Preacher Lawson impressed the judges and fans alike during his appearances on America's Got Talent Season 12 and America's Got Talent: The Champions. Now he is putting his standup comedy front and center again with his debut special, Get to Know Me, courtesy of Comedy Dynamics. Lawson discusses his dating life, being a vegan and losing $1 million to "someone who still has chores."
Speaking with PopCulture in an exclusive interview, Lawson dove into his writing process, filming the special and why he selected Chicago as the location. As a former resident of both Memphis and Orlando, Lawson had options for his "hometown show." He ultimately opted for Chicago and The Vic theater. His reason was that the Windy City is known for its comedy and live performances.
"To be honest with you, I had never been to, I've done shows around Chicago, but Chicago just has a good, nice city for comedy," Lawson told PopCulture. "And I hadn't been there and I didn't want to go to Orlando because I was saving that. That's my hometown. ... I was like well, I hadn't been to Chicago as a comedy, that's a comedy city. That's a performance city. And I wanted to go, that's why I ended up going with Chicago and it was amazing. I couldn't ask for anything better for my special. I loved it."
Preacher Lawson: Get To Know Me premieres on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Dish, Spectrum, Youtube, Google Play, Vimeo and more on November 24, 2020!@PreacherLawson— Comedy Dynamics (@comedydynamics) October 24, 2020
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Throughout his special, Lawson finds a way to continuously add punchlines to his bits, which keeps the joke going for the different audience members. He will say one line, sparking laughter, and then throw in a follow-up immediately after, as evidenced by one bit about Snickers bars and children stealing. He manages to mix in a reference to both America's Got Talent and a former R&B singer in a matter of moments. Some of the audience members catch the added lines while others are too distracted by laughter.
"Yes, I do find that, but that's a lot of my jokes," Lawson explained. "That's the way a lot of my jokes are. I'll just say something afterward. And it's really for the people that are done laughing. There's people — sometimes when people are laughing — they'll miss the bit. Some people think it's as funny, but they don't think it's as funny, so they're just laughing a normal amount and then they stop laughing so they can hear me and I'll do that bit there."
As fans of America's Got Talent know, Lawson is one of the most energetic performers in standup. He dances, jumps and runs around during his sets, never seeming to run out of energy. Two of the biggest names in comedy history — Steve Harvey and the late Robin Williams — also drew attention for their stage presence and never staying in one spot. Lawson does the same while showing off his acrobatic abilities.
"You think I'm more energetic than all those? Oh, wow. That's so cool," Lawson said about comparisons to Harvey and Williams. "Listen, I'm just myself. Be honest with you, I didn't take medication. I was supposed to be on medication, but my mom was like, he'll grow out of it. She was wrong; I didn't grow out of it. I just kind of grew into it. That's just who I am. I was always hyper as a kid. I'm not normal off stage and then I go on stage and I'm like, 'Ha ha ha!' I just kind of have always been up there."
Lawson has found that smaller stages don't exactly fit his style of comedy, which forces him to adjust his set. However, he has none of these limitations with The Vic. The massive Chicago theater has plenty of room for him to run around, and he does just that while also making his goofy faces and keeping a frantic pace.
Preacher Lawson's debut comedy special, Get to Know Me, is out Nov. 24 via the Comedy Dynamics Network on Amazon, iTunes, Youtube, and more. Comedy Dynamics founder Brian Volk-Weiss directed the special. Cisco Henson, Josh Lieberman and Michael Rotenberg served as producers.