by Ryan Meehan
Brent Weinbach’s stand-up comedy is weird. He is a winner and recipient of the Andy Kaufman Award, which is given out once a year to recognize innovation in stand-up comedy. He has appeared on Conan, Lopez Tonight, Comedy Central, HBO, IFC, and toured with the Comedians of Comedy. Brent has a new comedy record out now called Mostly Live, available for download on iTunes and in physical form on his website. And he’s our guest today in 5 Questions.
RM: When did you first get into comedy? Did your first performance illicit a good response or a bad one?
BW: I first got into comedy the same time I got into music. I was three years old and I made up this song, the lyrics of which consisted only of words “pee pee”, “poo poo”, and “caa caa”. I sang it out loud one day at the supermarket and an old woman turned to my mother and said, “At least he’s musical.” So I guess you could say my first performance got a mixed review -a good response from the old lady and a bad/embarrassed response from my mother. My sense of humor hasn’t changed since.
RM: What made you decide to the Doritos bit on “Lopez Tonight”? Because of copyrights and such, did you have to clear that with the producers before the show? Did you hear from anybody at that company afterwards?
BW: I just feel like there isn’t enough attention being given to Doritos, so I took it upon myself to promote their product. My sister Laura was practicing Ave Maria in the car one day, and she was singing it in Latin, and I thought to myself, this sounds like the ingredients to junk food. I thought about writing a Junk Food Mass, but ended up just using Ave Maria and substituting words. As far as copyrights goes, I didn’t have to clear anything with the producers, they had to clear things with me. You see, I was big shot back then and I didn’t answer to nobody. I didn’t hear from anyone at Doritos, but I did hear from Ave Maria herself. She thought it was “cute”. Seriously though, Doritos are good. Keep munching, they’ll make more.
RM: Where did you come up with the character “IceFace, Lady of the Night”? Being in comedy, how often are you around magicians and illusionists?
BW: Stand-up comedian and modern dancer Alex Koll concocted the name “Iceface” I believe, but it was I who fleshed out the subtitle “Lady of the Night”. It just seemed to fit. I discovered Iceface in San Francisco when I was still working as a modern dancer at the Hippocampo Dance Company (where I met my colleague Alex). Iceface expressed a part of me that I could not express through dance. Iceface was an expression of my adolescence, a sort of return to forever, from which I could lead a path not traveled by my former self. It was both exhilarating and constipating all at the same time. I meet some magicians through comedy these days, but the magician I spend the most time hanging around with is myself. I spent at least $75 on magic tricks when I was 13 and very much adored Johnathan Pendragon’s all-star revue at Universal Studios (formerly
the Conan the Barbarian Theatre).
RM: What makes a really good video short? Do you feel like if a comedian wants to make it these days he or she has to have an pretty impressive YouTube reel?
BW: A good video short usually has something to do with penises or poo or big muscles or children. If a comedian wants to make it, they don’t need good Youtube videos, they just need to get on a popular TV sitcom. I wish I could be in a network family sitcom. I would love that. I wish I could be in Full House, not as an actor, but as a human being. I want to reach out to Kimmy Gibbler and make her feel like she’s not alone. Kimmy is such a tragic character. Her family doesn’t like her, Danny Tanner’s family doesn’t like her (except DJ), nobody likes her because they think she’s annoying, but that just fuels her to be even more annoying and it’s this downward spiral. Remember that episode where everyone forgot it was her birthday? Wow, that was emotional. Seriously though, I would really like to be the father in a network family sitcom so that I could make it as a comedian.
RM: Could you tell us a little bit about your album “Mostly Live”?
BW: Mostly Live contains a lot of good, fun material about reggaeton, Tuvan throat singing, poo, shaved pubix, Keith Sweat, and other things. Some of the jokes were jokes that I considered to be more “advanced level” jokes, meaning, jokes for people who were already fans of my comedy. But I think because the audience is laughing and stuff, a beginner level listener will be able to get into it. People sometimes think things are funny because everyone else is laughing. Other peoples’ laughter helps people see where the funny parts are. It sounds like I’m joking right now, and I kind of am, but I’m also talking about a real thing that happens. Then again, once, I saw this comedian in Edinburgh, Scotland, and no one except for me was laughing. I was laughing so hard, but nobody liked the guy. He was talking about kicking different animals in balls, including dinosaurs. It was so hilarious to me, I loved it. I should look in my travel journal to find out this guy’s name and look him up. I saw him 14 years ago or so. Anyway, I’m really proud of Mostly Live. I think it’s my most accessible record (it’s my third album), because there’s an audience laughing on it. It’s kind of my sell out album, which is fine, especially for beginner level fans. It’s good for advanced level fans too though. It’s good for the whole family.
RM: What’s up next for Brent Weinbach in the twelve months to come? Anything
big in the works?
BW: Just trying to make a TV show and/or make a movie. I gotta get back into film making. I just need a few million dollars. Aside from that, I think I’ll tour Sao Paolo and Historic Filipinotown and then return to the Hippocampo Dance Company for a “brief” gig with their all male revue. And by brief, I mean, a cotton brief with pelvic sponge and mens pillow with custom cheek pads and room for growth. My final look features my infamous crotchfull chap. Such is the stuff of trees and trivialities.
Brent’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/brentweinbach
Brent Weinbach: http://www.brentweinbach.com/
Brent on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrentWeinbach
Brent’s Funny or Die profile: http://www.funnyordie.com/brentweinbach
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