Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 | 2 a.m.
It’s getting hard to miss Deon Cole. The comedian and actor from Chicago’s South Side may be best known these days for his role as Charlie on ABC’s Golden Globe Award-winning (and Emmy-nominated) show “Black-ish,” but that’s just one of his current TV gigs. He’s expanding his popular portrayal of Charlie on the spin-off “Grown-ish,” which recently debuted on Freeform to rave reviews. He also co-stars with Rashida Jones in the TBS comedy “Angie Tribeca” and hosts new BET game show “Face Value.”
You can also catch Cole still popping up from time to time on “Conan,” even though he’s no longer a full-time writer on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show, where Cole earned his first Writers Guild and Emmy nominations in 2010. And on Netflix, he has a half-hour of pure laughs on “The Standups” that you need to see; it’ll get you ready for his new Netflix special to be filmed in the coming months.
Unfortunately, all these high-profile performances keep him from performing frequently in Las Vegas, but you can see him at the Cannery on January 13.
“I like to go once a year to perform, sometimes twice, it just depends,” he says, and then laughs when asked if he ever comes to Las Vegas just to have fun. “Nah, I don’t have the time to get away.”
Cole’s stand-up comedy seems effortless; he has a sort of latent, smoldering charisma and can coax big laughs with a single expression. He’s an efficient performer, too, constantly switching roles from writer to actor to comedian.
“I love being a comic but I love acting as well. They’re both very necessary avenues for me,” he says. “Acting is more of an escape. Stand-up is more therapeutic for me, talking about what’s on my mind or how I feel. Writing is something I love as well, although a lot of people don’t realize it.”
Cole wrote the monologue for “Black-ish” co-star Tracee Ellis Ross when she hosted November’s American Music Awards. “I do a lot of little bits of writing for things like that when I can,” Cole says. “That was over Thanksgiving that I had a moment to do that, and it was an honor for her to even ask. We made history with that one, the first mother and daughter to have hosted the American Music Awards.” Ross’ mother is Diana Ross, who coincidentally will be performing in Las Vegas again soon, too.
You’re going to see even more Deon Cole in 2018, and not just in that Netflix comedy special. He’s wrapped roles in two different movies and is eager to continue to expand his acting abilities, something that should come naturally for a performer used to bouncing between roles.
“There is some level of difficulty but once you do it and get into a rhythm, that’s the hardest part,” he says. “It becomes second nature. It’s no different from the way you are around your guy friends and then you jump to your wife and then you jump to your mother. You’re still the same but you’re different. It’s knowing your environment and your character’s environment, and making good choices to let the character flourish.”
Deon Cole takes the stage at the Club at the Cannery in North Las Vegas (2121 E. Craig Road, 702-507-5700) at 9 p.m. Jan. 13. For more information, visit cannerycasino.com.