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COMEDY: Sampson McCormick returning to Chicago
by Ashley Collins

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Sampson McCormick will be returning to Chicago this week to perform his trademark stand-up for fans.

McCormick started his career in Washington, D.C., where he said his first stand-up set was in third grade., "I've always been creative, I've always loved characters, I genuinely love people and I love looking at people and telling those stories," he told Windy City Times during a recent telephone interview.

McCormick already began his career in comedy even before he graduated from Maryland's Bowie State University, where he studied broadcast journalism, theater, drama/cultural media and public relations.

He has been involved in theater and the arts, as he continued to perform his craft some of his home performances were in coffee shops and gas stations. As one of the first African-American, openly gay male comics, McCormick has made appearances at the White House, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Broadway, The Comedy Store in Hollywood and other venues.

McCormick's comedy has tackled serious matters, including race, politics, homophobia in the church and more.

And he has certainly faced many challenges—but McCormick said he's on a mission. "I want to be able to see more of my story on the screen and when those little gay boys and girls come up behind me 10-20 years from now, I don't want them to go through what I've been through in this business," he said.

"I think being a Black gay man in comedy has definitely been one of the biggest sociology experiences I've ever had," said McCormick, who believes that "comedy" is one of the last authentic forms of communication left.

Now living in Los Angeles, McCormick continues to work on comic stand-ups and many other projects.

"It's different from singing, it's different from going out to see theater, it's different from going out to see a movie. Hopefully, there are enough young people who respect the craft enough to keep coming out and realize that it's still an art form," McCormick said.

He added that he doesn't see himself going into any other career path any time soon. In 2013, McCormick's comedy album That B*@&! Better Be Funny independently sold more than 7,000 copies, and first went viral on the internet. The album was later a finalist for a Grammy nomination in 2014. McCormick said that it was one the best times during his career.

"That whole era, that whole part of my career, that whole time was just wonderful because it was another thing that whole lot of people had told me that I could not do," McCormick said.

McCormick said that, when he performs, he just doesn't show up to be a comedian—but he's always showing up to make a statement and being a part of the LGBTQ community has taken a lot of tenacity.

"Comedy is my baby—that's my heart," he said. "I dream about comedy and in my dreams, I'm working out jokes and they say, 'Whatever you wake up thinking about every morning, that's what you're supposed to be doing.'"

Since his last performance in Chicago two years ago, McCormick said that Chicago is still one his favorite places to visit and perform stand-up.

"Chicago is a great city," McCormick said. "There's so much history there and I really look forward to being there. I try to visit museums and different places and there are wonderful people that come out.

McCormick said his Chicago fans come in a good mood and ready to have a good time and they play some good music.

"It's a vibe and I like what we do," McCormick said.

McCormick is performing Thursday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Bru Chicago Cafe, 1562 N. Milwaukee Ave. See .

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