For SiriusXM documentary on Redd Foxx, Jamie Foxx tells why he chose the same stage surname

SiriusXM will broadcast a newly updated audio documentary Friday about the late comedy legend Redd Foxx, on what would have been his birthday.

Foxx recorded several “party albums” of stand-up long before TV viewers came to love him as the star of Sanford and Son. Foxx died from a heart attack in 1991 while rehearsing his then-new sitcom, The Royal Family. He was 68.

In “Redd Foxx, We’ve Come to Join You,” comedian Jamie Foxx dishes about how he ditched his birth name, Eric Bishop, for the stage name that was one half female — to try to trick the people running the open mic into picking his name — and one half tribute to Redd. The updated documentary will air at 5 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 9, 2016, on The Foxxhole, SiriusXM channel 96.

“I changed my name early in the game because I couldn’t get on as “Eric Bishop,” which is my birth name, because there were so many guys who would go down to the potluck, which was like open mic night. And I went on as Eric Bishop. I did really well. But like the comics ran the list at the time, so they wouldn’t put me back on. So I went to “Evening at the Improv” and I changed my name. I put down all these girl names. Stacy Brown. Tracy Green. I put down Jamie Foxx. I put down Jamie Foxx because they would only pick a few girls to go on the set, and they didn’t know if I was a girl or not. They just saw the name on the list. So they picked Jamie Foxx. And the reason I chose Foxx was of course because Red Foxx is one of my favorite comedians, one of my favorite shows is “Sanford and Son.” And the two “xx”s. So it was a tip of the hat to him and then they chose that name and the name stuck. I’ve got to be thankful for him for blazing the trail as a comedian and allowing me to sort of ride on his coattails.”

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Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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