Trouble prone

Darryl Lenox’s tumultuous life improves his comedic insight.

Spencer Doar

What: Darryl Lenox

When: 8 p.m., Thursday; 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday

Where: Joke Joint Comedy Club, 801 Sibley Memorial Hwy., St. Paul

Cost: $15

Age: 18+


Darryl Lenox owes a lot to “Betrayed,” a 1988 Tom Berenger thriller that time forgot. The comedian’s first set was a made-up story based on the film.

“I walked on stage and tore that thing up,” Lenox said. “Then an even better-looking girl than my girlfriend at the time invited me out to coffee sometime and gave me her phone number. I came out the gates blazin’.”

After a homerun in his first professional at-bat, Lenox returned to a realm of personal strife.

He had terrible eyesight his entire life — a problem that he jokes he’s okay with given the size of his penis.

In the ’90s his sight got even worse. When going through a troubled divorce, an angry Lenox got into a fight while cutting a line at a cab stand and detached one of his retinas. He now has no vision out of his left eye.

“[My wife] called me and said she was having sex with a particular NBA player,” Lenox said. “After 6 months I tried to reconcile with my wife — she let me know she was sleeping with [then-Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman] Nate Newton, too.”

She was also so angry with Lenox that she called all of the booking agents she knew of, essentially removing any chance the struggling comic had to get gigs in California.

The itinerant comedian skipped town to Canada. He wound up living in a comedy club owner’s basement for six months while trying to reinvent himself.

He derives much of his observations from comparing his life in the states with his time in Canada.

“Hockey’s boring to me,” Lenox says in his soon-to-be released STARZ special, “Blind Ambition.”

“I’d rather watch two guys with no thumbs play marbles.”

Lenox also took this period to unlearn the life lessons taught to him by his estranged father, a Seattle pimp and drug dealer Lenox met at age 19. 

“There were no sex talks from my mom,” Lenox said. “My first sexual information was from a guy like that — a masterful manipulator.”

Lenox now calls his working right eye a single mother. The fight injury turned his left eye into an absentee father — it doesn’t do anything.

While rebuilding his life in Canada proved effective, it ended poorly.

“They kicked me out in 2005 for not having the proper paperwork — lost everything,” Lenox said. “It was ironically right when all the Hurricane Katrina stuff was going on, and I was just as uprooted as anyone — had one suitcase.”

Tossed out of Canada and in the midst of a new relationship, Lenox kept his mind on the funny.

“You know, no new love should begin with, ‘I’m kind of homeless, baby,’”**** Lenox said.

Even now, with things back on the right track, Lenox found himself stuck in New York because of Hurricane Sandy.

“Sitting with my wife — you have to talk — it was fine the first night,” Lenox said, trailing off. “Now the lights are on, so I’m ready to be funny again.”