by Ryan Meehan
Comedian Duane Goad has entertained audiences all over the U.S and Canada with his quick, sarcastic and hilarious brand of comedy. Whether he’s tackling subjects like relationships and family life, or today’s trending topics in pop culture, he’s a comic everyone can enjoy and no one should miss. When he’s not busy headlining his own shows. Duane has been seen as the opening act for such comedians as Jim Gaffigan, Bill Burr and Maria Bamford to name a few. In 2012, he was also the opening act for music superstars The Jacksons on their ‘Unity Tour’. As an actor, Duane has been seen in commercials for The FX Network, Ford and Microsoft. He co-starred in the independent comedy ‘Hello. My Name is Dick Licker’ and the short film ’80s Ending’ seen on the Comedy Central series ‘Atom Films Presents…’ Duane has also been featured on the wildly popular Seattle-based sketch comedy show ‘The 206’. Recently, Duane has been a contributing writer and voice over talent for MSN-TV. His work on shows like ‘In Pictures’ and ‘Nerdology’ combined, have had over 22 million viewers. Duane is also part of The Podaholics Comedy Network hosting his own weekly show ‘The Goadcast with Duane Goad’, and he’s also our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: First things first, what has the city of Seattle been like since the Seahawks won the Super Bowl? I know you aren’t much of a sports guy, but did you enjoy the whole experience of living in the city of champions this past couple of months?
DG: It’s died down a bit, but for awhile it was unbearable. Especially if you’re like me and you know nothing about football. Before comedy shows, crowds would be chanting. ‘SEAHAWKS! SEAHAWKS!’ It was nuts! I mean, I get it. If you’ve followed a team for a long time and they finally win a championship I’m sure it’s exciting. I wouldn’t know about that because I’m a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. But I must admit, I did watch the Super Bowl but that’s only because I’m a big Bruno Mars fan.
RM: Which stereotype of Canadians bothers you the most and why?
DG: Honestly, the stereotypes I’ve heard don’t really bother me. For the most part they’re quite flattering. ‘Canadians are friendly, polite, live in clean cities, and gather on Sundays to worship Anne Murray’. Pretty accurate really.
RM: In March, you got the opportunity to work with Chris Kattan (of SNL Fame) at Parlor Live in Bellevue…What was that weekend like? What is it about Parlor that allows you to work so comfortably on stage?
DG: That was a fun weekend. Chris was very nice and took the time to meet and take a photo with my sister backstage who has been a huge fan of his over the years. He was very friendly. As for the Parlor, when I have performed there in the past I’m normally doing an opening spot so there’s not a whole lot of pressure on me. I only do about 20-30 minutes, so I tend to do the material I’m confident will get the biggest laughs. That club is so shiny and well lit that it has always seemed to be the kind of club where a comic would do his ‘greatest hits’ as opposed to some of the other darker and intimate clubs where you feel the freedom to play around and try out some new ideas.
RM: With all due respect, how in the hell did you end up opening for The Jacksons on their tour a couple of years back? Were you allowed to borrow any of Jermaine’s hair care products?
DG: That was a strange day when I got that call. I had just got back from the airport dropping off my wife and son who were on their way to Boston to visit family. I was looking at TMZ or Perez Hilton or some site and there was some story about The Jacksons. I remember saying out loud ‘God, that family is weird’. I closed my laptop and the phone rang. It was my friend, comic Brad Upton asking if I was available Sunday to open for The Jacksons. I couldn’t believe it! Now, sure I may have thought they were nuts, but since I was a kid I have been a huge Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 fan. It was outdoors at a casino right outside of Seattle. I got there early and watched them do their soundcheck and was curious how they would pull this off without Michael. Somehow they did it. They were fantastic! Plus, they could not have been nicer and more normal. In fact, my son who was around 7 at the time was also a huge fan so I asked Jermaine if I could get a photo with him holding a piece of paper that read ‘Hi Andrew!’ He said, ‘That’s a great idea. I’ve never seen anyone do that before. Let’s take it!’ In all of the years I’ve done comedy and worked with some big name acts, that is the only time I’ve ever asked to get a photo with someone. I think I needed proof for myself that it actually happened. As for his hair, seriously, I’m the last guy that should be making fun of anyone’s hair. (But I did make sure I didn’t smoke anywhere near him.)
RM: You lost your father back in July of 2013…What was it like going through that; and how integral was your father’s sense of humor in your pursuit of using comedy to entertain audiences?
DG: Well…you’re never prepared for losing a parent. To be honest, I’m still going through it and probably will for the rest of my life. It sucks. But, I am very lucky to have parents who have always believed in me and supported my career in comedy. Even today, I sometimes have to stop myself from calling him and telling him a new joke I’ve written. I could always tell if a joke would work if he laughed at it. My father was a morning disc jockey, so growing up I would see him writing bits and jokes for his morning show. I remember yellow legal pads all over the house with ideas and jokes scribbled down on them. (It’s a lot like my house except I tend to use bar napkins) He was a perfectionist and wouldn’t say or play anything on his show until he was 100% sure it was ready. I think I get a lot of that from my Dad. My parents are both funny. Not so much with material, but the way they tell a story. I think that is my biggest influence when it comes to my comedy. Whether it was a lunch meeting or a trip to the grocery store, their stories could have you in tears. ‘Then this guy comes to the table looking like he just got kicked in the mouth with a frozen boot. Blood all in the corner of his mouth. ‘Can I get you something?’ Yeah, how about a waiter that doesn’t have open sores, you bloody son of a..’ Hilarious! I miss him every day.
RM: With all of the different comedy podcasts available to listen to out there, what makes the Goadcast so unique? In other words, what do you trying to bring to the mic that other comedians don’t? Do you have any kind of a general theory about how radio should be approached, whether it be terrestrial or online? DG: Well, I think you could call my show a ‘heavily-edited organic comedy podcast’. In my mind, I try and do a comedy podcast that you might hear on a Top 40 station. This comes back to my father again. Before he passed away I kept telling him, ‘Dad, you’re semi-retired but you should do a podcast. You don’t have to deal with General Managers, or egos from other deejays, you can swear if you want, you should do it.’ He always said the same thing, ‘Yeah…I don’t know. I just don’t get it son’. He was an old school radio guy. He just didn’t see the allure of podcasts. ‘What? You spend all of this time and energy on the show and you don’t get paid for it?’ When I started doing ‘The Goadcast’ I was maybe 2 episodes in before he died. He listened to them and gave me some advice. He said, ‘You need to keep the listener entertained the whole time if you’re not going to play music or have guests. Try some recurring bits or characters or something’. Well, I don’t have any characters but I took his advice on recurring bits. Basically, one show takes me about 6 hours to do a 30 minute show. I’ll start recording by rambling about things for 30 minutes then delete the show. Hopefully one funny idea will have come out so then I record again for a half hour and delete it and again and again until I have enough funny things for a show for the week. It’s like doing open mic and bombing but having the ability to go back again and again until you have it polished. The idea of the show is to review movies, television and music. All things that I’m interested in, but then every review tends to go off in a completely different direction. In one episode, I try and review Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ and somehow end up discussing a Jerry Reed trucker film from the 1970’s. My hope is that every show could stand alone as a 30 minute comedy album. The last thing I wanted to do was a ‘comedy’ podcast that instead of being funny, just has comedians coming on to tell us how they write jokes or got into the business. I already know how to write jokes and I’ve been in this business for awhile. Now, for obvious reasons, I’m a big fan of both terrestrial and online radio. When I was a kid, I would go with my Dad to his station on a weekend while he produced his bits for the week and sit in the other production studio and record my own ‘radio show’ on to a cassette tape. (My format included a lot of KISS, The Cure and Michael Jackson) In fact, I’d love to work in radio. I’ve had a few offers in the past to join some morning teams but it seemed because I was a comic, they wanted me to play the role of the ‘morning stooge’. You know, ‘Let’s make Duane eat a 2 pound jar of hot peppers to raise money for testicular cancer’. No thanks. One thing I love about having stations streaming online is getting a chance to hear the different morning teams. One of my favorites are on a Victoria B.C station called ‘100.3 The Q’ Their morning show with ‘Ed Bain & The Morning Crew’ is hilarious. With the name you’d expect them to be ‘Victoria’s AM Wackos’ but their comedy is so subtle with hints of sarcasm, It’s great. It reminds me of a morning show I listened to here in Seattle when I was in high school . ‘Robin & Maynard’. Brilliant, funny stuff. In fact, someone just sent me a link to a website with some of their great moments http://www.robinandmaynard.net I could spend hours on there listening to them.
RM: What exactly is “The 206”; and could you tell us a little bit about the work you’ve done with them?
DG: ‘The 206’ is a local sketch comedy T.V. show produced in Seattle. It’s kind of a re-boot of a show that was produced in Seattle in the 1980’s and 1990’s called ‘Almost Live’. It runs after Saturday Night Live in Washington State and I think in British Columbia, Canada too. In fact, Joel McHale and Bob Nelson, who wrote the Oscar nominated screenplay for ‘Nebraska’, were cast members of ‘Almost Live’. ‘The 206’ stars John Keister and Pat Cashman, who were original cast members, as well as Pat’s son, Chris Cashman. It’s very heavy on comedy with local references. I met Chris while I was working on some shows at MSN-TV and he asked if I’d like to do stand-up on some of the live shows they were doing to launch the new show. After doing those he asked if I’d like to do stand-up on the T.V show. I’ve done about 4 appearances on the show and it’s been fun. They’re great guys and they have an insane fan base.
RM: What’s up next for you in 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
DG: Well, I’m hoping to produce my first comedy DVD this summer, I’ll continue to do ‘The Goadcast’ for The Podaholics Comedy Network and keep performing stand-up. Plus, I’m pretty sure I’ll get that huge break I deserve that will make me a giant comedy star. Or, you might hear me at 12 minutes after the hour eating a 3 pound jar of pickles for charity.
Official Website: http://www.duanegoad.com/
Duane on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/duane.goad.3
Duane on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DuaneGoad
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