Antonio Baldwin is a rising comedian on TikTok and Instagram who can build a whole character around whatever wig he’s wearing.
When you watch Baldwin’s videos, you can recognize hints of his favorite comedy influences in the jokes and comedic timing of his series, TonyTalks. Baldwin grew up inspired by Will Smith, Joanne the Scammer and the sketch show Mad TV.
Even with this knowledge of comedy, the Atlanta-based comedian said that the motivation to finally start producing comedy videos came from his goal to create a distraction from everything going on in the world.
“I wanted to create relief,” he told In The Know. “I wanted to create, like, a safe place.”
Baldwin first started out on Vine, the original short-form video social networking platform, which was shut down in 2017. Now he has almost 750,000 followers on TikTok.
But it was Vine’s six-second video limit that taught Baldwin how to land his comedic timing. In fact, Baldwin, who took acting and drama classes, threw out all the structure he’d learned in school and paved his own path.
This shines through Baldwin’s wide array of characters, which he said were all inspired by his experiences growing up.
“I just want to throw on a wig and be whoever that wig is,” he joked.
Although Baldwin plays every character himself, he has a major passion for collaborating with other comedians, whether they’re established comics or up-and-comers like himself.
“Now that I am there where I can provide the opportunities for, like, other people, it is amazing,” he said.
For young artists hoping to follow in his footsteps, Baldwin recommends ignoring whatever is popular now and “create your own popular.”
“Let people follow you,” he said.
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