Please explain what just happened.

I just read over my bio thinking that I should be wealthier.

What is your earliest memory?

Since I was a kid I’ve had this lingering memory of me being in my mother’s womb thinking, “I will do things differently this time.”


If you weren’t a comedian what other profession would you choose?

I’ve always hated this question – too many variables. If I could qualify for any job, I would occupy the position that paid me the most money while keeping me interested (rocket scientist, Amsterdam madame). Less qualified, I would choose the profession that I could get into the quickest (font designer, antique furniture maker). If Monster.com hit me up with a list and said I had access to every position they had available I would be the CEO of Monster.com.  I’m keeping my options open.

Please describe the current contents of your refrigerator.

Milk, leftovers, fruit, veggies, baking soda, four cans of Dr. Pepper, one Michelob Ultra, the last slice of a Sara Lee cheesecake, and items in the door that are not worth mentioning.

Is there a time you wish you’d lied?

In the mid-nineties I performed on the Def Comedy Jam; at the time it was the hottest show on TV and the hottest ticket in New York. After the taping I was introduced to Russell Simmons, who in turn introduced me to LL Cool J. As I stood there chatting it up with Mr. Momma-Said-Knock-You-Out, I noticed a very patient man standing near us subtly trying to get my attention. LL noticed it as well and urged me to get out there and meet my fans – I’d surprisingly kept him interested over the course of a nervous two minute conversation but knew that I could lose him at any second.  The fan was a convenient segue into another awkward situation.

It turned out that this guy was the bodyguard to Annabella Sciorra, best known at the time for her role in Jungle Fever and she wanted to meet me. She was very complimentary of my performance and asked me if I had ever done any acting, and in truth I told her that I hadn’t. We laughed about something I said and then out of nowhere she asked me if I was married…I was…and told the truth. The mood immediately changed and she steered the conversation to a screeching halt. Thanks for allowing me to tell that story, even if my wife reads it.

What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age thirteen?

Finish college and don’t worry about finding your biological parents.

If you could have only one album to get you through a breakup, what would it be?

Chicago’s 17.

What are three websites—other than your email—that you check on a daily basis?

Facebook, Clutchfans.net, and ESPN.

From what or whom do you derive your greatest inspiration?

The 1984 version of Axel Foley and the 1993 version of James Redfield.

Name a book that changed your life.

The Celestine Prophecy.

If you could relive one moment over and over again, what would it be?

Wolf Blitzer projecting that Barack Obama was indeed the winner of the Presidential election. I watch it over and over again but I don’t think I can ever duplicate the feelings of both pride and sadness that truly overwhelmed me for hours after the announcement.

How are you six degrees from Kevin Bacon?

I was in Arlington Road with Jeff Bridges who was in Blown Away with Michael J. Reynolds, and Michael J. Reynolds was in Where the Truth Lies with Kevin Bacon.  I have a Kevin Bacon number of 3.

What makes you feel most guilty?

I feel the most guilty when I fall asleep at night and wake up early the next morning realizing that I did nothing productive on the day before.

Describe your first time on stage.

It was piano recital when I was seven. I was so nervous. I played this classical piece with speed and precision, more speed than precision actually…much more. My years of classical training were the perfect prerequisite for my current career.

What is the worst piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

A network was so smitten with me and my talents that they offered a $30,000 holding deal while they developed a TV show for me. My management advised me to turn down the offer in hopes of a larger paycheck from a competing network. I did, and here I am. Eff my life.

Explain the inspiration behind The S.E.L.L.O.U.T. Comedy Tour.

I’d reached a point in my career where I wanted to do something more important than popular so I assembled four brilliant black comedians to, in essence, thumb our collective noses at the notion that all black comedians are alike. I wanted to intentionally shine a negative light on something in hopes that something positive would come out of it. It worked.

What do you consider the harshest kind of betrayal?


Of all the game shows that have graced our TV screens throughout history, which one would you want to be a contestant on and why?

Celebrity Jeopardy. I seriously think I could win.

What do you want to know?

If Jesus ever considered himself lucky.

What would you like your last words to be?

“So this is where it begins…”

Please explain what will happen.

In 2020 consumers will be able to make calls to the future, but will not be able to receive them.

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“Low-key intensity and dead on humor” is how the Denver Post described BILLY D. WASHINGTON. His clever but quirky approach combined with his undeniable skill as a pianist has made Washington a formidable force in the world of stand-up comedy.

After a 5-year stint as a Houston Police Officer, he followed his heart, took to the stage and has since assembled an impressive body of work for this part-time church musician and full-time, internationally touring headliner. Billy has been featured twice at the prestigious 'Just for Laughs' Comedy Festival in Montreal, the HBO Aspen Comedy Festival and for three years traveled with The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, as her opening act.

He has also appeared on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, NBC's Last Comic Standing, The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Bob and Tom Show, and spent time on VH-1 as a host and on-air personality.

In 2008 he was identified as one of the most diverse comedians in America by the NBC stand-up for diversity initiative. He is also the creator of the critically acclaimed S.E.L.L.O.U.T. Comedy Tour, a group of talented black comedians who challenge America to resolve racial differences one joke at a time.

3 responses to “21 Questions with Billy D. Washington”

  1. Demetria Dixon says:

    Erudite, suave and funny. Good stuff, Billy.

  2. S. Bloodworth says:

    Funny, subtly insightful, a great read into the mind of a smart and highly talented performer!

  3. N. Doyle says:

    Billy D. Washington is an amazingly funny comedian, a very talented musician and very handsome I might add. If you haven’t seen his performance then you’re missing out!!!!

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