Photos courtesy of MrGuyTorry.com and Bobjohnson
Interview by Bobjohnson
Actor and comedian Guy Torry made his mark in the comedy world as well as in Hollywood. Torry toured with the Original Kings of Comedy and starred in comedies such as Life, Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, and Trippin’. One of his most serious roles was an inmate in the cult classic movie American History X, starring Ed Norton. Torry was recently back in Saginaw to host a comedy show at the Temple Theatre. He talked with 360 Main Street’s Bobjohnson during his visit.
Bobjohnson: I was reading your bio and me and you have a lot in common.
Guy Torry: What's that man?
BJ: Other than us being short (laughs).
GT: I ain’t that short, I could still play in the NBA if I wanted to. You, you couldn't be a jockey.
BJ: Let me see, what else do we have in common?
GT: We Black and we men!
BJ: Both of our first names are Robert.
GT: Okay, okay. How’d you know that?
BJ: I do my research.
GT: Ya’ bum! That's right Guy is my middle name. I go by Guy. I started taking on the name Guy in college after the group guy came out, I thought it was a cool name. I’m actually named after my father. I guess I can say I know my father, a lot of Black men don’t. Dammit mine stayed home.
BJ: Mine too, that’s another thing we have in common. But also our middle names start with a “G.” We come from homes with six children.
GT: Yeah, 3 boys, 3 girls in our family.
BJ: Same here. I’m the oldest though.
GT: I’m number five.
BJ: We both went to college.
GT: Yeah, I just didn’t finish (laughs).
BJ: There was one more thing I can’t think of.
GT: How about this, you funny looking and I’m funny.
BJ: You got jokes, huh? But tell us a little about the tour, about coming here.
GT: This show is the comedy explosion. Man, first time back in Saginaw since ’94. I first came out here with Snap (a promoter). He brought me out here with S’more, Chocolate, Diane Corder, and Wanda Smith. I’ve been around the area, I’ve been to Flint a few times. I’ve been to Detroit a couple of times, of course. Toledo, which is kinda in the area. It’s Ohio but, you know it’s in the circuit. So, you know, it’s good to be back in Saginaw with this comedy show for one night, in and out, with George Wilborn, Redbone, and J-Reid. We gonna put it down. I’ll be back in the area real soon. I’m opening up for the Jill Scott Maxwell tour, so I will be in Auburn Hills in a couple of weeks doing that, my first musical. I toured with The Kings of Comedy but this is the first time I’m going on a musical tour.
BJ: You know what? Another thing I want to bring up is, you played a role in one of my favorite movies. One of the most slept on movies.
GT: What’s that?
BJ: American History X.
GT: American History X, oh yeah that was a cool movie man. I had my first dramatic role. It kind of introduced me to Hollywood as a dramatic actor. So that was real big. A lot of people love that movie. It is kind of like a cult classic. A lot of law enforcement use it as a teaching tool. The schools use it for tolerance and ignorance and racism and things like that. I’m proud of all of my work but I’m real proud of that film.
BJ: Yeah that was a nice one.
GT: I appreciate that man. I kind of stumbled into it. You know working alongside Ed Norton who is a hell of an actor, I was still kinda green at the time and he was kind of green too. It was his second movie. He had studied acting, I didn’t. I still learned a lot from that brother. Man, he is a really talented actor.
BJ: I was scared to bring it up because I thought you would say, “That wasn’t me, that was my brother in that movie!”
GT: People get me and my brother Joe Torry mixed up a lot. But no, that was me, that was G-U-Y-T-O-R-R-Y.
BJ: Do you do any community work?
GT: I don’t have my own charity but I support all the other charities. Like my brother has a charity he does in St. Louis. I do that every year. Every year on Thanksgiving and Christmas I go down to L.A. and feed the homeless. I do a lot of Ray Lewis’s events. Actually Ray Lewis had an event this weekend. But Ray Lewis, Shaq, Magic Johnson, and I do a lot of stuff for the Magic Johnson Foundation. Terrell Owens, I do a lot of his events. You name it. I always try to lend my hand to try to help out others that are less fortunate. The Haiti Project, Katrina, you know, whatever I can do to help. Shoes for Africa is another one that I donate to. I always wear tennis shoes maybe three, four, or five times and I box ‘em up and send about 25 pair over there so the kids in Africa can have something to wear on their feet.
BJ: Do you have any upcoming projects or movies?
GT: This tour kind of put a monkey wrench in some of the things. I had to cancel out of dates on my own comedy club tour. Working on my comedy album and working on jokes for my special. I got an invitation to do Last Comic Standing next season which is kind of different, it’s a challenge for me. I’m a night club act. But you got to be clean on that show, so I’m going to clean it up and go be a bad boy. Imma ruffle some feathers.
BJ: Ralphie May made it big.
GT: Yeah, Ralphie May is my boy. Man, a lot of my friends did it so I teetered on doing it or not. I’m just trying to go there and have some fun and expand my audience.
BJ: Are you thinking about becoming a rapper?
GT: Naw, man. I have no musical experience at all.
BJ: You could be Wocka Flocka Guy!
GT:Naw, man, naw, naw, naw!
BJ: Alright, any contact information? Titter? Facebook?
GT:Yeah, hit me up y’all I’m on Twitter as Guy Torry. I have 4 Facebook pages, 2 of ‘em are full. The one you can hit me up on and please join is RGuyTorry. The other two are full. My fan page is The Guy Torry Comedy Show. Hit me up on email at firstname.lastname@example.org. or email@example.com. That’s the one to really hit me up on.
BJ: Okay Guy Torry, I really appreciate this. You are a down to earth dude.
GT: I appreciate it too.
BJ: Tell us a joke?
GT: Uhh, Yo Mama!
BJ: Good one. Alright man thanks.
GT: Alright. Peace!
© Bobjohnson 2010