By Ryan Meehan
Mike E. Winfield in minutes will describe what has happened in your life that very day. Many often leave his show saying, “Does he live with us?” This strikingly brilliant comedian has not slowed down since his debut on The Late Show W/ David Letterman and most recently winning a reoccurring role on NBC’s The Office. Whether its hardships or love, you’re gonna get it served honestly from this charismatic Baltimore native who got his comedy start in California’s state capitol. When asked, why Sacramento? He says, “If they want you, they’ll find you.” And they have, his success is rapidly rising and you may have seen him on Showtime’s Comics Without Borders or Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham. You can catch his recent set on THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW on his video page, and you can check him out as our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: Does your hair prevent you from ever being able to wear a hat? If so, is that something that you’re cool with? How long have you been rocking the Afro?
MEW: My hair never prevents me from wearing a hat. I’ll just set it on top. I’ll cram any hat on this hair if I really like the hat. I’ve been rocking this Fro since I realized I have a head shape that requires a bunch of hair around it.
RM: What’s the most bizarre thing that’s happened to you in all of your time being on the road doing stand-up comedy? Looking back on it, would you have handled the situation any differently if given the opportunity?
MEW: I got into physical altercation with a comedian inside a radio station live on the air. I would have handled it WAAAY differently. I would have grabbed a chair and attempted to knock him unconscious, but I’m sure I won’t get that opportunity again.
RM: How has your writing process changed over the years; and what prompted you to make changes with regards to the way you approach the task of writing jokes? Which part of the process is your favorite, and which part do you dislike the most?
MEW: My process of writing is the same. Daily. What’s different now is that I take more risks. I made this decision after realizing that I was never myself while performing on stage, I was just who I thought I was supposed to be. My favorite part is the creation. The birth of an idea that I get to introduce to whoever is in the room. The part that I hate the most is when I’ve prepared something that I’m excited to perform and some heckler wants to challenge me, and of course I have to destroy him. A lot of times, it’s difficult to segue back into prepared material when you’re talking to someone you had no intentions of speaking with.
RM: What was the first thing that went through your head when you saw the guy who was asleep in your video “Don’t sleep at the comedy show”? Was he just really drunk; or what was going on there?
MEW: No one really ever found out what his actual problem was. To me, it looked like a combination of a triple work shift and Tequila overload. He could have died but we were just all having a good time. He woke up at the end. My favorite part which is not shown in the video, is when I realized he was asleep, I had to untangle the microphone cord and several members of the audience stood up and walked to the stage to help me arrange this. It was like a team effort.
RM: Was the whole Arsenio Hall experience a little surreal for you because it was something you watched when you were younger, but then went off the air for so long? What was the best part about getting to do that show? How was that experience different from doing Letterman?
MEW: The Arsenio Hall show was surreal. So weird because when he came to my dressing room before my performance, he was familiar with so much of my other work. The best part of doing that show was actually getting TO DO IT. It’s been cancelled and now I’m one of the few in this new generation that can say that I’ve done so. The only difference in doing the Arsenio Hall Show was that they completely trusted me to perform any material that I wanted. The Letterman show which, I’m very near to rebooking, is tight on Each word that I use. I understand.
RM: What is it like being on the set of the hit network television show “The Office”? Who are some of the people you’ve met through that gig that you have felt you really connected with; either on a personal or professional level? And why do you think that you seem to get along with them so well?
MEW: Being on the set of “The Office” is what was surreal. I watched this show on television and then I was in the actual Office. WHAAAT!! Craig Robinson was one that I connected with because I had the most scenes with him, and he tours comedy clubs like myself. James Spader and I have a similar style of on camera comedy, but only he and I know that. John Krasinski entered separate stalls at the same time, and I know now that we take about the same time to pee and wash our hands. He directed one of the episodes that I was in. I get along with almost everyone in the world. It’s a gift.
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2014 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
MEW: I have a new television show coming out, but the networks are currently bidding on my project. I thought at first to just take the initial offer, but I was told early that I have something special and I should know my worth. I’m all about the art. I just want to produce content people can enjoy so maybe they won’t have a need to go outside and murder someone.
Official Website: http://mikewinfield.com/
Mike on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-E-Winfield/126294687516589
Mike on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeEWinfield
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