Sampson McCormick, its a name that stands out and the man behind it commands attention not intentionally its his aura and self confidence; that is what first makes you do a double take whether you’re watching him in person or via the internet, Sampson stops you dead in your tracks you want to know what he has to say.
Born in North Carolina however he was raised DC and currently he resides in Oakland, California, Sampson is 27 years old and he has 3 siblings. Sampson McCormick didn’t have the white picket fence family life the most of us dream of, he endured physical abuse at the hands of his step father, which is why he found himself homeless at a young age if that wasn’t enough he was a young black man who was gay and to top it all off his family was extremely religious so coming out as gay wasn’t easy in the least in fact when Sampson told his mother he was gay she didn’t accept it but with time and understanding now he states she is his biggest cheerleader to date.
Sampson turned his adversities into comedy in order to get his message across, he has written two books, produced three comedy albums and won multiple awards the most recent one being the Gillard-Alston Award for his contributions to the LGBT Youth Empowerment in 2012. Sampson was also named Love from the Sound Stage’s Best Comedian in 2011. He is also an activist. Sampson has been in various print publications such as The Advocate, The Washington Post, Blade and Examiner he has also been featured in Metro and Truth weekly. Sampson has appeared on such television networks as BET, VH1, MTV and The Own Network. Sampson has preformed at the Kennedy Centre and had the privilege in August 2013 to become the first openly gay, black stand up comedian to headline the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC. Which is where his DVD “That Bitch Better Be Funny” was filmed, which is to be released in January 2014’
Those accolades and being on mainstream TV is something to be so proud of alone, mix it with Sampson’s journey and it that saying “you can do anything you set your mind to” rings so true.After watching Sampson on stage via You Tube turning his stories into comedy, he touches on subjects ranging from his mother not accepting him being a young gay black man using religion to stop him from being gay, his step father being abusive towards him facing and dealing with being homeless and fighting homophobia in his religion, bullying and domestic violence.
While on stage Sampson has that platform to use humor to talk about the adversities he has faced as a young gay black man, He tells his story on stage with humor not only to get his message across that it gets better, but to do it in a not confrontational way, a way that sinks in. Beyond everything he has over came on stage or off stage, in an interview or a conversation during my time talking to Sampson he made me smile, had me laughing out loud in emails and in our general conversation. The man has the funny gene and I can’t wait to keep watching him evolve. Sampson has had the pleasure of working with artists such as Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Whoopi Goldberg, Mo’Nique, Luenell, Thea Vidale, Karen Williams, and RuPaul.
Sampson’s mission is to allow people of all walks of life, to come together and feast on laughter, as his shows have received reviews that call his performances “riveting, conversational, uplifting, honest, fun, original, and full of good news.” Sampson is a warrior of life and being able to deal with laughter is the best medicine. I can’t wait to see him headlining shows across America and as the saying goes the world is your oyster, in this case his.
Read Sampson’s full interview with RA in our Winter issue HERE