Chris D’Elia grew up watching comedian Eddie Murphy command the stage. Being able to make someone laugh, he realized, is a powerful thing.
Acting came first for D’Elia, who, while in high school in Los Angeles, had guest roles on the series “Chicago Hope,” a drama produced by his dad, Emmy Award-winning director/producer Bill D’Elia. He went on to bigger television roles on “Whitney,” “Undateable,” “Alone Together” and, more recently, a supporting role on “The Good Doctor.”
Still, D’Elia prefers cracking jokes. He started performing stand-up in 2006 and went on to make network comedy specials, including Comedy Central’s 2013 “White Male. Black Comic” and “Man on Fire” for Netflix in 2017. He’s one of 47 comics featured on the Netflix-produced series “Comedians of the World,” released this month. He’ll also be in the upcoming drama film “Life in a Year.”
The 38-year-old comedian brings his Follow the Leader comedy tour to the Pikes Peak Center on Thursday.
“Stand-up is first for me. When it comes to stand-up, you’re in control of it. You can do comedy however you want. If you’re an actor, you have to follow the script,” D’Elia said. “Comedy is the most ‘me.’ I’ve always felt like I was a comedian.”
Though he doesn’t drink or do drugs, some of his most famous bits have to do with observing others under the influence. His first bit that went viral was about drunken girls: “Nothing matters to a drunk girl at all. Nothing. ... Drunk girls are the only people on the planet that can almost throw up and not care about it at all. Right? If you’re a dude and you almost throw up, you know, game over, immediately,” he said during “White Male. Black Comic.”
He’s not concerned about offending anyone with his quick sarcasm. “I’m not sorry for any of the jokes I’ve ever made in my life,” he said.
D’Elia has hosted a wide-ranging weekly podcast, “Congratulations with Chris D’Elia,” since February 2017. No subject is taboo.
“If I think it’s funny, I’m just going to say it. I don’t think about that at all, and I guess that’s the right way to do it if you’re a comedian. I haven’t gotten into much trouble yet. Not really,” he said.
Asked if he has a professional bucket list of things to do before he turns 40, D’Elia said, “I already am, like, way more successful than I ever thought I’d be. I’m happy as —. I’m very fortunate.
“But I’ve always wanted to host ‘Saturday Night Live.’”
One think he hates? Hecklers. “I don’t like when people heckle. People think it’s OK because there are a lot of videos online of me interacting with the crowd, but it’s not OK. I can’t stand it. If you want to come to the show, come. But if you’re going to heckle, don’t come.”
MICHELLE KARAS, THE GAZETTE, MICHELLE.KARAS@GAZETTE.COM