Always Funny in Salt Lake City interviewed one of the most genuinely funny comics in town, Andy Gold, this week. The seasoned comic can be seen almost weekly at any of the Wiseguys comedy clubs and for good reason, he is funnier than watching someone punch a kitten.
We talk about religious view of Where’s Waldo, addiction, New York and LA and chocolate.
He will be headlining at Wiseguys WVC this Friday at 8 pm. If you don’t go, you are a dick head and I hate you. So there’s that.
Describe yourself in 10 words or less?
I’m being interviewed by a dude who shits ice cream. Andy, it’s my curse!
If you were Waldo, where would you be and why? And is he a terrorist?
I would be at Mecca because that is the most crowded place ever. Also, not a terrorist. He would try to convert Muslim fundamentalists to a more moderate point of view before eventually becoming radicalized himself and planting anthrax in his books.
Would you rather have a threesome with Barbra Streisand and Marilyn Manson or listen to their music?
I like to try new things I haven’t done before. So, I’d listen to their music.
Do you have any chocolate you can give me?
I hear Hershey is coming out with something called “Blow me” to replace the “kiss” It’s a new chocolate marketed towards today’s hip youth.
I was never a big stand-up comedy fan. I mean, I knew comedians everyone heard of like Eddie Murphy and Jerry Seinfeld but I was never too dialed in on the stand-up comedy world. I hardly knew anything about it. I was always just a funny kid. I was the class clown growing up and I guess that’s the first thing I really knew about myself. I loved making all my friends laugh and I think I may have liked getting the teacher mad even more. There was something about being the kid who had the balls to talk back that I liked. I don’t know, I was probably just an attention seeker. Anyway, I’m not going to go on and on forever but I never really straightened out, got into a whole bunch of trouble, got addicted to drugs and went from being a troublemaking kid to a troublemaking adult. I became hopelessly addicted to heroin and my life it turned into pure dog shit. I went to rehab in the fall of 2009 and in my spare time, I watched TV in the lounge. For some reason, all the channels were blocked except for A&E and Comedy Central. I started watching a lot of stand-up and sort of fell in love with it. I got out of rehab in December and for the next few months, my life was just basically actively trying not to relapse. I had multiple felonies, no direction and I was drug-free and bored out of my mind. I needed something to do. Something that was constructive and something I thought I might be good at. So, in May of 2010, I went to open mic at Wiseguys at tried my hand at Stand-Up. And here I am today, being interviewed by the prestigious “It’s Always Funny in Salt Lake.”
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATIONS IN COMEDY?
Man, I have such a short attention span. I think that’s why tend to like stuff that’s more on the jokey side. Right now, I’m really into Dave Attell and Amy Schumer. Mitch Hedberg was the first guy I really became a fan of though. I’m also a huge Rodney Dangerfield fan. He never went more than a few seconds without a big laugh and even though he was just telling jokes, his jokes were real. I mean, they were sad, man. He was just talking about how he was ugly and no one loved him, and about how he was a failure and a nothing. I really love that because I feel like that’s the best place to find comedy. There’s no sense in finding the funny in things that are already good. Sunshine and hope and optimism aren’t funny. Those things already kick ass. Funny lives in the suck.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING COMEDY?
Four years, I’m just a baby. That’s why I always laugh when new guys think I’m a veteran. In the comedy world, four years ain’t shit.
WHO HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST HELP FOR YOU AND YOUR COMEDY CAREER?
Professionally, it would have to be Keith Stubbs. First and foremost, he gave me a stage to build an act in front of a real audience. It goes beyond that though, almost all the roadwork I’ve done has been because of connections I’ve made at Wiseguys. Festivals I’ve got into have been because of tapes I sent that were recorded at Wiseguys. Personally, I’d have to say my dad. Whenever I need a few bucks, I can go work for him at his garden center. He has been super supportive of my comedy and lets me have time off whenever I want. I’m very fortunate to have that. A lot of guys don’t have a job that flexible. Sometimes, I feel like I’m cheating. My dad is the best.
What was your favorite part about doing comedy in New York? What was the biggest challenge?
My favorite part was getting on stage so often. Granted, a lot of times the stages were awful it was just me telling jokes in front of a few comics but still, getting on stage multiple times a night is pretty cool. The biggest challenge was getting on real shows in actual clubs. There’s just so many comics and without T.V. credits and the right connections, it’s really hard. I was only able to get real spots at real clubs on late-night shows and they weren’t the best clubs. Fact is, I went to New York Way too soon. I got ahead of myself, ignored the advice a lot of smart, veteran comics and went because I thought I would be the exception to the rule. Coming back to Utah with my tail between my legs was pretty humiliating to say the least. It was also a great decision and I’m really happy I came back home.
What has been your favorite comedy festival and what advice can you give?
The Boston Comedy Festival has been my favorite so far just because it’s the most substantial thing I’ve done. Like 1100 comics submitted and only 50 non-Boston comics were accepted. So, just getting in really felt amazing. It was also just a couple months after I came home from New York and my confidence was shot. So, getting into Boston gave my comedic self-esteem a much-needed boost. I also moved on to the semi finals which felt nice.
What advice do you have for comics looking to get into festivals?
For any comics looking to get into festivals, it’s pretty simple. They all have websites where you can submit. There’s usually a fee and you just have to submit a video, a headshot and a bio. I would also say don’t get too discouraged when you receive rejection emails. I’ve received many. It’s just part of it. It sucks but it’s part of it.
You’re leaving to California for a month. What are your plans and where do you want to perform?
Well, I got a place all lined that I’m subletting. I perform at Ice House on occasion, so I’m looking forward to getting on that stage. The crowds are amazing and it’s a really historic and fun club. Aside from that, my goals are super modest. I’m just hoping to meet a few people, shake a few hands and get on a few shows. I’m a lot more conservative this time around as opposed to when I went to New York. I’m not moving down there. I’m just staying for a few weeks to check out the shows, dip my feet in the water and hopefully make a few connections and see a few friends. I hope I have fun.
What has been the highlight of your comedy career up to this point?
It’s really hard to pick out just one thing because I don’t think I’ve done any one thing that’s too noteworthy. Right now, all my best memories come from being on the stage. When I’m up there and it’s going well, it’s pretty much the best feeling there is. It’s why I work so hard and spend so much time, money and energy pursuing this as a career. Being up on stage, getting those laughs and feeling that energy. Nothing has topped that so far.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE THE UTAH COMEDY SCENE?
I’ll be honest, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the scene. I just write my jokes, tell them onstage and try to build an act. That’s what’s most important to me. I have my friends and I’m rooting for them and I do my best to get along with all the comics in town. But, I’m not really trying to do anything to help the scene. I mean, I’m still trying to figure out how to make things happen for myself. How the hell am I supposed to make anything happen for an entire scene?
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOU IN FIVE YEARS?
Five years? Damn, all I can do speculate on this one. I’m sure Wiseguys will still be going strong and I’m sure there will be a lot of other stages around town. Hopefully the mics will be less saturated with anonymous psychotics who blather drunken, punchline-free nothings about masturbating and church. There’s a lot of funny people in town. Unfortunately, there’s just a lot of maniacs too. I host the mic at Wiseguys on occasion and sometimes I feel like we should start putting a metal detector at the door.
WHAT IS THE THING HAPPENING IN THE SCENE THAT YOU ARE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT?
Well, the new club in downtown should be pretty tits. Also, the Greek restaurant next-door to Wiseguys West Valley got a new lamb wrap thing that’s pretty kick ass.
NAME ONE LOCAL COMEDIAN THAT IS BLOWING YOUR MIND RIGHT NOW. WHY?
Well, he hasn’t come around for a while but my mind is still blown whenever I think about him. There’s this crazy, old, racist bastard named Willy Juan who would go on stage and make nonsensical rants about the dangers of fornicating with Latinos. One day, he started inboxing me script ideas where I would be the lead role in a sitcom about an ex Mormon who goes back to church after trying to pick up prostitutes. So, yeah, that guy kind of blows my mind.
CONNECTING WITH YOU
Follow me on Twitter at @AndyaGold I’m on Facebook too. I’m headlining wiseguys West Valley July 25th. I would love for everyone to come.