FLINT, Michigan --
Being dramatic and over the top comes naturally for Flint native Cheese Stixx’s. The up-and-coming comedian is no stranger to the spotlight he commands whether on stage at his comedy shows, on podcasts with Flint musicians, or entertaining his fanbase on Facebook Live. “I always wanted to be dramatic no matter what,” he says with a smile over a FaceTime video call.
Raised in a two-parent household and the fourth of five children, Cheese Stixx’s grew up around the arts. His father was a traveling musician and part of The Flint Cavaliers. His mother was in a gospel group while his grandparents played musical instruments. Although Cheese Stixx’s is musically gifted, he chose instead to pursue standup comedy.
Flintside caught up with the comedian to talk about his inspirations, content creation, and love of God.
Flintside: This is my first time interviewing a comedian. It’s an incredible gift to get on stage, make people laugh, feel comfortable, and entertain them. What made you get into comedy?
"I want to sell out the Capitol Theater and shoot a special to put it on Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu."Stixx
: “I want to shout out to Carman-Ainsworth High School. [My coach] was the first person that saw it in me. I auditioned at the talent show and didn’t make it. He said, why don’t you use those skills on stage to host [the show.] I got out there being me, and I killed it. I hosted every fashion show and every talent show all four years of my high school career. I never thought about doing standup comedy, but I ended up on my friend Adrian’s show. I fell in love with it, and it inspired me to keep going and live my big dreams. I’m good at being goofy. It’s something I can wake up and do every day.”
Flintside: We don’t often get a look into how comedians create their content. What’s the inspiration behind your jokes?
: “I look up to Kevin Hart, Mike Epps, and Eddie Murphy. When it comes to my material, it’s real life. Nothing up there is fake. I come up with my material [based on] life, what I’ve been through, and what I’ve seen other people go through. I take that, find the humor, go on stage and talk about it. Black people struggle within a struggle. We all go through a lot, and I try to take and find humor in it all.”
Flintside: Comedy is not something that Flint is known for. We traditionally hear about sports, politics, and music. How did you find and cultivate your audience here in Flint?
: “I established my fan base through Facebook Live, and I entertained them by lying. I come up with stories ‘cause I’m a good liar too. [laughs] People don’t be blunt about it, but sometimes I blow up a huge story, and they’ve stuck with me. They love seeing drama. I started doing shows and hooked up with a couple of promoters during COVID to rock the mic. I got to give it up to Flint for sticking with me and following me through COVID. They’re the reason I am who I am right now. I learned if I continue to fight for my city, they will fight for me back.”
Flintside: Back in February, we were both on The Laid Back A** Podcast, and I recall your strong spiritual roots very vividly. Where does that come from, and how does it play a part in your comedy?
: “A praying grandmother. A praying grandfather. My mom and dad are spirit-fed. They go to church and believe in God, so it was instilled in me. As I grew older, I learned that you have a choice. That relationship grew because I took it upon myself to study His word for myself. I said to God every day if this is your will, I will forever give you honor. God is always love. I interpret that in my comedy, at the end of every show, I always give honor to God for me being able to make people laugh and feel love.”
Flintside: Choosing to do stand-up comedy isn’t easy and deviant from what society considers the norm. What’s the dynamic between you and your family in this aspect?
: “When I first started, it was hard. It came to a point where I said, should I be doing this? [I said] yeah, I shouldn’t. While I was mad, I wasn’t understanding, but I believe that some of the things my family didn’t accept about me being a comedian was a lesson through God. It gave me a test and a twist to where I took that negative energy and turned it into a positive. Now that they see the process, they love it. My family is one of my biggest supporters. CheeseStixx’s is not just for me. I want to turn this into a family corporate business.”
Flintside: Have you ever felt that you needed to change what type of jokes you did?
: “At first, I did because I wanted to be a real comedian. Then I realized why try to write punchlines and jokes [when I can] just be myself. I’m gonna go [on stage] with the same attitude from Facebook Live. I love being relatable because people are scared to talk about certain stuff. If you’re going to be afraid to talk about it, let’s talk about it. That’s how I started getting my routines together on stage.”
Flintside: You said you wanted to make this into a family business. What other goals do you have?
I make music, so I want a record label. My cousin does real estate, so I want to have Cheese Stixx’s real estate. My [other] cousin wants to be a makeup artist. I want her to do makeup for any of my films in production. I want to sell out the Capitol Theater and shoot a special to put it on Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu. Another goal is I want to build a $7 million youth center in Flint. I want everything in it. It’s free, and that’s an opportunity to make kids believe that I could do what I want to do and be successful. That’s one of my biggest goals I want to accomplish.”
Flintside: When people hear the name Cheese Stixx’s and they come to your show, what lasting impression do you want to leave them with?
: “I want to leave them love, laughter, and a mindset to be who they want to truly be. I want them to be that bold and outgoing. Be boldly in love and God-fearing. That’s the impression I want to leave.”
You can find Cheese Stixx’s on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. His new Birthday Bash Comedy Show is scheduled for June 4.