Stand-Up Comedian Franklyn Ajaye

Franklyn Ajaye

Born: May 13, 1949
Blue Meter: Tame
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2005A Stash Of Stand-Up Comedy

Features marijuana-themed tracks from multiple artists.

2004Vagabond Jazz & the Abstract Truth
2000Comedy Tonight
1977Don't Smoke Dope, Fry Your Hair!
1974I'm a Comedian, Seriously

Specials (and other video)

1990Franklyn Ajaye: Upside Downunder
1988Take No Prisoners: Robert Townsend and His Partners in Crime II

Books (by and about)

2002Comic Insights: The Art of Stand-up Comedy


Franklyn Ajaye grew up in Los Angeles, but his birthplace was in Brooklyn. Ajaye planned to be a lawyer until attending Columbia Law School. Ajaye immediately realized he was not cut out for being a lawyer. Encouraged by some of the new friends he made in law school, Ajaye began to develop an act.

He soon began performing in New York City comedy clubs. His first performance was in 1971 at the Village Gate, a jazz club in New York’s Greenwich Village. Like many beginners, he bombed and even years later distinctly remembered one stoned-faced audience member in the front row.

Undaunted, Ajaye began to study comedy, listening to comedy albums and watching Johnny Carson, taking notes about what made them funny. His second performance, in early 1972 went much better.

In 1977, he became part of the cast for “Chico and the Man”, working with fellow stand-up Freddie Prinze.

Ajaye quit as a writer in 1991 for Fox’s predominately Black sketch comedy show “In Living Color”, asserting that he was uninterested in creating sketches that he considered to be glorifying ghetto stereotypes.

In 1997, Franklyn Ajaye moved to Melbourne, Australia. He had been visiting the country for over 10 years and had found to be a relatively stress-free place in comparison to the state, with little violence. He admits it may not have been the best thing for his career, but was the right move for his life.

In 2003, Ajaye penned a book on stand-up entitled “Comic Insights: The Art of Stand-Up Comedy.” The book features conversations with many of his contemporaries including Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld and George Wallace.

Ajaye is often described as a “jazz comedian”, meaning that his style is more loose and improvisational.

In recent years, Ajaye has made an effort to reassert himself in the American stand-up scene.

Franklyn Ajaye also plays the clarinet. In Australia, he often performs at jazz and comedy festivals with his brother Eric, who is a bassist and saxophonist.