By Pat Prescott

Next Wednesday August 31st, is a big night at the Hollywood Bowl. Back by popular demand, Marcus Miller and Reginald Hudlin return with The Black Movie Soundtrack II. Two years ago, it was one of the most popular shows in the Bowl summer series and this year it’s back and better than ever. Comedian, actor and musician Craig Robinson returns as host of this star studded affair which features film clips from some of the most popular Black films of all time along with performances from Earth, Wind and Fire, Babyface, Gladys Knight, Lalah Hathaway, Charlie Wilson, Common and more. Craig stopped by our studios today to talk about it and then hung around to talk some more for our Overtime segment.

Craig is super excited to return to the Bowl for another night of film clips and movie music. He thoroughly enjoyed working with Marcus and Reggie on the last concert and is thrilled to see that this one will be even bigger and better. In addition to talking about the concert, he told me about doing his first dramatic role in the Sundance Film Festival award winning movie “Morris From America”.

Overtime segments:

I had to ask Craig about Hot Tub Time Machine. It’s one of the silliest yet funniest movies ever and one of our favorites. Craig says he gets that all the time. Craig got to use his musical talents in this one. He also has the best line in the film when he turns to the camera and says “This must be some kinda hot tub time machine!” . He says his association with Seth Rogan has given a huge boost to his career. They first worked together on “Knocked Up.”

He has done a number of television shows but his NBC sitcom “Mr. Robinson” was unfortunately cancelled. He played a character that couldn’t have been more perfect for him; a music teacher, which he actually once was. Craig says despite the cancellation, he got a lot out of doing this project. He made some lasting friendships on the set and got to employ some of his friends and family, including his brother, who appeared on the show with him. These days people are talking a lot about Mr Robot, USA Network’s hot drama series starring Christian Slater. Craig joined the cast recently. The director saw him in Morris From America and realized that Craig could make the transition from comedy to drama.

We talked about Craig’s role as a mentor. He loves children and would like to lead by example though he says not everything he does is a good example for kids. He always has an open ear to young people. Some of his former students reach out to him to say how proud they are of him and several of them have made him proud too with their success in music careers. Music is an important part of Craig’s life so we talked about what’s on his iPod. He seriously has an eclectic mix including Cameo, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Pavarotti and Craig David.

Finally we talked about comedy. Craig started his career as a comedian. He hosted Season 7 of Last comic Standing. Recently, the show has turned to more seasoned comics who have enough variety in their acts to compete over several weeks of the show. Craig says it’s important to provide those opportunities for up and coming comics. His first TV appearances were critical for his confidence and exposure. He certainly has it all working right now. Spend the evening with Craig Robinson next week at the Black Movie Soundtrack II at the Bowl.


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