Villa Rica's own Rod Man out-joked, out-funnied and just plain out-lasted 100 comics to become NBC's "Last Comic Standing" of Season 8 in 2014. Since that success, he has gone on to make many other television appearances, including "The Bad Boys of Comedy" for HBO, Martin Lawrence's "First Amendment" for Starz, Nick Cannon's "Wild 'N Out" for MTV, "One Mic Stand" for BET, "The Funny Spot" for TV One, and "The World Stands Up" for BBC America. He even co-hosted a morning drive-time show in Los Angeles on Stevie Wonder-owned KJLH Radio 102.3 FM.
Amid his fame as a comedian, actor and writer, Rod Man has never forgotten his roots and proudly boasts Villa Rica as his hometown during press interviews and media appearances. In fact, when Rod Man was a child growing up in Villa Rica, he recalls Christmas mornings that didn’t necessarily consist of many presents. So, the comedian returned to his hometown this past Christmas and together with his wife, family and friends made the holiday special for some less-fortunate children in Villa Rica.
To honor his achievements and success, Villa Rica Mayor Shirley Marchman has named Rod Man as Grand Marshal of this year's Gold Rush Parade and Festival. The Gold Rush Festival is hosted by the Villa Rica Main Street Advisory Board and honors Villa Rica as home to the first Gold Rush in Georgia and includes a 5K race, parade, arts and crafts vendors, family-fun entertainment, food vendors, and headliner band Smith & Wesley. Festivities begin at 8:00 am with the 5K and bands play from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm in downtown Villa Rica.
A Villa Rica High School Wildcat, Rod Man will participate in the 5K race at 8:00 am and then will lead the parade at 10:00 am as its Grand Marshal. Immediately following the parade, Mayor Marchman will issue a proclamation from the Thomas A. Dorsey Stage at The MILL amphitheater to declare September 10, 2016 as “Rod Man Day” in Villa Rica. The ceremonies will include a presentation of the “Key to the City” awarded to Rod Man, whose real name is Rod Thompson.