by Ryan Meehan
Originally from the beautiful state of Oregon, Randy Liedtke is a Los Angeles based standup comedian, actor, and writer. He has a podcast called the Bone Zone with fellow comedian Brendon Walsh on the All Things Comedy network. You may have seen him on the IFC series “Maron”, heard his voice on Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time”, or seen his stand up on this season of “Last Comic Standing” on NBC. He was named one of Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch of 2013, was chosen for the “New Faces” showcase at the Just for Laughs Festival in 2014, and will be performing stand up on the upcoming Season 2 of Adam Devine’s House Party on Comedy Central. Additionally, he’s my guest today in 7 questions.
RM: Besides the beard, what makes you the new “It’ guy of Hollywood? Why are women these days crazy about dudes with beards? Do you think you’d make a good lumberjack?
RL: You must have read my Twitter bio, it says I’m Hollywood’s “It” guy, it’s actually a typo and I haven’t been able to figure out how to edit it. I’m actually Hollywood’s “I.T.” guy, I fix everyone’s computers. Are women crazy about beards? I guess they are maybe, I get more compliments on my beard from younger dudes on the street who wish they could grow one. I would make a bad lumberjack; I have a bad lower Lumbarback. But my dad actually met my mom while he was working as a lumberjack, so it’s in my blood.
RM: You were one of the “Fresh Faces” at Just For Laughs Montreal 2014…What was that whole experience like for you as far as networking with other comics and industry people; and what was the story behind the guy wearing the bullethole/spiderweb shirt that you Tweeted? What did he do that you interpreted as being rude?
RL: I had a great time Montreal for the festival, met some new funny people and hung out with some I already knew. You are referring to a picture I tweeted of a guy in Montreal that was rude to me. He worked at a fast food restaurant and was a prick to me right off the bat, bummed me out. It’s a long boring story.
RM: What were you able to take away from your appearance on the invitational round of “Last Comic Standing”? Were the contestants who did not advance informed of any of the reasons why they didn’t move on, aside from the initial criticism from Keenan, Russell, and Roseanne?
RL: The whole Last Comic Standing experience worked out for me, my goal going into it was to get a couple minutes of jokes on TV and not look like an idiot. It somehow worked out perfectly for me. I’ve seen the show in the past and know there is no way of knowing who they are going to pick. Comedy competitions are impossible to predict, no real way of having people compete. It’s like having a beverage competition, where all beverages are allowed to enter, and then people judge them based on their opinions, “I like orange juice, it’s way better then red wine.” or “Sorry, this soda is way better than milk, better luck next year milk!”. The day of shooting Last Comic was very long and annoying at times, especially for doing 4 minutes of stand up. But going into it I knew what I was getting into, and the producers and other people working on the show were nice to me and I’m glad I did it. Also Keenan, Russell, and Roseanne didn’t criticize me, they gave me compliments. Saw them at the wrap party for LCS and again were very nice to me.
RM: Back in December you were in the news because you baked cookies in the shape of iPhones and were able to get the police to pull you over after you made it appear as if you were talking on one. You were later taken downtown and booked due to an outstanding warrant for unpaid parking tickets…Do you blame the results of that stunt on poor planning; and would you have kept on doing it the rest of the day if you had not been carted off to the police station the first time you got pulled over?
RL: No comment on this question. Everything is already online.
RM: You’re a part of the “Bone Zone” podcast that you do with fellow comedian Brendon Walsh…With so many comedy podcasts out there, what do you guys do in order to make your show stand out amongst all of the others?
RL: We don’t do anything with the purpose to set ourselves apart. We just do what makes us laugh. I think our podcast is different than most comedy podcasts though. For the most part it’s not an interview based podcast. We have a lot reoccurring guests because they vibe with us like to be silly and immature. We do a lot of prank phone calls, play a lot of weird music we find online, including stuff from a guy we discovered named Matt Farley who has over 15,000 downloadable songs online. Check him out at moternmedia.com He puts his music out under like 70 different band names, one of which, The Toilet Bowl Cleaners, only sings about poop, puke, and pee, I guess until recently, they just released an album of Love Songs for some reason. Basically I feel like the Bone Zone podcast is a piece of comedy, rather than podcast that talks about comedy.
RM: You played a very creative prank on fellow comedian Kyle Kinane not too long ago on Twitter where you tricked him into thinking you were a PR representative from Pace Picante Sauce…What made you decide to do that, and at any point after you told him it was you did he ever think you were specifically trying to pick on him? What are the key elements to a great prank; and do you consider that aspect of comedy to be one of your specialties?
RL: I’ve talked about the Pace Picante thing way too much. I get annoyed hearing myself talk about it. It wasn’t intended to be a prank on Kyle, just something weird I was doing and it ended up the way it ended up. Google it! I like being silly and running with things as they are happening, it’s like writing a movie or TV show in real time. I wouldn’t say I’m a prankster, I like fooling mass amounts of people but I don’t take dead aim at individuals. I’m not a guy who goes around punching people in the balls. I studied Psychology and Sociology in college so I get really interested in how people behave and what motivates them.
RM: Do you think that being funny is something that you have to be born with, or something that can be taught? Have you ever taken any sort of instructional classes that have allowed you to perfect your craft?
RL: Comedy is just like anything. Combo of nature and nurture. People are born with a predisposition which can make them possibly better at comedy but they have to be in the right environment with the right stimuli to maximize their chances. All classes are doing is giving someone experience which they could also get on their own. I used to cook in restaurants and it’s very similar, you can go to culinary school and get a head start, but ultimately you won’t be really ready until you just do it, you can just work and learn it on your own. The difference is that comedy is much more subjective. Maybe a class gives you that guided approach that would have taken you longer to figure out on your own, but also who’s teaching you? What do they really know? There are a ton of approaches, and versions of what you can do. I know some people who started by taking a class, but I think it’s fairly rare that they work out. Lot of scam artists out there.
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2014 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
RL: 2014 has been a good year for me. Working on a writing project right now, and also I’ll be on an episode of Adam Devine’s House Party which I think starts airing in September. Had an amazing time shooting that, we shot in New Orleans and we all had a ton of fun.
Official Website: randyliedtke.tumblr.com/
Randy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randyliedtke
Randy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/randyliedtke
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