For comedian Aries Spears, sports has always played a major part of his life.
Spears, most famous as a regular on the Fox sketch comedy show MADtv (1997-2005), was born in Chicago and naturally became a Michael Jordan fan. He moved to New Jersey at age 11 and tried to take up boxing.
“I had two problems with that, though," Spears said. "I didn’t like getting hit, and I didn’t like getting into shape.”
So Spears turned to comedy at age 14 and hasn't stopped since. He still includes athletes in his stand-up act. You might hear him riffing off Shaquille O'Neal, Mike Tyson and even his idol Jordan.
“Athletes don’t really take what I do seriously, and they are generally flattered by it if they hear about it,” said Spears, who will perform Friday night at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston and Saturday at Comedy Connection in Chicopee, Mass. “They know that I’m there to make people laugh and I get paid to do it.”
Expect some jokes about Jay-Z and the New Jersey Nets, who will move to Brooklyn this fall.
“They were the main attraction in our state. There is nothing else going on,” Spears said. (Guess he forgot about the NHL's Devils and the NFL's Jets and Giants!) “This is just horrible. I’ll need to do some Jay-Z impressions for my show.”
That's how he has reinvented himself to break away from the comedy pack. Check out all his videos on YouTube with impressions of athletes and rappers, including LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg and DMX.
“I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I have this God-given ability to do impressions. I think I was just born with it,” Spears said. “I could mold myself like other comedians and try to make movies, but I do love strip clubs, booze and having fun. I have these Michael Jordan desires but Dennis Rodman habits.”