By Ryan Meehan
Comedian Andy Andrist is not for everyone, but he should be. He’s written for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” as well as “The Man Show”, along with a long history of standup gigs with “The Unbookables”. When he’s not on the road, his free time is spent marathon running, streamlining vigilante justice, and enriching the lives of farm animals. He also comes from a long and triumphant line of Freemasons, who founded the fair city of Eugene, Oregon. Although he is 1/32nd African American, he made the choice long ago to forgo racial material in his repertoire. This triple threat will soon be a licensed real estate salesman, in the hopes of parlaying his selling adventures into comedic gold. His favorite color is yellow, and he’s our guest today in 5 Questions.
FOH: How have you changed as a comedian since “Dumb it Down For The Masses” came out? How do you think the world of standup comedy has changed in that time period?
AA: While recording dumb it down for the masses I was building a small club base. I could be edgy and experiment but somehow I lost connections and ran out of words to say. Sorry Fogerty. I recorded at a club (Skyline) that was great to me and now they could care less. I had a bit of a following there than a Saturday early show exploded in chaos. I thought I had support but I haven’t been back since. When the people you were in with won’t hire you it’s easy to throw it in and say “Why fucking bother with this shit anyways”? I have, but I’ve come back because I love the fuck out of the clumsy beauty of awkward comedy.
FOH: How does the writing process when preparing new material for standup differ from writing for a TV show? Does one involve a different amount of editing than the other?
AA: Writing for a show in my experience was a group effort. Shitty premises built by disinterested carpenters. Anything that I was excited about got sucked into a creative void and spit back boring. Comedy is a jetpack ride above that shit. You speak and the words make a sound. I think of writing stand up material like writing a song: If it’s good you can almost hear it.
FOH: For those who may not be familiar with your situation, could you briefly discuss what you did in the time leading up to Super Bowl Sunday and why you did it?
AA: On Super Bowl Sunday I released a clip of an interview I had with a man that molested me over 30 years ago. This man gained access through my father and groomed me, molested me, and also videotaped me; thus I video taped him. The interview lasted around 5 minutes. He tried to block me from showing any of it and he failed. Doug Stanhope and I are forever linked as victorious co- defendants – Florida law says so. The footage is a small piece of a larger story. The clip is gone so that I can concentrate on the big picture. The lawyer that lost the case in Florida questioned: “Is that the way a victim behaves??” I say: “Yes, the shame was never my choice.”
FOH: What was the worst heckling you’ve ever had to suffer through and which joke was it after? Is there anything that you would change about the way you handled it?
AA: Worst heckling experience was in Appleton, Wisconsin – A Bachelor party of Christians from Oshkosh went fucking nuts over a bit that questions Jesus’ woodworking skills. Someone tried to hit me with a bottle as I fled. Four disgruntled wedding parties and lots of complaints. Like I said, I’ve never been asked back. Jesus was the reason.
FOH: Some of the stuff you discuss onstage is pretty heavy…Do you have a clean set for corporate gigs or is it just all pretty balls to the wall raunchy?
AA: As for clean and corporate gigs, not so much. I want to be an artist, and my approach is not an easy one to package for corporate retreats or company Christmas parties. I can work clean and safe, but fuck that.
FOH: What’s next for Andy Andrist in the twelve months to come? Any big plans?
AA: Make a movie, write a new set for a CD, perform, become great, run in the woods, help when I can and hide when I have to. Live.
Andy’s Official Website: http://www.andyandrist.net/
Andy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/andrew.andrist?fref=ts
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