The comedy scene

‘Daily Show’s’ Wyatt Cenac headlining the Friends of Nature Music Festival

 
 
cenac
cenac

Wyatt Cenac made us laugh for four seasons as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His adventures took him as far away as Sweden on a quest to discover whether socialism was destroying the attractive populace, and he manned the puppet version of former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who was forbidden by party muckety-mucks from appearing on the show during elections season. Suddenly last December, Cenac traded in his fake press credentials to pursue other interests like standup, which he’ll be doing Sunday night at the Friends of Nature Music Festival at Virginia Key.

What made you leave “The Daily Show?”

I had and have other aspirations and rather than have my attention split between trying to do the best I can and trying to work on my own goals. It seemed like it was a good time to take a leave and bet on myself. Hopefully I don’t come up snake eyes.

What was your favorite moment as a correspondent?

I remember doing a field piece at Sonia Sotomayor’s old high school. I didn’t have the awful pit of nerves that I initially had when you first start and you are interviewing people and they are not in on the joke. You always feel like ‘Oh, I hope I don’t make this person cry.’ And any of the ones when I got to do stuff with the other correspondents like when John Oliver and I went to Rhinebeck, N.Y., to cover Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. We just goofed off all day.

You came back to tell John Oliver how bad he was doing as a sub for Jon Stewart this summer. Was it like a family reunion?

It was great to see everybody. They changed the office after I left. They put down a nice wood floor in part of the studio, which I took personally, like they thought I would pee on the new floor. But that happened to me in high school; the year after I graduated they changed out the carpet and did a bunch of renovations.

You co-starred in an HBO pilot with Kanye West that never got picked up. Can the rapper add comedian to his list of titles?

I got to spend a good amount of time with him. He was the first to admit that he wasn’t the best actor or improviser, but he had an idea about what he thought was funny and he really deferred to everyone else. He wanted to surround himself with people that he knew were good in the hope that he would rise to meet them. There’s a certain genius in knowing these are my weaknesses and if I surround myself with talented people they will cover for me.

Is standup addictive?

There’s definitely an addictive quality. If you have a bad set you have a hunger to get back on stage and wash the taste out of your mouth. If you have a great set you have a hunger to get back on stage to recapture that feeling. It is unique: The way you can make a connection with the audience where they bear with you every step of the way even when you go for a long chunk without a big laugh. When the big laugh comes, they feel it and the laughter becomes the release of all this tension. In that way it creates a bit of an endorphin rush.

Amy Reyes

Tickets/info: www.fonfest.comý

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • Throwback Thursday

    What’s trending for Throwback Thursday/Flashback Friday: Selena Gomez and her Emmys jumpsuit

    Surprise, surprise: Selena Gomez was all smiles Sunday night at Variety’s pre-Emmys party. It was refreshing to see the sometimes-glum singer-actress actually looking happy for a change. Maybe the upbeat red silk jumpsuit Gomez had on lifted her spirits and took her mind off her wayward ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. The high-neck, long-sleeve vintage-y get-up was a nice change from all the skin and cleavage exposed around town.

  •  

Black

    Celebrity birthdays on Aug 28

    Actor David Soul is 71. Actress Barbara Bach is 68. Singer Wayne Osmond is 63. Actor Daniel Stern is 57. Actress Jennifer Coolidge is 53. Director David Fincher is 52. Country singer Shania Twain is 49. Actor Jack Black is 45. Actor Jason Priestley is 45. Country singer LeAnn Rimes is 32. Actor Armie Hammer is 28. Rock singer Florence Welch is 28. Actor/singer Samuel Larsen (“Glee”) is 23. Actress Quvenzhane Wallis is 11. Reality star Alana Thompson (“Honey Boo Boo”) is 9.

  • At the movies

    Brosnan, Pierce Brosnan in ‘The November Man’

    You want a suave, dashing and debonair movie star?

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category