“I’m kind of basic,” Isaiah Crews said of himself when we talked on the phone. An actor, gamer, and comedian at heart, Isaiah has a lot going on, but despite it all, he’s just excited to do things he enjoys.
Isaiah stars alongside Jayden Bartels and Jules LeBlanc in Nickelodeon’s teen comedy Side Hustle. “We’re just a normal friend group, having fun,” Isaiah says of their characters. That is until Isaiah’s character, Munchy, reveals that he stole fireworks from his dad who is also their school principal. When the fireworks accidentally go off, totaling his dad’s boat, they’re left with two choices: pay for the boat or spend the rest of their high school careers scraping gum. Lucky for the trio of friends, Lex’s (Jules) younger brother, Fisher (Mitchell Berg), is a kid genius and designs an app that allows people to hire the teens for odd jobs.
“The jobs get really crazy,” Isaiah said. His favorite? Vitamin testers. “I really liked the vitamin testers episode,” he told us. “Just the side effect being dizziness and us falling down out of nowhere is hilarious.”
He doesn’t think the teens would be up for any job, though. When we asked Isaiah what job he thought would cross the line, he said anything involving bugs. “Insect tamers, insect trainers. I think everyone in this cast is scared of bugs,” he laughed, “and knowing how crazy the show gets, that is most definitely a job that someone will try to hire us to do.” (We could totally see Munchy facing down a swarm of bees.)
Even though he doesn’t think anyone would be thrilled about working with insects on any level, he does think that Munchy would love anything to do with cats or dogs. Given a “Munchy’s choice” option for choosing a side hustle, Isaiah said, “Maybe, like, dog food tester? He would definitely do that because he’s just curious to see what it would taste like.”
Munchy is a hilarious character whose affection for his friend and his tendency to get into sticky situations makes him a hilarious member of the trio. “He doesn’t think a lot of things through, so he ends up hurting himself a lot,” Isaiah shared. Overall, Isaiah thinks his character is just a compassionate and loving “teddy bear.”
As if strange jobs (living mannequins, anyone?) aren’t enough, the cast of Side Hustle also has to deal with Munchy’s older brother, Jaget (Jacques Chevelle) who keeps careful watch over them. Isaiah sees Jaget as a bit overbearing but an overall loving character who cares about his younger brother and is “annoying in a good way.”
Full of hijinks and quick jokes, Isaiah love exercising his comedic skills in Side Hustle. He shared with us that he is inspired by “classic comedy” movies and actors like Jim Carrey, Pixar movies, and other “active” modes of making people laugh. “A lot of Jim Carrey taught me how to use facial expression to convey emotions,” he said. In fact, Jim Carrey inspired a lot of his ideas about the physical comedy that plays a large role in Munchy’s character.
(Fun fact: Isaiah also has a dance background! He even used to watch Jabbawockeez videos over and over to learn their moves until his mom enrolled him in dance classes.)
His comedy knowledge pays off. “75% of my lines are ad-libs,” Isaiah told us. “I’m surprised at how much stuff they write in from my ad-libs.” When he’s goofing around in rehearsals or run-throughs of lines, he’ll throw stuff out, and often enough, they think his improvisations are funny enough to make it to the screen.
Side Hustle isn’t the only thing Isaiah loves, though. He also spends time streaming video games with his dad, Terry Crews. They’re currently playing through Danganronpa a dark, adventure mystery that Isaiah loves and has played through before. (He told us his dad is pretty into it, too.) He also makes videos on Instagram Reels and TikTok, cracking jokes about animes and music.
As an actor, Isaiah just wants to make people laugh. “I just want to make people happy,” he told us. “I just want people to feel like everything is ok when they watch stuff.”
He shared that he would love to branch out as a comedian and even try his hand at acting in films or voice acting for action and adventure games or RPGs. “Voice acting is definitely a must for me.” He’s also working on music, but he’s not ready to spill on the details yet, so we’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled for an Isaiah Crews single in the future.