YouTube comedy star and creator of Gayle Waters-Waters, Chris Fleming.EXPAND
YouTube comedy star and creator of Gayle Waters-Waters, Chris Fleming.
Alexandra Genova

Chris Fleming Wants the World to Know He's a Show Pig

If you have your finger on the pulse of pop culture, you’ve probably noticed the amount of comedians emerging from YouTube. None of them is quite like 30-year-old Chris Fleming.

Fleming, who hails from Massachusetts, has been creating social commentary through his goofy character comedy. His most popular character is the overly intense New England housewife Gayle Waters-Waters, whose antics include fantasizing about the dentist who lives next door, kidnapping SAT tutors, and treating grocery stores like a battle zone.

Fleming's YouTube channel is filled with videos that display his brand of delightfully mad comedy, which includes a Steve Bannon impersonation, a Christmas snake named GiGi, and a gruff country song about his fear of making small-talk with men.

He's on his third comedy tour dubbed Show Pig, which stops at Crescent Ballroom on Saturday, October 8. We spoke with Fleming to discuss his comedy style, his future endeavors, and, of course, Gayle Waters-Waters. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

For anyone who hasn’t seen your stand-up or doesn’t know your comedy, how would you describe it to them?
I’m like Tim Allen with bangs. I think that’s all they need to know.

For those who do love your YouTube channel, is it going to be similar to your YouTube comedy at all?
No, I like to keep things fresh and grow from what people have seen. I don’t like to go down the same bunny holes, but I think totally it is in line. But then again it’s an hour of live stand-up comedy with multimedia and what not. Yeah, I think it stays true to the videos that you would find online.

How did you come up with the Gayle Waters-Waters character?
I didn’t come up with Gayle, Gayle is just a New England truth. I just kinda took a shovel and took that out of the New England soil. That’s just simple observation and growing up where I did, the community and the socioeconomic bracket that I did. It was an archetype that was everywhere, and I just distilled that into a stand-up comedy character.

I started doing Gayle Waters-Waters in a stand-up routine and it was very therapeutic for me to make fun of that. And then eventually, after you make fun of something for a little while, then you embody that character, then there comes a change where you actually start loving the character.

I made a Steve Bannon video last week. So I had to watch the 60 Minutes interview with Steve Bannon over and over and over again. And when you do a character ... I got like way too close to Steven Bannon, essentially is what I am saying. So I was having these dreams about Steve Bannon.

So you really get into your characters?
Yeah, I do. I try to keep a bit of myself, like I'm sharing room and board with myself and another person. I'm trying to do the mannerisms of someone else and the attitude of someone else, but I'm still trying to keep part of myself in there too. So I think you kind of have to be close to the character. I mean, after doing Gayle for long enough, I didn’t even know who I was anymore. After doing that for three years, that was a real monster mash. A real night ride.

Where did the name ShowPig come from?
Because I’m a show pig. It’s as simple as that. You know, grease me up and send me to market, because I'm a show pig. I am ready to go around the county fair with a big blue ribbon on and get photographed with the mayor. Because I'm a show pig and I want, I need the world to know that. I don’t know why they don’t know that. Chris. Fleming. Is. A. Show. Pig.

Have you ever performed in Phoenix before?
Oh yeah, I’ve done two shows there. Last show I did, it was notable because as I was doing the show I heard the distinctive chortling of a child in the audience, which as a performer is not ideal.

As a comedian when you’ve been saying certain things, you don’t want, you know, a child to be present. I said “Oh, who’s this?” and it turns out it was a 6-year-old girl named Athena who was in the crowd. She was being raised communally by, like, six burly desert women.

And I was like “Oh, Athena are you enjoying the show?” and she was, like, “Eh, it’s alright.” Do you have any idea what it is like to come to terms with two very, very difficult things? At the same time, in the blink of an eye. One, that you are a children’s entertainer, and two, that you are failing as a children’s entertainer.

Where do you see your career going in five years?
Substitute teaching in Tallahassee, Florida.

Chris Fleming will be performing his stand-up routine on Sunday, October 8, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $25 for age 16 and older. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8. Call 602-716-2222 or visit crescentphx.com.

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