by Ryan Meehan
Julian McCullough is a very funny young man who has performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, NPR’s This American Life, and starred in his own half hour special on Comedy Central. You can catch him every Saturday as host of TBS’ “Very Funny News” and on MTV2’s hit series Guy Code. He has contributed to countless pop culture talking head shows and has hosted three stand alone specials for VH1. He also has a 2 bedroom apartment, really nice sheets, and he’s our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: What was your first experience seeing standup comedy either live or on television and what kind of a connection did you feel you had with the art form? At that point in time, was it more than just making you laugh or could you feel something much stronger – a feeling like this was something you could see yourself doing?
JMC: I started watching stand up at about 8 years old when it was still all over TV. Evening at the Improv, Half hour Comedy Hour, two drink minimum, stand up spotlight etc. I just loved the one person talking thing. I don’t know why I loved it so much at such a young age. But it never occurred to me that it was out in the world. I thought it was like Full House or Family Ties, just a TV show. I never thought I could do it because I didn’t think it was “real.”
RM: How would you best describe you role on “GuyCode” and why do you think those two MTV shows (the other being “GirlCode”) have really resonated with a young audience other than the fact that (almost) everybody can identify with a specific gender?
JMC: it’s basically a show that gives you a bunch of older brothers and sisters. And even better, if those brothers and sisters were comedians. The only downside is the bro culture side of it. I try to subvert that part a bit by emphasizing better treatment of women, but that stuff doesn’t make it on the show much.
RM: What can you tell us about this West Coast set of shows called “Jimmy Fallon’s Clean Cut Comedy Tour” that you did in December with Nick Thune, Seth Herzog, and Nate Bargatze? Do you always work clean whenever possible? Is it true that it’s easier to prepare for a corporate gig if you don’t have to alter a lot of the material in your act?
JMC: It’s very difficult for a blue comedian to alter material. But as I got older I just stopped gravitating to sex and shock topics because I’d rather everyone have a good time. I still love watching edgier comedy, I just don’t care to write it myself. The Fallon Tour was a dream.
RM: Let’s talk about Fallon for a moment…How did you meet him and how has he been integral to your ability to network within comedy circles? What’s the most vaulable piece of advice he’s given to you in the time that you’ve known him?
JMC: I met him after I got booked on his Late Show. He is exactly who you think he is. Enthusiastic, hilarious and happy. The best advice he’s given me was as a model of gratitude. He’s so grateful to be where he is every moment and that’s why people like him.
RM: How does living with Poptarts (McCollough’s cat) give you comedic material that other pet owners can relate to? Have you always had cats growing up or is this your first one?
JMC: I no longer live with Poptarts. I’m in Los Angeles with my family now and Poptarts is in Philly with my old college roommate.
RM: As somebody who has worked on a show that delivers humorous news regarding comedy and other factions of the entertainment industry (TBS’ “Very Funny News”) would you agree that in most cases the truth is in fact stranger than fiction? And why do you think that’s the case?
JMC: Very Funny News got canceled last year. It was fun to do but I was happy to move on.
RM: Could you take us through a basic day writing for a panel show such as “Chelsea Lately” or “Whitney Cummings’ Love You, Mean It”? Why do you think that panel comedy shows have surged in popularity over the last five years? And what happens when you get word of a big story with just a couple of hours left to air? Is there sort of a “writing cram session” that goes on there?
JMC: We always get about an hour to write our jokes. It’s stressful but I like the instant gratification of it. I don’t know why panel shows are so popular.
RM: What’s up next for you in 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
JMC: I shot two pilots with E! In July and I am in development for a sitcom with Universal.
Official Website: http://www.julianmccullough.com/
Julian on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julianmccullough
Julian on Twitter: https://twitter.com/julezmac
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