Interview: Actor-Comedian Slink Johnson on Compton, the Bible Belt and Season 2 of 'Black Jesus'
Photo Credit: S & A
Interviews

Interview: Actor-Comedian Slink Johnson on Compton, the Bible Belt and Season 2 of 'Black Jesus'

Black Jesus - Season 2Adult Swim’s "Black Jesus" returns on September 18 for

what the network calls the "Second Coming."

The second season of Aaron McGruder and Mike Clattenburg’s live

action series finds Jesus (Gerald "Slink" Johnson) back on the

streets of Compton after a brief incarceration, only to find his band of

disciples has fallen on hard times. Jesus wants the gang to go straight – earn

legit money and spread the word of God to the masses. Easier said than done,

and it isn’t long before the Most High and his apostles are back to their old

ways.

Black Jesus himself, Slink Johnson, recently made time to tell

S&A about the series and what to look forward to.

What audiences should expect from Season 2:

Laughter, calamity, hijinks, fun! Did I mention

laughter? A great time, great surprise guest appearances. It’s going to be a

magnificent show.

Season 1 was more of an introduction, whereas in

Season 2 we’ll be able to get a little bit more into each of the characters’

lives, personalities and the things they’re dealing with as individuals. It’ll definitely

surprise you.

How the concept of "Black Jesus" has changed since starting as

an improvised sketch seven years ago:

It just kind of expanded from the original

three or four-minute long improvised sketch. The

people were real. Boonie is a real life friend of mine and the real Boonie was

in the original sketch. Jason is my real friend who introduced me to Aaron McGruder.

So we took that and created a world around it. We

got together Aaron, myself, Robert Wise, Meghann Collins and Mike Clattenburg and

brainstormed, got in the think tank and put together scenarios and ideas. We

were given the ball and told to make a show out of it.

Working

with Aaron McGruder:

Aaron is a great dude and I thank him so much

for giving me so much input in the creative process. As far as fleshing out the

character as a person, Aaron gave me the ball. A lot of doing Black Jesus was

easy for me because he just said, "Hey, imagine if you were Jesus. What

would you do? What would you say?"


How his background relates to "Black Jesus":

I was born and raised in the Bible belt, in a

little bitty small town called Dumas, Arkansas. My earliest years, I came up in

a very sanctified and holy church with my grandma, in a real small God-fearing

town. So I say that to say that I identify and believe in God. The same God that everybody might say I’m blaspheming

against is the same God that gave me the job.

How "Black Jesus" has

influenced his thoughts about spirituality:

It definitely reinforced some things that I

already felt, because I’ve always believed that God has a sense of humor. If

God is in us all, He definitely has to have a sense of humor. I read a post on

Black Jesus’ Facebook page that somebody made, it was tight, it said something

like, "God is the ultimate comedian and the world is afraid to laugh."

So it reinforces my belief that humor is good,

humor is for the soul.

What this

season offers that’s real and relevant:

Compassion, and the humanity of Jesus. In the

show, Jesus lives in Compton. Jesus is here and he’s preaching these messages

of love and compassion and tolerance. I think if people just watch and laugh

and focus on our similarities a little bit more than our differences it’ll draw

us together, and I think that’s what Jesus does. He draws people together via

our similarities, because we all have the same desires. There’s a few of us

with circuits that are off-balance or whatever, but for the most part we all yearn

for the same things, and I think Black Jesus is conveying that awesomely.

On Compton as the ideal location for the

series:

It represents an impoverished area that so many

great people come from, you dig? There’s so many roses growing from concrete in

Compton and there’s so much love to be had in spite of the notorious image that

it has. Because at one point, Compton was considered the most dangerous place

in the world. So why not put Jesus there, in the midst of the danger, where the

people really need him?

The

phrase that encapsulates this season:

 "In God we trust."

"Black Jesus" Season 2 Premieres

Friday, September 18 at 11pm on Adult

Swim.

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