV was like, oh, maybe one day in the ratings will be as good as the way in the Steve Harvey or whatever like that.
Not only did we guarantee that the ratings are going to be higher, we guarantee that we're actually going to be able to compete across the world with other networks and that's exactly what happened. But the idea that I wrote everything, they dug it, we shot the pilot, people tuned in and we increased the numbers on the WV 200%. Now with number one on WV and actually we went our tires riding in some places, even in our new tires ride, which is on Sundays, eight eastern seven o'clock since. How do you come up with the different storylines we can and we got? Yeah, right. There's a team of writers. We got about 11, 12 writers and we just all sit around, we'll kick around stories and then we'll dig a writing and go writing. He'll write, he'll come back and then we'll all fix it up. So you never run out of ideas. You know, you just keep on going because the show is set inside the hotel. Anybody can come inside the hotel and make it happen. How did you gather the cast members for your program? So how did I gather? We had our distance, had an open call, you know, for our distance, we saw quite a few people.
And this particular character is just the people that really just vibe well with me. My aunt Helen came in and nailed the audition. She was telling people, she said, oh, it's no ground. Nello, it's already mine, right? So just having a chemistry of where you feel like you can work with a person makes everything, you know, just a little bit better. You first, where we first became known of you through in living color. How did you happen to get a spot on in living color? Well, getting on the living color was just kind of fell into it. I was 22 and I needed some comedians and I happened to be right there at the top of the list and everything. And getting on living color really, you know, boosting my career made me what I am. And then that way, when I moved on to get my own show, people were tuned in because I was on the living color. Okay, and you also played a character crazy George on rock?
Yeah, crazy George. Yeah, man, you know, that was a, that was a favorite to Charles Dunton did for me. Because he knew I was originally going to be probably a original cast on rock and wasn't even going to be on that living color. But they let me go before the show actually started. So Charles Dunton was kind enough to let me come down and do another character and everything like that. And I had a great time with it. You also have branched out into feature films? Yes, my record is finished in feature film with an ice cube. It's called Flare's Club. And it's his directorial debut. It should be a nice, you know, nice script, a nice, a nice, you know, a nice movie. And since it is his directorial debut, I'm just going to look at a lot of heat. Understand. Also, you appeared in Columbia Pictures booty car. Yeah. That seemed like a fun movie to do. We had a great time with it, you know, for what it's worth. It was a pretty good movie. And make sure you go out into your unit. It's number one video, video rental sales. So go check that out too.
And also, you played a small time boxing manager in the great white hype? Yeah. Yeah, got it. Did you model that role after someone? No, I think they didn't. I just kind of got in there, man. I just went with what I felt. Because it was really nothing to the character. And I just had to bring the character to the character. Once I brought that, then it was just whatever we got, we kept it on tape. So we didn't like to put on the floor. Has life changed that much today from other than being in the big times, but is Jamie Foxx still Jamie Foxx? Yeah, as a matter of fact, he is. No matter what you do. I mean, I think you know this, too. No matter how far you go and what you do, you can never get away from yourself. And once you do start to get away from yourself for one, you start to lose it. And, too, that's just crazy. You know, my whole thing is that's around myself with people that tell me, no, that's not good. Or yes, it is good. And I think if you can have people that can tell you the truth about yourself, then you can make this business really happen for you. Do you still retain some of your same friends?
Yeah, as a matter of fact, none of my friends have changed. None. And a lot of my friends are successful too, making probably more money than that. You know, so it's cool to have them doing good things and to be able to still just sit up and talk and just wrap and chill just like you always have. How do you divide the time between you're going to be on stage this evening at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas, but you stand up comedian act during your television program and also doing movies? Does it keep you out of trouble? It keeps you out of trouble. You should just, you know, you feel like, you know, these are the years where you can really get out and do it, so run out doing it. And then, because it's going to be a time when the people are not really going to like you, you're sure they're really going to be having it. And then, you're going to be like, after part, you're going to be like, I know you. He used to be there, he used to be there, so before they could do that, but my mother was like, you know, we can't write here. I understand. You had a stand-up special on HBO straight from the Foxhole. How did you enjoy doing that, what I was special?
Oh, it was incredible. You know, there's a chance for me to express, you know, how I feel, and everything like that, and how I could do starting it, and we got everything to go. So we're going to do, we're going to do some more things like that coming up in the future and everything, because that was really something, really something to marvel at. Are there more parks now? Are there more parks? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, it's a matter of fact, we do, it would be more park sports, because we're bomb, we're bombinating on Sunday. It's a matter of fact, we dominate so much the world, people actually turn our show on, watch the burning minutes, and then turn our show off. Which is not necessarily getting the big picture of the WV vote from Jamie Foxx, who was trying to make Sunday night another night. It's a well-received coming. Okay, what type of shooting schedule do you all have for the show? We work Monday through Thursday, off Friday Saturday and Sunday, and then work Monday and shoot Tuesday. Okay.
And could you give us any insight to some of the up-and-coming episodes? We got some funny things where we parallel movies, like we're going to do parallel on the face off, where myself and this other criminal have the same type of face, and I leave for something that he ends up ducking into the hotel. And then we got some guest, superstar guest lined up, we're looking at boys and men, and looking to have a Christmas special and everything like that. Like they used to do back in the day where you sit around and feel good, about a fire, and you know, sitting cum by your eye. What are some of the recurring characters that you play on the Jamie Foxx show? So the recurring characters are Tyrone Coffle, which is the ethnic version of Ted Coffle and Enrique, Lord of the Marangas, so you got to check that out. And then I'll be adding the character to maybe once a year. Do you find it difficult in getting away from it all? I know you like to work, but actually just laying back and chilling out and enjoying the success that you have achieved. I mean, I will have time. I mean, I think that I'm always enjoying it. I'm always kind of pinching myself going, man, I can't believe this.
And that's what's good about it, man. To be honest, man, to be just really honest, I feel like I'm the luckiest. The luckiest guy in the world, the most blessed guy in the world, to be able to do what I'm doing. And to be able to take all the talents and everything that you've been given and blessed with, and to actually make them work for you. Because a lot of times, comedians or people who try to get shows and they don't really get the right show or no, we feel we've got the right show, the right thing. And to reflect, you know, I'm always reflecting. Anytime I've got to spare time, I'll reflect. How important is it for you to surround yourself with professional people, your booking agent, your publicist, that you have respect for? I think the most important thing is to surround yourself with positive people. Anything you've got positive people around, positive things happen. And when you surround yourself with all types of people who really just got their hands in your pocket, they ain't really meeting you no good.
And bad things are going to happen. I mean, with the death of two pockets, and Biggie, we see firsthand that bad, real bad things can happen. And I think that turning it over and making it positive and having a positive thing, and a positive outlook on things, and making sure that you surround yourself with positive people doesn't have to but help you. Do we see a new musical album on the horizon? Yeah, I'm working on some music stuff there. I've done some stuff for a dinner. I wrote and produced our next single that's coming out called Teacher Panning, along with a guy by the name of Billy Moss. And I'll probably be doing some more music too. Are you involved in developing a new talent, either for your particular program or stand-up comedians, etc.? As a matter of fact, we are. I mean, what we're trying to do is, like I said, we're doing the special coming up, and then we've got some other ideas as far as TV ideas that we want to do and put some people in, and they're kind of coupled with my show and everything. So we're always on the go.
What are some of the things that particularly concern you as a young African-American male? What concerns me? Yes. Just getting a fair shake. Okay. Getting the chance to do whatever I want to do. Be fair. Let me get a chance to play a super hero. Let me get a chance to play a super leading man and all that. And then I'd have to worry about people kind of ragged on you. We had a situation where the NAACP really barked back to Jamie Foxxill, and they barked by our first year, our first couple of shows, and a biomegazine barked with our callers, Menstroman, and everything. And to be cornered by your own people really puts a bad taste in your mouth. And so, I think that's what troubles me sometimes. Even when you're trying to do something good and trying to do something positive, sometimes the people that shouldn't be supporting you don't. For what you have to do is just keep on mashing, keep pushing. And keep shining and letting people see what you're all about. And let them know that you are positive, let them know that you are intelligent.
And you're trying to put it down in the best way you know how. And that's what we're doing. When you're not performing, what are some of your hobbies and joys that you like to participate in? When I'm not performing, how these will be playing table tennis shoes to group, you know, and relax. Okay, any final comments, Mr. Foxx? That's about it, man. You covered it off, but I just want to say thank you. Thank you for letting me be my friend. Comedian, singer, and actor, Jamie Foxx. Some years ago, hey, with Duane Nelson starred in two ABC television series, What's Happening and What's Happening Now? As an entertainer for over 20 years, Nelson began his career as a child actor at the age of five. He has appeared in more than 30 national television commercials and roles in several feature films. Currently, he holds the position of executive vice president at Music Link Incorporated. Also, he is active in youth and preteen anti-drug programs in New York. Recently, in Black America, spoke with Duane.
What's Happening as a TV series of the movie Cooley High, which was written by a brilliant writer, Eric Monty. And at the time, I was on Broadway. I was in a play called entitled Thieves, written by Herb Gardner. And about that time, it was that Norman Lear saw me and brought me out to read for good times. And read, you know, me and Bernadette Stanisley read and got down to the last few days. And they kept us over in LA. And then when I got back, I realized that I had not gotten the role they gave it to Ralph Carter, who was in a raising in the sun on Broadway. So I went back to Broadway, finished doing Thieves, and Bud Yorkin, who was a friend and a one-time partner of Norman Lear. He had also come to the play and seen me. And asked me to come out and read for a series, Grady. And I got it as the grandson of Grady, the character off of Samford and Son. I played with the male who played Grady. I played his grandson on the show. And we ran for like 10 weeks, but we were canceled. And it was at that time that Whitney Mayo came up to me. And he said, I got something else for you today.
I think you need to know about it. And I want you to go over there. You know, I want you to check it out. And I flew back to New York and read for Cooley High, the television series, which I was excited about. Because I mean, Cooley High was like one of my favorite films. You know, I grew up. I was a young teenager when that came out. And I read for it and got it and returned right back to LA. And what was Cooley High became what's happening to a lot of different legalities and other issues. And we went right into production. We did a pilot and four replacement episodes. Was it difficult at that time dividing your time between trying to grow into a young adulthood and being a television star? You know, I think that... Is it too much said about that type of lifestyle? No, no. I wouldn't diminish it in any way. There's a lot of concern, you know? There's a lot of responsibility thrown on a young person. There's a great many disproportionate views of the younger individual as well as that young individual's view of themselves and how they place in their own family,
places in society. So there's a lot of concerns that economics, who are all the economics of this young person making so much money so quickly. There's a lot, you know, immaturity, a lot of things of concern. I think, for me, I never viewed it as being a star. Is a job. It's what I've been doing all my life. I come from an entertainment family from the music side. It was just what I did. And I had tutors, so I was still in school. I took a lot of, you know, just pride in doing the school work. And I liked working with a tutor. I'd really got a kick out of it. Having somebody one-on-one, you're studies. And it was the same studies that the other students in my school here in New York were doing. So, you know, I wasn't like, in no way was I being isolated from my regular peers. But at the same time, I was getting kind of preferential academic treatment. And I kind of dug it, you know, I was a kick out of it. And then it seemed time to get away from school and go out on the set and do something technical. For me, no struggle there. Where I think the problems for me came, were just the fact that I wanted to do some of the normal things,
like hang out with the boys. I was a motocross racer. My brother and I in New York, you know, in Long Island in New York City. So, we used to motocross race and by my having to go on location to shoot, I couldn't compete and I couldn't stay in the hunt. And that kind of bothered me because I love racing. You know, I wanted the trophies, I wanted to win. And then you know, I'm camping with your uncle, things like that, that I really love fishing with my father. You know, I couldn't go do those things because I was away. But then I made up for it, you know, because we only worked six months out of the year and the other six months I was back home. And I didn't know her abundance when I got home. Okay. It was cool. It was all good, man. I have nothing bad to say about it. How did you all divide up the day? You had certain times you had to be on a set with a certain time that you had to be with a tutor? Yeah. Required four hours minimum a day of education. Okay. So, for four hours a day, however, the director broke it up. We had to be in the classroom with the tutor and it had to be four hours completed by three o'clock. So, you know, we went back and forth between class, date, and whenever you went into class,
you had to let you stay. I forgot, I forgot the data on it with the exact amount of time they had to leave you in class. You know, they broke it up fairly so that we could do studies as well as get back to rehearsal. And they kind of jokied the rehearsal time around any of the minors on the set, their schedule. Was it difficult for you to maintain a friendship with the individuals in which you grew up with? Being away for six months or did they look at you differently once you became a fixture on television? Yeah, that's a real problem. I had my friends at a hungwith. We had gone to Europe together with the school. We did some traveling in Spain and France and came back. I mean, here we are, you know, African-American males. We traveled around the world together through our school and academics. We did our hanging out. We were on football teams together. We played baseball together. I mean, we had a nice camaraderie. We were all basketball players. And then I always had to be pulled away.
It was the weather it would be that I'm in class and I had no addition in Manhattan. And since I lived in Long Island, I had to be pulled out of class at one o'clock so that I could make it to the city in time for my audition, which I had permission to do, but still a disruptive process a little bit. You know, and I may have made plans with a group after school, but those plans would be broken, you know, when I had to go for an audition. Or the case of my being home for six months and then I had to leave to go shoot. You know, everybody knew. Actually, they were accustomed to me. They understood. But it did disrupt the normal flow. Because whenever I came back, I didn't just fit right back in. Always over here's Hollywood. You had to rearrange yourself. I didn't want to be Hollywood. You know, I wanted to be Hollywood. Hollywood. But, you know, again, it was all good though. It all worked out. You know, my friends were straight up. They were fair. I didn't come back with any kind of blown up, blown out of proportion views of myself. And it usually was in a week or so we got right back to normal.
How does one handle the constant recognition once they go out into the real world? I'm sure everyone has some form of what they believe is their handling on it. Okay. How did you handle it? For me, you know, we're talking about many different periods of my life. We're talking about when it first occurred versus after being on a hit series for two years in a row, versus now that I'm not on a series yet, I have this great recognizability, you know, name and face recognition and having a resurgence of my acting career and my production career. I mean, there was three different types of handling for me. As a teenager coming up, I loved it because I could have any phone number. At least I thought I could have it. I wanted. I fast learned I was not the case, but I enjoyed the popularity because it helped me meet the opposite sex. That phase quickly passed and my privacy became a big issue. And once I lived, you know, on my own, in my own home, with my dog, my car, my stereo,
and my one girlfriend who I was monogamously committed to, now all of a sudden the attention became an issue. Because I didn't want it. I wanted my privacy. So I went to that phase where I had to handle it by just keeping a good strong attention on every time I arranged something, arranged it for the benefit of my keeping private. Later on, I was in college. I didn't have time to deal with it. I didn't care. You know, people recognized me all through New York. I just always took the time to say hello because I appreciated their recognition. You know, and then give me the kind of, you know, proper respect that my work had generated. But I was too busy to even deal with them. I was like, hey, look, I appreciate it. How you doing? Good talk to you. Good to see you. Yeah, a lot of success to you too. Peace out. I was on my way to another class. After college and I got into the business world, I really didn't deal with it because, or I dealt with it, but I didn't tolerate it because I'm in business now. There's really no place for me to be sitting in a place of business,
dealing in production, you know, directing a film, or producing a film, and having to stop from directing and producing to have a conversation with somebody about Dwayne. Sorry, it just does no way it can happen. It's bad for the bottom line. And if you want to talk to me after hours, I'm open. But right now, while we do a production, go back to what you have to get done, and let me do what I have to do. Then I got to the point where now, you know, I've built a couple of companies where we have a multimedia communications company called MusicLink, the MusicLink Network, which we're busy putting online right now. I have a film and television distribution company to the farm market, which is growing rapidly. I'm very busy. Yet, now I'm recognizing how valuable it is that people, even after so many years, still recognize me. And never has it been a bad thing. It's never been negative. Every time somebody's come to me, it's always been something of love and something positive. I appreciate that. I'm 37 years old. I really appreciate that now.
Now, I take the time when I see people in the street and I stop and we talk. I'll sign an autograph. If only the person is willing to have a decent discussion. I'm generally the type that will turn down signing an autograph as, you know, if the whole thing is to end all and be all just to sign my name. Right, me, okay. I'll tell him not to. I'll catch you another time. Maybe we can talk. Because now I'm just getting into the communications. I'm loving it, you know? And it's just beautiful. It makes me feel really good. It's just about music link. How did that start and exactly what does it do? Music link is something that I'm very passionately committed to. It's my opportunity to make good on all my education. I went to school for architecture and for electrical engineering. And then I worked in telecommunications for quite a few years. I was at MCI Communications Corps. After getting my technical handling and starting to apply my education, I really wanted to do something that dealt with wide-scale telecommunications.
Online services and computer services, but for the entertainment industry. Okay. You know, and I had been seeking different ways in thinking about what to do. But a very close friend of mine, Michael Williams, who is in the music industry here in New York. He has a recording studio, a project I'm recording up in Harlem. Michael had called me in California and said, look, I got an idea. And he started throwing it down to me over the phone. And it made absolute sense. I put in all resignations in California. And jump ship came to New York. He and I sat down and for two years did analysis and research and development. Got to all the big boys in the industry and the MCIs and AT&T's and the digital equipment corporations and all the people necessary to understand how you actually do this kind of a large multimedia project. And we put together a system which is a communications device on the computer for music professionals. Hey Wood, Duane Nielsen, former star of the ABC television series,
what's happening and what's happening now? If you have a question or comment or suggestions, ask your future in Black America programs, write us. Also, let us know what radio station you heard us over. The views and opinions expressed on this program are not necessarily those of this station or of the University of Texas at Austin. Until we have the opportunity again for IBA technical producer David Alvarez. I'm John L. Hansen, Jr. Thank you for joining us today and please join us again next week. Cassette copies of this program are available and may be purchased by writing in Black America Cassettes. Communication Building B, UT Austin, Austin, Texas, 78712. That's in Black America Cassettes, Communication Building B, UT Austin, Austin, Texas, 78712. From the University of Texas at Austin, this is the Longhorn Radio Network. I'm John L. Hansen, Jr. Join me this week on in Black America.
I'm John L. Hansen, Jr. Join me this week on in Black America. I think this will trouble me sometimes.
In Black America
Jamie Foxx and Haywood "Dwayne" Nelson
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KUT Radio
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KUT Radio (Austin, Texas)
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This record is part of the Comedy section of the Soul of Black Identity special collection.
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Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
University of Texas at Austin
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Copyright Holder: KUT
Guest: Jamie Foxx
Guest: Haywood
Host: John L. Hanson
Producing Organization: KUT Radio
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KUT Radio
Identifier: IBA47-97 (KUT Radio)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 0:28:00
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Chicago: “In Black America; Jamie Foxx and Haywood "Dwayne" Nelson,” 1997-10-01, KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 20, 2024,
MLA: “In Black America; Jamie Foxx and Haywood "Dwayne" Nelson.” 1997-10-01. KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 20, 2024. <>.
APA: In Black America; Jamie Foxx and Haywood "Dwayne" Nelson. Boston, MA: KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from