By Ryan Meehan
From his elaborate characters and sketches, to his provocative songs and
animation, Drennon Davis has made a name for himself as one of the most innovative minds in today’s comedy scene. His live performances of the Imaginary Radio Program combine live music and beat-boxing with one-man sketches into a show that the Los Angeles Comedy Bureau writes “not only lives up to its name, but exceeds expectation in what you could possibly think it is.” Drennon was featured on NBC’s Last Call and was a semi finalist on Last Comic Standing. His new animated show The Long Legs can be seen on MTV’s rebirth of Liquid Television in 2012, and he’s our guest this weekend in 5 Questions.
FOH: How would you describe your experiences within the entertainment industry so far when compared to what you had originally imagined it being?
DD: I like it more now. Don’t get me wrong it’s a huge beast to tame and there’s a lot of wading through bullshit at first, but once I learned what to do and avoid, it got a lot better. It was also nice coming from SF because I was able to ease my way into it, occasionally coming down for meetings and gigs to experience LA in small doses. It was a good way to go. The weird thing about SF is that you’re trained to hate LA. Why? Because…fuck those fake LA assholes! So when I finally did move down permanantly, I realized that there are great communities full of friendly, highly creative people who make money doing what they love, it was a sigh of relief.
FOH: Your short form animated Series “The Long Legs” is a part of the rebirth of MTV’s Liquid Television, something that is long overdue. Do you think after the success of the Adult Swim series of programming on the Cartoon Network has made it easier for artists with short form projects to get their work noticed? Or is it just another case of the nation’s collective attention span getting shorter with every passing day?
DD: Probably a bit of both. There’s no doubt that both TV and the internet panders to dipshits with self diagnosed “A.D.D.” Ultimately though, I think it comes down to money. It’s less of a commitment for a small network to produce short form programming like Liquid Television and Adult Swim. It allows for some weird, creative and sometimes brilliant stuff that ultimately finds audiences that were never being addressed before and ultimately grow to become bigger successes than some major network shows.
FOH: In August your live musical comedy show will be at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Could you briefly describe “The Imaginary Radio Program”?
DD: Absolutely. It’s a pretty crazy show that’s a little hard to explain but here goes nothing – it’s a fast-paced musical one-man sketch show where I use an imaginary radio dial to scan a huge variety of stations and musical genres, creating characters, songs, impressions and commercials on the spot using a loop pedal, musical instruments and special drop-in guests. That was the long run-on sentence explanation. The short version is I make fun of everything on the radio. Anything from NPR to LMFAO.
FOH: Now that you’re no longer on the show, what’s your take on “Last Comic Standing” and did you notice any developments in your stand-up once the competition concluded?
DD: Jeez, I haven’t thought about this in awhile. I’m appreciative of the small amount it did for me and other comics on it. I met some great people on it but over all, I wasn’t a fan of the show or being on it. Maybe I’m too weird or maybe I never had any strong interest being on it in the first place. When they asked me to audition, I thought that they were going to make fun of me the whole time and put me in one of those “look at these fucking freaks” montages. I guess it was nice to have my comedy on a prime time show but they cut it up and re-edited it so much, I felt like it wasn’t even my bit anymore by the time it aired. In my opinion it’s not even a comedy show, it’s more of a dramatic reality show. That was painfully obvious after being asked literally 5 times by the host, Bill Bellamy if I was excited about moving on to the next round until the producers cut camera and told me to be more excited or I wasn’t moving on to the next round. Honestly, after leaving the semi-finals, the show put such an awful taste in my mouth that I stopped performing as much for a year and taught myself how to animate. So I guess I have LCS to thank for my animation career. To this day though, I can’t watch any of those bullshit competitive shows. I imagine it’s like the dude who can’t eat sausages because he worked at the factory and knows what goes in them.
FOH: What’s up next for Drennon Davis in the twelve months that follow?
DD: Gonna be recording an album after Scotland. Should be out in the fall. Then taking the Imaginary Radio Program to the rest of the world. Scandinavia, Australia, probably some more fests too. Also have some new animated shows in the pipeline that I’m excited about.
The Imaginary Radio Program at Edinburgh fringe Festival
The Long Legs on Liquid Television
Drennon’s official website: www.drennondavis.com
Drennon on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drennondavis
Drennon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrennonDavis
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