By Ryan Meehan
Out of the cornstalk ghetto of Newton, Iowa came nationally touring comedian Scott Long. Seen on NBC, FOX-TV, ESPN, Bob and Tom, etc., Scott is the 2nd most successful comic to attend the University of Iowa. (If only he would have met Roseanne before Tom Arnold 🙂 Besides performing at the top comedy clubs in the country, Scott has put out 2 comedy DVD’s, a comedy CD, and a book. Oh and for the past 9 years he has written the comedy sketches for the NFL Pregame Show on FOX. Known for his edgy style and improv skills, no 2 Scott Long shows are ever the same. He’ll likely have to edit his resume once again, as he’s our guest today in 5 questions.
FOH: You literally just got back from Disneyworld. Is there going to be anything from that experience that you’ll be able to work into your standup routine?
SL: Just that my kids will have lifetime memories. The rides, the characters, the stress from it that eventually caused their parents to divorce. Oh, and how we used their college fund to pay for it.
FOH: What’s the most unusual thing that you’ve ever had happen to you on the road?
SL: My website/blog celebrates the stranger gigs I have done. Strip clubs, children’s charities, and senior citizen homes. I pride myself on being versatile. Definitely one of the strangest was when I performed at a State Penitentiary. Ended up talking to one inmate after the show who was very intelligent. Told me he had gotten 2 graduate degrees through correspondence while in Prison. I asked him how he ended up here. His response was “That is a fair question, Scott. I had a little conflict with my parents and I chopped them up with an axe.” You haven’t really lived until you’ve had someone drop a statement like that in conversation. It was like my own version of the Scared Straight program.
FOH: Recently you had an interesting blog post about how having really intense walk-up music can actually hurt a standup comic, as most of the energy disappears as soon as the music fades out. Is that something that you think is more of an age-specific thing, as in most younger comedians want intros to create a party-like atmosphere to the show?
SL: It comes down to this. Intro music can help add some energy to black comedians who hit the stage, but I’ve never seen it help a white comedian, especially if it’s hip-hop. A white comedian who comes up to a gangsta rap song he looks as silly if he was wearing one onstage one of Deion Sanders’ ten button bright orange suits.
FOH: What’s worse: Having your material stolen or having your identity stolen for the sake of an online dating profile?
SL: That’s funny. Yeah, recently some guy used my photo on an online dating site. It just made me laugh and in some ways was kind of flattering. Now stealing my material, that is never funny to me, though I guess in some ways, just as flattering.
FOH: Which comedian have you enjoyed working with most, and what was it about that particular comedian that made him/her so much fun to work with?
SL: I would have to start with Frank Caliendo. I worked with him on the road for a few years and his show always made me laugh. That’s the beauty of impressions, they don’t get old to me. Frank also is the hardest working guy I have ever met in the business and he’s a really smart dude. I’ve only worked with him a couple times, but Dan Cummins is a great friend and I believe the most prolific comedian in standup comedy today. I met him at the start of his career when he opened for me and have watched the different stages of his career he has went through. He’s pretty inspiring to watch do standup, as he has such an original voice.
FOH: Every comic probably has a different definition of the word “Hack”. Based on what you’ve seen performing all around the country, how would you best define a hack?
SL: That is a more difficult question. I think even overworked subjects can be ripe for great material, as long as you bring a fresh spin to it. The best way not to be hack is to do a lot of material that comes from true stories of your own life. That is what I preach when I teach standup comedy classes. My show has become mostly autobiographical from my childhood in Iowa to my current situation having a daughter on the autism spectrum and my 4 year old twins.
FOH: What big things does Scott Long have planned for the next twelve months?
SL: I am moving in a different direction starting to do 1 person shows where not everything in the show is based in comedy. My 1 person show is called “A Real Modern Family: From Hipster to Dipster” and it is debuting at the Indy Fringe Festival in August. It discusses how I met my wife at the University of Iowa and the struggles we had getting pregnant, going the in vitro fertilization route, having a daughter on the autism spectrum, and then having twins at 40. Some of that material I will be performing at the Circa 21 Speakeasy, but the show my Quad Cities fans will see on July 14th will be pure standup. Dark, edgy material, but always focused on giving the audience a big laugh.
Make sure to catch Scott at the Circa 21 Speakeasy on July 14th or check out any of the links below for more funny.
Scott’s Official Website: http://www.scottcomedy.com/
Scott on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/scottlongcomedy
Scott on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/scottcomedy
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