UDC: “We Are Black History”: Royale Watkins
UDC: “We Are Black History”
UDC Alumnus – Comedian, TV Writer, Producer, Director and Actor
Growing up as one of 14 children gave UDC alumnus Royale Watkins plenty of material to draw from in his early comedy acts. It was humor that kept him out of trouble and helped him stand out on campus.
The University of the District of Columbia was the place that he honed his comedic skills. A fixture in the game room, he made it his unofficial stage for cracking jokes and entertaining the small crowd. His inspiration to launch a career as a comedian came after an upper classmen, Aldean Pearson, hosted a homecoming fashion show and won over the crowd using Watkins’ jokes from the lunch table.
His college career was interrupted in his third year at UDC, after he was pulled out for Operation Desert Storm with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, after signing up after high school.
“During my time in Desert Storm, there was a part of me that wanted to perform but there was only so much of that I could do—especially when you’re in a space where people are losing their lives,” Watkins said.
However, his big break came with Def Comedy Jam, shortly after coming back from Desert Storm. Again, Watkins pulled from material close to his heart – his 13 siblings.
Inspired by Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, and Damon Wayans, he worked his way up the ladder in the world of stand-up comedy as a performer, writer and producer, to becoming a networking entrepreneur.
In 2009, he partnered with film and television star Anthony Anderson to create the “Mixtape Comedy Show.” What started off as a joke between the two friends on Facebook, has grown into one of New York City’s most talked about nights in stand-up comedy. The team recently produced their 74th show and attracted the support of Chris Rock, Tom Papa, Amy Schumer, and Jerry Seinfeld.
Watkins has written and produced notable shows such as “Def Comedy Jam,” “BET Honors” and “TV Land Awards,” and recently produced a fourth season of American Family Insurance’s branded entertainment property, “Stand Up For Family,” hosted by Bill Bellamy. As a sign of the consistent quality of his work, he was also tapped to develop and serve as executive producer of “Centric Comedy All-Stars.” A two-hour comedy special featuring some of the best known names in urban comedy, the show was recognized with a Silver Telly Award. Watkins also recently delivered four 30-second spots for Little Caesar’s to air on BET/Centric Networks as well as on two hour-long “Best of” comedy specials.
With 25 years under his belt as a comic, 10 years as a writer and now producing large-scale comedy projects, Watkins has established himself as a much-sought-after comedy consultant.
His most recent work includes co-directing Lil Rel Howery’s one hour comedy special “RELevent” for Comedy Central, produced by Kevin Hart’s HartBeat Productions.
His long list of accomplishments include being the creator/executive producer, Centric Comedy All-Stars; producer, Stand Up For Family; creator/host/producer, Mixtape Comedy Show; consultant/booker, Parlor Live Comedy Club; producer, Foxxhole Celebrity Weekend at Caesars Atlantic City; consulting producer, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam; writer/producer, BET Hip Hop Awards; writer/producer, BET Honors; writer/producer, TV Land Awards; writer, Are We There Yet; writer, Til Death; writer, All of Us; actor/producer, Built to Last.
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