Desi Banks remembers his first comedy set like it was yesterday.
He hosted an event in an Atlanta lounge in 2016 and was told he could do a five-minute skit. He was nervous, but was just so excited for the opportunity, because for Banks make for laughter is a goal and a calling.
“People only come to my page for that reason, to smile when they experience something and that’s the purpose of it. Laughter is a medicine, it’s in the Bible,” Banks said. “We have to laugh, it’s good to laugh and I’m just grateful to be one of those who can do it in front of a large audience that really loves me.”
Banks’ comedy has skyrocketed him from the lounges of Atlanta to social media stardom on platforms like Vine and Instagramtouring the country so far.
Banks will perform for the first time ever in Pensacola for his “Beyond the Internet” comedy tour Saturday at 7:30 PM at the Pensacola Saenger Theater at 118 S. Palafox St.
Banks called his tour “Beyond the Internet” because he’s much more than just a “social media guy,” he said. He has a production company, Desi Banks Productions, a web series called “How It Goes Down In The Hood”, and a podcast “How It Goes Down”, which includes NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and R&B singer Jacquees. †
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Banks has more than 7.6 million Instagram followers and more than 672,000 followers on Twitter, making him one of the most well-known comedians on the web. Banks came from humble beginnings, attending Cedar Grove High School in Georgia, then attending Morehead State University and transferring to Georgia State University to play football for both schools.
At school, he joked with his teammates and discovered his gift for making people laugh.
He started making skits for the now-defunct video platform Vine in 2012, and after graduating from Georgia State in 2015 came back to social media with Instagram with more original skits.
His most famous are with his funny, unseen and always troubled companion Parlay, who, according to Banks, laughingly “is one of my real buddies, you know, he’s just camera shy”.
He added: “I feel like everyone has a Parlay, everyone has a friend who is always there for them, that’s your first friend. That friend you can always count on, that’s crazy, just the life of a party.”
Banks likens his comedy style to that of Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy because of the rawness of their styles and how they always spoke the truth. He brings that into his own comedy skits and stand-up by talking about his own life, hardships, family and friends. For Banks, the best comedy is the one in which the comedian is always honest and recognizable to his audience.
His gift to the world is to bring laughter on stage or in the comfort of someone’s home, looking at their phone or at a computer. He has always wanted to reach as many people as possible and constantly saw fans in his comment section telling them to come to Pensacola.
He hopes his tour can bring all of his Pensacola fans and those from nearby towns to enjoy an evening with him in person and see that he is more than what you see on your screen.
“I want to show you that I am more than just the Internet, that I am beyond the Internet,” said Banks. “I really do, and that’s what you want. That’s my goal when you guys come to the show.”
To buy tickets go to Ticketmaster or Desibanks.net†