By Ryan Meehan
Jarrod Harris is an oddly comfortable mix of trailer –park filth, comic angst and hipster irony. While his style may fit into several categories along the comedy spectrum, his clever writing only fits into one. Jarrod Harris has performed at premier comedy clubs across the US including the World Famous Improv Comedy Clubs, Punchline, Side Splitters and he has been featured on TBS’ “Lopez Tonight”, Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and has received recognition for his comedy work with San Francisco Comedy Competition Top 4 Finalist, 2010 Detroit Comedy Festival “Best of Fest” Selection, Host of the 2010/2011 Laughing Skull Festival and Campus Activities Magazine Top Comics to Watch for 2010. Jarrod was also the former voice and writer for the Jungle character on “Action Figure Therapy” series receiving over 30 million views. He was featured on the “Holy Fuck” album in 2013, and the LOL Comedy Festival 2014 held in Santa Barbara, CA which was filmed and released on Hulu. His new album is called “Present and Talkative”, and he’s our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: What was the first joke that you told which got a really good response from a crowd, and alerted you to the fact that you might be able to make a living doing this? If that joke was still in your act today, how would you re-write it?
JH: Wow, that’s been so long ago. Hard to remember. I’d say it wasn’t actually a joke but an acting out of my drunk mom arguing with the coffee table, telling me about my sister eating crayons and what she saw in the toilet.
RM: I’m probably going to regret asking this question, but what is the story behind your Twitter handle “@BiscuitBoner”?
JH: Ha. Well I used to be on Twitter and had thousands of followers, but I never really used it so I deleted my account. Then my girlfriend kept telling me I should start a new Twitter, so I got motivated for a moment and started a new one and use it even less than I did before. Most my activity is on Facebook FYI if anyone reading this wants to interact with me. I love biscuits and boner just seems to go with anything. Try it. It will put a smile on yer face.
RM: Who is Ricky Erlando and what do we need to know about him? How did you come up with that idea?
JH: Ricky is an extension of my own personality. I grew up around rednecks, lived in a van, hated authority. I got in trouble a lot when I was younger. I’m not exactly classy. Didn’t go to college. But I have always made money and never did shit anyone told me to do. Basically, I make my own way and I’m a bit of a redneck myself. I grew up riding BMX with other white trash kids and still ride to this day. Not many comics ride and build dirt jumps in their backyard, shoot guns and know how to drive the shit outta a skid steer or excavator. Those things are most important to me. Along with my badass girlfriend, of course. Haha, I guess Ricky is just basically me. Only he can get away with saying shit that I can’t, because he’s an action figure and who’s gonna argue with a 12″ doll?
RM: Why did you choose to call the album “Present and Talkative”? Do you feel like that’s your general state most of the time, or do you ever have days where you just don’t feel like being the type of guy comedy fans see on stage?
JH: That’s just a line from a bit I have about Little Caesars half-ass advertising campaign, Hot n’ Ready. What the hell isn’t hot after you cook it? It’s like me having posters that say, Jarrod Harris, Present and Talkative. Then people would be like, “Well he was there and he was talkative. It was exactly what we thought it was gonna be. Nothing more, nothing less.”
RM: How do comedy audiences in the Midwest differ from those on either of the coasts? Do you think that you’d have a different answer to that question if the type of stand-up that you performed was done in a different style?
JH: More white people. That’s about it. I do many different styles because I do dif characters. Hell, I’ll make fun of Obama in SF and Bush in TX. You can get away with a lot if you’re doing a character. Audiences are all the same and will go with whatever you do – as long as you drive the bus. They just want to be taken somewhere and have confidence in their driver.
RM: You seem to use Twitter as a bit of a “joke palate” where you write shorter quips that aren’t nearly as lengthy as the material you do on stage…Do you ever consider Twitter to be a medium to sort of test out bits, and determine which ideas you have are getting the most Retweets/Favorites in order to extrapolate on those subject matters?
JH: Again, I feel bad for even having a Twitter because I don’t like using it. I may have posted some things in there but I don’t use it enough to get any sort of feedback. I absolutely hate Facebook but that’s where I get most my stuff out if I do happen to be throwing an idea out there.
RM: When it comes to joke construction, which detail of the process do you think is most overlooked by younger comedians and why? I’m not talking about premise, setup, or punchline…Which detail do you think up and coming comics tend to glaze over or forget about while coming up with new bits?
JH: Well I never watch comedy as I’m not really a comedy fan. I do enjoying watching my friends do sets, but mostly because I know them personally and I enjoy it more because of that. I’d say it’s really important for young comics to not watch too much of any one comic. It’s crucial to have your own distinctive voice so no one ever compares you to another comic. So when constructing a joke, it’s good to really know and be comfortable with who you are. Hope that makes sense.
RM: What’s up next for you in 2015 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
JH: I’m gonna make Ricky Erlando huge. I should work on Late Night TV sets but there are only so many hours in the day. Ricky Erlando, riding my bike and building jumps in the back yard seem to take up a lot of my time.
Official Website: http://www.jarrodharris.com/
Jarrod on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JarrodHarrisComedy
Jarrod on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BiscuitBoner
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