I’m no standup comedy buff, but judging by my schedule for the past week, you might have guessed otherwise.
Our group final project is covering the Mizzou Comedy Wars, and as such, I’ve been working on the text story in which I interview one of the group founders, as well as the two newest members recently initiated to the stage a month ago. On a completely separate note, the organization I am a part of invited comedian Eliot Chang to perform standup as the second event for our annual Asian American Awareness Week,
This week was hectic, stressful and full of avoidable mistakes (re: scheduling a phone interview with someone not realizing we were in two different time zones…whoops!) But it was also really neat sitting down with these guys and talking about something they were all passionate about. And, I mean, two of them are big names in the industry who have done interviews with other big names like Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler and the like. Even if just for a 20 minute interview, I felt pretty damn cool being able to ask them my own questions. I had the opportunity to four comedians in various stages of their career on very different circumstances, but I managed asked each of them the same question.
What do you find is the most rewarding thing about performing comedy?
Nick Vatterott, founding member of Comedy Wars and current standup comic: “I can go back to Chicago now and do a show knowing there are six people that I know and love as people, that I get to watch them do comedy and hang out with them after the show…The people I know are the funniest fucking people around.”
Drew Kohler, freshman member of Comedy Wars: “People have come up to me and said, ‘You’re Drew from Comedy Wars!’ It’s not like I’m famous or anything, but that kind of recognition brightens my day. [Comedy] is an art…and people recognizing that I’m putting forth the effort to make some smiles on some faces is nice; it’s fun.”
Clint Cannon, freshmen member of Comedy Wars: “The group that we perform with…are one of my closer groups of friends on campus. And definitely the audience aspect is really awesome. Seeing the people that you see come every week, who take a couple hours out of their week every Wednesday to come see you, it feels awesome. That’s what comedy is, it’s about the audience.”
Eliot Chang, Comedy Central’s Number 2 Comedian: “The thing is, I get to come to work everyday knowing that I’m about to do what I love.”