Mario Testino’s In Your Face exhibit — currently on display at the MFA — is colorful, stunning and fierce. The renowned celeb and portrait photographer, whose images have been featured in “Vogue” and “Vanity Fair,” shares photos of supermodels and international superstars such as Kate Moss, Gisele Bündchen, Madonna and Lady Gaga from his portfolio spanning 30 years. Also in the collection were photos of Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Pitt, David Beckham and Tom Brady, to name a few. As evidenced by the massive, striking photo of Jennifer Lopez clothed as a boxer hanging in The Gund Gallery, Testino’s exhibit celebrates not only beauty but the human body and spirit. It’s lush, bold, brass and in your face.
The comedian known as Earthquake, neé Nathaniel Stroman, got his start doing stand-up comedy while he was an enlisted sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. His philosophy? “This has to work, ain’t no plan B.” Well, the father of three has made it work and has been very successful in forging his path in comedy. Since his start in the mid-1990s, Earthquake has appeared on radio (The Howard Stern Show), TV (Comedy Central, HBO, “Chelsea Lately”), and in film (“Clerks II”). In 2006, Earthquake voiced the character Root the Rooster in the animated film “Barnyard” and its spinoff TV series. A year later, he landed the recurring role of Uncle Mike on the CW network’s “Everybody Hates Chris,” and in 2010, he was one of the highlights of Shaquille O’Neal’s stand-up special “All-Star Comedy Jam.”
I chatted briefly with Earthquake over the phone as he touched down at LAX from a weekend gig in Mississippi. In between laughter, we talked about the Presidential election, the Los Angeles Lakers and his comedy routine.
You’re originally from D.C. and a supporter of President Obama. Did you follow the campaign?
Of course. I didn’t want the brother to lose his house.
The last few months it’s been all about the election. Have you included more politics in your stand-up?
No, not really. It’s whatever I find is funny.
You’ve talked about your dislike for the Lakers. Any thought on the Lakers firing Coach Mike Brown?
They couldn’t get rid of Barack so they got rid of the next black man they could find. All brothers with a job out there should be worried [laughs].
How did you feel the first time that an audience laughed at your jokes on stage? Was it a rush?
It was a rush. Definitely a rush. It was the high of all highs.
Who has been the biggest influence on your comedy?
I don’t really have any person that I look to. God and myself. [Going into comedy] was the best decision I made.
If your children wanted to follow in your footsteps, would you encourage or discourage them?
Neither. I just want them to do what makes them happy.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s like that question, “What’s the key to success?” There ain’t none. The only person who was special was Jesus because people came to see him.
Who makes you laugh?
A lot of people. Eddie Griffin. Kevin Hart. Corey Holcomb.
What advice would you give to an upcoming comedian?
Be who you are. My advice would be to be original. They already have an Earthquake.
You’re always on the road traveling. How’s your love life these days?
I have a girlfriend. She’s from New Orleans. You know it’s love when you let them clean your apartment before you even clean your apartment.
Would you ever remarry?
We’re already married. It’s just a formality. We’ve already talked about stuff that you don’t want getting out. It’s a beautiful thing.
Tell us one thing that fans don’t know about you?
That I’m sensitive about my jokes. Sometimes my desire for perfection is imperfect.
Do you have any projects coming up that you can talk about?
No, not yet, but real soon. But, I’m looking forward to coming to Boston and eating all that Chinese food in Chicopee.
Earthquake performs at The Wilbur on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. (tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com), and at the Hukelau in Chicopee on Friday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. (www.hukelau.com).
Tonight, Thursday, Nov. 15 The Wilbur presents En Vogue at 8 p.m.
The French Cultural Center presents the art exhibit “Paris in Black and White” now through Nov. 29. This free event showcases a series of photos capturing the magic of Paris.
Saturday, Nov. 24, The MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods presents Maxwell in his “World Winter Warm Up Tour” at 8 p.m.
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