The most significant challenge for the modern comedian is their ability to relate to a variety of audiences. Eric Blake has taken this challenge to heart, expanding his material beyond the African-American lens, and identifying with many other cultures and experiences. He is one of the few performers who can truly be labeled as a “universal comedian,” defying comedic normality. Blake’s raw talent is also distinguished by his ability to custom-fit his comedy for the particular moment. This witty improvisation can be revealed at the drop of a hat, bringing new characters to life that flow directly from the unconscious, capturing the imagination of his audiences.
This engaging comic has proven his worth night after night, performing to diversified audiences from coast to coast. Some of his performances include BET’s “Comic View,” in which he has aired on “The Best of Comic View” for the fourth consecutive year. He has also been televised on Galavision’s “Que Loco,” where he has displayed his cross-cultural abilities that have earned him a devote Latino following. Furthermore, Blake performed as the headliner for the comedy hit entitled “War On Comedy,” which aired on HBO and has recently been released on video. Eric’s acclaimed notoriety lead HBO to choose him among thousands to film a documentary on the eight most up and coming comedians in the country, which is scheduled to air in the fall of 2006. In addition, he has appeared on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and is a regular at “The Improv” in Hollywood.
Eric is a survivor of the notorious streets of South Central Los Angeles, where he experienced the “hard knock” life of gangs, drugs, and violence. It was eventually the depraved life on the streets that propelled him on a search for meaning and purpose, where he began to rediscover his passion and talent in comedy. As a young teenager, Eric brought life to people through his spontaneous and lighthearted humor, and considered it pure joy when he was able to enliven another’s spirit through a simple joke. Blake’s challenged upbringing led to his rediscovery for purpose: bringing laughter to the soul. This newfound purpose continues to be exercised with the firm belief of the old Proverb, “a happy heart doeth good like medicine.”
Dat Phan is the Original Winner of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and is a Headlining Comedian touring live across the U.S. He has made numerous TV and movie appearances including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, “The Family Guy” voiceover, and “Cellular”and he has appeared on "The Tyra Banks Show" discussing racial diversity. Most recently Dat Phan became the face of DirecTV as "The Whale".
Dat Phan was born in Saigon, Vietnam and immigrated with his mother to San Diego, CA. He suffered through financial hardships most of his childhood. After 9/11 he realized life was short and decided to go for his dream to pursue comedy full time. Moving to LA he had to live out of his car and even after being robbed at gunpoint he wouldn’t stop pursuing his dream. Dat answered phones for The Improv in Hollywood during the day and tried to get as much stage time as possible at night; this meant he often went on well after midnight when crowds were often more drunk than coherent. Later, Dat took the risk and auditioned for the experimental, comedy based show produced by NBC that would launch his career. The rest is history as he was named the funniest person in America on August 5, 2003
Dat’s culturally insightful comedy inspects ridiculous stereotypes, and shares his experience of being a regular American guy with a Vietnamese heritage. His youthful energy and truly unique life experiences, including all the tough times, are combined to create the message of living your dreams and reaching out for the stars. Dat Phan’s mission is to bring a more positive portrayal of Asian-Americans to mainstream entertainment and Hollywood. “We want to be seen as more than just martial artists, or bad stereotype token roles in American TV & Movies.”
Dat Phan has been included in The Smithsonian Institution’s exhibition of The Top 10 Most Influential Vietnamese-American Individuals. The DVD “Dat Phan Live” was released in January 2010 and is available from Amazon.com. Dat’s latest CD, “You Touch, You Buy“ is now available on iTunes.
As a kid, I always liked comedy and would listen to albums by George Carlin, Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, and Lenny Bruce. Despite my enjoyment of these great talents, I decided to pursue an unfunny career and left Los Angeles for San Francisco State College to be a lawyer. When that did not hold my attention, I switched majors and ended up getting a Bachelor of. Art Degree in Communications.