Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images via Getty Images
  /  06.21.2022

Tommy Davidson was years into his stand-up comedy career before he knew what impersonations were, despite the fact that he was famous for them. He says, “I did not know that they were even called impressions until I was a couple of years in to doing stand-up because I always imitated things.” In this week’s episode of “Love & Respect with Killer Mike,” the comedian reflects on his long career and the talent, people and opportunities that took him around the world.

Starting out in stand-up in the 1980s, Tommy Davidson’s high energy and unique ability to imitate well-known entertainers Al Jarreau, Rick James and Prince helped form the foundation for a career that has spanned almost 40 years across movies, television and comedyThose who have heard Davidson’s sharp quips or watched any of his hilarious movies might be surprised to learn that his early life wasn’t so joyful. Abandoned at just 18 months old, the “In Living Color” alum was adopted by a white couple and would live in three different states before settling into the DMV. Although he was a part of an interracial adoption, the “Black Dynamite” actor did not understand race until his family landed in Washington, D.C. — smack dab in the middle of the 1968 riots sparked by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He says, “I never thought of [my parents] as white, I didn’t know what white was … what I knew was love, I knew friendship, honesty. I didn’t know anything about Black and white.” The realities of race hit Davidson in the face in his new home, and being Black grew to be a larger part of his identity.

Comedy was also a signature piece of his identity and even back in first grade, the D.C. native recalls his school principal referring to him as a “comedian.” But he was more than just a class clown — making people laugh came naturally. He says, “My talent is God-given and that gift has taken me so many places and … given me a chance to use my talents in different places.” That natural gift would catapult Davidson to superstardom. After winning an amateur stand-up show at the famous Apollo Theatre, the actor relocated to Los Angeles where he got his big break. Davidson even lived in the same building as fellow comedian Martin Lawrence and performed at Luther Vandross and Anita Baker shows.

In 1990, there were no majority-Black sketch comedy shows, so when the first family of Black comedy — the Wayans — debuted “In Living Color,” the world paid attention. The landmark show launched the careers of actors Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Jennifer Lopez, and Rosie Perez, along with Davidson. Appearing on a network television show was big time for any comedian, and the usually confident stage entertainer was shocked by his own success. Davidson shares, “[The] first time I got on camera, I froze because the reality hit me. I had been working all those years and I was finally on TV.” The show was a springboard for other opportunities like star roles in classic movies such as Woo and Booty Call, but stand-up is still where Davidson’s heart lies. He says, “I’m not dependent on anything. It’s me, you get my mind, my perspective, I get to take you on a ride, it’s an art form.”

When he’s not doing stand-up, you can find Davidson working alongside his wife Amanda at their apparel company, Ties that Bind, or providing businesswear to disenfranchised men going on job interviews. From the stage to the screen and beyond, Tommy Davidson remains true to himself and his talent and continues to make us laugh.



View More



View More


Walmart has the home essentials for everyone on your holiday shopping list

Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.

  /  11.24.2023

5 things you need to know about the 2023 Billboard Music Awards

“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.

  /  11.20.2023

The Auditions | 'Shoot Your Shot'

The competition begins at REVOLT WORLD as rising rappers, singers, and musicians line up to audition for their spot on the main stage. Brought to you by McDonald’s.

  /  11.28.2023

Dig In & Drink Up | 'Bet on Black'

In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!

  /  11.15.2023

Walmart's Makers Studio at REVOLT WORLD transformed passion into progress

Take a look inside the Makers Studio presented by Walmart at REVOLT WORLD, a space where Black creators could hone in on their brand and see it come to life.

  /  12.04.2023

Walmart brings in heavy-hitters for Black and Unlimited Tour panel

REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.

  /  11.30.2023

Meet The Semifinalists | 'Shoot Your Shot'

Get to know our semifinalists a little better. Learn what motivated them to shoot their shot, as well as how they describe their personality, and sound.

  /  12.05.2023

Walmart's Opportunity Center at REVOLT WORLD empowered HBCU students

Fly Guy DC taps in with REVOLT WORLD attendees to learn what the Opportunity Center, presented by Walmart, means to them and their futures.

  /  12.04.2023

The $200,000 goes to… | 'Bet on Black'

In the season finale of “Bet on Black,” special guest judge Ray J joins as the finalists take the main stage to show they have what it takes to win the $200,000 grand prize; Melissa Butler and Eunique Jones Gibson mentor. Presented by Target.

  /  12.04.2023

So Phresh, so clean | 'Bet on Black'

There’s only one round left as the last few founders – Terra-Tory, Phreshly, and ConditionHER – pitch to the “Bet on Black” judges for their chance in the finals and winning the grand prize; Eunique Jones Gibson mentors. Watch here!

  /  12.04.2023

Dr. Jaqueline Echols' mission to cure environmental racism

The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.

  /  12.01.2023

Fly Guy DC highlighted HBCU students' passion and pride at REVOLT WORLD

Walmart supports HBCU students and encourages them to be Black & Unlimited. Fly Guy DC talked to a few at REVOLT WORLD about how being an HBCU student has changed their lives.

  /  12.05.2023

Investing in stocks in a recession | 'Maconomics'

Host Ross Mac provides useful advice for preparing your personal finances in the event of a recession. He emphasizes the importance of budgeting properly, building an emergency fund, and maintaining discipline when investing.

  /  11.21.2023

16 best hip hop video games of all time

From Def Jam: Vendetta, Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style, DJ Hero and more, we list our favorite hip hop videos games of all time. Did yours make the cut? 

  /  11.06.2023

17 rappers named after food to make you crave their music

Here’s a list of rappers who are named after food. Enjoy — or shall we say, “Bon appetit”? 

  /  11.21.2023

DDG has his sights set on becoming a fashion hero & talks Halle Bailey being his "best friend"

In this exclusive interview, DDG opens up about his fashion inspiration, what drew him to girlfriend Halle Bailey, dealing with negative opinions about his relationship, and more. Read up!

  /  11.28.2023

15 inspirational Eminem lyrics for his fans to lose themselves in

Whether it be the triumphant “Not Afraid” or resilient “Soldier,” Eminem’s music has the power to inspire you to reach your goals. 

  /  11.18.2023

17 of Megan Thee Stallion's most motivational lyrics

The artist has remained remarkably consistent in her song lyrics about making money, telling off haters and feeling liberated since her debut.

  /  11.07.2023

11 T-Pain lyrics to spit the perfect game

T-Pain has a way with the ladies. Take inspiration from 11 of his most flirtatious lyrics to level up your game.

  /  11.29.2023

Former kid rappers we loved: Where are they now?

From taking over the playground to dominating the rap game, many young artists have made music history. Check them out and where their journeys have taken them here! 

  /  11.13.2023
View More