Born Jafari Ferguson, Michael Blackson decided to change his name simply because he thought it was boring. An obvious play on Michael Jackson, Blackson moved to the U.S. in 1987. He immediately began dreaming of being a stand-up comic. To date, Blackson has been called one of the most original stand-up comics in the country. His performances leave audiences in tears.
Michael Blackson, a.k.a., ‘The African King of Comedy’ has been entertaining audiences across the country and around the globe for more than a decade. Inspired by Eddie Murphy, Blackson began developing his comedic talent in 1992 in the unkind comedy clubs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before he hit the jackpot, Michael performed in many well-known comedy competitions, including: the 1992 U.S.A. Comedy Central Tour in Philadelphia; the 1993 Schlitz Malt Liquor Comedy Tour in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; and the 1996 Urban Comedy Festival in New York City; the Laffapolooza Comedy Festival in Atlanta; and the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition in Oakland, California. Blackson’s comedic appeal grew from his involvement with BET’s ComicView series, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, Showtime at Harlem, and Live in Hollywood. However, it was in a Los Angeles comedy club where Blackson got his big break.
Michael Blackson moved up the acting ladder with his most notable on-screen performance as ‘Angry African Man’ in the 2000 comedy film Next Friday, produced by Ice Cube. After his scene stealing performance in Next Friday, fans wanted more. He drew praise and a fan following like no other. Blackson would not disappoint. In 2005 he released his top-selling comedy sketch CD entitled Modasucka: Welcome to America. That same year, he made appearances on 30 Rock, P. Diddy’s Bad Boys of Comedy on HBO and starred in a commercial for the Chappelle Show on Comedy Central. In 2007, he was in the movie Repos with Master P. He’s appeared in some of the hottest music videos as well as talk shows and skits on rap mix tapes. His appearances have him trending on Twitter regularly. In 2011, Michael starred on Starz’s Martin Lawrence Presents 1st Amendment Stand-up, which had three million views on YouTube and Showtime’s Shaquille O’Neal’s All Star Comedy Jam. He’s never short of work. Blackson appeared on the Judge Joe Brown show in 2011 as a defendant for not showing up for a scheduled gig. He lost the case.
There’s no mistaking Blackson for any other comedian when he takes the stage. Along with his film and television endeavors, Blackson continues to entertain his fans as the headliner for live shows at comedy clubs, universities and special events. He’ll be bringing his one-of-a kind, must-see stand-up performance to three Zanies audiences this Sunday night, Valentine’s Day.