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When millennials found out that Jamie Foxx‘s name wasn’t really Jamie Foxx, they felt “disrespected” and “misled,” he said.
“A lot of millennials flipped out when they found out my name was Eric Bishop,” he told a packed theater during a Tribeca Film Festival Talk at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center on Monday night.
“Learn some s–t!,” he added as the crowd cracked up.
The comedian, 50, explained that after getting a standing ovations in a Los Angeles comedy club — by doing impressions of Mike Tyson and Ronald Reagan — jealousy started to catch on with his fellow, but more seasoned, comics.
“I’m thinking everything is going to go great,” he recalled. “But now every time I came back to that club they wouldn’t let me on because you would have to sign your name on the list and the comedians ran the list, so every time they saw Eric Bishop they wouldn’t put me on. So six weeks go by and I can’t get on stage.”
After noticing that female comics went on before male comics, he wrote down unisex names like Tracy Green and Jamie Foxx — and waited to see what happened.
When “Jamie Foxx” was called, he took the stage, and recalled, “I ended up getting a standing ovation as Jamie Foxx and that’s how the legend was born.”
However, getting used to his stage name took some time, he said, noting that people used to think he was “stuck up” for ignoring them.
“After I had a great set they were yelling my name like ‘Jamie! Jamie!’ but I wasn’t used to the name. Or like [people would say] ‘What’s up Jamie,’ and I wasn’t looking at them.”
Foxx will appear on FOX for season two of “Beat Shazam” on May 29 with his daughter as the show’s DJ.
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