Friday, December 7, 2012
Funny Friday! Meet Jake Vevera!
Today is the day, people. The first official installment of Funny Friday. I got a resounding response from my funny, funny friends and have really got my work cut out for me.
***I don't know why, but I feel the need to let you all know that none of my interviews, be they audio, video, or text, will be edited in any way. They will appear in their raw form, just as they were given to me. Some may be more graphic than others, and that's just life. So enjoy these peaks into the minds of some amazingly creative and hilarious men and women.***
Today you are all in for an earful from a wild and crazy man with some of the most unique views on life and all things thereunto pertaining. I met him several months ago through my circle of comedian friends and he never ceases to amaze me. He is truly and undeniably unique. He speaks his mind with brutal, unabashed honesty and he is never at a loss for words. But enough of my words. Let's hear from him.
Meet Jake Vevera, everyone.
me: Who are you, in your own words? (whatevever that means to you)
jake: I'm a shallow fuck, I define myself by whatever other people tell me I am.
me: As a kid, what did you dream of being when you grew up?
jake: I don't remember my dreams.
me: When did you know you wanted to be a comedian?
jake: I don't want to be a comedian.
(At this point in the questioning, I'm beginning to think I'm a horrible question asker...)
me: How long have you been doing stand up?
jake: Since last October.
me: Who are some of your favorite comedians?
jake: Doug Stanhope, Sam Kinison, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks.
me: Describe your brand of comedy, if you can. What's funny to you? (this is where it gets amazing)
jake: I like dark stuff. I think that if you're telling jokes on stage you are a chef of life. It's cool to make chicken taste good, but if you can make shit and maggots taste better than chicken, then it's way better than the pussies who cook with chicken. And since nothing I say on stage matters after I close my set, then I can say whatever shitty things I want and it's okay.
me: What does being a comedian mean to you?
jake: This... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9pH_24vSZ4
me: What has been the greatest influence on your comedy?
jake: Seeing bad things happen to good people. There's a certain kind of surreal joy I get out of seeing something on the news that has gone terribly wrong. Not because I actually like to see people being hurt. I just like seeing people's reactions to it. I like seeing people upset over things on the tv that don't have any effect on their day to day lives. All of those things on the news could be taken out of context in a weird way, or complete lies and they would never know it. Even if the things they were upset about were true, it wouldn't matter to them if the people on the news weren't telling them. Did they hear about any one of the kids that starved to death or were sold into some kind of weird soldier and/or sex slave organizations in some African shithole that they couldn't point to on a map if they had a gun to their balls? No. But most of them could tell you all about the guy on the Chiefs who killed his wife last week. They could tell you about Trayvon Martin. They could tell you about Ronald McDonald going apeshit in that movie theater. Not because it is somehow more important or more tragic, but because that's what the guys behind the anchor desk (who they've never met) tell them that's what they should care about. Nothing happening to anyone is really that important unless you know them. We're all just monkeys that jumped out of some lady's twat a long time ago and nothing that happens to us really matters to anyone we don't come in contact with. But, since lots of people do get upset about the things the news tells them to, it builds tension. I can use that tension in my act. You build tension and then you add a twist and a punch line. That's why seeing bad things happen to good people inspires me. It's my shit for the sandwich.
(Wow... did I tell ya or did I tell ya? Amazing.)
me: What is one of your favorite memories (so far) as a comedian?
jake: Closing my CD. I wrote my closer the night before the CD and put it on a bit that I had only done a couple times and bombed with. It went really well though. There's very few bits of mine that I am truly proud of, but that's one of them.
(Jake recently recorded his first CD, "Balls Deep in Jesus" in Iowa City. Look for it to be coming out in the next couple of months.)
me: If you weren't doing comedy, what would you be doing with your life?
jake: Spreading herpes. Comedy keeps me off of the streets.
(Funny AND a humanitarian. The total package.)
me: What do your friends & family think of your life as a comedian?
jake: Ask me when I start getting paid.
me: What is your biggest, wildest comedic dream you hope comes true someday?
jake: Getting paid money to do it.
me: Elvis or the Beatles?
jake: Beatles... Yoko years. http://www.youtube.com/'watch?v=SYqCpvzXGTE
(I would be a total panty-tosser over Elvis, but I also love the Beatles, and this is my interview, so I get to ask what I want.)
me: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to give stand up comedy a try?
jake: I stole this first part from Doug Stanhope: Take any advice that any comic gives you with a grain of salt because at the end of the day, there are no set rules for this and they are ultimately telling you how to be more like them. Be open to advice and give things a try if you think that they might work for you. That being said, here are some things I found useful when first starting out: Keep your setup times short. People watch a lot of specials on Netflix, Comedy Central, etc, and they don't think about the fact that those guys have usually have at least a half hour to work with. You've got three to five minutes. Try not to say more than three sentences without throwing a punchline after them. Also, fuck personal stories. I'm not saying they never work, but they usually take a long time to set up and people don't realize right away that some things are only funny with a personal connection. Which you don't have on stage.
Also, look for my new CD "Balls Deep in Jesus". Many Christians claim to love Jesus, but few of them have gone balls deep. I don't believe in fairy tales, but I still pick up their slack.
Amazing guy, You must see him to truly appreciate the intelligence, wit, and insanity that is his comedy. Brilliant. Thanks so much, Jake! I don't know about you, but this was a great first interview for me. If I smoked, I'd be kicked back, spent, and smokin' this one out.
Stay tuned for next Friday! Another amazing comedian, and more amazing me! (Wait, did I say that out loud?)