Comedian Mike E. Winfield Talks Highs and Lows of Dating, being nice, and his upcoming Amazon Prime comedy special.
Written by Olivia Cerza on July 17, 2019
Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, stand up comedian Mike E. Winfield played a recurring character on the hit series The Office. He’s also been on Comedy Central, Netflix, BET, and so much more.
Mike stopped by Vocalo studios to chat with Jill Hopkins about his work on Brad Paisley’s Comedy Rodeo, PIMP, and his Amazon Prime special which is set to release next month.
You were recently a contributor to Brad Paisley’s Comedy Rodeo special on Netflix. It seems like we are in the middle of a Black Country Renaissance right now! How did you end up getting involved in that special?
You have to ask Brad about that one. I was placed on this show with two other comedians and I wrote a joke about one of his songs. Before that, I had never really listened to Brad Paisley, so I went through his music and discovered that this dude is kind of funny. I found a song that I thought was amusing and I wrote a joke about it that he ended up loving. He was like, “bro, did you just make that up just now?” And I said yes, even though I worked on it for a week and a half. People think you make this all up on the spot, you know? The joke was about one of his hit singles, and his fans loved it. That song made me laugh.
I’m so happy that this black comedy & white country bridge has finally been built after all these years.
Let’s talk about PIMP. What is it like working alongside people like Keke Palmer?
Well, Keke, let me tell you, she is so prolific. She’s so beyond her years of knowledge. She is younger than me and knows all of this! It was so much fun watching her work on set. Sometimes I found myself caught up in her acting instead of doing my part. Being a comedian on set while shooting a drama, the wheels are different. I think it’s easier for myself to perform in a drama because now I’m drawn back. I don’t have to be all big, comical, and funny. The energy on set was dark. It wasn’t all happiness and bliss every day, but it was fights and conflict. I was in awe of all of it. It was an experience.
You’re on tour now. What is the experience of filming The Office, which is a sitcom, versus just going out on tour? Which do you prefer: sleeping in your own bed or seeing the world?
Well, now that I’m writing again, so everything is fresh. So now I’m touring with fresh material, which helps me feel fresh as a comedian. You don’t feel like your touring 7 month old jokes. Everything about tour right now is exciting, so I know that I’m bringing that energy every night onstage. It’s not always fun. It’s a great job and I’d never take it for granted, but it’s not always as fun as it is now. The thing about performing comedy is it’s all in the moment. Whereas when you’re acting, you do your thing and that’s great as well, but you don’t know how it was received until months later.
Thanks for talking with us, now we know you’re a nice person. Nice is the new cool.
You know what, though? It may be! Comedy is in a transition right now. Mean comedy is almost going out the door. It’s a bit hard for me because I’m a fan of all of it. But I do see this new slower paced transition of an idea-based generation. I do see comedy moving somewhere else. I’ve found my own lane and that’s the only good part about this for me, that I don’t have to necessarily try to fit into any square box. I’m just somewhere else and that’s great. That’s how you get people to only want to see you and no one else.
Mike E. Winfield is currently on the Chicago leg of his tour. He is performing at Rosemont’s Zanies until July 20th. More info can be found here.
More info on Mike E. Winfield at his Website
Photos Courtesy of KP Comedy