The Man Behind the Microphone: Marion Stafford “Blame the Comic”

Marion Stafford, also known as “Blame The Comic”. Photo courtesy of Gigsalad.

Marion Stafford, also known as “Blame The Comic”. Photo courtesy of Gigsalad.

Joseph Tucci, Managing Editor

Marion Stafford, also known as “Blame The Comic”, performed his stand-up comedy show in Boudreau Lounge Thursday night. Originally from Houston Texas, Stafford makes his living traveling around the country and performing stand-up comedy.

“I’m a humble guy. I like people because people are the connection to my success,” Stafford said.

The comic seeks to entertain his audience by making fun of them, the area he is performing in, as well as the way he sees things perceived in the media – such as the way Disney appears to stereotype characters in their cartoons.

“You had one character who had an African Accent in the whole [Lion King], Rafiki. The goddamn monkey. So you mean to tell me that this is the only character with an African accent and [the Africans] still have to be bamboos and monkeys with the big red ass,” Stafford said.

Stafford started his comedic career in 2002 after being inspired by other stand-up comedians in his area. The Houston native experienced his first success in 2004 when he won a competition with The Kings and Queens of Comedy show.

“My three minutes [At The Kings and Queens of Comedy] won me three thousand dollars, a jacket, and got me on a thirteen-city tour,” Stafford said. “I never quit, I just kept moving forward and now stand-up comedy is my full-time job.”

In 2004, Stafford got his first television appearance at Black Entertainment Television’s Coming to The Stage during its second season. There, he felt like he lost due to the network wanting to target certain ethnicities for viewership.

“Towards the end of the episode, when things were working out, they kept people of certain ethnic backgrounds for viewership. I didn’t fit their puzzle so I didn’t get to move on in the comedy competition,” Stafford said.

This year, the comic has seen growth in his social media, with his Facebook account growing from 5,000 followers to over 224,000 after he started releasing comedic videos on the platform. He sees this expansion as the key to future success.

“I know a guy who has three million followers on Facebook and he goes around the country getting five to ten thousand dollars [performing for the weekend,]” Stafford said.

Stafford has also used his comedy for charity work, hosting a show for the Keep a Child Alive Foundation.

Before becoming a full-time comedian, Stafford worked as a certified special-education teacher, however, he stopped teaching because he has seen more success as a comic.

“Anytime you work for yourself you have your ups and downs. I will say that since I’ve stopped teaching, I’ve made more money than when I was at my job. So, it wasn’t a bad move,” Stafford said.

In the next five years, Stafford hopes to get his own sitcom or movie.

“I’m definitely on my way to doing bigger and better things,” Stafford said

The comic booked his show at Pace through the Association for the Performance of Campus Activities. This was the furthest he has ever been from Texas.

“Pace hit me up and said ‘Hey we would love to have you’ and I guess my show was clean enough and wasn’t too raunchy [that it was appropriate],” Stafford said.

Although Stafford felt that his brand of comedy didn’t always connect with Pace, because he is older than his audience and he is from Texas, he still felt it was a successful event.

“He was terrible. You couldn’t understand him at all,” Junior Joseph Gonzalez said.