by Ryan Meehan
Numerous late night appearances including “The Late Show with David Letterman”, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”, and “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, where he was booked by Jimmy himself who said “Because of how few slots we have available you have to be an A++ comedian to get booked on my show, and Andrew is.” Other TV appearances include Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham”, and the nationally syndicated round-table “Comics Unleashed”, where he also worked as a monologue joke writer. Andrew’s natural charisma and sharp material have charmed audiences at comedy festivals around the world. He won the first annual Las Vegas World Series of Comedy, which only takes in the U.S. so the use of the phrase “World Series” is a bit murky. But if it’s good enough for baseball, it’s good enough for him. He also took second place at the Boston Comedy Festival, and his performance at the prestigious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal was praised in Time Out New York, and in a gig that pays significantly less money he’s my guest today in 7 questions.
RM: When did you finally decide to start doing comedy full time, and what was the catalyst for making that career choice?
AN: About 3 years after my first open mic I started doing it full time. The catalyst was I had a day job and hated it. Hating jobs is a good catalyst for getting new jobs.
RM: When was the first time that you remembered bombing so severely that you felt bad for the crowd; and what did you learn from that experience that made you a better comedian?
AN: Like so many comedians, I have bombed so many times I can’t remember the first. I do recall that the first 8 or 9 shows I did were absurdly easy and it was a rude awakening when I realized “Oh comedy is actually super hard, and most shows are brutal.” Eventually you learn as a comic you will be the exact same person with the exact same demons whether you have had a great show or horrible show, so neither one should get you too up or too down.
RM: How does a comedian go about creating a sense of differentiation while taking the stage in comedy competitions when there are so many other acts on the bill?
AN: Usually it’s the most relaxed (or most drunk) comedian because everyone else is so nervous.
RM: When you write jokes for a monologue, was it difficult at first to imagine the individual delivering it saying it out loud instead of yourself given that you are also a stand-up comic?
AN: I wrote so many, as is the nature of writing jobs, I didn’t even think about it. I had a sweatshop like mentality about it. Just produce. Sorry if I offended anyone who works in a sweatshop. Or owns one. Although I imagine they’d be angry for different reasons.
RM: What made you decide to select The Comedy Underground in Seattle as a venue to record your album?
AN: I love the acoustics. I’m a total nerd when it comes to comedy room acoustics. Laughter must bounce. And it bounces there.
RM: The Australian Daily Telegraph said the following about your act: “His show features hair trigger laughs with a deadly aim, all the more so while because while some comedians overestimate their own intelligence, Norelli never underestimates ours”. Do you think that other comedians tend to make that mistake because they are trying to come off as being an insult comic or “hardcore”, or is it an involuntary reaction that they may not even realize they are making?
AN: Well, there is a place for that type of comedy. Some of that type of comedy is the best comedy ever written and performed. But I think the standard is even higher when you’re doing insult comedy, and its execution has to be even better.
RM: Do you have a set amount of crowd work that you do for each show; or is that more of a thing that you feel out each time you take the stage and determine how much interaction you will have with the audience on a given evening?
AN: Depends on how bored of my jokes I am. Haha.
RM: Have you ever been mistaken for former U.S. Representative and genital photography enthusiast Anthony Weiner? Who are some other celebrities that you have had people tell you that you look like?
AN: Dennis Rodman. Jackie Chan. I really did get a lot of Matthew Morrison from Glee when billboards were everywhere for that show.
RM: What’s up next for you in 2015 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
AN: I’m writing a live show that is a theater-type show with lots of music and dialogue and characters. It is funny but it’s not stand-up, more of a play. I hope to tour with it in 2015 🙂
Official Website: http://andrewnorelli.webs.com/
Andrew on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrew.norelli
Andrew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andrewnorelli
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