2016 has been the year of years for comedian Quincy Jones, and it’s barely halfway over. His break-out appearance of Ellen led to Quincy getting his first HBO special. He has also popped up on Conan, CNN and WTF With Marc Maron, following major features in the Los Angeles Times, GQ and the Boston Globe, leading this writer to wonder what else the Seattle native could possibly accomplish this year.
Quincy returns to the area on Jun. 30 with a headlining appearance at Brooklyn’s Littlefield. In advance of the Littlefield appearance, Quincy spoke to Downtown about his past, present and future. He can followed on Twitter and visited online at notthatquincyjones.com
The past six months have been quite the rollercoaster for you. Is this the most comfortable that you have ever felt as a comic?
Quincy Jones: Comfortable? I don’t think one can ever truly feel comfortable, but I feel a little more secure and respected as a comic.
Prior to this, did you ever feel as if you no longer had to worry about keeping a side job or doing something else for a living?
QJ: I’m a workaholic, so I always worked a few jobs especially here in Los Angeles. I now don’t have to make coffee drinks to pay rent and that’s the best feeling in the world. NO MORE LATTES! (laughs) One does still have to work to stay in this position.
Now that you’ve accomplished your goal of having a special on HBO, do you have a new goal that you are working towards?
QJ: I’m working on a show with my friends Peter and Frank. I’m also trying to hit the road a little more, working on my health, possibly writing a book, and working on an album. Trying to stay busy!
Was having a special on HBO everything you had dreamed it would be?
QJ: HBO is an amazing company and they have welcomed me in and treated me like family. It wasn’t everything I thought it would be, it was so much more! To think I’m on the channel I watch the most — man, it’s an amazing feeling!
Is that the accomplishment that you’re most proud of? Or is there something else that you look back on most fondly?
QJ: Comedically, this year has been the craziest! I think the special airing is the most, followed by being on CNN, and Conan. It just inspired me to work harder to get back on these programs or create my own.
Has the real Quincy Jones reached out to you? Or anyone else in his family?
QJ: No, but I would love to hear from Quincy Jones or Rashida. (laughs)
Do you have a favorite Quincy Jones production?
QJ: “Give Me The Night” by George Benson! The use of the guitars and keys and background singers is amazing. Makes me dance and reminds me of growing up in my mom’s house. I LOVE this song and of course every MJ collabo.
On your recent appearance on WTF, you had mentioned that getting onto that podcast was one of your goals. Do you remember the first time you had heard that show?
QJ: I first heard the show back in 2012 when I was loving Hannibal Burress and wanted to know everything about him.
How does the on-air Marc Maron compare to the off-air Marc Maron?
QJ: Marc is a really nice guy who is his honest self. He’s genuine, nice, and most importantly, funny and hardworking. Very self-aware.
You’ll be performing at Littlefield on Jun. 30. Will you be doing new material? A mix of old and new?
QJ: I’m about 40 to 45 minutes into my new hour. So it’ll be new. I just hope people come and my friends aren’t performing to empty chairs. (laughs)
What do you remember about the first time you ever performed in New York?
QJ: The Stand, and Broadway, and UCB East were the first places and I will never forget the amazing staff, crowds, and me falling head over heels in love with performing in the comedic Mecca. I felt like I had truly arrived!
When you’re not busy with your career, how do you like to spend your free time?
QJ: I love movies, shopping for vinyl I’m never home to listen to, karaoke, and traveling. Family is important, so I try to make my rounds to see them. A simple man who really just enjoys life in all of its confusing emotional splendor!
Finally, Quincy, any words for the kids?
QJ: No comic’s journey is the same. Don’t worry about who has what and when they have it. Set a goal and work towards that diligently. Remember; no one in history has ever worked hard, been kind, and gotten nothing in return. Relax, enjoy the ride and realize how much fun comedy is and we are lucky to do this even with all the B.S. that comes with it.