Gary Owen is the only white comic to host BET’s Comic View, and many years later, he’s bringing his whole family to the network in the reality series, The Gary Owen Show, debuting in October 2016. Not something you might have expected from a kid growing up in a trailer park with an abusive stepfather in southern Ohio. Gary always wanted to be a stand-up comedian, but he enlisted in the Navy straight out of high school. It was only when he was stationed in San Diego that he could use his leave hours to hit the comedy clubs there and in Los Angeles for open mics. He talks to me about all of that, how he sustained himself in the decade between getting a role in the Jamie Foxx movie Held Up and his eventual success with House of Payne and the Think Like a Man films, and how the death of his brother from a drug overdose changed Gary’s outlook on comedy. All of that, plus Gary’s decision to have his black wife and mixed-race children on camera with him in BET’s The Gary Owen Show.
So let’s get to it!