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JB Smoove backstage at the 2014 American Comedy Awards

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The 2014 American Comedy Awards (which NBC televised on May 8, 2014) returned after a 13-year hiatus. The annual awards show was originally on Comedy Central from 1987 to 2001. The 2014 ceremony was previously filmed at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, where some of the best entertainers from TV, movies and stand-up comedy gathered to honor their favorites. Nominations for the awards were voted on by members of the American Comedy Awards Voting Committee, a panel consisting of 860 working professionals from the comedy community including writers, performers, producers, directors and stand-up comedians.

Winners at the 2014 American Comedy Awards included Bill Cosby, Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy, Bill Hader, Will Ferrell, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Jim Gaffigan. (Ferrell, McCarthy, Colbert and Stewart did not attend the ceremony, but most had prerecorded acceptance speeches.) A complete list of winners can be found at the official American Comedy Awards website. Here is what this celebrity had to say backstage during a brief press conference in the American Comedy Awards press room.

JB SMOOVE

Is “Curb Your Enthusiasm” coming back for another season?

No word yet. Larry David is very rich, and Larry David is in no rush to come back to “Curb” because HBO’s check is not that big.

You’re the current host of “Last Comic Standing.” What have you noticed about the contestants in the upcoming season of the show?

These comics are amazing. We’ve got a mixed bag of new comics and veterans. These comics are not as seasoned, but these comics are sponges. They’re a bunch of sponges running around. They’re willing to learn.

This season of “Last Comic Standing” is not like any other season. Number one is: JB Smoove is the host. Number two is: You as an audience will learn a lot more about comedy and the process.

Some of these guys run to the bathroom before they go on stage; some of these guys are nervous backstage. You’re going to see all the inner workings of a comedy mind this season. JB Smoove will bring it to you.

Will “Last Comic Standing” have comedy mentors?

Of course. You’ve got to have a comedy mentor. You can’t have these young comics going on stage thinking they know every damn thing because they don’t know every damn thing. You’ve got to give them something. Somebody’s got to be that sponge.

If you squeeze a sponge that knows everything, guess what happens? All that knowledge comes out and goes into another sponge. And you’ve got to be man enough to absorb from another sponge. That’s how sponges work. We absorb each other! Mentors have got to give. I’m a sex mentor sometimes.

What can you say about your upcoming movies?

I have a movie coming out called “Search Party.” It’s directed by one of the producers [Scot Armstrong] of “The Hangover.” You won’t recognize me [in “Search Party”], I promise you. You’ll think it’s somebody else. I won’t say what role I’ll play, but let’s just say that I’m a bad guy.

I might go down as one of the funniest bad guys you’ll ever see in your life. I’ve got a big old gun, a big old beard, a Mohawk and all gold fronts. In one scene, I kill myself.

What’s the best advice you ever got?

The best advice I ever got was, “Be yourself at all times whether you’re a comedian or a person.” Your progress and your path depends on your past.

You can say, “That’s why phone keeps ringing, because I was nice to that guy. I ate lunch with that guy 10 years ago, and now he now he’s working in a studio, calling me for a job.” Don’t burn no damn bridges!

For more info: American Comedy Awards website

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