If he ever tires of stand-up comedy, Arnez J just might grab a fishing pole and test the waters of professional angling. “The only reason I won’t go pro,” he explains via cell phone from a fishing spot near Norfolk, Virginia, “is because it would take too much time from what I have to do.” And the Denver-native has plenty to do. An acclaimed stand-up he is also an accomplished actor appearing in the plays The Maintenance Man and Friends and Lovers, the latter having been based on a novel by renowned author Eric Jerome Dickey.
As a stand-up comic, though, he has a distinct advantage when it comes to telling fish tales. “I think I do,” he agrees. “Because being that I am a comedian I can do the impressions. I can do the facial expressions. I can (make) you see the hook.”
Occasionally fishing provides some material for his set. “Every now and then,” he says, “I’ll recall a good experience from when I went on a fishing trip. Once this guy brought a gun on the boat. All of a sudden he hooked into a shark. We hear this ‘pop-bang’ noise, and he shoots the shark! We didn’t know that he had a gun on the boat.”
Arnez J. dabbles in current events as well, but tries to cut a wide swath across the comedy landscape. “What I do is life experience,” he explains. “I’m not really into politics, but I do bring (it) up when necessary. Everyday life experiences. More of the world, rather than just my culture. I’m more of a worldly person.”
A worldly person that tries to be home as often as possible. “I train my son,” he says. “(He is) baseball phenom. He’s been looked at by a lot of people. I try to bill shows around him. Sometimes it’s hard but I try, I really want to be there especially while he’s still young.” Arnez J is not your typical high-strung parent of an athlete, well, not usually. “Have you ever (been) to a baseball game where parents don’t agree with the call? Nothing different,” but he adds, “my wife keeps me pretty much grounded, although she will get hyper, she’s a Detroit girl she has to. She pretty much keeps me grounded.”
Arnez J performs at The Funny Bone on the Levee Friday Feb. 26 through Sunday Feb. 28