New Tonight 8/7c. Catch up on the season premiere online.
What was your first solo stand-up gig?
I was in NYC at Stand Up NY about ten years ago. The jokes were not going so well so I just dumped a beer on my head. I figured that always seemed to make my friends laugh in college. The crowd didn't necessarily laugh, but they were entertained. The other comics who went after me were upset that the stage was all sticky. I was hooked on stand up from that moment on. Stand-up comedy is my life. I love making people laugh. I love the high that I get from being on stage and the ability to communicate with people through jokes. The instant feedback that I get from the audience is amazing. I love being able to take the most painful moments in my life and express them in a comedic way. It's very therapeutic. I practiced stand up anywhere I could – from laundromats, to supermarkets, to donut shops. I would drive fourteen hours to shows and work for gas money just to be able to perform. As long as I get to finish the day doing stand-up comedy it's a great day.
What is your worst nightmare as a comic while performing on stage? Has it happened?
The worst nightmare for a comic is always having a crowd not laugh, and there is not a comic in this world that has not had that experience. The only way to improve is by trial and error. I've had a ton of rough sets in my life, but that is essential for growth. One time I had a huge show (it was the Montreal Comedy Festival auditions, the biggest comedy festival in the world) and there was a table of women that were at least 80 years old. I said something to the extent of "I like older women" and one of the women threw a plastic or cardboard menu at my head. This woman must have been the mother of Randy Johnson because it hit me square in the middle of my forehead. I tried to go back to my jokes but my head kept swelling up, it was really awful. It was that moment that I learned how to duck.
At what age did you realize you were funny? Why? Tell us the story.
When I was in high school I was in love with wrestling. I was a four-time New England Class A Champion. Wrestling takes 100% dedication. I was always cutting weight in college and I had to stay in my dorm room every Thursday night since the matches were on Fridays. I had little to do so I would spend the time prank-calling the local public access TV station. They would try and have serious discussions and I would call in with really dumb statements. I loved pranking people. Eventually they gave me my own public access show and I had the time of my life doing it. At that point I knew that I wanted to be in show business. After I stopped wrestling, I had a tremendous amount of unspent energy and put it all into being a stand-up comic. I was always a fan of stand-up comedy and loved the idea of making people laugh for a living. There are many similarities between stand up and wrestling – you have to rely on yourself, you have to keep getting up, you have to overcome a ton of rejection, and you have the ability to be as good as you want to be. Talent can only take you so far. Eventually, you reach the level where everybody is talented, but it's heart, persistence, and tenacity that separate the men from the boys. Or the women from the girls.
Who are your comic influences? What are your comedic influences?
Chris Rock is my favorite comic. He is honest, witty, edgy, and takes a million risks on stage. I love his delivery and his writing. I loved Rodney Dangerfield, he had an amazing style with an uncanny delivery. His jokes are timeless. Jim Norton is always hilarious, topical, and edgy. Dane Cook is an awesome comic as well.
What is the worst job you have ever had?
I used to work kids' parties and have to dress up as Spiderman, Barney, Batman, and other characters. One of my responsibilities was to paint the little kids' faces. They would be like, "Make me into Spiderman!" That was easy – all I had to do was draw lines on their faces. However one kid was like, "Make me into Buzz Lightyear!" And I hadn't seen "Toy Story" so I just wrote Buzz Lightyear all over his face. The parents were not too thrilled.
What are some of your favorite television shows? Movies?
I love watching reruns of "Seinfeld." I like "The Ultimate Fighter." Conan O'Brien always makes me laugh. Ali G is my all-time favorite. As far as movies are concerned, I loved "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "Superbad," "Knocked Up," "Boogie Nights," "Snatch" and "Happy Gilmore." "Rocky" is my favorite movie of all time.
What do you hope to gain by becoming the Last Comic Standing?
I hope to gain more fans and more opportunities. Also, having more cash isn't a horrible thing.
Most embarrassing moment? Have you recovered?
One time I was bombing really bad in a biker bar and I said, "Does anybody wanna make out?" And this really hot girl jumped up on stage and we started going at it. Oh wait, you said "embarrassing moment." I thought you said "really cool moment." My most embarrassing moment was when I was really desperate for cash and was in an interactive play called "Birdy's Bachelorette Party." I had to work at an '80s nightclub in NYC as a "shotboy" selling shots of alcohol, and had to wear skin-tight blue jeans, a pink tank top with glitter that said "Woody the Shotboy" that was essentially a belly shirt, and a pink bandana. The audience was all drunken bachelorette girls who would steal my bandana so I would have to chase them around the club. I would run into people that I grew up with and went to college with and they would be like, "Adam, is that you?" and I would tell them, "No, I am Adam's twin brother," and that Adam was on his way to being a successful comedian."
Give us your best "knock knock" joke.
Knock Knock? Who's there? Boo. Boo who? Stop crying. (After that joke I just dumped a beer over my head.)
What is the worst question you have ever been asked in an interview?
I love all questions.