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James Davis Discusses ‘Hood Adjacent’s’ Comedic, Informative Outlook on Black Culture

Comedian James Davis is a new voice on Comedy Central. As the star and brains behind Hood Adjacent with James Davis, he celebrates unsung aspects of Black culture, while informing everyone else through hilarious interviews and skits. In a phone interview he talked about the origins of the show, what topics are off limits and his geeky love of golf.

In the opening of the show, Davis explains that he grew up in South Central, but not THAT South Central. His neighborhood life and his student life at predominantly white schools combined to make him what he calls “hood adjacent.”


James Davis was a writer on The Late Late Show with James Corden when he put together the stand up comedy show that led to Hood Adjacent. Photo: Peter Yang/Comedy Central

“I coined the phrase Hood Adjacent as an opening joke to explain where from Los Angeles I really grew up, and also was a way to express the way I think, the way I operate,” said Davis. “I have hood friends and friends adjacent to the hood so my style of comedy is comedy that can play in the hood or outside the hood, at the golf course or in the liquor store, it doesn’t matter because that hood adjacent upbringing that I had.”

With things a little extra charged right now Davis has experienced some backlash to the celebration of his blackness, but he doesn’t let that stop him from exposing topics ranging from a hood pass to Black Twitter to gangs.

“There’s ignorant people out there in America, there’s people with rigid views. They don’t like when I’m bringing up information that goes against what they believe or what they’re comfortable believing about black people,” he said. “To me as long as there is a meaningful dialogue that’s happening, I feel like that’s a win or a victory for whatever piece someone may be angered by.”

Davis is so fearless, he took on one of Twitter’s most hardcore groups, the Beyhive. Beyonce’s die hard fans are known for holding nothing back when it comes to defending their Queen. Davis had three members of the hive on to discuss some of their Twitter attacks.

“I’ve got a lot of positive feedback about that episode. Nobody has been dropping bee emojs in my comments,” he said.

With subjects that include how to avoid the police, the crazy lives of token friends and Black activism, Davis says there are no topics off-limits. Though, he does stress the importance of originality when choosing his latest comedy target.

“I don’t think there’s a topic we feel like we can’t address and make funny. However, we stayed away from topics that I feel are just overdone, where there’s a lot of that material out there,” said Davis. “I look at jokes the way I look at outfits. I don’t want to be wearing what other people are wearing. I want something fresher, newer. That’s how I pick the material as well. I’m doing something fresh and that is what makes me feel like I should be doing this.”

Lest you think Davis is always a super cool comedian, he’s a nerd like the rest of us, except he geeks out for golf.

“I’m a golf nerd, that’s huge for me,” he said. “I play golf, I practice, I watch the Golf Channel. When I play golf, I dress just like a golfer, I’m not just some hood person of a golfer. I really geek out for golf.”

When he’s not at the golf course Davis can be seen in Hood Adjacent with James Davis Wednesdays at 9 pm ET on Comedy Central.

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