Interview for The Times of Malta by Jo-Ann Vassallo
What urged you to take on a career as a stand-up comedian?
Well, my parents distrust medical and law schools so they constantly pushed me towards a career in Laughter. In retrospect I appreciate this life unencumbered by wealth.
Do you have to be naturally talented for this job? What are the requisites for success?
To truly be successful in comedy, you must eat the heart of a clown.
What is your greatest fear before you go on stage?
That the concept of existence is not an illusion with no meaning and the fact that I can consciously exist is only for the sole purpose of measuring the good I do for a divine being. Also I worry I might look fat.
What other milestones do you hope to reach in stand- up comedy?
Most successful average comedian of all time. I hope to wrench that title out of Richard Lewis’s hands.
What does making other people laugh mean to you?
Pure Joy. And money, every giggle I hear a tiny cha-ching in my personal cash register.
Tell me something about your style of humour.
I like to tackle serious topics without much humor then guilt audiences into laughter with ridiculously long pauses.
What was the greatest point in your career so far?
I got to work with the Smothers Brothers, and I got them to talk to my mom on the phone, only for her to not believe it was them, then irritated they handed the phone back to me and didn’t talk to me again.
Who is your favourite stand- up comedian (apart from yourself J)? Any idol?
I loved WC fields, Walter Mathau and Charles Grodin. Any comics who are mean to children make me laugh.
What are the difficulties in your shows? What is the greatest satisfaction?
People who let alcohol disconnect themselves from the fun that stand up can be is the biggest frustration, you should never drink to the point you lose control of your shame at a show. The greatest satisfaction is found every show where there is a balance between satisfying a crowds laughter needs and challenging them to see more whimsy and subtlety beyond the obvious. I also love getting paid.
What kind of show have you prepared for the Maltese audience?
A show rife with riddles and curiosities that will lead to hidden treasure!
How do you feel about performing in Malta?
I feel it completes a centuries old prophesy.
Is there a performance in your career you will never forget? Why?
OK, I did a pretty amazing show at HBO’s Comedy Arts festival in Aspen back in 2000 when Jerry Seinfeld and his manager invited me to hang out with them and this really cute girl saw me and slept with me cause she thought I was important.