Since opening night is THIS WEEK (Sept 13th), we’re starting a new series to feature the comics that rock this show. Our first feature is with Drew Michael who headlines this week. Check Drew out at DREW MICHAEL COMEDY and Follow him on Twitter.
WR: Watching you always rides the line between “funniest thing I’ve ever heard” and “o.k. everyone out of the pool”. Do you think it’s important to keep people uncomfortable?
DM: I AM UNCOMFORTABLE! That is my real daily homeostatic position: discomfort. So, yeah, some of that is going to bleed into the act.
I’m not trying to make people uncomfortable; I’m really just trying to make sense of this whole “existing” thing, as we all are, and my act is basically a highlight reel of my own exploration. I’m inherently curious and somewhat hardened and desensitized to painful or “taboo” subjects, so perhaps my mind wanders there a bit more freely than most people’s would. That might make people uncomfortable because they’re not as familiar with that side of the mind. But I know I am not special, so if that dark spot or weird thought is in me — in any of us — then it’s in all of us, somewhere.
That’s what laughter is, yes? The surprise of learning that something is inside of us we did not know was there.
The goal is to always be MORE comfortable, not less, even if the process of getting there is itself uncomfortable.
WR: Who do you admire most?
DM: Anyone who is, in an honest way, truly comfortable with him/herself and his/her place in his/her environment.
(By the way, I hate that we have to refer to a generic “someone” as him/her, rather than just agree to use one grammatical gender when it’s an unknown. See? Look at me. NOT COMFORTABLE!)
WR: What topics are off limits for you on stage?
The only thing I will not talk about are personal stories that are not mine. For example, if a friend or girlfriend or family member has a personal issue, even though it becomes a part of me because I am close to him/her (there it is again!) and I am affected by it, I will usually not talk about it because they did not ask to be in the public sphere.
I’ll put my own shit out there without thinking twice. For example, I have a bit about stalking an ex girlfriend and how she got a restraining order against me. I never reveal one detail about her, other than that she was dating me at some point. That’s out of respect of her privacy and space, which is hilarious coming from the same person who sent her 400 unanswered text messages and Saran-wrapped her car.
I don’t see any topic as “off limits”. It’s all on the table. No matter how fucked up. It has to be. I think restriction and restraint is comedy — and thinking — death. This includes when people say a topic is “hack.” That’s restricting. Why is it hack to talk about masturbating or being on an airplane? Those are both things millions of people do every day, so why can’t we talk about it? The only thing that can be “hack,” really, is a perspective or angle, but that’s because reciting a trite viewpoint shows little to no creativity or honesty, the linchpins of artistic expression. It’s hack when you don’t inject your own personality into the subject. But that’s not the subject’s fault; it’s the artist’s.
WR: What’s the cutest name you’ve ever called a lover?
My current girlfriend might win the title for that one and I don’t think I can betray her, or myself, by telling you what it is. (See previous answer.)
I appreciate the journalism, however, in trying to conjure up flowery imagery to juxtapose my inherent blackened state. But, on the record, I get cuddly as fuck. Belie’e dat.
WR: What’s the worst thing someone has called you? Was it accurate?
A devaluing narcissist. My therapist said it, so it better be!