Rodney Perry, Rob Stapleton, CoCoa Brown and Honest John are bringing the Comedy Explosion Tour to Dover Downs Hotel & Casino Friday, July 23.


The comedians coming to Dover this weekend are all stars on their own, so when they come together guests get four headliners for the price of one. Rob Stapleton, CoCoa Brown, Rodney Perry and Honest John will take to the Rollins Center at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino at 9 p.m. Friday, July 23.

Rob Stapleton isn’t sure yet what audiences will hear from him come Friday. He might be making fun of the woman in the audience with the craziest hair do — why did her friends let her leave the house like that? — to the friend everyone has who’s always broke. His is an observational style, so everyone from celebrities on “TMZ” to people in the audience are the targets.

“It’s a connection that you have to make. When you have a connection going on, from the moment you get onstage, it’s endless what you can do. They’ll laugh at your set ups like it’s a punch line,” he said.

He’s also a fan of sketch comedy, and just shot a pilot for Jamie Foxx’s show that Stapleton describes as a combination of “In Living Color” and “Chapelle’s Show.”

Rodney Perry said comedy is a small community, so not only does he know the comedians he’ll be performing alongside Friday, but he’s also a fan.

“When you get a chance to work like this it’s kind of a class reunion,” he said.

Perry said Stapleton’s energy and CoCoa Brown’s fearlessness will keep the hilarity rolling through the night. Brown will fit right in even though she’s the only woman in the show, he said.

“CoCoa can stand with the guys,” he said.

She’s one of the women who dispel the myth that women aren’t as funny as men. Another is Mo’Nique, with whom Perry works on BET’s “The Mo’Nique Show.”

Before Mo’Nique plucked Perry off the stand-up circuit and put him in the TV business, he was busy making people laugh about the daily grind. He talks about his family, current events, and stupid people. He loves stupid people.

“Every generation seems to manufacture someone stupider than the last generation,” he said.

Perry’s no dummy. He formally started in stand-up while he was in the Navy, although his real start came courtesy of his second-grade teacher Mr. Thompson. His impressions of Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali were hits with his peers. His humor didn’t translate, however, his first time on a professional stage when he got booed off.
That was in the mid-’90s. He doesn’t have that issue now. Now if people don’t know him from his stand-up, they know him from “The Mo’Nique Show.”

“I tell people I remember when nobody cared. I remember when nobody knew my name, going to the smoky little bars and the clubs,” he said. “Now what it’ll give me is that initial, ‘Hey, that’s Rodney Perry.’ TV gives you a commonality because you’re in their homes every day.”

He said the comedians performing at Dover Downs are part of a changing of the guard in comedy. There’s a group that’s benefited from Def Comedy Jam and BET Comic View who are on the rise.

“We’ve been bubbling under the surface for 10 to 15 years,” he said.
As for Perry, no matter how big he gets on TV, he’ll never stop doing stand-up.

“I’m a stand-up first. You’ll even hear Mo’Nique say that. We’re comics,” he said. “If I’m not doing comedy, my heart’s not beating.”

Email Sarika Jagtiani at sarika.jagtiani@doverpost.com