How and why did you get into comedy?
I got into comedy as a kid because it was the only way I knew how to make friends. I’d make the other kids in my class laugh with dumb jokes, or recite bits I saw on TV the night before. I remember staying up late with my brothers to watch The State on MTV. I saw how much it made them laugh and thought, “If I could be as funny as these guys then my brothers would think I’m cool!” I am the sixth of seven kids, so in their minds I’m never cool.
How would you describe your style as a comedian? What influences and factors do you think contribute to that?
I like big reveals. I love to surprise the audience. Stupid premises are a lot of fun to write. Tim and Eric are a big influence because what they do is so different from the norm. They write what makes them laugh and they have a lot of confidence in what they produce.
Do you have a favorite show or venue you like to perform at? What about it makes it fun or special for you?
Sketch Up or Shut Up is my favorite show. It’s open mic for sketch and that’s really hard to come by. It’s a great place to try out an idea that just doesn’t seem to be working, or that you think might be too weird, but everyone is more than willing to give notes to you afterward. It’s like a big party. It’s great.
Do you have a single favorite moment in Philly comedy or one that stands out?
Dirtiest Sketch Competition 2010. There were so many great sketches that night.
Do you have any sort of creative process that you use with your writing or your performance? Or a sort of method that you use to develop comedic material?
I write down any idea that makes me laugh. A lot of my favorite sketches have come from spontaneous ideas, which comes from being in a comedy mindset, so writing every day is important. Workshopping is vital.
What is it about sketch that draws you to it?
Sketch is a lot of fun because there’s a sense of camaraderie. You challenge each other to write and perform better, and you don’t want to let the other guys down. At the end of the day you will love another man, and that’s comedy.
Do you have any favorite performers in the Philly scene? Why are they your favorites?
There are so many awesome stand-up, sketch, and improv groups in Philadelphia. It’s amazing. But my absolute favorite are The Feeko Brothers. Billy and Chris are such great performers. I think I got that damn JPB’s song stuck in my head again just from writing this.
Do you have any bad experiences doing comedy that you can share? A particularly bad bombing or even an entire show gone haywire?
We did the Boston Improv Festival in September and I thought we bombed. There were about twenty people in the audience, including a woman who is in charge of sketch at Improv Boston who said she was very excited to see us after watching our Gentlemania sketch. She got up and left half-way through the set. Maybe she had to be somewhere, but it was a good experience. Good shows are awesome, but you can learn from the bad ones.
What do you think the Philly comedy scene needs to continue to grow?
Local media coverage. They’ve done a great job ignoring the comedy scene thus far. All of the coverage in the city is just advertising whatever big-name-comedian is performing at the TLA. Comedy in the city! …they don’t even have chairs at the TLA.
Do you have any personal goals for the future as you continue to perform comedy?
Just get better and work harder.