“Rich Vos has failed at everything but stand-up comedy.”

By Jason Tanamor

Most people know Rich Vos from his appearances on Comedy Central. Others remember him as a finalist on NBC’s first ever “Last Comic Standing.” For everyone else, you’re probably thinking, “Who?” Although Vos isn’t commercially known, he is huge among the stand-up circuit. And with him come years of comedy experience.

Vos recently shared some of his wisdom with Zoiks! Online. When I first called him, he was on the other line with the bank. So, about 20 minutes later, Vos returned my call and the interview began.

Q – You’ve been doing stand-up for decades now. Tell me how you first got involved with it.

RV – I failed at everything else.

Q – Comedians always tell me there was a specific moment why they became a comic. What was yours?

RV – I don’t know. I’ve just always loved stand-up as a kid, you know. I used to watch it on television. When I was in second grade I watched Ed Sullivan. I figured when I got older, the singers were getting laid and I couldn’t sing, so…

Q – Your stand-up is somewhat reminiscent of someone with low self-esteem. How did this come about?

RV – It depends. I have to attack myself a little before I start attacking the audience. I do it in a fun way, but I have to attack myself first.

Q – I’ve been covering stand-up for a long time and I don’t know a lot about your act, other than what I see on TV. Is the material you do on television different than what you do on stage?

RV – Yeah, you can’t say hot loads in the face on TV.

Q - Do you have a set primarily for television versus what you do on stage in clubs?

RV – It depends. I’ve done half hour specials and it’s always different. When I do TV I usually have new material and I do that.

Q – Your wife, Bonnie McFarlane, is also a comedian. Do you two ever find yourselves one upping each other with comebacks or is she always right?

RV – What will happen is she’ll fuck some guy and then I’ll have to one up her and fuck some girl. Then she’ll one up me and bang my brother. Now I’ll have to fuck two of her sisters and her father; it’s an ongoing process.

Q – Having a spouse who also does stand-up, do you find yourself writing material together or at least running jokes by each other?

RV – No, we come up with some ideas. (Bonnie, in the background, says – I write it all.) We work on projects together but we don’t sit and write jokes together.

Q – So you don’t run material by each other before doing it?

RV – Once in a blue moon we do.

Q – Does it ever go the way you don’t want it go? Like you write a joke and she says, ‘I don’t like that one?’

RV – Yeah, and then the next morning she has to go out and buy more make-up.

Q – You’ve been doing this for many years. What’s the secret to staying funny for a long time?

RV – A mortgage, three kids, a golf habit. Want me to keep going? Two car payments. No wait, I pay cash for my cars. You get the idea. (Pause) But that’s what I love to do. If I’m going to do stand-up, I’m going to do it as well as I can.

Q – What do you have going on now? Tour? Special?

RV – I have this big interview, what are you talking about? What else can top this?

Q – But you had to put me on hold for the bank?

RV – You’re right (laughs). You can’t take my fucking house from me. (Pause) We’re working on a documentary and actually at this moment we’re downloading some of the stuff. So, we’re making a movie, Bonnie and I.

Q – Well, that’s all I had for you. Anything you wanted to throw in there?

RV – I don’t know what the fuck. Who else have you interviewed?

Q – Jim Breuer, Margaret Cho, Christopher Titus, Aisha Tyler.

RV – Yeah, Breuer is working on this project. (Also attached to the project is Artie Lange. Opie from Opie & Anthony is producing the movie.)

Q – Paula Poundstone.

RV – Paula Poundstone? She’s one of my favorites. I love watching her. So I’m pretty much the biggest act you’ve had? I’m pretty much the highlight. What? You want to talk to him? Hang on, my wife wants to say something.

BM – What is this for?

Q – Zoiks! Online magazine.

RV – Have you heard of it?

BM – Yeah, it’s the hottest new comedy magazine.

Q – How did you know that?

BM – (laughs) I follow this stuff man. I get Zoiks! updates.

Q – Awesome.

So there it is folks, Bonnie McFarlane says, “Zoiks! Online is the hottest new comedy magazine.” Look for Rich Vos and Bonnie’s new movie.

For more information on Vos, visit his website at: http://www.richvos.com.


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.

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