Nekesa Moody, Associated Press
Actor-comedian Mike Epps poses with his family, wife Mechelle, and daughters Mariah, left, and Maddie at an event launching the Michael and Mechelle Epps Foundation, Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 in Epps hometown of Indianapolis. The foundation is aimed at promoting literacy for youngsters.

INDIANAPOLIS — Comedian Mike Epps has been singing the praises of his hometown for years. Now, he is glad his celebrity friends such as Snoop Dogg and rapper Wiz Khalifa are finally get to experience the city while in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl.

Epps has been entertaining them and showing them the best the city has to offer. Epps has been so busy promoting his city that he calls himself "The Ambassador of Super Bowl."

"I gave myself a name," Epps explained Friday while at the Style Icon gift lounge with his wife, Mechelle, and their two young daughters. "If I was a maintenance man, I would have said I was a maintenance technician, so I said, The Ambassador. Pretty much, I am from Indianapolis, pretty much the face for the Super Bowl volunteers and the NFL here in Indianapolis because I have a brand people can identify with me a little bit more if they can't identify with Indianapolis."

Epps hosted a concert with Snoop and Wiz Khalifa on Thursday night and said everyone had a great time, despite concerns ahead of Super Bowl week that Indiana might be a bust for its celebrity factor.

"I didn't really want to rub it in their face," Epps said. "I kind of sat back at the end of the show, and they were really happy so I said, 'Yeah, they had a good time.'"

Epps and his wife, a clothing designer, are not just focused on the big game. They also used the weekend to launch and promote their Michael and Mechelle Epps Foundation, which focuses on promoting literacy for youngsters.

Epps will also be promoting more events — not all sanctioned by him.

"I got some after parties that I am not even going to be at. They are like, 'Mike Epps tonight, what?' They can just use my name," he said with smile.


Alicia Quarles is the AP's Global Entertainment and Lifestyles editor. Follow her at