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NON-STOP HIP-HOP: Comedy champ

Lacey's Nate Jackson blows up at the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition

NATE JACKSON: He's got the teeth for Hollywood. Photo courtesy of MySpace

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The Puget Sound is not particularly known as a comedy haven, although Tacoma's Ralph Porter is a veteran of the laugh circuit. In terms of this column, the marriage of hip-hop and comedy has always been a necessary fixture, from the brilliant antics of The Fat Boys to Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam. 

Exemplified by rising stars such as Lacey's Nate Jackson, the marriage - although rocky and on the verge of divorce (like half of the relationships of you married people reading this column, statistically speaking) - exists in a love/hate world. Black comedy often has resided in a box of stereotypes, leaving brilliant minds such as Paul Mooney and Robert Townsend in the shadows. Jackson isn't having it; he's out there getting out of the box, and he's been following a victorious parade of laughs all the way, most recently through the legendary Bay Area Black Comedy Competition.

I had to chop it up with him.

In the biggest field of comedians ever to compete in the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition, you can imagine how shocked I was to see "Seattle's Nate Jackson" bring the prize back to the Puget Sound. Although the brother gets around - doing his thing from Olympia to Tacoma to Seattle and beyond - Jackson represents Lacey! It always makes me laugh when people automatically claim or are affixed to Seattle when that's not where they're from. 

"You're turfin', Jose!" laughs Jackson in reference to my delineation of city representation. "I'm from Lacey, but anytime I'm out of town and I tell people I'm from Washington they think I mean D.C. So I reference Seattle so they know where I'm from."

Jackson's victory in the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition on April 17 was significant not only for his career but for the entire region. He's the only Pacific Northwest comedian ever to bring the coveted national prize back to our rainy region. Past winners have walked a golden path to Hollywood and beyond, including: Jamie Foxx, D'Militant, DL Hughley, Don "DC" Curry, Mark Curry, Nick Cannon, Katt Williams, and Chris Tucker. 

"Nate was on fire, instantly. The crowd really gave it up to him. He had his people in the house," says competition founder Tony Spires, referring to the reportedly more than 35 people who traveled from Washington to support Jackson in the Bay Area.

Jackson's story is a remarkable one, and the show of support from Washington to California is not a surprise once you know his tale.  He comes from a household of brilliant educators, educational administrators, entrepreneurs, and upstanding community members. The 26-year-old fell very close to his family tree, a WSU Cougar who transferred and finished his bachelor's degree in Organizational Communication at Eastern Washington University in Cheney. 

So, basically, a brother does not fit the buffoonery/bamboozled stereotype. Jackson's humor is not only intelligent, witty and hilarious, but he could've had your job too if he wanted it. 

A hustler by any standard, Jackson promotes comedy shows all over the Puget Sound, and continues to apply his degree as an administrative intern and contributor with Street Beat on Seattle's KUBE 93 FM.

With all this success, it seems the only area not clicking for Jackson right now is with the ladies. 

"It's hard to manage my career and women," laughs Jackson.  "She wants to go to the movies; I wanna be in the movies!  It's hard to please a woman."

Don't get it twisted. All of this has not been easy to achieve, and Jackson's path is not an easy one to travel. He's been grinding on the comedy circuit since he was 19 years old.  He's remained optimistic because he enjoys what he does and so do his fans. 

"I'm funny - not trying to be cocky, but people laugh at my comedy. They like it," says Jackson.  "That keeps me going." 

Nate Jackson

Thursday, May 20, 8 p.m.
Cheers Bar and Grill, 4110 S. Meridian, Puyallup

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Nate Jackson said on May. 17, 2010 at 3:42pm

This wednesday, May 19th... Nate Jackson headlines the Parlor Live Comedy Club for one night only! doors at 8pm showtime 9pm. for more information please go to the

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