Photo: Bobby Bank / Contributor via Getty Images and Aaron J. Thornton / Contributor via Getty Images
  /  08.01.2023

On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN welcomed beloved comedian Earthquake to chat about his Netflix special, accidentally dropping a nuclear weapon, meeting Dave Chappelle, and more.

Born Nathaniel Stroman in Washington, D.C., Earthquake is a name synonymous with stand-up comedy. After serving in the United States Air Force for 11 years, he started his career performing stand-up in local clubs and soon became a household name with his appearances on the iconic HBO series “Def Comedy Jam.” His undeniable talent quickly earned him various roles in films and television shows. Notably, the comedian appeared in movies like Getting Played, Clerks II, and The Longshots, to name a few. Elsewhere, he also voiced the character Root the Rooster in the animated film Barnyard.

Not only limited to acting, Earthquake is also a renowned radio host as well. His show “Quake’s House” airs on Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio on SiriusXM. It introduces a modern update to his brand of humor, where he shares his perspective on current events, interviews guests, and interacts with his audience.

In 2022, he released his comedy special Earthquake: Legendary, which was met with critical acclaim. Executive produced by “Drink Champs” alum Dave Chappelle, the comedian talked about everything from his prostate exam to children. He’s also been touring and performing at comedy festivals across the country, further cementing his reputation as a leading figure in stand-up.

To give fans a recap, REVOLT compiled a list of nine facts we learned from Earthquake’s “Drink Champs” conversation. Keep scrolling to read them, and be sure to catch the full episode here.

1. On working in the military before his career kicked off

After Earthquake enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, he spent time in California, Florida, and Japan as a sergeant. What was initially planned to be 20 years of service was cut nearly in half after he refused to participate in wars in Kuwait and Iraq. 

He explained, “I got into [comedy] in ‘91 when I got out [of] the military. I was in that motherf**ker for about nine years, in the Air Force. I was doing anything to work. I’m not that [good at] physical labor. You need a man in there to fix something, I ain’t your n**ga. I outsource s**t… My mother wanted me to clean my room — how much you’ll charge me? I’m that dude.”

2. On Dave Chappelle wanting to produce his Netflix special 

As a part of Dave Chappelle’s four-special deal with Netflix, he executive produced Earthquake: Legendary. Released in February 2022, the Washington-born comedian’s relationship with Chappelle goes way back, with the former booking him at his nightclub. When asked about his initial reaction to the gig, Earthquake said that he thought someone was playing a prank.  

“I thought it was a motherf**ker playing a gag on me, trying to get me. They were like, ‘Dave Chappelle wants permission to get your phone number, and the reason why he wants it is because he wants to produce your special.’ I was like, ‘Stop f**king with me,’ but I’ve been knowing Dave for a long time,” he stated.

3. On comedians not helping one another out

Drawing parallels to the music industry, Earthquake talked about how cutthroat stand-up comedy is due to the lack of support from other comics. The gagster revealed how unlike Chappelle or Jamie Foxx, most of his peers don’t open doors for newcomers. He noted, “We don’t have a Puffy. We don’t have a Russell Simmons.”

“I’ve always been in the red zone; I just needed somebody to do what Dave did. Go to the gatekeepers and say, ‘Yeah, y’all love me, but this is who I think is funny.’ Like I tell other comedians, you don’t help me; help who you think is funny because if they like y’all, they gon’ love me… They get in the motherf**kin’ room, ‘You know anybody else funny?’ [The comedians’ reply], ‘Nah, I’m the last motherf**ker to tell a joke,’” he explained.

4. On the Chitlin’ Circuit

Coined in the 1930s, the Chitlin’ Circuit started off as a group of segregated American cities that helped kickstart the careers of many Black musicians, comedians, and entertainers. Primarily located in the South, the network included several locations like Birmingham, Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, and Tulsa.

After N.O.R.E. asked whether the circuit was still necessary for Black comedians to make it, Earthquake shared that it wasn’t. “No. Some of the biggest Black comedians didn’t never go through the Chitlin’ Circuit. Dave Chappelle, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin [Hart],” Earthquake insisted. “Chitlin’ Circuit is when you go on here and they playing motherf**kin’ music, and they stop the music, then you go and play jokes, and the music comes back on. Motherf**kers over there playing pool and s**t.”

5. On visiting Steve Harvey 

One of the few Black comedians that he knew was doing major venues at the time, Earthquake recalled knocking on Steve Harvey’s hotel room door while he was still in the military. He spoke about how the established personality had a show nearby where he was stationed, subsequently leading Earthquake to visit the local hotels until he found Harvey. Fast forward to today, both comedians worked together for “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” up until 2013.

“I knocked on the door and stepped back — let him know it’s cool. I was testing because I knew it was time for me to get out of the military, and I wanted to say maybe this is an avenue I want to go in, this comedy s**t. He was the man,” Earthquake revealed.

He added, “I heard he was performing there, and it ain’t that many motherf**kin’ hotels. I said, ‘Yeah, Steve Harvey.’ They said, ‘Yeah, room 13.’ They gave that n**ga up.”

6. On accidentally dropping a nuclear bomb because he wanted to see Uncle Luke

Earthquake detailed accidentally dropping a nuclear bomb while changing ammunition in a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. Subsequently, he was drug tested, and the president was called. In regard to what caused the accident, the comedian admitted that he was rushing, so he could go see Uncle Luke and some strippers.

“Well, Luke is the reason that I dropped that motherf**kin’ missile. That nuclear weapon. Trying to see Luke. This [is] when Luke first had them h**s… I never seen Black women strip like this… I was like, ‘N**ga, I got to see this s**t.’ When you in the military, you looking at these ugly a** women in the military,” he joked. “These motherf**kers had the audacity to tell me I had to rotate the munitions in the B-52 before I go. I was like, ‘N**ga, I told you I’ma be off.’ He told me, ‘Well, do that, and you can leave.’ Man, I went in that b**ch and tried to do that s**t quick off the top of the dome… All you heard was, ‘Bam!’ Everybody started running and s**t.”

7. On what he would do as the president

One of the more controversial moments in his life, Earthquake spent much of his career as a Republican, poking fun at Former President George W. Bush, among others. When N.O.R.E. asked about it, he admitted that he was a supporter of Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. Later in the conversation, Earthquake shared that if he was president, he’d provide healthcare and education for everyone.

He explained, “I was a Republican. I’m an Independent [now.] We’re flawed people. There’s no way you can help everybody, and you can’t make a f**king program to help everybody’s deficiency… If I was president of [the] United States, this what I would say: ‘Us as the United States government gon’ give you two things: Healthcare and I’ma pay for your education.’”

8. On Earthquake: Legendary

The first comedian introduced in Chappelle’s four-part series, Earthquake’s set clocked in at just under 37 minutes. In the special, the comic shared his views on the adage “Health is wealth,” prostate check-ups, the challenge of reprimanding children, and an unusually lengthy celebrity funeral. Later in the “Drink Champs” interview, the comedian talked about why he kept it under an hour and what inspired the name.

“I made my first special called Legendary just to put the pressure on myself to meet up to an expectation. If it wasn’t named Legendary, then my peers would have talked about me. ‘This n**ga should’ve named this s**t Booty,’” he stated.

Regarding the 37-minute showtime, he said, “I set the standards. I don’t need an hour. If it’s about jokes, put them n**gas’ whole hour up; they ain’t got 37 minutes of jokes. Of laughter. This is nonmotherf**kin’ concentrated, n**ga.”

9. On his next special

Earthquake shared that he’s already working on his next big project. He told N.O.R.E. and EFN, “My next special is the Pulitzer. That’s just being the best book ever, of the year. It’s lyrically molesting this s**t called comedy.”

The gagster continued, “I got another 37 for you. I don’t need to sell you an album… I got quality. If you gon’ take the quantity, that’s on you. I’m selling quality.”



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