The Unemployed Comedian




From the urban streets of Newark, NJ,  with an Arabic first name and English sir name, Hassan Oliver, used his charisma and environment as a bases for always being the center of attention.  Hassan’s career did not begin with comedy, as many may believe.  His first love has always been acting, but being the “class clown” tugged at the opportunity try his chops as a comedian.


Comedy just a part of my personality. I love acting and drama, but I think I like to make people laugh more.  Comedy really started for my back in ’05… ’06.  When I got booed off the stage the first time, I pretty much had to think about it. Like do I want to do this for real or am I scared?  It made me realize that I wasn’t funny…only funny to myself and my friends. I had to learn to be funny to everybody else.  It wasn’t a comfortable feeling. After like a month, I went back and did much better.  I just had to break the ice. It humbled me a lot.

Comedy is harder than acting. Comedy… you have to be mentally prepared.  It’s not going to work in the beginning.  You’re not getting paid. You have to go through more of a transition from believing that “this” can be funny. With comedy… it’s just you and the mic.


Since that first head dive into comedy, Hassan has been working overtime to perfect his craft. The outcome has paid out lovely with sold out shows and hitting the stage with big-name comedians like Kevin Hart.




I met Kevin before he went to the Super Rock Star Status.  When I met him I was just coming up. We met again we were just talking about it.  He was like, “Yeah, that was you in Baltimore! They canceled the show and didn’t give us all our money.” From that day on he just kept saying, “I gotta get me a team because I can’t do everything, I gotta be focused on being funny.” By him just talking even at the level he was at, he basically said to me that it’s not my fault, just gotta get a team.



Hassan talked about meeting actor Clifton Powell… you know, Pinky from Next Friday! Clifton saw the actor in Hassan and encouraged him to go out to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.


It got me focused to where whatever comes, I was going to keep going.


The encouragement he received from fellow comedian Kevin Hart and actor Clifton Powell pushed him to not only strengthen his delivery, but learn the business behind the scenes too.


The last couple of years learning the business made me see why a lot of guys that’s really funny don’t go far because they chasing the funny money, not the long-term money.


These days comedians are popping up a dime – a dozen. It is understood that you have to be able to really think outside the box and yet keep your individuality to complete in an already heavily saturated industry.


You’ve got urban, mainstream and then you’ve got reels… all types.  I’ve learned from the people who are successful in it.  Can’t nobody mock you, but you.  I was always known for a dance comedian. I stuck with that until I could get my funny better. I’m always myself. I tell people, just do you. Don’t try to do nobody else.

Everybody’s a comedian. Actors are even taking comedic roles, so it’s competition… like who’s going to be next? I tried out for Nick Cannon.  I tried out for everything on television you can image. It made me feel down a little bit, but it didn’t stop me.


I can only image the feeling of going all in and chasing every opportunity only to have doors and the windows slammed in your face.  I think Hassan figured this out, but at times, God will put us in uncomfortable situations to strengthen us. We may think that, oh this is exactly what we want, but God may actually be blocking it… keeping us from some unforeseen craziness. There’s always a reason for the “No.” But if you’re anything like me or Hassan, those “no’s” in life will only make you go harder.


And that’s just what Hassan is doing. He’s made the decision to focus on his craft of film and comedy.  His new film, The Real Unemployed Comedian is set to premier April 27.


hassan promo


I’m going the route of something different that other comedic probably won’t do.  Like Kevin Hart says, you gotta think outside the box and challenge yourself.  Challenge yourself in the industry, don’t challenge other people. I put a lot of stuff to the side just to focus on this [film], because when I put it out, it has to be good. If it flops, I learn from it and do better. Next I’ll be doing more acting classes. Any money coming in will be reinvested into my craft.


A businessman and a comedic, Hassan is also a philanthropist, willing to share a message to empower communities even through comedy. His efforts build trust with fans and shows that he really cares. It’s not always about the money.  It can be, but it’s really about the impact.


Now that I’m married and with a kid, everything changed for me. I see things in a different universe. When I host show… I host a lot of events. I can host anything if you give me a mic and a format.  And I would host an event know that there’s probably a lot of people in the crowd on welfare, but I would use jokes that I’ve learned from the suburbs to let them know that it’s okay to be that way, but I’ll break down the facts of why you shouldn’t strive to be on welfare. I won’t make my jokes ghetto because I’m in the hood. They may not be laughing… it’s always about comedy with me. Like Chris Rock said, “always add a message in it…”  A lot of friends of mine were killed in the streets and so I just take it and switch it up to bring something good to the community. I still do free shows.


While Hassan is focused to his craft, he is more so dedicated to his new family and looks to his wife for support especially when making decisions.


All you need is support, someone to listen to you and even critique you a little bit. She’s [wife] always had her own thing going too.  As long as we have us and that little girl and we just keep our connection, there really isn’t a problem. To be honest if I have to make a decision, I’ll ask her. I need her support more than anything. I can think I know it all, but then an hour later, I’m looking at her like yeah, you were right. You have to be critiqued by someone else.


Now more than ten years later since hitting the stage to share his gift in 2006, Hassan overall outlook of the industry itself has evolved.  He is more responsible.  He will even admit that comedy made him a man and even humble.


To me, ten years is just the beginning. Now I’m in the stage of learning the whole business of it. It’s like okay… it’s a ride. It’s a lifetime journey to be successful.

I love comedy, but my passion is acting.  I look forward to sharing a scene with Denzel Washington or Angela Bassett.  I know it takes a while, but I would want to be in films with them. Learn from the best.


You gotta have patience. Pray a lot. Life is a job to succeed and learn. You can do comedy. You can be an actor, just be willing to accept the challenges.  This business is nothing to play with. It will chew you up and spit you right out.

Now that’s the tenth year, I’m looking into more of just progressing… learning the business more, because at the end of the day, it’s 15 percent of the funny and more of the business to be successful.


While selling out shows, mix and mingling with stars and creating a household name for himself, Hassan Oliver’s passion and drive to succeed is definitely keeping him busy! With the premiere of his new film releasing next month, I’m sure we’ll see and hear more from the actor/comedian.






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