JB Smoove Gives a Master Class on Life, Love, and the Benefits of Drinking Hot Dog Water
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” comedian makes his Stern Show returnJanuary 11, 2023
JB Smoove might be a hugely successful actor, comedian, and writer, but that doesn’t mean the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star has turned his back on the people in his life before he became a celebrity. “I still have the same friends that I grew up with,” he told Howard Wednesday morning in his first time on the Stern Show since 2017. “Every one of my friends is the same friends I started laughing with when I was fucking 10 years old … I’m just a kid that grew up in the projects, I ain’t nothing special.”
During his latest interview with Howard, the funny man reflected on everything, from his marriage, his career, and his upbringing in North Carolina. But first, he taught Howard the importance of having “Get the fuck off me muscles,” especially if he ever finds himself in prison. “If something happens Howard, and you go to prison … you want to work on the muscles that allow you to get motherfuckers off you,” he suggested. “That will be the majority of your time. You’re a new prisoner, you’ll spend time getting people the fuck off of you. Not punching, not hitting.”
On Meeting Mrs. Smoove
When JB met his wife of over 15 years, singer Shahidah Omar, he was hardly a household name. But that didn’t stop the eventual star from putting a slick move on his now bride when the two crossed paths at a Los Angeles restaurant. “When I met my wife, I was a cordial, cordial gentleman,” he told Howard of that night. “This beautiful lady walks through the restaurant to go the bathroom. Her hair was bouncing, the world slowed the fuck down a little bit … I was intrigued.”
At first unsure of how to impress Shahidah, he used his connections with the owner to score her and her friends a table next to his. “I said, ‘Ladies, enjoy yourselves, I wanted to make sure you guys had a seat’ and she was impressed with that move … that’s a power move,” he explained. “To all you fellas out there who don’t know how to fucking act, I ignored her the whole fucking time … I didn’t expect anything from her.”
It wasn’t until the end of the night that JB made his next move. “I said, ‘Quick question, where are we going to go on our first date?’” he remembered, which prompted her to take the bait and ask if they were going to go out together.
Even more impressive to the comedian was what his future wife did as she went to drive away from the restaurant. “This is the move that got me hooked on her,” he told Howard. “She starts the car, she fucking looks both ways, and proceeded to do the most vicious, illegal fucking U-turn I’ve ever seen in my goddamn life – she damn near did a donut … That’s the kind of woman I love – aggressive behind the wheel.”
JB Is a Full-Time Vegan
While Shahidah’s veganism eventually rubbed off on her husband, that doesn’t mean JB hasn’t had his fair share of meat-filled meals. “I’m a kid from North Carolina originally, so I’ve had everything,” he revealed. “I’ve had bear meat, fucking rabbit, goddamn wild squirrel … and a lot of that shit I’ve had mushed into a fucking sausage.”
JB has even had snake sausage in the past, which made him wonder why they even had to make snake sausage to begin with. “Basically, a fucking snake is a sausage,” he joked. “Isn’t he a moving sausage anyway?!”
Even when his family moved to the housing projects of Mount Vernon, N.Y., it didn’t keep his father from hunting and gathering his own food. “He had this long-ass shotgun, he would bring wild shit home all the time, put paper down in the living room, and clean these motherfuckers right in the fucking living room,” JB remembered of his dad. “One time he caught a deer and they brung that shit home. Can you imagine your dad hoisting a fucking deer over his shoulder and carrying that shit into the projects?”
A full vegan for six years now, JB has sworn off all animal products. “No cheese, no eggs, no meat, nothing that blinks and nothing that breathes,” he said of his diet, before listing off the benefits he’s seen since making the change. “My muscles are fucking great, my weight is perfectly at 180. I don’t budge. I may go down one pound and up one pound, that’s it.”
That doesn’t mean the comedian doesn’t believe in the potential upside of at least some meat products. “You want to save your fucking kids and make them tough? From when they are born to when they turn three years old, give them nothing but hot dog water,” he suggested. “That shit will make you tough.”
At 57 and having been in entertainment for around 35 years, JB has learned a few things. “Trial and error, trial and fucking error,” he said to Howard before noting he likes to pay that wisdom forward. “At this point in my life I have learned so much and I feel like I can fix people … Even in my tour right now, the ‘Physical Therapy’ tour, it’s a physical style of comedy, but the therapeutic part of it is shit that you need … in order to get through certain things that we are dealing with right now in life.”
The comedian’s desire to help extends far beyond the stage. Whether JB sees people in need at the airport or while clothes shopping, he’s prepared to step in. Case in point, the time he saw a man with his girlfriend buying an outfit for a job interview. “I peeked around the corner and the shit she picked out was fucked up … it was the worst shit ever,” he recounted. “I said, ‘I can’t let this guy do this … I don’t even know this fucking man, but I can’t in my right heart let this man go to this job interview tomorrow with that bullshit on.’”
Instead, the actor approached the job applicant with advice. “I’m going to fix your shit really quick. You’re going to get this job tomorrow because I see you have determination. I see you’re determined to better yourself, but you can’t wear this stupid shit right here,” he remembered telling the customer. “’Take that jacket off, that tie off’ … I had this motherfucker damn near naked.”
JB went as far as to pick out an interesting pocket square, explaining the item is much more than an accessory. “You need a conversation piece. That’s what life is about – a conversation piece. You need something that’s going to attract a person’s eye or their interest that’s going to buy you time to figure this shit out,” he noted. “I said, ‘You’re going to get that job tomorrow.’”
And while JB’s skilled at helping people with the “before” to the point he thinks he could have a show about it, there could be an issue following up with the “after.” “I don’t fucking know,” he said when asked if his subject landed the job. “I didn’t give that motherfucker my number to check in on me.”
Jagger Likes Smoove
JB might be known to mix it up with everyday folks – having even missed flights chatting with fans who appeared to be in need – but that doesn’t necessarily translate to celebrities. In fact, his priorities were once put to the ultimate test when he was approached by a representative of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who is evidently a big fan of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” When the woman suggested flying the comedian all the way to Ireland to meet the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, JB declined.
“I got to work tomorrow, how the fuck do you fly to Ireland in the spur of the moment and say fuck my job? Fuck being on set tomorrow, I’m going to Ireland to hang out with Mick Jagger?” he recalled thinking at the time. “You mean put this fork and knife down and get on a plane with you guys right now? … My plate just got here.”
To catch JB on his “Physical Therapy” tour in a city near you, check out his website for more info.