This week for It’s Always Funny in Salt Lake City we interview one of the most endearing and likable folk in all of the land, the lovable Jason Harvey.
We get intense about necessities on an island, Comedy & Other Opinions and Jolly Ranchers.
You will have many opportunities to check him out this month. Including the first It’s Always Funny in Salt Lake City Comedy Showcase.
So do it… it may be illegal in 14 states in the midwest. But thankfully in Utah it was made legal in the last legislative session.
Describe yourself in 10 words or less?
Short and sometimes a hairy faced manboy.
Chapstick, altoids or Anne Frank? Which would you need most on a stranded island? Why?
Probably Anne Frank. That way if she dies I can eat her, but until then I have some decent company, and she gets a nice vacation from that dreadful attic.
Who is your arch-nemesis? How will you defeat them?
People that dress fancier than me and also less fancy than me are my arch-nemesis. And I’m going to beat them by continuing to dress and look completely mediocre. I will just wake up, lazily shower, run my fingers through my hair(just to make sure that my hair doesn’t look too nice, nor too shitty), brush my teeth, and while doing all this only look at myself in the mirror for about 45 seconds… that’s it. And then BAM!!! Arch-nemesis destruction!
You buy 9 jolly ranchers for 78 cents and you have 11 coins? What is the easiest way to pay?
I would just want to pay with 1 dollar bill. How many bills do I have? None… damn this comedy thing really isn’t working out. What the hell am I doing with my life. Are these 9 jolly ranchers my dinner, cause if so I’m probably going to be really hungry in an hour or 2…. I would just hand the cashier all 11 coins and say, I’m obviously high right now… do these 11 coins add up the amount needed. Good…. you have a great day to…
What got you started in stand up comedy?
I’ve always loved comedy. In high school I was a big fan of SNL. So I started to watch comedy central a lot. I was never a big fan of stand up until seeing Mitch Hedberg and Greg Giraldo on Comedy Central. Then when I was 17 I saw Bill Burr perform live. It was at Weber State University for a high school student government retreat or something along those lines. And I was hooked. I loved comedy. I have wanted to be a comedian since then, but didn’t start comedy until I was 28. My ex wife told me I wasn’t funny, and I thought “I’ll show you…” But I got up at an open mic and never stopped. I love it.
Who are your biggest inspirations in comedy?
Will Ferrell, Bill Burr, Bill Hicks, Paul F Tompkins, Greg Giraldo, Mitch Hedberg, and Richard Pryor.
How long have you been doing comedy?
About 5 years.
Who has been the biggest help for you in your comedy career?
Steve McInely and Ben Fuller got me a lot of stage time and really helped me there. And I would have to include Levi Rounds and Christopher Stephenson for being as welcoming and friendly as they were to me.
What is your process for coming up with and writing new material?
Just life. Anything that strikes me as funny I try to make into a bit or a sketch. How can I make that universally funny? Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it’s tougher. There’s a joke I’ve been working on for over a year. I keep writing and re-writing it and I’m just not quite happy with it yet.
Comedy! And Other Opinions is a comedy show held monthly at 5 Monkeys in Murray. It’s every 3rd Thursday. It’s part stand up, part interview, and part improv.
What inspired you to go with the format that you have?
I was wanting to do something a little different from the normal format of a stand up comedy show. A host introduces the show and the first comedian. That comedian comes up does a few minutes, and the back comes the host to talk to the audience again and to introduce the next comic that is going to say funny things at the crowds faces. Then back again comes the host, but this time he has to get the crowd pumped up again because it’s the headliner. Then he brings up the headliner, he crushes and the host tells people to tip and get home safely.
So now after a comic is done with his normal set that he has written out or tested over and over at open mics and other shows. Now he gets to sit down on stage with me and talk random nonsense and get suggestions from the crowd. It allows the audience to see that the comics on my show are funny not just when doing their rehearsed comedy bits. It also gets the crowd involved in the funny.
What is the craziest thing that has happened at one of the shows?
I had planned an audience interruption with a good friend of mine, Andrew Jensen. And right before we did the interruption(and while you were on stage doing the and other opinions part) a guy took his shirt off in the middle of the crowd and was being a loud asshole and disrupting the show. Finally he got kicked out, and we continued. And about 5 minutes after that douche interrupted the show Andrew starts yelling from the crowd for me to watch my language. He and I talked back and forth and he was acting as a person that I baptized from my mission, telling me how disappointed he was in me. It ended with him coming on stage and trying to get to baptize him again, so I could once again feel the Holy Spirit. That’s the craziest thing that has happened.
Well or me having to tell a guy that if he yelled the “N-word” another time, I would kick ass out of the bar. Good ol drunk bigots…
What can people look forward to in the next couple of months shows?
I’m going to record live audio for an upcoming project, that I’m very excited about.
More Comedy! And Other Opinions, and thanks to Christopher Stephenson I will also be running a monthly show every 3rd friday at Sandy Station.
What are your 2014 comedy goals?
Release my first comedy album. And hit the road a little bit later this year to promote that album.
You perform a lot. What is your favorite place to perform? Why?
Honestly 5 Monkeys is my favorite place to perform. i really like the stage setup, and have always had a great time performing there.
What would be your dream location to perform? Can be anywhere.
A regular gig with the UCB. Performing anywhere with the UCB would be my dream.
We have had several of our great local comics leave for greener comedic pastures (Brian Pope, Andy Farnsworth, Key Lewis, Dean Weber).
Who is the next comedian that is going to leave us and take the leap?
Jackson Banks if I had to guess.
What is the most fulfilling part about organizing and putting on your own show?
Working with other comics that are thankful and excited to be part of the show. I love the scene we have here in SLC, so I’m always excited to perform with all the great comics we have here.
What advise would you give to any of the local comic that want to start their own monthly show?
Promote, promote, promote. If no one knows about it, no one will come. Invite everyone and have fun with it.
What is you single favorite thing that has happened to you so far in your comedy career?
Meeting a lot of great comics from out of state while performing at the SLC Comedy Carnivale.
What was one joke that you have told that has stood out the most?
Probably my bit about child abduction.
What do you think of the Utah Comedy Scene?
I love it here. We have a lot of fantastic comedians.
Where do you see it in 5 years?
In 5 years I think it will grow to be one of the cool alt comedy cities. Especially with how much the scene has grown and SLC Comedy Carnivale.
What is the thing happening in the comedy scene that you are really excited about?
I’m about to be on a fantastic show that was put together by a fantastic man that has a fantastic blog. Pretty fantastic, right?
I’m going to be on the “It’s Always Funny In Salt Lake” comedy showcase. It’s going to be great. Jordan, you really put something special together here. Michael Schooley, Nicholas Smith, AbiHarrison, Jackson Banks, Jay Whittaker, and Brent B’real Robinson. Wow! I’m so happy to be sharing the stage with all of you! I can’t wait! Thanks Jason!
What shows do you have coming up?
Comedy! And Other Opinions – May 15 @ 5 Monkeys
Dungeons & Comedy – May 22– Muse Music Cafe- Provo
It’s Always Funny in Salt Lake- May 25th– Keys on Main – SLC
How can people connect with you?