Comedian and radio host Jubal Flagg may seem like a “dirty” comic with topics such as Facebook, sexting and condoms, but the reality is Flagg appeals to all sorts of audiences, with females covering the majority of his fan base. The stand-up recently stopped by to talk comedy, his radio show and his new CD, “Parlor Tricks.”
Q – Thanks for doing this.
A - No, thank YOU for doing THIS. It’s nice to want to be talked to.
Q – You’re the first comedian that I can’t find any bio information on. So, real quick, how and why did you get involved with stand-up comedy?
A - Weird. That might be because I’ve written and rewritten my bio so many times on websites that I have either taken down, or have had taken from me due to lack of payment. They must be buried deep under the porno of the Internet by now.
How? I was working a horrible job at a direct mail company in L.A. so I started going to open mics. It wasn’t until I moved to Seattle for a job in radio that I really started to grow as a comic though. There’s a lot more “quality” stage time outside of the L.A. laundry mats and coffee shops.
Why? It’s the only thing I ever wanted to do. I never grew up wanting to be an astronaut or the President; I just wanted to make people laugh. Plus, even though I’m a pretty reserved guy, deep down there’s an attention whore who longs for the approval of drunken strangers.
Q – Your debut comedy album, “Parlor Tricks,” touches on topics like Facebook, sexting and condoms. I haven’t had a chance to hear the album yet but it seems like you’re act is like hanging out with your guy friends and that one chick who may be a lesbian. How would you describe your act for those not hip to you yet?
A - That’s pretty close to what it is. I’d like to think that I come off as pretty real on stage (whatever that means); there isn’t a whole lot of gimmickry with me. I like it to feel like the audience and I are just having a conversation. I will say this, for a guy who can sometimes be labeled as “dirty” I appeal to a lot of females. I’d even go so far as to say the majority of my fans are chicks (they like it when you call them that). I think they “get” the fact that no matter what I say I actually do respect them. And yes, that entire last thought was solely in an attempt to get a few of them to sleep with me.
Q – You co-host a show called, “Brooke and Jubal in the Morning.” For being on a daily radio show, what preparation do you go through to be able to speak intelligently about the news?
A - My producer always jokes that I want to “get rid of all the information” in the show, which is mostly true. It’s Top 40 radio so I don’t put a lot of equity in speaking intelligently about anything. My goal is just to get a laugh, even if that means screwing up the facts. Actually I get up around 3:30 in the morning and surf the web looking for news/gossip stories and decide what issues we should be talking about. If we are going to talk about something important I’ll read over it and discuss it beforehand with our producer and my co-host, Brooke. Luckily both of them are way better at fact checking and being knowledgeable on important subject matter letting me do what I do best – finding the lowest common denominator to joke about.
Q – Since you have to be up on current events, what has been your favorite topic to discuss?
A - I really like ripping on the “Occupy” protests. The people at these things seem to know even less than we do about why they’re there. At every one there are about three people who can speak somewhat eloquently on their stance. The others are just homeless, stoned or hipsters who think it makes them look ironic to live in a tent in the middle of downtown.
The Kardashians are always fun to talk about too. The scribes who have written their lives have done a great job of keeping new, incredibly obnoxious story lines popping up. I don’t know what’s funnier: the fact that people actually buy into their crap, or the fact that none of them can actually live a real life because producers have already figured out the next 15-years for them.
Q – Do you enjoy doing stand-up comedy or hosting your radio show more and why?
A - Radio and stand-up are such different but beautiful beasts. I love them both. However, if I had to choose, I’d do stand-up. I’d choose stand-up over anything in my life. I talk to a lot of guys at clubs who say, “I wish I could get off the road and host a radio show,” but deep down I think that’s just talk. Comedy isn’t easy and to make a living at it means you’ve got to be 100% invested. Sure, everyone has a success level they could reach where they’d finally feel accomplished enough to stop stand-up; but why do you think the old guys keep coming back? It’s because once the stage grabs you it doesn’t let go. Is that a little melodramatic? Sorry, I’m working on three hours sleep.
Q – Which comedian(s) influenced you growing up and why?
A - All the greats: My dad introduced me to Eddie Murphy, Pryor, Cosby and Carlin at an early age. Carlin is probably my favorite. My material is nothing like his, but I used to watch/listen to him nonstop as a kid.
I watched a lot of Michael Keaton, Kevin Pollock and Richard Jeni (rest in peace) growing up.
I came of age when “Evening at the Improv” was still on TV. I would watch that for hours. You could say anyone who ever appeared on that show.
Whenever I’m asked this question I feel like I should have some deeper answer. Like a comic nobody has ever heard of. I’m a fan of comedy so any comic I watched as a kid I liked. They all influenced me somehow. Now that I’ve been doing comedy for almost 10 years I’m better versed at knowing what I like and don’t like.
I will say this, I never hate on ANY comic unless they are a joke thief. Just because someone’s comic voice might not match yours doesn’t mean they aren’t funny. At the end of the day our job is to make the audience laugh. Well-timed fart jokes are just as viable as intellectual literary references. They’re just different forms of the art. Fart.
Q – Thanks again. Is there anything you wanted to add?
A - Yes, go buy my CD “Parlor Tricks” on iTunes. Also, you can follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jubalflagg. See, I’m a slave to the corporations too. Those “Occupy” protesters would not approve. Then again, I don’t approve of them.
Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at email@example.com.