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The View according to Yul Spencer


Many know actor/comedian Yul Spencer  from the hit shows Comic View and Make Me Laugh, his appearances at comedy clubs, not to mention numerous TV and stage appearances; most recently The Shield, Friends and Lovers, and TV’s Funniest Commercial’s: Burger King Steakhouse spot. Next up, he’s joining  E! Entertainment’s Chelsea Handler on her Chelsea Lately late night talk fest as a panel member.

Born in France, adopted and raised in the ghetto of Oakland, California, Spencer, who now calls the San Fernando Valley home, came to Los Angeles where he honed his craft in college and with local theatrical productions. Eventually, he hit the comedy club circuit alongside his idol, Richard Pryor.

As Spencer forged his early acting and comedy career , he kept thinking he had to be as high as Pryor, and the rest, to get ahead. However, as comics started dying, Spencer witnessed it all, from Sam Kinison, Chris Collins, to Charlie Burnett. Reflects Spencer, “There used to be six of us, comics and actors, black and white buddies who hung out and got high together…five of ‘em died. I knew God knew math, too. I was number six… so I quit.”

Spencer is now bringing his life experience together in a uniquely personal stage play, Ya’ Gotta Go Higher, now playing through June 28 at Hollywood’s Complex East Theatre.  In this solo show, the versatile actor/comedian reveals how he transformed trial into triumph and trouble into truth revealing his 15-year odyssey to stay recovered, stay in show business, stay married, and as he says “Oh hell, stay alive!”

string-of-performance-photos300Here’s his take on living in the Valley.

How long have you lived in the Valley? Over the twenty-two years I’ve lived in So. Cal. Half that time has been in the Valley.

What brought you to the Valley? My Accountant …Market Prices

How do you describe the Valley? “The loveliest place at night” and hell in the daytime.

What’s the best thing about the Valley? I can hide. Paparazzi don’t like the Valley. It’s not a “TMZ” zone.

What’s the worst thing about the Valley? It’s the Devil’s summer home… it’s CRITICALLY HOT!!!

Who’s the funniest person in the Valley? Besides myself…it’s these three Middle Eastern guys that work at our 7-11 on the corner of White Oak behind the Mobil gas station… they always put a smile on my face.

What can you get in the Valley you can’t get anywhere else? A Freakin’ heat stroke at a young age.

What’s a little unknown Valley secret? And at 5p.m on virtually any street headed West…You will go blind from the glare of the sun. Somebody should look into it.

What is the most misunderstood thing about the Valley? There are more black people who live over here than you know.

What’s the Valley’s number one treasure (in your mind)? Area Code 818

What valley stereotype doesn’t exist? They don’t talk Valley talk anymore.

What are some of your favorite finds? Miranda, Stephanie, Danita, you know who you are.

What do you usually do on a weekend morning? Go to church.

What are some of your favorite restaurants? Andre’s Barbecue (Studio City), Casa Vega  (Sherman Oaks), More Than Waffles  (Encino), VIP Café (Tarzana)

If you could have something (place, thing, person, business) in the Valley that’s not here right now, what would it be? Our movie theater back in Tarzana on Ventura.

What is a quintessential Valley place? The Holy Spirit Retreat Center. It’s beautiful.

What is the most romantic spot in the Valley? Vino, the “Wine and Tapas Bar” in Tarzana.

How do you relax in the Valley? Pay my bills.

Where do you go when you want to get out of the Valley? To a Happy Place.  LOL

If you didn’t live in the Valley, where would you live? West Side! Or the Beach.

Ya’ Gotta Go Higher is playing at the Hollywood Complex East Theatre through June 28th. Tickets can be purchased for $20 on-line at or through . For more info: visit

Karen Young is the publisher/editor of MY DAILY FIND.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • Angela

    Congratulations Karen on my Daily Much success!!!

    Angela Giacobbe

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