The Cherokee Effect Comedians: Mark Normand
Before you got that break, was there a certain point where being a full-time standup felt like a realistic possibility?
Well I was a janitor for two years and it probably wasn’t until the second year of janitoring where I was like “This could be something – I think I’m getting there.” I was so broke — I ate the cliché ramen noodles and all that good stuff. Sometimes there would be free bagels at work and I’d put like eight of them in my pocket. But if you start looking at it like that for long, your back is against a cliff and you just have to write write write. I tried everything. I submitted packets for the Charlie Sheen roast, I wrote a packet for Jimmy Fallon. I didn’t have a manager and no one had heard of me so it was all bullshit. So there were a lot of baby steps.
What was it like to go from those tough day jobs to one day being a full-time comedian?
Oh that was insane, especially because your self-esteem is so low when you’re working these jobs. I have jokes about how sad work is and all that – you feel so low, you’re like “I’m a janitor, I’m literally the guy who pushes a mop around.” And then you go out at night and kill and go back to your job the next day and you’re that loser guy again.
I talked to Mark Normand about transitioning from lowly janitor to full-time comedian. Read more here, including tons of great advice for aspiring stand-ups!
Darrell Hammond in the “Summer Nights” sketch never gets old.
Saturday Night’s Children #100
The Cherokee Effect Comedians: Kyle Kinane
What’s your take on the idea of “paying your dues” in comedy?
There’s this impression that paying your dues is working the road and doing all these shitty gigs. I think that’s one avenue, but there’s not just one way to do it. Some people pay their dues by getting up and going to a horrible job every day, then when they get off they go out at night. Maybe they have a wife and a kid or a girlfriend, so they’re sacrificing time in that relationship to go out and pursue comedy. I never had that, I kind of streamlined things on purpose. That’s another thing too – working that soul-crushing job all day then at night, when all you want to do is kick back because you just worked, going out to that grind and performing comedy for free. That’s its own way of paying dues, in my opinion. It isn’t better or worse than starting on the road with all these horrible gigs in the middle of nowhere.
I talked to Kyle Kinane about becoming a full-time comedian, and he had a lot of great things to say. Check it out here.
A Friendly PSA: It’s “Kenan.” Yes. Kenan Thompson.
Here’s my first post for The Awl, where I address the injustice Kenan Thompson has faced for years from entertainment bloggers. As one of seven Me(a)g(h)ans in my high school class, I too know the struggles that come with having an alternate name variation. AND I’VE HAD ENOUGH!
Whenever anyone asks me how I’m doing.
So true right now.
"What was I supposed to do? I was supposed to just be a cop. But I was frustrated, because I think Lorne Michaels thought he was protecting me by not putting me out there, letting me do my thing. So I started walking around wearing dark shades. When they asked me what was wrong, I said, ‘It’s too white in here, it hurts my eyes.’ I was really on the verge of a nervous breakdown, or just taking a gun and killing everybody."
Here’s my review of the newest book about SNL. If you’ve read everything else about SNL and want something different, check it out.
Olive’s latest modeling gig was for the wonderful photographer Anna Williams a few months back, and it’s finally up on the web! Olive expertly (of course) channeled the sour puss element for the latest taste-themed episode in Anna’s series The Voracity. Check it out here!