When life gives him lemons, Malcolm Hatchett makes jokes

Winston-Salem native Malcolm Hatchett graduated from Mount Tabor High School.

When life gives  him lemons, Malcolm Hatchett makes jokes
July 19
01:30 2018

Long before he was headlining comedy clubs, Malcolm Hatchett knew he was destined for greatness. At the age of 19, Hatchett says he knew he had found his calling.

“I’ve been like this my whole life I’m just now taking it seriously and putting my all in to it.” Hatchett said.

Today Hatchett, 24, a native of Winston-Salem and graduate of Mount Tabor High School, is quickly becoming well known on the comedy scene. He has had the opportunity to perform at some of the most popular comedy platforms on the West Coast including The World Famous Comedy Store, The Hollywood Improv Comedy Club, The Laugh Factory and Westside Comedy Theater just to name a few.

Although Hatchett has established himself as a stand-up comedian, the road to success wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. Shortly after moving to Los Angeles last summer in pursuit of his dream, Hatchett found himself sleeping in his car.

Hatchett said although he had living arrangements set up when he decided to move to the Golden State, things didn’t go as planned.

“I stayed at the hostel for about two weeks. I had a job when I first got here but they cut my hours and they put me out. I was homeless on the streets for a few hours then a friend from Winston picked me up.”

A few weeks passed and everything seemed to be looking up for Hatchett when things took a turn for the worse and he found himself back on the streets of L.A. with no where to go once again.

“A friend of mine back home sent me $1,500 and I bought this hooptie and I was sleeping in it outside Planet Fitness. It’s crazy because I started blowing up because it got rough,” he continued. “At one point in February I was going to come back home and move to Atlanta because it was closer but I decided to stay.” 

And staying proved to be the right decision.

Shortly after he was asked to leave the Planet Fitness parking lot, Hatchett finally caught a break. Six months after he was on the streets of L.A. with nowhere to go, Hatchett was able to get a manager and sign with one of the biggest agencies in the country.

“Some people take it and run with it and lose it but me I just take it and don’t really celebrate. I just look at it like now I have to work even harder,” said Hatchett. “I have to show them what I’m capable of doing. The more stuff that I get it motivates me to go even harder.”

With the dark days behind him Hatchett now uses his personal struggles on stage. He said that’s what separates him from other comedians.

“I talk about being homeless, selling drugs, losing friends because that’s pain and if you can talk about the pain and make it funny then you’re going to be alright. That’s what separates me because people are afraid to talk about that kind of stuff,” he continued. “…That’s why I look up to Richard Pryor and Mike Epps I just talk about the things that are hurting me and hurting others. It feels good to get it off your chest. If you can make them laugh you don’t have to cry about it anymore.”

Despite the fact that he has found some success on the West Coast, Hatchett says he will never forget where he came from. During a recent interview with The Chronicle Hatchett said every chance he gets he tells people about his hometown.

“Every time I get on stage, I let people know I’m from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. People tell me I’m funny all the time but they don’t know that Winston is the reason why I’m funny,” said Hatchett. “… Like California is nice but it didn’t make me; Winston-Salem made me. I had this before I got out here. Coming out here just made me take it more seriously.

“… I was made before I got on that Greyhound. California developed me, that’s all it is.”

While continuing to perform at clubs and platforms across California, Hatchett has also performed in Las Vegas. This weekend Hatchett will be performing his first show in Raleigh at Goodnights Comedy Club. He will be opening  for Theo Von for five sold out shows. Hatchett said he is excited to get his second ever booking in his home state. 

When Hatchett was asked what advice he would give to someone who may have a passion for something but not sure if they should pursue it, he said, “If you have a talent and you’re not using it that talent will disappear and that job you’re working will become a life style. I say just do it now.

“…Don’t worry about it; just go all in now because your life could end tomorrow. That’s why I moved out here I said I’d rather die in California chasing my dreams than die back home,” he said. “Just try and see how you feel because you’ll never know if you want it unless you put 110 percent in.”

Five years from now, Hatchett said his dream is to come back to Winston-Salem and sell out a show at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. 

He also mentioned opening a gym and starting a nonprofit organization designed to uplift youth in the community

“Maybe a few movies, but that’s my dream. I use to go downtown everyday and dream about it. I don’t even want a crib out here. I want a crib back home. I just want to be able to get on a jet and come here real quick and go back to the North side and eat some Cookout. That’s all I want.”


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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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