A conversation with
Stand Up Comedy, what pisses him off,
and playing urban rooms
Published on January 1st, 2015 | by Free Standup NYC
Check out Joseph's podcast "The Call Back" on iTunes
Let’s get the basics down first. How long have you been a stand-up and where did you start?
I've been doing stand up for 4 years & started at New York Comedy Club.
What’s the one thing you need to keep reminding yourself about being a stand-up?
One thing I need to remind myself to always have fun on stage and I usually don't remember that. I sometimes go up carefree but then I forget to remember that was fun so it's like it never happened. It's easy to get caught up in a mindset where every show needs to push you forward career-wise and then you get too in your head. When I try work on a set for TV or a tape, I usually don't find that to be fun because I feel like I have to stick to everything word to word. So it's better when I can remind myself to just have fun and whatever happens, happens.
Are there comics you’ve worked with you just want to punch in the face?
There are not many but there are some that definitely deserve it. Not because of their act but because of their act off stage. Some comics believe because they are funny, they know everything and feel entitled to say whatever they want. It's just like famous actors thinking we care about their political opinion or opinion on world issues. We don't. Now you might be right but at least say it like you aren't definitely right or not like you're an expert on every topic. Or that we were dying to hear your take on this issue. We weren't. Comics need to learn better manners and understand because they are funny just means they're funny. And that doesn't give you the right to talk down to people or like you know everything.
Tell me something about stand up that pisses you off.
People taking jokes seriously. Stand up comedy is not a sermon. Stop taking it literally or like it's having an effect on the world. If I said I fucked a horse, I probably didn't fuck a horse. Just go with it. Don't look at me, like is this guy serious? No, I am not.
What’s your favorite vulgar comment on stage?
What’s your response to people that say, “Oh, you’re a comic, tell me a joke.”
I am usually polite but it's just weird that they think they are the first person to ever say it. I guess some people don't get out that often.
LA vs NY comedy, what’s your opinion?
I've only done stand up in LA for 8 days so I don't have enough experience without there yet to comment. However, I had a blast doing stand up comedy in LA. The crowds were really attentive and seemed less jaded than NY crowds. But I have heard people say they don't like stand up in LA. I doubt I would ever feel that way because I love LA so much as a place anyway. NY comedy scene though I would say is harder and it's where you get your stripes. It's like playing basketball here. If you can play ball here, you can play ball anywhere. Same with comedy.
Why do you think you've been so successful in urban rooms?
I don't know if I have gained that much success in urban rooms as you call it. I just call it black rooms. Some people think I am black so I can say that. But it's not like I have been featured on Comic View or Kevin Hart and Friends whenever that becomes a show. In fact, Comic View turned me down. I got a call back after my first audition and didn't get it. I was disappointed. I did really well. But I usually do really well in black rooms or bomb. No middle ground. Some black rooms really connect with me and some don't. I have had a lot of great memories doing well in black rooms and just experiencing the different setups in each show. Black rooms set shows in the most amazing places. I've done black rooms in noisy bars, movie theatre lobby, outside a warehouse where a buffet is going on, a super hood room in Staten Island, you name it. But to say you did well in these rooms always felt like an accomplishment. I enjoyed it when it was finished. It definitely made white rooms easy.
Do you think I can beat you in arm wrestling?
Yes. But you can't beat me in basketball. Not even if I was tied up with both arms behind my back.