New sitcom White Famous debuts on Stan on Monday October 16, the same day it premieres in the US. It’s about a talented young African American comedian, Floyd Mooney (SNL’s Jay Pharoah), who’s poised to cross over into mainstream success, but finds that maintaining his credibility as he becomes ‘white famous’ is a tricky business.
The series, which is co-produced by Jamie Foxx and features Foxx playing himself, was inspired by the 49 year old’s early career. The Oscar-winning star of Ray and Django Unchained got his start in stand-up comedy in the late 1980s and has now teamed up with Californication’s creator, Tom Kapinos, to turn those experiences into a show.
Foxx has his fingers in so many pies – as actor, comedian, musician and TV producer – it’s hard to keep up. So here’s a quick rundown on ten things you may not know about Jamie Foxx...
1 His real name is Eric Marlon Bishop and he was born in Terrell, Texas.
2 He’s been playing piano since he was five years old.
3 He won a scholarship to study classical music and composition at United States National University, San Diego, and earned a crust as a musician from his teenage years.
4 Egged on by a girlfriend, he first performed stand-up at an open-mic night in 1989.
5 He took on the name 'Foxx' in homage to pioneering African-American comedian Redd Foxx, and the gender-neutral ‘Jamie’, because women comedians were often given more opportunities on stand-up bills because of their relative scarcity.
6 Ironically, the Wayans Brothers’ sketch show In Living Colour gave Foxx his first steady TV job in 1991 – and his signature role was in drag as ‘Wanda’.
7 His debut album, Peep This (1994), did poorly, but 11 years later his sophomore effort, Unpredictable (2005), made it to number one on the Billboard Chart and sold 2 million copies.
8 Foxx has sung on two tracks that were number one hits – Kanye West’s ‘Gold Digger’ (2005) and Twista’s ‘Slow Jamz’ (2003).
9 With 2004’s Collateral and Ray, Foxx became one of only two actors ever to be nominated for two Oscars for two films in the same year. (Al Pacino is the other one.)
10 For Ray, he had to learn to play and sing like Ray Charles and move like a blind man, but he maintained that the hardest part about the role was “losing weight”.