(CBS Local)– Tommy Davidson has worked and crossed paths with some of the most famous comedians and actors of all-time.
The “Living In Color” star performed stand-up comedy with Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, did skits on TV with Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock, and did scenes on the big screen with Jim Carrey and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Davidson tells all of these stories and shares intimate details about his childhood and recovery from drug addiction in his new book “Living In Color.”
“It took two years and 27 publishers said flat out no,” said Davidson in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “It’s proof that you can make something out of nothing. I had to deal with being ashamed of my family or some of the violent stuff that happened to me or that I witnessed. I had to talk about people being abusive to me in the business and the reaction and effect that had on me. I felt a feeling of despair at a point. I was afraid to be judged because that is all that’s happened to me.”
While Davidson has had many great moments in his career, one of the toughest things he had to endure was battling addiction.
“The toughest thing to overcome when it comes to that is to understand that I’m not perfect and that hurt,” said Davidson. “As long as I could make you feel like I’m ok as a person, I felt ok as a person. That was really an impossible thing to do. My mother’s white and I’m black and I never quite felt equal to you. I could not overcome that addiction by myself. Everything else was a piece of cake because I was a chameleon. It worked for me to reach a dead end. I didn’t have to be perfect for you and all I had to do was admit it.”
The actor and comedian will never forget breaking through as a comedy star in Los Angeles. Davidson got the opportunity to perform with both Murphy and Pryor in the main room at The Comedy Store.
“I could survive on stage with these two icons and two superpowers in comedy,” said Davidson. “By that time, I was ready. Mitzi Shore made me wait and wait and I hated her. What do I gotta do to be successful at The Comedy Store. I got a call that I was going to be doing the main room with Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor. I was co-headlining with them. All three of us had 30 minutes. I was between them in each show and I was able to see how well I played basketball compared to the other superstars. I was bringing a new diversity to comedy.”