The Herald goes to the Grammy Awards on Sunday, January 26 as Robbie Todd brings us live, behind the scenes and up front coverage. Make sure you “subscribe” to Herald TV on YouTube, “like” The Cincinnati Herald on Facebook, and follow @CincyHerald on Twitter and Instagram.
Robbie Todd has been a dynamic force in the entertainment business for over thirty years. A proud graduate of Cincinnati’s renowned School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), Todd double-majored in music and drama at the nation’s only kindergarten through twelfth grade performing arts school. Todd was the first student to perform stand-up comedy at the school, writing and performing a version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth from the point of view of Richard Pryor’s classic character, Mudbone.
After graduating in 1982, Todd began working on local productions, becoming one of the country’s youngest promoters for such acts as George Howard, RUN DMC, Bea Williams, Kenny G., Diary of a Black Man, Dana Dana, and Chubb Rock.
Deciding to broaden his horizons, Todd relocated to New York City in 1989 and wasted no time in hitting such venues as Dangerfield’s Comedy Club and the legendary Original Improv. However, Todd was disappointed to realize the vulgar direction that stand-up comedy was headed in, and decided to turn to his other talents of acting, tour managing and producing. Todd went on to tour the world with such artists as Regina Carter, Phyllis Hyman, Wycliffe Gordon, Lewis Nash, Bonnie Raitt, Charles Brown and Will Downing. In addition to his management duties, Todd often acted as master of ceremonies for tours he produced and managed, calling the artists he worked with to the stage. Todd became very close with some of these artists—in fact, the Queen of Blues Ruth Brown, with whom Todd toured, often introduced him as both her third son and emcee. Todd also managed funk icon Bootsy Collins
Amidst all of his other projects, Todd also created Soap Tour, a collective of such daytime stars as Debbi Morgan, Mathew St. Patrick, Shemar Moore, and Kristoff St. John that toured historically black colleges all over the country. Soap Tour provides students the chance to interact with daytime television actors at homecomings and other special events. Launched in 1993, the project continues to be occasionally active.
In addition to his lifelong study of great comedians of the past and the complexities of their characters, Todd has paid tribute to those forgotten masters through a collaboration with jazz musician Wycliffe Gordon. Todd’s performance of Richard Pryor’s Mudbone set to Gordon’s blues was applauded as innovative and original at New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 2001. In 2011, Todd was chosen as MC at the world famous Apollo theater as they celebrated their very first show in 1936. Todd also performed two comedy routines that had not been performed at the Apollo in 40 years.
A proud member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artist, Todd has appeared on such programs as All My Children, Loving, and As The World Turns. He has also appeared in several commercials, films, and music videos.
Todd is the founding president of the Alumni Association of the School for Creative and Performing Arts and a former board member of the Greater Cincinnati Arts and Education Center. He works to keep up interaction with current students of SCPA as well as alumni, spending countless hours mentoring young people and helping them find opportunities to make their mark on the world, artistically and otherwise.