by Ryan Meehan
Ian Bagg started his comedy career in his native country, Canada. He proceeded to do all the show business things that every successful Canadian entertainer does. He went to a “Hockey Night in Canada” game on a Saturday night, performed at the “Montreal Comedy Festival,” kissed a fish in New Foundland and a “Comedy Now” special on CTV. So what does a Canadian do when he has done it all? He boards a train to New York City, lives in a youth hostel and ends up on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “The Late Late show with Craig Ferguson” and “Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” It is not always fun and games. He was forced to do “Make Me Laugh,” “Showcase Comics with Louie Anderson,” “Fridays” on NBC and the “Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.” His new, one-hour special “Ian Bagg: Getting to Fucking Know You” premiered on Showtime in April 2013. Bagg has acted in Tim Robbins’ “The Cradle will Rock,” “MVP 2,” and “MXP”. Fun fact: he’s the only known comic to have worked for famed director/producer Judd Apatow and not become a multi-billionaire. Life has been amazing for Bagg being on such diverse platforms as the History Channel, the Food Network, the Biography Channel and being the first ever Canadian to meet three US presidents– Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and George Bush…although only one was in the White House at the time while he met one on a plane and the other at a hockey practice. While working red carpet interviews, Ian has pissed off Brad Pitt, been hit with a champagne bottle and asked for chocolate covered pretzels by Alec Baldwin. You probably wonder what kind of man does this and without imploding? The answer is a man whose dog survived a three-story fall and who’s been known to think he is twelve–but may actually be twenty-nine or seventy-two. Ian went to school to be an explosives engineer, but a lucky chance at an open mic made him the volatile one. He may be in your area sooner than you think, because this manchild does over 100,000 air miles a year…or you could listen to his radio/podcast show on XM Radio channel 160 or TheToadhopnetwork (The Ian Bagg Show.) He has performed 2 successful half-hour specials, “Comedy Central Presents” and HBO’s “A Comic’s Climb” and has been seen on “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution.” We are extremely excited to have Ian Bagg as our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: If your career as an explosives technician would have taken off, how many appendages do you estimate you would currently be missing and which ones do you think they’d be? How did your interest in the detonation of inanimate objects spill over to wanting to be the guy on stage at a comedy club making the audience “blow up” with laughter?
IB: I think I would have kept all 5 of them. Sadly some of the guys i started out with were not so lucky. Things is misssssing son! And sadly one died. But it was really fucking fun to blow shit up!
RM: I was watching a set that you did on YouTube where a majority of the audience was older and you mentioned that they were “nowhere near your target audience”. Who do you consider to be your target audience at the point you are currently at in your career? Do you think much in terms of demographics when it comes to aspects of the industry such as booking shows?
IB: My target audience gets me….. It’s not an age, it is a mental lack of remorse.
RM: Are there any real fundamental differences between the way humor is received in Canada as opposed to here in the United States? Are there television programs that we show on the air here which Canadians simply don’t find funny at all?
IB: Yes Canadian humour is in metric American is in imperial.
RM: For those who might not be familiar with the incident, what did you do that made Brad Pitt upset? Is it awkward working any of the red carpet events when people like that seem to have virtually no sense of humor and you just seem to be taking it with a grain of salt?
IB: Working the red carpet is a dream for some people. For me it was hanging out front of the school dance and I have to ask the football players questions I don’t care about. So I ask questions that the don’t expect . Like I asked Brad Pitt what his name was. There is a reason most actors don’t write …..
RM: What can you tell us about The Ian Bagg Show that airs on Sirius XM Channel 160? With all of the comedy podcasts out there today, what do you do to create differentiation so that your show is memorable amongst all the others?
IB: It is actually is over. I felt podcasts have become like open mics. Everyone has one and the shitty ones ruin the good ones. There are some amazing ones out there and I felt mine was middle of the road so …… We said good bye at the end of December…
RM: You recently performed at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club out in Vegas…What’s the best part about doing a show at a club that is run by a working comedian? And how much does it help in general to be around industry guys like that who are willing to do whatever it takes to help put on a great show? Do you have any great stories from that stretch of Vegas shows?
IB: I don’t know if there is a difference. There may be a couple extra perks that he wanted as a comedian but that may not be what I wanted. Brad is very gracious and always contacts you and thanks you for coming to his club. I love doing stand-up so anyone that gives me a stage to go on I am in debt to!
RM: You seem to be an avid Twitter user…How many tweets on average do you send out in any given week? Do you ever use one-liners from your tweets in your stage act? Do you look at social media as kind of a notepad by which to test out new material; seeing that you can tell how hard a joke hit by the number of likes, favorites, or re-tweets?
IB: I don’t try jokes on Twitter but I love to say things that stir people up as well as use poor grammar and spelling ( with my bad eyes and huge thumbs that happens a lot). I feel it is just another fun way of being stupid.
RM: What’s up next for you in 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
IB: So many things…. I am teaching my dog to ride a bike! As well I am touring constantly – two trips to Australia another episode of stand-up revolution as well as many hush hush things. So come see me in your town soon!
Official Website: http://ianbagg.com/
Ian on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ian-bagg/119881972917
Ian on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ianbagg
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