Baron Vaughn

I remember reading in a comedy book very long ago when I first started, a person said there’s a difference between a sense of humor and a sense of funny. A sense of humor is knowing what makes you laugh and a sense of funny is knowing what makes other people laugh. The journey of comedy, in a sense, is negotiating those two worlds.

You can fit two United States and maybe a third one into the entire continent of Africa, but on a map we make the entire continent of Africa look like the size of the United States, which is why a lot of people don’t know that Africa is a continent. They think it’s a country because it looks as big as we do.

You’re the hero of your own story. So it’s interesting for historical revisionism to happen. I had let go of my own story from my own childhood and whatever anger I had and I began to see it from a very different place. It’s really easy to be like “This thing happened to me! Look what they did to me or are doing to me.” These are such powerful ideas and it’s so easy to hold onto them forever.

I like being around people who are good conversationalists. When there’s a give and take, and you are heightening an idea, exploring it together, that is my favorite thing in the world. I love a small dinner party – let’s say six people, max, where everybody’s having the same conversation. That’s my favorite thing in the world.

I am a big fan of Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He’s the voice of science and scientific thinking in the United States and the world. He’s the most visible proponent of scientific thinking, and he’s very unflinching about it. He knows that it’s correct and vouches for it in a very intelligent and very firm way, which I really appreciate.

You’re the hero of your own story. I had let go of my own story from my own childhood and whatever anger I had and I began to see it from a very different place. It’s really easy to be like “This thing happened to me! Look what they did to me or are doing to me.” These are such powerful ideas and it’s so easy to hold onto them forever. When I let go of those ideas it was easier to see my childhood from different points of view.

Last season when I was on set…for some reason I had The Battle Hymn of the Republic in my head but I didn’t know all the words. It was one of those songs you had to learn when you were younger. It wasn’t as important for people raised in the 80’s and 90’s as it was to people raised in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s so when I started singing “My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,” Jane [Fonda] heard me singing it and started singing the rest of it. Suddenly everyone on set everyone was singing. That’s just something I can keep in my heart forever.

When it was announced that Michael Keaton was going to be Batman, everyone was mad. When they announced that Val Kilmer was going to be Batman, everyone was mad. When it was announced that George Clooney was going to be Batman, everyone was mad. When it was announced that Christian Bale was going to be Batman, everyone was mad. And everyone was mad about Ben Affleck. So every single incarnation, people are going to be mad; you just can’t do anything about it.