When Roy Wood Jr. started interning in morning radio and working in his native Birmingham, Ala., he initially thought he might be the next Ricky Smiley. Wood’s determination and hustle, as well as his talent for prank calls, led him on a slightly different path slowly but surely up the show business ladder. From MC and feature in one comedy club after another through the South, Wood built up his brand and his comedy material, and by 2010, he was ready for Last Comic Standing, where he finished third in the NBC contest’s seventh season. After a year of theater touring with his fellow finalists, Wood landed a gig co-starring on the TBS sitcom Sullivan and Son. Several appearances on Conan and ESPN’s SportsNation later, Wood made his biggest move yet: Becoming a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, where his first night on the air coincided with that of his new boss and host, Trevor Noah. Wood broke down all of the keys to his success and the life lessons along the way.
So let’s get to it!