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Chicago-born actor/Comedian Deon Cole is one of the many comedians who hail from the midwest city, that’s also brought us Bernie Mac, Sherri Shepherd, DeRay Davis and of course, on the music side, Common, Kanye and R. Kelly. Cole grew up on the South Side in one of its roughest areas.

“I’m basically from the wild hundreds,” he says. “Everywhere nobody wants to go.”

On the TV sitcom Black-ish Cole plays Charlie Telphy, the kind of coworker everyone knows – a guy who never seems to know what he’s doing although he’s got a good job at an ad agency. What people may not know is that Cole’s a veteran standup comedian and writer who also writes for Conan O’Brien. 

“I still write and I do a lot of freelance. I submit stuff and if he wants to do it, we do it. Or they send me stuff and I’ll turn it in,” says Cole.  He doesn’t write for Charlie, though.

“The writers over there have really honed Charlie as a character,” he says. “I just show up and say like OK, let’s do that, then,” laughs Cole. “I have a friend in Chicago and I think of him when I play this dude. One day I was in the car with them and it was raining and he had the windshield wipers on and he cut them off and I said ‘Why’d you cut them off’ and he said they got in his way.”

Even Cole admits he has no idea how Charlie got his job. “They was really looking for somebody that day.”

Listen to the interview above and find out what things make you ‘black-ish.’

Cole returns to the Chi this weekend,  at The Promontory this Saturday, May 9th.

Click the link above to hear the entire interview!

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