Chicago comedian T. Murph making a name with help from Kevin Hart's show
Comedian T. Murph understands the struggles of parenting. He's gotten the phone calls from concerned teachers, and he's felt the pride of a child coming home with an A.
T. Murph, whose full name is Guerterrius Jackson, takes those entertaining parenting moments to the stage. When he cracks jokes at comedy clubs, he's often looking into a crowd of parents.
"They just love the show," T. Murph said. "I had somebody walk up to me after and say, 'You know your stuff. You have to be a parent in order to know this stuff.' They love it. Children give you unlimited material."
T. Murph, who spent time living in Downers Grove, is now based in Chicago. After seven years of hard work, T. Murph's name is finally spreading beyond the city. This fall he's going to tour his show across college campuses before returning home to perform in Chicago the weekend of Oct. 13 for his annual birthday show.
In July he performed at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, Canada, where he appeared on Kevin Hart's "Just for Laughs" show on the Laugh Out Loud streaming service. He said his invitation to the world's largest comedy festival fulfilled a long-term goal.
T. Murph had worked with Kevin Hart previously on "Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level." He was featured in the first episode of season 2, which aired on Aug. 3 on Comedy Central and can now be viewed on that channel's website.
The comedian first met Hart through Milton "Lil Rel" Howery, who he's known for years. Lil Rel guided T. Murph as he was getting his start.
"When I first started, I had really slow pacing ... but I'm a very upbeat person. And Lil Rel always told me you need to be more of who you are offstage onstage," he said. "When I started taking his advice, that's when things started taking off more and gave the audience a view of who I was."
T. Murph's comedic style changed again when he became a parent. His daughter and three sons, including a set of twins, consume most of his time, and he felt he needed to include them in his standup.
"They give me flak (for joking about them)," T. Murph said. "I talk about the twins the most because they are just ... oof ... their personality traits are totally different. One day one is the grade A student, and then the next day the teacher is calling me 24/7."
Throughout T. Murph's career and the various transformations he has made as a comedian, he has committed himself to remaining genuine. After all, T. Murph said he wants people to walk away from his set with an idea of who he is as a person.
"Truth is always funnier than fiction," T. Murph said. "When I'm not on the road, I'm taking care of my sons and my daughter since I'm a full-time dad. And that's different because I only work one hour a day. I have to talk about these things onstage."
• • •
Watch T. Murph's Comedy Central special
Comedian T. Murph was featured in the first episode of "Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level" season 2 in "T. Murph -- Better Stop Fighting," which aired on Aug. 3.
See it at cc.com/episodes/a6xk2z/kevin-hart-presents--the-next-level-t--murph-season-2-ep-201 or go to cc.com and click on full episodes. The website requires viewers to log into their TV providers.