By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
You don't write anything?
At this point in time, after a long time, I haven't written anything down. I just get up and talk.
Wow, that's a huge change from using comedy as the avenue to get your writing out. I wouldn't have expected that.
Well, I'm writing onstage. I'm writing in front of people.
Do you feel like doing standup is a courageous act?
Nah, I think it takes an idiot to get up there. You go into a room full of people: "I'm gonna make you laugh!" That's just about as dumb as you get. I don't think it's courageous, you know? Courage is something I save for people who love to put their principles on the line. Military, or things like that.
So you wouldn't say you have any principles on the line by going up and throwing down your rant and telling people how it is?
No, nobody's going to come up and say "I heard what you said, and now we're going to have to kill you." [Laughs]
Speaking of which, do you have to deal with hecklers very much?
Not too often — usually it's just they're drunk. Most people get it. I'm lucky in the sense that I'm in theaters and I have an audience that's pretty smart. They seem to have gone out; they get it. They know they're going to a show; they know who they paid to see. What's sad is you get a lot of really die-hard fans that drink too much.
Yeah, and then they feel like they have something to say...
They get overexcited!
When you were starting out was heckling more of a problem, when you were trying to find that voice?
Yeah. I mean you gotta learn how to deal with them at the time, but it took me shorter than I thought it would because I had this persona of this guy who is just completely nuts. And I was ranting and raving, and it's like, "Are you going to fuck with me? Are you serious?" The thing I learned early on is if somebody heckles you, all you gotta do is just stare at them. And the audience helps you, you know? So you have plenty of time to think of something. Because if you just stare at them and let them keep talking, they out themselves.
But now I just pound 'em. Now it's just OK; I don't even give them a moment.
It does just seems like kind of a futile attempt to yell at the guy who's yelling.
Especially at the guy who's got the mic.