I got into the industry by chance. I was doing a music video where I was a musician and I was talking to this guy and he’s like, “Why are you doing a music video?” I was like, “Because they like music videos” — that’s what I do in a lot of my work — so I ended up becoming that guy. Then, I kind of got the job, and I thought it would be nice to do comedy, so that’s how I wound up doing stand-up.
What’s interesting is that a lot of the comics that are doing stand-up act as musicians; they’re not being paid and they’re living on that income. For me, that was a huge turning point. When people are living off that income, it gives someone an energy that they can never have in an interview. You get to make a joke with what you had that day. It opens up a whole new can of worms.
If you look at The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, they’re both comedians and singers; they’re both kind of outcasts. So when I did my first feature film, The League was my first opportunity at acting, and I was like, “Oh, that’s it!” It was all about trying to have a relationship with the audience. I guess that’s why The League is not like The Office — they’re all outcasts in their own little universe and they’re together and it’s sort of like a social commentary.
One of the things I love about stand-up is that comedy comes from a place of desperation. There aren’t any real consequences to it. I’ll find myself doing something that is just so horrible, I know I’m going to look like a really bad person on the internet or in the street and if I try to go back and apologize or apologize and apologize, that’s kind of it. It’s so out of your wheelhouse and you don’t really have a choice like everybody else, so it’s really nice that the audience is willing to give you something that you were willing to give away yourself.
One great example is Jon Stewart’s bit over John Oliver’s show and it’s the biggest bit of his career, with the biggest audience of any thing that he has ever done, and he goes, “We’re going to tell you something that we have never told you before. This is the biggest story that I’ve ever written in my life, a story I knew it was going to go viral
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