Comedy and Tragedy, The Art of Anthony Griffith
How did Anthony Griffith go from a childhood home in inner-city Chicago to big-time show business? The answer is simple: hard, relentless work, comedy and tragedy. As a college student, Anthony discovered a love for entertaining. During those years, he performed his act as often as possible and at any venue that would allow him onstage. He braved comedy clubs, hotels and even strip clubs. And all the while he was single-minded when it came to mastering the difficult art of making strangers laugh.
These labors paid off during the 1990s. Anthony began appearing on national television: HBO, the syndicated talent competition “Star Search,” and NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” The latter program, of course, represented a career pinnacle for comics. Over the years, Anthony’s act has continued to flourish on TV; he’s appeared on Comedy Central, on the Jay Leno incarnation of “The Tonight Show,” and in the HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
These days, however, you’re just as likely to find Anthony at a church as on a TV show. No, he hasn’t become a minister; he’s joined “Apostles of Comedy.” This tour brings comedians of faith, comedy and tragedy to places of worship all over the United States.
Anthony keeps his material profanity-free and family-appropriate whether he’s appearing in sacred or secular venues. In fact, when he toured with Bernie Mac, that great comedian told Anthony how he appreciated that he wasn’t “dirty.”
Anthony has acted on TV, on the stage and in movies — and not always in comedic roles. For example, he won an Emmy for his work in the dramatic TV movie “Our Father,” which aired on USA Network in 2001. And his most heartbreaking artistic effort to date was the story he recounted to an audience in Aspen, Colo., as a contributor to the nonprofit storytelling organization Moth Stories. Called “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times,” it was a gripping account of his two-year-old daughter’s battle with cancer and death in 1990. A video of this talk has received nearly 1.4 million views on YouTube so far.
Despite the comedy and tragedy Anthony has faced at various stages of his life, he manages to keep eliciting huge laughs from every kind of audience. As such, an Anthony Griffith performance isn’t merely entertaining; it’s inspiring and rousing. The best comedians understand comedy and tragedy.
Originally posted 2013-11-13 05:33:51.