Omi

Your comedy show is called “The Single Mike Chronicles”. Who is Single Mike? 

I’m single right now and all of my friends who were in relationships kept asking for my advice like I’m some sort of sage so I started calling myself Single Mike on stage just kind of naturally. I took the moniker and ran with it. I was in back-to-back relationships of four years and five years then I was engaged so I was like, “If I’m single, I’m goin’ strong!” This has been a fun run of singlehood.

Do the women you date ever give you a hard time about dropping the single in Single Mike?

Oh yeah. I get, “You know, Single Mike isn’t gonna fly with me!” I’m like, “It is if it’s f-ckin’ paying the bills!” [Laughs] A naggy girlfriend is the biggest deal breaker for me. I started dating a girl recently, we hung out for the third time and she was like, “Who are you talking to?” I’m thinking, “I’m not even dating you!” You know what I mean? And that’s not even me being cocky! We hadn’t even developed a relationship yet so don’t question me. Trust is number one for me.

Are you usually the one who gets dumped or the one who does the dumping?

Unfortunately I usually do the dumping, which I don’t like. I’d rather sabotage the relationship and get dumped then walk away quietly into the night.

Best way to get out of the dog house?

I get out of the dog house with humor and playing dumb just like the dog that lives in that house.

Do you ever want to hang up the single hat and settle down?

I would settle down now if the timing and person was right. I’ve just been on this single train of fun and travel because I haven’t met someone who gives me a reason to chill out.

When did you know comedy was it for you?

It was probably in the third grade. I was a TV-fiend, I loved television and all the comedy shows like “Happy Days”. I used to sit and watch those and literally think to myself, “I could write that!” I don’t know why I thought that but I was always a funny fun kid. I loved the reaction I got from breaking up the class and being the class clown. I just loved the feeling of making them laugh.

Do you remember the first time you did stand-up?

I definitely remember the first time. It was at The Comedy Store 13 years ago. I still remember driving up Sunset Boulevard with my best friend, I had the whole thing planned out. He was driving me and I’m going over my set and he goes, “Forget your act! Just go up there and do your Mike Tyson imitation right off the bat. They’re gonna love it,” so I listened to my boy. I went up and I didn’t even get into my act, I just went straight to my Mike Tyson. The sh-t just died, it was crickets. Crickets! That taught me two lessons; number one, always go with your gut every time and number two, ease into your act. Now I don’t listen to anyone. That’s why I’ve had like five managers in this business because I always check my gut and if you try to sway me from my gut instincts then we’re gonna have a problem. I’m unmanageable!

When you’re on stage, what is your biggest pet peeve from people in the audience?

When they talk or when they think they can outwit you and want to become a part of the act. It’s all a big cry for attention. But it’s a good exercise in improv for me, so bring that mouth!

What is something about the world of stand-up comedy that no one tells you?

You never knew that Chris Rock would walk in late night and bump you from your eight minute spot when you’re just starting out. The competitiveness of it was sort of a shock. I compete with myself, not with other comics.

Did you ever have a Plan B?

I never had a Plan B in the form of a real job. Never. I was fired in a day the first time I tried to work a real job. I’m from Detroit, a family of scrap metal dealers, nobody in my family was in the entertainment business so I didn’t even know what that was really. I always saw myself doing comedy but I didn’t know how I was going to get there. It wasn’t until I started to visit L.A. that I saw comedy clubs and started hearing about them but I always had that entrepreneurial spirit oddly enough. I love starting businesses and I see comedy and writing as a fresh new business all of the time. Always reinventing, creating, innovating and hustling.

How do you get the creative juices flowing when you’re writing new material?

I’ll tell ya, the most f-cked up thing that’s happening right now is all the Twitter and Facebook sh-t because it gets you out of your zone! People always ask, “Why do you still have a Blackberry?” I’m like, “F-ck, I’m about to have a typewriter. I’m going back to a pad and pencil!” You know what I mean? But then you finally just sit your ass down and get in the zone. When you’re in the zone you’re just working and you’re in your characters and you don’t even know what’s happening and then you look up and it’s three hours later. That’s the zone! And that’s my favorite thing so I have to just sit myself down at the table and get my little area clean and just turn off all the bullsh-t. Maybe turn on some light music like some Bob Dylan.

Tell us about your first big break, how did you land a writing gig on HBO’s “Entourage”?

That was a dream because [“Entourage” creator] Doug [Ellin] and I had been friends for years, we used to play basketball together and Kevin Connolly and I had also been friends for years. Doug got this idea for a show and he said, “We’re gonna base it off of [Mark] Wahlberg’s crew. I want to talk to your boy Kevin Connolly.” At the time Connolly was like, “I’m done acting, I just want to direct,” but Doug really wanted to meet him. He thought Connolly was the perfect little Irish pit bull-type of dude for the role. Long story short, I got Connolly and Doug together and they gave him the role. Meanwhile I was under a development deal with ABC for my own comedy show so I couldn’t contractually be on “Entourage” but my show wasn’t going anywhere so Doug said, “Just take an office with us.” It was Rob Weiss, Chris Henchy and I as the whole first crew of writers for “Entourage”. It just became this really awesome thing that took on a life of its own.

How does a Detroit boy get Hollywood connections?

Believe it or not, my sh-t was all through sports. I joined a basketball league in L.A. and one of my boys on the team was who Kevin Dillon’s character “Johnny Drama” was based on. He said they needed a fifth guy at the Beverly Hills Y.M.C.A. so I go in and my team is [Leonardo] DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Kevin Connolly, Lukas Haas and the director of “The Notebook” Nick Cassavetes. So they bring me in, we play ball and that’s our team.

Not many people can say they’ve walked into something like that.

I’m also a damn good basketball player, to be honest! We had a whole season of basketball, which was a blast. We lost the championship but whatever, we all became friends. That was my crew. This was way back when Leo was just coming out of “Titanic”.

Talk about a real life entourage.

Yeah, that’s why Doug wanted me in the office everyday because I was already going through it.

You’ll be making your directorial debut with “My Man is a Loser” starring John Stamos. What kind of director are you?

It’s hard to say what my style is but I think truthfully I’m an actor’s director. I love letting the actors play around so I stay open to their suggestions and if anything takes us out of story or character then I’ll reign ‘em back in.

Give us one thing about John Stamos that would surprise us.

Stamos is all pro and serious when it comes to sticking to the story. He came to set ready to discuss the character, the actions, the story and did it all with the best jawline in the business. And he has a real sense of humor.

One thing you always keep stocked in your trailer on set?

I’d love to say tequila but it’s cashews and water. I’m on a diet of alcohol and nuts.

What else can we expect to see from you?

I have a romantic comedy called “Little Things” I want to shoot as a feature and we are shooting a “Single Mike” pilot presentation as we speak.

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?

Damn. Jack Nicholson. Jack Nicholson would be dope! We wouldn’t have to talk that much because he probably doesn’t want to talk to me.

The Laugh FactoryALINA TSVOR PHOTOGRAPHY

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Omi