Michael Blackson was born in Liberia to a Ghanaian father and Liberian mother. He spent his young years in between Monrovia and Ghana before relocating to the United States in the mid-1980s. His father died in 2008. Michael lived in Newark, New Jersey when he was 13, and then settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when he was 15. He began pursuing comedy after his coworker at Domino’s suggested he start open mic.
In 2005, he released a comedy sketch CD entitled Modasucka: Welcome to America. Also in 2005, he made an appearance on TV series 30 Rock, P. Diddy Presents: The Bad Boys of Comedy on HBO, and starred in a commercial for Chappelle’s Show on Comedy Central.
On July 31, 2021, Blackson proposed to his girlfriend, Rada Darling, during a radio interview on The Breakfast Club. On November 24, 2021, he became a U.S citizen. Blackson is the uncle of Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple.
Childhood & Early Life
Michael was born in Ghana, West Africa, on November 28, 1972. His father worked in a theater company, and his mother worked in a secondary school.
Michael’s father always wanted his son to work in movies. He thus enrolled Michael into acting classes at an early age.
Michael’s childhood was not very cushy. His parents had a meagre income, but that did not stop Michael from pursuing his dreams.
Blackson moved to the US to be an actor at the tender age of 13. He often noticed that other kids treated him weirdly. With time, he realized that they were just being kids and that he needed to work on himself to gain some confidence.
He continued his struggle while living in Philadelphia. He worked as a pizza-delivery guy, and one of his co-workers suggested that he go on stage.
The co-worker encouraged him to try his luck in comedy, since his monologues and sketches were mind-blowing. He was a coach at the ‘Philadelphia Community College’ and even helped Michael write his first comedy script.
Michael made his debut as a comedian at the old ‘Comedy Works’ in Philadelphia. Soon, he started performing in various clubs and bars in Philadelphia.
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His initial gigs made him popular with people, and that boosted his confidence to perform better. After being appreciated for his acts and monologues, Michael started participating in various comedy competitions.
His first known participation was at the ‘1993 Schlitz Malt Liquor Comedy Tour’ in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, followed by the ‘1996 Urban Comedy Festival’ in New York City. He later competed at the ‘Laffapolooza Comedy Festival’ in Atlanta.
In 2001, he participated in the ‘Bay Area Black Comedy Competition’ in Oakland. His popularity soared when he decided to move to New York to expand his show business.
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His performances charmed the audience. After becoming a successful comedian, Michael discovered his talent for acting, too.
Interestingly, he bagged his big break as an actor during one of his performances, at a Los Angeles comedy club. During the show, actor and director Ice Cube noticed his extraordinary and effortless acting skills.
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Although he was at the event to watch comedian Mike Epps’s performance, Ice Cube ended up inviting Michael to audition for one of his productions. The result turned out to be quite unexpected for Michael.
He ended up getting a role in a film that was to be produced by Ice Cube’s production company, ‘Cubevision.’ Michael was already known as ‘The African King of Comedy,’ and he now aspired to be an actor.
He made his film debut with the comedy ‘Next Friday’ in 2000. He starred alongside Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, Don “DC” Curry, and Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr. The movie was a sequel to the 1995 film ‘Friday.’