From a young age, T. Murph fell into the world of comedy, whether it was sneaking to watch uncut comedy specials or clowning around in school.
“I grew up watching ‘BET’s Comicview’ and ‘Def Comedy Jam,’” he said. “And I’ve always been a jokester and a class clown. I stayed in the principal’s office. It’s always been a part of me to be funny.”
Now, the Momence High School graduate, Kankakee native and rising star comedian, T. Murph (also known as Gueterrius Jackson), has a lot to be thankful for at just 33 years old.
Earlier this week, Jackson traveled to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to film a set at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, one of the largest international comedy festivals in the world.
“This is my first time in Montreal and Canada for that matter. I’ve been trying to get here for seven years,” said Jackson during a break at the festival. “Getting the opportunity to be here, film a set and be around these huge comedians has been amazing.”
Jackson even has gotten to meet some of his comedic heroes, but he’s still waiting for one special meeting in particular.
“I met Neal Brennan [co-creator and writer for “Chappelle’s Show”],” he said. “That was phenomenal. I’ve met Kevin [Hart] several times. Now, it’s just like, ‘Hey, Kev!’ Dave Chappelle is here. I haven’t met him yet, but I’m looking forward to meeting him.”
Along with new travels, Jackson will have a fresh, half-hour set premiering on Comedy Central’s second season of “Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level.”
“Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level” puts the spotlight on six comedians as they prepare for their first, televised half-hour comedy special. His brand new set was filmed in front of 2,000 people at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles and was produced by Kevin Hart.
After submitting 30 minutes of material for the past three years, Jackson finally got accepted for the show.
“For the premiere episode, they really wanted to start the season off strong,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s set will be up first, opening the second season premiere at 10 p.m. Friday.
His half hour is sure to make people laugh.
“It’s a really fun set,” said Jackson. “Some comics are really dark, but people come out to laugh, and my job is to make it fun while bringing them into my world. After my set, you’ll feel like you know me.”
But wait; there’s more!
“Years ago, I got the opportunity to perform at The Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, and Bob Sumner [producer of “Def Comedy Jam” and “BET’s Comicview”] was there, and he told me he thought I was really funny and that I could be the next big comedian out of the Chicago area,” Jackson said.
Years later, he received a call from Sumner, who said he thought he had really great material, and he had a new show coming up called “Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks,” and the rest is history.
“Bob really pushed for me to be able to perform my joke onstage and to also get hired to film a re-enactment of the joke I told,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s spot on “Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks” was filmed in Chicago and will air sometime in September on truTV.
These days, there’s one specific person Jackson thinks will make every comedian rich.
“President Trump. I know everyone says that, but if you’re a comedian and you’re not a millionaire by the time he’s out of office — you suck!,” Jackson jokes. “He gives you fresh, new material everyday!”
Just over a phone conversation, jokes come easily for this Kankakee native.
“I remember one of my principals actually came to one of my shows, and he asked if I remembered being in his office from when I was 8 years old,” said Jackson. “No — I don’t. I was 8!”
Amidst his new success, Jackson would love to come back to Kankakee and host his own comedy show. It just might not be as fast as his mom, Elaine Jackson, would like.
“She doesn’t care about timing or booking the right venue; she wants me to do a show there right now!” Jackson joked. “My last show there was a great time, and it was packed.”
As for his upcoming televised special?
“It’s life-changing,” he said.