In 2013, McCormick was the first openly gay Black male comedian to headline the historic Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. and has been shaping new and fresh perspectives on the conversations that Black gay men are having whether its via his YouTube channel or his Facebook Lives.
McCormick’s 2014 comedy album That Bitch Better Be Funny: Live at the Howard Theater, was a finalist for a Grammy nomination.
His mentor in comedy is non other than the legendary Paul Mooney, who says he’s Sampson’s comedy godfather. (That’s no small feat, as Mooney’s list of godsons includes Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle; he’s also written for iconic shows like Sanford and Son. Mooney doesn’t anoint new comics lightly.)
McCormick’s also penned two books: Taboo Village: A Perspective on Being Gay In Black America and Ebonics Faggotry.
In a 2015 profile in OUT Magazine, McCormick said, “When I first started, I thought that whoever you were, that that’s the crowd you should stick to—i.e. a black audience—and after the club that I started at closed down, I stopped performing for a few months,” he says, “because I didn’t think that I could make anyone other than black people laugh. Finally, I catered my act to things that all audiences could understand, although my show is still based on my point of view. I prefer diversity. And when I’m on tour, lots of lesbians buy the tickets, I have a very large lesbian following, I never figured out why, but I appreciate it and love them and so do white folks, black folks, and everybody else. It’s beautiful. Now, as for black or gay crowds, I definitely feel like both can be critical if you don’t have your shit together. So, if you’re an entertainer, you want the gays and the black community on your side, because they love to be entertained and will support you no matter what as long as you know how to bring the goods.”
“That’s actually where the title for my comedy album [Bitch Better Be Funny] came from,” he laughs. “I was late to a show once, and waiting to get in behind these two black girls, and I overheard them say, “20 bucks a ticket? For twenty bucks, that bitch better be funny.” Laughs. “I’ve never forgotten that.”
Watch McCormick’s clip from Church Boy below where he talks about his experiences as a Black gay man in Black barber shops, a social institution that poses the biggest challenges for performing hyper-masculinity in the Black community and the trailer to Church Boy below.
Church Boy – Sampson McCormick (Black LGBTQ Comedy Film Trailer)