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…

 

The Latest | January 17

It was a snowy weekend in Memphis – we hope you had a good album to snuggle up with. Or maybe you just let the heat radiating off of Ja Morant keep you warm? There’s enough of that to go around, and the Grizz even get a mention in this week’s round-up of stuff we […]

 

The Latest | January 10

Times are bleak, fam. Concerts big and small are being canceled or postponed again, and most of the ways you’ll find Memphis music in the news this week are, to use a technical term, a total bummer. We managed to rustle up a few things that brought us some light, and we think they might […]

 

The Latest | January 3

Happy new year, Memphis music lovers! Things we did on our holiday vacation: ate too much, unplugged, fell into a pit of despair watching all of the NYE shows get canceled as Omicron cases exploded, the usual. HBU? Anyway, we’re back and that means The Latest is back, too – here’s a look at […]