By Jason Tanamor
“Last Comic Standing” launched a bunch of comedians’ careers. For one season’s winner Josh Blue, however, his career was already in mid-flight well before the popular NBC show. Zoiks! Online recently had the opportunity to chat with the comedian while he was touring in Florida.
Q – Hey Josh, how’s it going?
A – Hey, what’s up? How’s it going man?
Q – Good, good. How are you doing?
A- Well, I’m great. I’m here in Florida.
Q – Are you on vacation there in Florida?
A – No, I have a show tonight. That’s number five in the last couple days.
Q – So the nice weather doesn’t take into effect when you’re working all the time?
A – It’s a nice bonus, that’s for sure.
Q – Hey, I interviewed you before and I apologize if I ask you the same questions, but you’ve probably heard a lot of the questions since you get interviewed a lot.
A – I hear a lot of the same questions so no need for an apology.
Q – Good, if I ask you the same one, just act like you’re coming up with the answer spontaneously (laughs).
A – I’m a good actor.
Q – Was there a specific moment that made you say, “I'm going to do stand-up comedy?”
A – Everyone said I was funny and I sort of just had this gut feeling that this was what I really wanted to do.
Q – But it’s one thing to make people laugh in a group setting but to actually go up there and do it, wasn’t that kind of nerve wracking?
A – Oh yes, it’s terrifying (laughs). But that’s why it’s great because it’s also addictive, you know? That’s why people jump out of planes and bungee jump. It’s exhilarating.
Q – You have Cerebral Palsy. Is that something that when you first got up there on stage that you thought people were going to look at that, instead of listening to you?
A – Well, let’s just face it. There’s no denying that I have Cerebral Palsy and if I think that they’re not looking at that then I’m a fool. But I think it gives permission to look and get a good eyeful. I definitely have to address it.
Q – Now, I’m glad you said that because you almost have to acknowledge your disability immediately because people notice it. But other than that, how much of your disability do you use in your act in terms of material?
A – Well, like you said I pretty much have to bring it up right off the bat because then people are like, “hey, does he KNOW that he has that?” So you might want to bring that up.
Q – Has having a disability affected your stand-up career?
A – Yeah, in a really positive way. People see me on TV and it’s nice to be able to touch people with a disability. I have a really big disabled following and I think everyone knows someone with a disability. I think everyone is disabled whether you want to admit it or not.
Q – I’ve talked to a crap load of comedians and they’re always saying that there’s nothing like being up on stage and making people laugh. But I don’t believe people laugh all the time. Are there any performances that jump out at you when the audience just wasn’t laughing?
A – I just had one that just happened, I was at a 70-year-old’s birthday party. What was I supposed to fucking do?
Q – How do you overcome a bad performance?
A – The only way to overcome a bad one is to make the next one good. If you do a good show, you feel good for a night. If you do a bad show though, it haunts you until you rectify it.
Q – Refresh my memory. You won “Last Comic” right?
A – I did.
Q – How much notoriety did it really get you? It seems like back in the day, “The Tonight Show” was the show to be on to get visibility. With all the different venues to showcase comedy like Comedy Central, HBO, and YouTube, do you think LCS is any better or worse in terms of getting noticed?
A – “Last Comic Standing” was a hot thing to be on. Nowadays, “The Tonight Show” really doesn’t do too much for a comedian. I couldn’t have been on a better show for comedy to get to do what I wanted to do. I mean, primetime NBC. It’s pretty amazing.
Q – I’ve interviewed a lot of comedians who have been on LCS. Did they go through your material and tell you what you could say and what you couldn’t or did they let you be yourself?
A – Yeah, the problem with that was that they wanted you to write down everything that you were going to say, but I’ve never written anything down so I didn’t know what I was going to say either. In terms of guidelines, I’d be like, these are things I’m going to talk about for a little bit.
Q – When you do a TV appearance, do you have a certain set of jokes that you always do or do you do the material that you just happen to be doing on the road at that time?
A – Well, you have to take out all the swear words. But it’s constantly changing. I just say the freshest thing that’s in my head.
Q – What’re you working on right now? Are you doing anything other than touring?
A – I just had a special air on Comedy Central. And I’m working on a sitcom pilot. Hopefully that will pan out. It seems pretty promising.
Q – Is that going to revolve around your life or is that something else?
A – Yeah, about me.
Q – That’s awesome.
A – Yeah, it should be awesome.
Q – That’s all I had for you Josh. Anything you wanted to throw in?
A – Yeah, my MySpace. I have 50,000 friends out there, the next time I move it’ll be a piece of cake.
Q – (laughs) I never thought about that. That’s awesome. I appreciate the time Josh.
A – Thanks man.
Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous."
By Jason Tanamor