By Michael Cerio

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s Spring Break for The Tonight Show.

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While host Jimmy Fallon stays in the building for a trip back to SNL, one of The Roots returns home for a different kind of comedy.

Tariq Trotter, better known as Black Thought, switches fedoras this week for a comedy showcase he has created and curated for his hometown of Philadelphia.

“Black Thought Presents…Delirious” features Morgan Murphy, Wyatt Cenac, and more at Punchline Philly this Thursday April 13th.

“So many great comedians have come out of Philadelphia” says The Roots MC. “I’m always thinking of ways in which to give back to the city, and I felt like presenting a comedy series would be something different.”

The man at the front of The Tonight Show Band has seen a lot of laughs in the eight years The Roots have been with Fallon. As late night scrutiny has intensified in a new political climate, Trotter maintains the brand of the show is still having fun.

“Jimmy, he’s adamant about The Tonight Show not being a political platform” Trotter explains. “It’s not a political show. It’s more about lightheartedness and making people laugh. That’s the kind of the energy that we go into everything with.”

“Everyone has their own personal opinion, but that’s not what the show is about.”

The comedy showcase at Punchline Philly this week promises to be the first in a series for Black Thought. The next will take place the night before The Roots Picnic in June.

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The Roots Picnic has become a touchstone of summer in Philadelphia for the past decade, but it decided to “see other people” when it expanded to New York City last year.

“It’s become the sort of thing that we can take to any city in the world, but we owe that definitely to Philadelphia” describes Trotter. “The fact that there’s a Roots Picnic in New York City, that’s not to say that the one in Philadelphia is going any place. If anything we’re looking to expand the size of the venue. We’d love to move to a place in the city with more space to do The Roots Picnic – maybe Belmont Plateau or a more open space where it could actually be more of a picnic so to speak.”

“I feel like we’ve grown into and possibly out of Festival Pier.”

Another summer set that long featured The Roots was the 4th of July Concert on the Parkway. Last year was the first in a while to not feature the Philadelphia favorites.

“I think the city wanted to try something different last year” says Trotter of the decision to not feature The Roots in the annual free show. “We’re gonna be in Europe this 4th of July, but hopefully that’s gonna change, hopefully next year we’ll be making a return back to the stage down on the Parkway.”

“We definitely missed that performance last year. It’s the only thing that my children have known growing up for the 4th of July, us performing and then watching the fireworks down there on the Parkway. That goes for lots of people in the city” continues Trotter.

“From what I understand, the city missed us last year, we missed the city – and we look forward to making a grand return.”

“Black Thought Presents…Delirious” happens this Thursday April 13th with tickets available here. To hear more from Black Thought, check out the full interview below.


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