Memphian Spotlight: DJ Pryor

We doubt you can get your kids on his waiting list, but DJ Pryor is the new principal at Memphis Daddy Day Care. #RealTalk

His adorable—and hilarious—viral video has been viewed 57 million times across social media. It also showcases the role that millennial dads are playing in young households. Psychological research from families across the country suggests that a father’s affection and increased family involvement help promote children’s social and emotional development. Check out Pryor’s approach, as the stand-up comedian and actor has an animated conversation with his 19-month-old son about the season finale of the television show “Empire.” #QualityTime

So what does going viral mean to DJ Pryor? For starters, he’s been anointed social media’s newest—and funniest—dadfluencer by Wired Magazine.

Before his recent viral sensation status, Pryor was making a name for himself at local clubs, churches, and colleges. Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Pryor credits his high school teacher with igniting his fire for the stage. Instead of putting up with the disruptive class-clown, his teacher channeled Pryor’s infectious energy by allowing him to tell jokes for a few minutes at the end of the day, kickstarting his career in comedy at age 15. In an interview on APSU TV, Pryor shared that he used to have to sneak into comedy clubs to get the chance to perform. “This place [was] called The Comedy Zone,” Pryor grinned. “I used to sneak in there […] to get some stage time. I told the bouncer if I can make you laugh, will you let me in there? And I was hooked ever since.”

Talking about his comedic style, Pryor explains, “I think every artist…evolves, and my comedy used to be about the game of clowning around and making people laugh, but I wasn’t talking about anything. Now, my stand-up represents my truth; talking about where I come from […] and doing it from such a unique perspective […] that people want to watch it.”

He’s opened for Corey Clark, hosted a self-titled radio show, and appeared in commercials for Allstate and Jack Daniels. In support of the Jack Daniels commercial he posted on Facebook, “I’d like to thank Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey the company for allowing a young black actor, comedian & musician […] to represent your brand meanwhile showcasing my acting and creative process of working on my music!!!!!” 

In January 2019, Pryor hit it even bigger when he was one of 21 actors and comedians selected to perform in the CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase. In Los Angeles, in front of an audience of comedy insiders and casting directors, he bore his soul—and took his southern charm center stage. As he explains, “I talk about my family on stage. My stand-up is based on my life.” “I’ve been doing this nearly 15 years, chasing this dream. Now, I’ve finally found my voice as a comic.”

Hollywood may be calling, but Pryor’s home and heart remain here in Tennessee. “People are like, ‘Man, you go all the way out to L.A. Why don’t you stay in L.A.?’ Because I like going up there and working, and coming back to Clarksville. I love it.” 

With the showcase under his belt and his newfound viral fame, let’s see where Memphis’s favorite dad goes next. Other than Denny’s that is. Don’t miss our favorite dadfluencer and his son having a grand slam breakfast, and make sure you follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You Might Also Be Interested In…

 

We Outside This Juneteenth!

By: Brianna Smith-Herman Memphis is the mecca for black history and the fight for freedom in America. Juneteenth marks the very end of slavery in the United States. It commemorates the date of June 19, 1865, when the last African-American slaves held in Confederate states were finally freed by […]

 

Five Questions with Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis is wearing a lot of hats these days and making them all look really good. He’s mentoring emerging artists through his work at The Consortium MMT, he’s collaborating with GRAMMY-award-winners, he’s getting ready to take his music on the road – and so much more. After we heard his […]

 

Celebrating Juneteenth: Carl Bledsoe Jr.

In celebration of Juneteenth, We Are Memphis is focusing on sharing stories from our Black community. While the holiday commemorates freedom, for so many Black Memphians (and Black communities across the country), it’s about so much more! With the many stories and perspectives to share, we’ve […]