By: Lee Valentine Smith
When you perform, it really looks like you truly enjoy what you do.
That’s real. I don’t even have to fake it. No matter how crappy the day, or if I have the flu or whatever, it’s still fun. And that’s why I prefer live shows to doing a sitcom or a movie. It’s the energy of the people. I couldn’t sit here and do it for myself. Well, I could, but it would be the first sign before I end up in the psych ward! I just love the energy of live people. They got off the couch, hired and sitter and came to the show. Good for them!
So many comics are angling for a sitcom or a movie, or a hosting gig.
Yeah and even my agents don’t really get it. From the beginning, my goal was to be a comedian. I’ve reached it, so why can’t I just do it? I blame it mostly on Oprah and Tony Robbins and all those people. If you have a goal and you’ve reached it, you’re supposed to immediately reset your engines? Why? This is fine.
You’re in a great position. Like this tour, it’s not arenas, its comfortable theaters.
This is the spot. I’d never want to be at a Madonna level of fame. Jerry Seinfeld has reached it, Chris Rock has reached it, but they can still do a club in New York if they want to. People would be excited but they’re not like lunatic, rock star fans. This is perfect. The theaters I’m playing, most of them are like 1500 seats, so we’ll have a good time.
And it sure beats one-nighters.
Oh yes. I don’t want to go back to those. I could, but I don’t have to now. I put on Twitter, that’s essentially what Bill Cosby’s shows are now. His shows have essentially become “Second Show Fridays in a comedy club.” Notoriously, the worst shows of the week. People go to Happy Hour, and head to the Punchline or whatever and by 11 o’clock they’re hammered and out of control. In a theater, with ushers that are basically my mother’s age who have never seen anyone misbehave, they’ll go “Shhhh!” Cosby shows have turned into “sex-joke Fridays” because there are basically no bouncers! Literally, you have 70 to 75-year-old ushers who only wanted to see the Sound Of Music sing along.
You were on the second episode of the new Larry Wilmore show on Comedy Central.
I love him. He’s so smart, so irreverent, without even trying. That’s just Larry. I’m gonna be back on there soon. I like it that they’re gonna spend time on one subject.
He certainly doesn’t steer clear of controversial topics or hot-button issues.
Not at all! And I’m glad. You know, I think for people in our age-range, we’re kinda sick of the five-second mentality. If I sat around with Lewis Black and Larry and we’re talking about Bill Cosby, we’re gonna spend some time on it; more than 30 seconds. To have a good discussion, we need to keep talking.
But in your own act, you aren’t directly controversial or combative at all.
No, I don’t like it. It’s not my thing, and I think it’s because I’m the middle child of a big family and I prefer no commotion, if we can somehow arrange that. I’m here to point out the absurd – in a funny way. I’m not here to change your mind, really. For me, that’s the way the job gets done.