Jordon Mazziotti, has asked me, of all people, to interview him for the 1 year anniversary of the It’s Always Funny In SLC blog and newly launched .com website.
Jordon has interviewed over 30 comedians from all over the nation, from local favorites like Natashia Mower and Andy Gold, to touring acts like Alien Warrior Comedian, Bengt Washburn, and Barbara Gray.
In addition to interviewing comics he always promotes all of the shows, fests, and open mics happening all over SLC, regardless if it’s a local show or a big act coming through the clubs. He even donates his considerable talents as a graphic designer to make a large amount of flyers and posters and promo material for the comedy events occurring around the area, regardless if he’s a part of the show or not.
May of 2014 he organized, promoted, hosted, et al, the first ever It’s Always Funny In SLC Comedy Showcase at Keys On Main. Despite many long nights and weeks of stress, all his hard work paid off and the show was a roaring success and one of the highlights of the year for many, due to it’s scale, roster of strong comedians, and the sleek and professional presentation.
The man genuinely loves comedy and it’s part of why he was approached to help the 2nd Annual Salt Lake City Comedy Carnivale become a reality, the brain child of Christopher Stephenson and Andrew Jensen. If you’re a local comedian or have friends in the comedy scene here in Utah, you’ve probably seen Jordon’s immaculate design work littering your Facebook news feed.
Now, without further adieu, your friend and mine, Jordon Mazziotti!
First off, Jordon, thank you for letting me do this. I am really honored you would ask me to conduct your interview. I guess all of the hot, sweaty love making sessions really paid off.
Describe yourself in 10 words or less . . . starting . . . now! Wait! Shit. I wasn’t ready. Okay, here we go. Go nnnoooooooooww! No, NOW! NOW NOW!
Husband. Father. Design. Comedian. Bow Tie Activist. Not a Jew.
Being a bow tie enthusiast, even fetishist in some people’s eyes (mine), who do you think wore the bow tie better, the Eleventh Doctor in the Dr. Who TV series (as played by Matt Smith) or DC Comics super heroin, Zatanna Zatara?
You have to give it to the good Doctor for bringing the popularity of wearing of bow ties to the masses… but I think Zatanna Zatara pulls it off because of the boobs… yeah… because of the boobs.
And yes, my dear Nicholas, it is a fetish. When the wife and I are having martial relations, all I am wearing is a bow tie. Oh… and mismatching socks… and a fedora. Also, our matching toe rings. While listening to “From the Land Down Under” by Men at Work. Followed by “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. Immediately followed by tears. From me.
My butt hole itches during the small hours. I think it’s evil spirits putting AIDS into my body under the darkness of night. Is it AIDS? If so, how do I cure it?
I think it is definitely AIDS. You know… because of all the whores. But I think the bigger problem at hand is the 2 ferrets that are living in your colon. Do you remember when you placed them there in your childhood? They have now formed a comfortable long term residence in your rectum. The itching is when they come out to get a bit of fresh air and gather food for the winter. Not sure if ferrets are nocturnal, but your butt-ferrets are.
You do the art thing for a living. What got you into comedy?
My constant need for attention and wanting to be mediocre at something else. I am already a mediocre dad, husband, designer and taxidermist. Might as well throw comedy in there.
But honestly, I think I have enjoyed making people laugh and I had the mind numbing delusion that I could do it onstage in front of a group of strangers who probably think I am the dorky film guy on the movie version of Rent who has let himself go a little bit.
Jim Gaffigan is probably my biggest inspiration. Mainly due to our comparable paleness factor and that he is probably my real dad. But comedically, I think he is a genesis. He can do no wrong. I will never be a dirty comic and seeing someone like him take over the comedy world and dominate to the level he has is inspiring. He made a distinct choice that is the way he wanted to take his career and went for it. Right now… I think John Mulaney, Pete Holmes and Hannibal Burress. I love the sharp writing of Mulaney. The onstage personality and absurdity of Holmes and the swag of Burress. Sorry people… no Kennison, Pryor, and Carlin. They are funny but not the comedians who drive me.
Outside of comedy… I am inspired by urban style artists. I have a huge collection of urban vinyl toys and just seeing that stuff inspires me creatively. Some artists to check out are Joe Ledbetter, Huck Gee, Andrew Bell, Tara McPhereson and Frank Kozik.
What spawned your idea for the It’s Always Funny In SLC blog and website? Future plans for it?
I was forced to take a break from comedy at the end of 2013 and I didn’t want to disappear from the scene and have to start from scratch, so I decided to start the blog to stay involved. More importantly I did it because I wanted to really spotlight the local comics we have here. The talent we have here is incredible and very diverse. We literally have comics of all styles. Each and every interview has been a completely new experience and adventure. I personally have learned more about comedy since I started then I can possibly imagine. It’s great to learn from my peers and their experiences.
I still have a lot I want to do with the site. I would love to get all the locals bios on there, continue doing great interviews, even adding interviews from national touring headliners and celebrities. I have talked forever about adding a podcast to it and I just thought of an idea for a section where comedians can share comedic editorials, sketches, short films and more. It is not for me… it’s for everyone else. That is the main reason I took it off my own comedy website.
I really enjoyed Jackson Banks’ interview. He answered the questions with the humor, zaniness and intent that I created the blog for.
Other interviews that have been highlights are yours (Nicholas Smith), Barbara Gray and Marcus.
I think what makes a good interview is when the interviewee takes the interview seriously (and not seriously by having fun with it) and answers each question with intend and thought. I had a interesting conversation with Marcus and he said that a written interview is a much more involved then just a podcast interview. You can BS your way through those, but with a written one… it forces you to get back to the root of comedy, writing. You have to analyze each word you say and think about it to keep the reader interested to keep reading on. I also think I have become a better interviewer along the way.
Who do you want to really interview in the local scene that you haven’t gotten to yet?
I have been trying to interview Jay Whittaker since I started the dang blog. I have asked him no less than 5.75 times and sent him 3 sets of questions. But it is okay, because he has the swag of a Triple Crown racing horse and being in his presence is good enough for me. But I think it will finally happen next week.
I have really wanted to start interviewing more famous comics that have had a chance to make their way through town. I have tried with with a couple, but I haven’t had success yet. I will keep trying though. I really think that my dream interview would be Maria Bamford. She is one of my favorite comedians and the queen of everything strange, awkward and off the wall. I think she would be the coolest interview this side of the Prime Meridian and the Equator.
You don’t imbibe booze or other mind altering substances. How do you conquer your fears before getting on stage and facing the cold eyes of silent (sometimes) judgment?
It is a steady diet of Pepsi Max and the hope that people will accept me that keeps me going. Also. Actually… that’s it.
The best experience with comedy?
Hands down it had to be my May 2014 It’s Always Funny in Salt Lake City Comedy Showcase show. It was absolutely incredible. I had never been to a comedy show that had the magic that that show did. I was overwhelmed by the support of the local comedians, the support of their friends and family, the willingness of local podcasts and radio stations to let me an awkward dude like me come on their show and let me pretend like I had the slightest idea of what I was talking about. Every single comic was on fire that night and the crowd was one of the most ready-to-laugh audiences I have seen. I want to thank Jay Whittaker, Jackson Banks, Scott Bennett, Sonne Shields, Abi Harrison, Jason Harvey, Steve Uribe and Michael Schooley for being on the show and making that an amazing experience for everyone. I hope I can relive that magic every time I do it in the future.
I am so excited to do it again for the Comedy Carnivale with comics from Utah, Los Angeles and Vegas on September 28th and then a normal show again on October 19, 2014. I want to keep doing these show for as long as I possibly can and it all depends on the support of everyone.
I did a set at a billiard hall in Provo opening for John Moyer and his hypnotist show. (He did awesome and killed). Everything was wrong for me. The setup was strange. Everyone was in chairs and sofas around the edge of the room. Nobody was in the middle. Couldn’t really hear laughter the few time that they did laugh. Planned for 12 minutes and got lighted at 7. They had loud fans going because it was like 500 degrees. It was the only show my kids have ever attended. Most of the rest of the crowd was over the age of 65. So overall, it was a good time and made me almost want to quit comedy. After that show… I did contemplate killing a litter of kittens to overcome my sadness, but instead I just watched an episode of Law and Order: SVU and realized that I have it pretty good.
Why are comedians typically such broken people? You seem pretty normal on the surface, but do you have any demons you wrestle with? Depression, anxiety, addictions? If so, has comedy been an important outlet for you?
I think broken people are attracted to comedy because it is an opportunity for them to express themselves in a manner that they can’t in their personal life due to their upbringing, current family situation, religious affiliation or whatever. I am sure most of them have creepy uncles too.
Oh I have my demons… you know… like I love too much. Also… I try too hard. In addition… I enjoy a good bubble bath. Finally… I own a lot of shoes.
Do you consider comedy to be a valid art form? Is calling it an art form pretentious? Is writing out the word pretentious, well, pretentious?
I absolutely consider comedy an art form. An underrated art form for sure. It requires an immense amount of creatively and crafting to be done effectively and efficiently. It is like painting a picture with your words. If Bob Ross was explaining it… You have some happy penis jokes here… Little relationship jokes and old girlfriend jokes ‘n’ stuff all live up in here. They’ve got to have a little place to sit… We don’t make hack jokes, we just have happy accidents. Or whatever.
Has your wife ever seen you perform live on stage and gotten so turned on she took you home after and made you her love toy?
One time after a show we got home and all she wanted was to get down to business… I didn’t even have that good of a set. Then I forgot that we are trying to have a baby, so all she wanted was my valuable man-seed to create the miracle of life.
You do comedy, graphic design, and write for your blog. Do you have any other hidden artistic talents we don’t know about, like oil painting by using live wolverines as your brushes or composing avant garde chamber music for mouth organ and solo lawn mower?
I wish I was only talented at comedy, graphic design and blog writing. But I like to recreate full scale replicas of mountain ranges. The main problem is trying to find places to put them. Local city governments aren’t very willing to work with me.
Things you love about the scene? And what would make it better?
I love that people are controlling their own destiny. They want to progress and get better, so they make it happen. Comics aren’t afraid to start a new show at a new venue or create a new open mic. I think a lot of comics are more scene aware rather than just being self aware. I mean, if you are doing well, why not bring a few of your friends along for the ride.
I wish the scene could be more unified as a whole. I think there will always be cliques and groups, but diversify yourself and try all the stages and opportunities. You never know what will come out of it.
I think since the demise of The Complex open mic, the scene has exploded with new shows and opportunities. I am glad that it kinda freaked people out. Since that open mic ended, the Always Funny show, Nicholas’ Comedy & Dungeons show and all the new shows at Sandy Station have come to fruition. I imagine we will continue to see a bunch of new shows that will pop up.
Who has been the biggest help to you with your comedy?
I think a little bit of everyone. I think each person I have talked to has added an special little morsel of knowledge or experience that I can take and improve my comedy upon. I do appreciate Jason Harvey, Steve McInelly and others for putting me on their shows.
What have been your experiences with organizing large comedy events like your own, IAFISLC Comedy Showcase and helping with the SLC Comedy Carnivale?
It has been incredibly rewarding. I would say that the IAFISLC Comedy Showcase was probably one of the top 5 experience of my life. It is amazing seeing a pipe dream parlayed into a huge success. I think almost nothing can match that feeling, except maybe taking a really really good dump.
I think when you plan something and it ends up being successful it is one of the greatest feelings you can have. I am kind of a perfectionist when it comes to stuff like this, so I want to make sure every detail is taken care of.
I prefer the term Sanitary Technician of Comedy, you condescending jerk.
I just love being a part of it and I want to do whatever I can to help make it better. I think the things I do, like make the posters to make shows look better and planning a cool show is the least that I can. I really appreciate pushing it forward. I know that I won’t probably ever make comedy my living… but if I can make it a little easier for others to get awareness and recognition, I am all about that.
Favorite comedian(s) in the SLC Scene?
This is a hard question because I look up and respect everyone. I think that everyone brings a unique prospective to the comedy scene. If I had to say who my personal favorites are Steve Soelberg, Aaron Woodall, Jay Whittaker, Jackson Banks, Abi Harrison and Nicholas Smith. But really, I wish I could list like 63-81 more people here but we don’t have all day. People have places to go and people to see and possibly some Del Taco to eat. I personally think it is a bit overrated and Taco Bell is superior but I was raised in Vernal, so my perspective of things are biased by my traumatic upbringing.
What shows have you got lined up?
I will be a part of the Salt Lake Comedy Carnivale.
Comedy Showcase @ Mo’s – September 25 at 7:30
How can people contact you?
But also on: