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St. Thomian Proves He's Really a Stand-Up Guy

Feb. 21, 2006 – St. Thomas-born Jeff "Ox" Hodge, 39, thought he'd be an architect, but after friends convinced him he was funny, switched gears to a life in the entertainment field.
Now living in Los Angeles, the son of Edgar and Zulah Hodge, of St. Thomas' Lindbergh Bay, has a growing list of comedic and writing credits on his resume.
He and friend Denver Williams just came out with a book, "101+ Ways to Keep Your Man." Hodge said the book is based on Williams' departure from a relationship with a woman. It's available online from the publisher, iUniverse.
Hodge's road to Los Angeles, like most entertainers, took years of perseverance and effort.
After a year at Charlotte Amalie High School, he left St. Thomas in 1981 to live with his aunt, Ruby Vanterpool, so he could finish high school in Houston, Texas. Friends told him that because he was funny, he should be a comedian.
He said he first tried an open mic night at a comedy club.
"It didn't go well. I wasn't funny," he said.
After a brief sojourn to St. Thomas in 1984, he went off to study architecture at the University of Houston. It wasn't a good fit, and Hodge said he was looking around for something to do when another friend told him to try comedy because he was funny.
"I tried for a whole summer at an open mic. I didn't know what I was doing," he said.
After this experience, he saw a flyer advertising lessons on how to be a stand-up comedian. With only half of the $200 fee in his pocket, his friend lent him the other $100 to pay for the eight-week class.
Finally, the how-to's of comedy began to click, and he became a regular at Houston's Comedy Workshop. Needing a way to support himself, he became a traffic school instructor, an experience that provided fodder for several books, including "101+ Ways to Get Out of a Traffic Ticket."
In 1995 he decided to expand his horizons and moved to live with his brother in San Diego, where he wrote a couple of books and kept up with his traffic school instructor jobs.
In 1996, Hodge said he decided he was ready to try for the big time in Los Angeles.
His credits so far include parts in the films "Crocodile Dundee in LA," "Deuce Bigalow," and "Director's Cut."
He's also appeared in television shows "The Parkers," "City of Angel," and "Make Me Laugh," and written for the "Keenan Ivory Wayans Show."
"I still do stand-up," he said.
Hodge said in 2005, he went to the Middle East on a USO Comedy Tour.
To help keep up with the bills, he also works as a paralegal.
And when he's not on stage or honing his comedic skills, he visits with his two children: Jaiden Jeffrey, 11 months old, and Celia Caroline, 15.
In his spare time, he said he likes to go dancing and travel. "And I like to create and think about creative things," he said.

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Feb. 21, 2006 - St. Thomas-born Jeff "Ox" Hodge, 39, thought he'd be an architect, but after friends convinced him he was funny, switched gears to a life in the entertainment field.
Now living in Los Angeles, the son of Edgar and Zulah Hodge, of St. Thomas' Lindbergh Bay, has a growing list of comedic and writing credits on his resume.
He and friend Denver Williams just came out with a book, "101+ Ways to Keep Your Man." Hodge said the book is based on Williams' departure from a relationship with a woman. It's available online from the publisher, iUniverse.
Hodge's road to Los Angeles, like most entertainers, took years of perseverance and effort.
After a year at Charlotte Amalie High School, he left St. Thomas in 1981 to live with his aunt, Ruby Vanterpool, so he could finish high school in Houston, Texas. Friends told him that because he was funny, he should be a comedian.
He said he first tried an open mic night at a comedy club.
"It didn't go well. I wasn't funny," he said.
After a brief sojourn to St. Thomas in 1984, he went off to study architecture at the University of Houston. It wasn't a good fit, and Hodge said he was looking around for something to do when another friend told him to try comedy because he was funny.
"I tried for a whole summer at an open mic. I didn't know what I was doing," he said.
After this experience, he saw a flyer advertising lessons on how to be a stand-up comedian. With only half of the $200 fee in his pocket, his friend lent him the other $100 to pay for the eight-week class.
Finally, the how-to's of comedy began to click, and he became a regular at Houston's Comedy Workshop. Needing a way to support himself, he became a traffic school instructor, an experience that provided fodder for several books, including "101+ Ways to Get Out of a Traffic Ticket."
In 1995 he decided to expand his horizons and moved to live with his brother in San Diego, where he wrote a couple of books and kept up with his traffic school instructor jobs.
In 1996, Hodge said he decided he was ready to try for the big time in Los Angeles.
His credits so far include parts in the films "Crocodile Dundee in LA," "Deuce Bigalow," and "Director's Cut."
He's also appeared in television shows "The Parkers," "City of Angel," and "Make Me Laugh," and written for the "Keenan Ivory Wayans Show."
"I still do stand-up," he said.
Hodge said in 2005, he went to the Middle East on a USO Comedy Tour.
To help keep up with the bills, he also works as a paralegal.
And when he's not on stage or honing his comedic skills, he visits with his two children: Jaiden Jeffrey, 11 months old, and Celia Caroline, 15.
In his spare time, he said he likes to go dancing and travel. "And I like to create and think about creative things," he said.