by Ryan Meehan
Blake Wexler started doing stand up at the age of 15 in Philadelphia, and moved to Boston in 2007 to pursue his stand up comedy career and attend Emerson College from where he graduated with degrees in journalism and political science. Blake has appeared on the 2009 College Humor Live Tour in Philadelphia and has also performed in the 2009 & 2010 Rooftop Aspen Comedy Festivals. Blake was also featured in the 2011 Seattle International Comedy Competition and 2013 San Francisco Sketch Fest. Philadelphia Magazine named him as one of Philadelphia’s funniest tweeters, and he can be heard on “The Todd Glass Show” podcast on Nerdist Networks. Blake lives in Los Angeles, and is the blogger/web producer on the critically acclaimed Comedy Central show, Review. We are head over heels like Tears for motherfucking Fears to have Blake Wexler as our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: You started doing stand-up when you were very young…In the beginning what were most of your bits about? At seventeen years old, what kind of life experiences were you able to share with the crowd; and did you often mention your age in your act?
BW: I mentioned my age literally every 5 seconds, because I thought it’d make the crowd more tolerant of how terrible I was. Most of my bits were about my dick, poop, the SAT’s, and trying to get my driver’s license. I’m literally laughing right now at how embarrassing the previous sentence is. When I first started my favorite comic was Lewis Black, so I kind of went on stage with an angry persona, but because I was so young, audiences didn’t know what to make of it because why would a white 16 year old from the suburbs be so pissed off?
RM: What was the biggest culture shock (other than traffic) that you experienced when you first made the move from the East Coast to the City of Angels? What’s the biggest difference between comedy clubs in LA as opposed to cities like Boston and Philly?
BW: Biggest culture shock is waking up at 9AM on Sundays to watch football. I’m literally drinking coffee, beer, and eating pizza. Not sure what’s going to kill me first, that lifestyle, or the Philadelphia Eagles HAHAHAHAHAHLOLOLOLOLOLOL!
RM: You work alongside Andrew Daly, who is a very interesting comedic mind to say the very least. What is it like working with him; and which episode of “Review” was the most fun to do?
BW: I can’t really talk about this upcoming season of Review, both because of spoilers and because I’m honestly speechless at how good it is. Working with Andy is incredible. He is the nicest guy in the world, and at the same time has this amazing dark sense of humor. I was an enormous fan when I saw him on Eastbound and Down, and my roommates and I literally do bits as his Don Dimello character on nearly a daily base. Andy works so fucking hard and it’s super cool that now he’s able to do a show that fully shows off how talented and funny he is.
RM: What do you believe is the most overlooked detail of joke construction?…And by that I don’t mean punchline, setup, or premise…What’s the one menial aspect of the process that a lot of younger comics seem to glaze over or skip completely; and how long did it take you to realize that you weren’t devoting enough attention to that particular attribute of stand-up comedy?
BW: I’d probably have to go with self-awareness and how you come across to an audience. If you think you’re a down to earth guy, but you’re wearing a popped-collar and calling women “bitches” on stage, people are going to think you’re a douchebag (also, you’re a fucking douchebag). I used to try to play up my vulnerability on stage because I thought that’d make me seem more likable. Instead, that performance strategy just made me seem like I wasn’t confident, so at times it looked like I didn’t know what I was doing on stage. Now I’m just myself up there, which has made things a lot easier. I think maybe that just comes with getting a little older and doing it longer.
RM: For those who aren’t familiar with the term, what’s a “Silverback He-bitch”? How does one go about not becoming one when they reach the age of fifty?
BW: No daddy you’ve got it all wrong, by all means BECOME A SILVERBACK HE-BITCH. Silverback he-bitches are middle-aged guys who grow their hair out long after it turns gray, and they are just horribly debaucherous pussy hounds. It was a throwaway line in Duece Bigelow European Gigalow, and my friends from Philly and I kind of just ran with it.
RM: If you had to summarize your Twitter feed in one sentence, how would that sentence read?
BW: Drunken horseshit.
RM: What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received from Todd Glass? Does the connection that you have with him mostly center around the fact that you guys are both Philly dudes?
BW: Todd and I met about a decade ago in Philly, and we found out that we actually both went to Conestoga High School. I graduated in 07’, he graduated in 2002 so we know the same people [he has a gun to my head as I’m typing this please call the police]. Most important thing I’ve learned from Todd is the importance of having the respect of, and respecting your peers. Not just being funny or successful, but hanging out, being a professional, not running the light, just behaving in a way that makes other comics want to be around you.
RM: How would you best describe your current relationship with podcasting? Do you ever get the feeling that the comedy podcast market is a little oversaturated these days?
BW: I love podcasts. I think podcasts have done so much for stand up comedians because it allows the average person to get a look into our world to see how fucked up we are, but also how much fun we have together. I think the only problem with the comedy podcast market being over-saturated is that there are so many good ones, and I just don’t have the time to listen to all of them and that pisses me off. Totally a good problem to have though.
RM: What’s up next for you looking ahead to 2015? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
BW: Christ this question is depressing…my tweets will be more concise. Shit man, fucking guest spots, I have some guest spots coming up… uhhhhhg fuck…gearing up for strong Easter…kill me, just fucking kill me. The web stuff I’m writing and producing for Review should start coming out in the spring of ‘15, so I’m really looking forward to that. My friend/hilarious comedian Cy Amundson are currently writing a sports-challenge show together, so after every network passes on it you can look forward to us shooting it ourselves with a Droid smart phone and putting it up online for free. I’m always doing spots around LA, but in 2015 I’m going to be doing a lot more shows on the road so I guess check my website to see when those are going on.
Official Website: http://blakewexler.com/
Blake on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reviewwithforrestmacneil
Blake on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlakeWexler
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