Jackalope Ranch interviewed a slew of comedians in 2013. Here are the 10 best talks we had with some of the world's funniest folks.
See also: The 10 Best TV Shows of 2013
Doug Stanhope Is Arizona's Darkest Comedian By Jason P. Woodbury
"Most comics are pretty dark people," Doug Stanhope says.
Few comics are quite as dark -- or willing to get as pitch black -- as Stanhope. Our conversation with him, following the terrible news that his best friends and Bisbee neighbors Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl, had passed away, understandably went painful places. You can read that part of our interview here. But Stanhope excels at drawing out the humor inherent in the worst news; for better or worse, Stanhope is Arizona's gallows funnyman. Read more.
Look. We know plenty of people want to claim Aidy Bryant as their own. She lives in New York. She made a name for herself in Chicago. But we Phoenicians really should have first dibs on the Saturday Night Live performer. A few reasons: Her fam lives here (her mom Georganne owns one of our fave boutiques, Frances). When we recently spoke with her she wasn't kicking it in the Big Apple, but chilling in Yuma on her way to a family vacation. Plus, she told us how her career in comedy really started off in Phoenix, where she attended high school at Xavier Prep (she did the morning announcements) and found theatrical mentors around town who inspired her to pursue a career as a professionally funny person. Read more.
Dan Mintz of Bob's Burgers on Voicing Tina Belcher and Her Trademark Moan By Benjamin Leatherman
Geeky standup Dan Mintz is awkward as all get out, and that's not a detriment in the slightest. In fact, the comedian and humorist's ill-at-ease stage presence, deer-in-the-headlights gaze, and ultra-deadpan delivery while performing are all part of his bizarre charm. It also makes the often-surreal non-sequiturs -- including many strange and painfully self-conscious barbs about failed relationships or awkward social situations -- he delivers during gigs seem that much more hilarious.
That's especially true when Mintz's weirdness is coming straight from the mouth of Tina Belcher, the gawky teenage girl that he voices on FOX's animated hit Bob's Burgers. The character, whose the queen of uncomfortably awkward quips, seems like a perfect fit for the comedian and his often-bizarre humor. We discussed Mintz's apt portrayal of Tina during a recent phone interview with the comic prior to his appearance at Stand Up Live this week, and asked him about how he developed his particular comedy style and the upcoming episode of Bob's Burgers that he penned. Read more.
Richard Lewis Will Be the Gandhi of Comics By Glenn BurnSilver
Interviewing comedian Richard Lewis is like being inside one of his monologues. The only difference is that rather than a one-sided conversation operating on a stream of consciousness level, there are breaks where questions are inserted -- though those are only brief bumps in Lewis' full-throttle comedic autobahn. Comedy is Lewis' life, and his life quite literally is his comedy.
Spolier alert: Though Lewis clearly expected it, we did not ask why he wears all black. Read more.
Whitney Cummings has gone from pranking celebrities on Punk'd to becoming one herself. The comedian became a regular on Chelsea Lately and Comedy Central Roast, which led to her starring in and writing her self-titled series, Whitney, hosting a talk show, and co-creating the sitcom 2 Broke Girls.
As an actress she received negative press for her physical appearance and wasn't prepared for the rumors that accompanied her newfound success. "All these strangers judge you and pick you apart for your hair and makeup," she says. "I didn't sign up for that shit." Read more.
Tom Green has a tendency to get pretty cerebral. And yes, we're referring to the same dude who penned "Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)" and suckled milk directly from a cow's waiting teat. Green's comic efforts have always been quite genius -- and oftentimes exceptionally madcap -- whether the over-the-top guerilla comedy of his groundbreaking self-titled MTV show, any of his numerous online projects like Web-O-Vision, or his various stand-up gigs in recent years.
Get past the inherent silliness and shock value of anything Green has done comedy-wise and there's always some sort of deeper meaning or message at work (even with the crazier stuff). That was the case back in his MTV days and is especially true with his stand-up. He's pretty much a live wire or hyperactive tornado onstage, but catch him when he's not performing and Green's far more subdued and analytical. Read more.
Andrew Dice Clay Is Kind of an Asshole, But You Already Knew That By Janessa Hilliard
To call Andrew Dice Clay's comedic career long and storied would be an understatement. Since first appearing on a Rodney Dangerfield special in the late 1980s, Clay's leather-jacket-wearing, chain-smoking mug has become synonymous with the kind of raunchy comedy that dominated the scene in the 1990s.
He became the first stand-up comic to sell out Madison Square Garden on two consecutive nights (and only five others have done it since) and became a magnet for controversy thanks to a particularly foul mouth and highly sexualized set. Read more.
Bill Burr Uses Flaws, Screw-ups, and Bowfishing to Fuel His Comedy By Katie Johnson
Despite his onstage agitation, Bill Burr is in a very good place. The longtime comedian has secured his seat in the who's-who of stand-up without falling victim to bad TV sitcoms, publicity stunts, and other perils of growing celebrity status.
But that's not to say the man isn't busy. Read more.
The Daily Show's Al Madrigal on What He Really Thinks of Arizona By Katie Johnson
Al Madrigal isn't just a funny man, he's a hustler. His day-to-day schedule is spent moving from one project to another -- from the East Coast to the West Coast, television, stand-up -- all the while still making time for his number one priority, his family.
In addition to his recent appearances on The Daily Show, the All Things Comedy podcast network founded with Bill Burr, and of course his stand-up, Madrigal has also been busy working on the upcoming NBC series About A Boy.
We spoke with Madrigal over the phone to discuss his comedy, The Daily Show, and what he really thinks about Arizona. Read more.
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Comedian and actor Paul Reiser has starred in a wealth of roles over the course of his two decades in showbiz. Fans of NBC's "Must See TV" era will, of course, remember him for the seven seasons he spent as the neurotic Paul Buchman with Helen Hunt on Mad About You. And then there were his memorable cinematic gigs in such classics as Beverly Hills Cop II, Aliens, and Barry Levinson's Diner.
These days, Resier's has been busy tackling the role of stand-up comic, the profession he used as a stepping stone to success more than two decades ago, before his sitcom career took off in the early '90s. Having been away from the stage for close to 20 years, Reiser told Jackalope Ranch during a recent phone interview that he was a wee bit nervous about picking up where he left off in the comedy world last year. The 55-year-old comic quickly got his chops back and is looking forward to entertaining Valley comedy fans. Read more.