CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
ATB: I have been doing standup in buildings in front of audiences for about 5 years
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
ATB: Extremely derivative of everyone that has come before me but in an original way.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
ATB: The following is a list of comics and what I have stolen from them (or wished I had the skills to steal from them):
Dylan Moran – He’s really good at describing things but in a funny way, I try to do that sometimes.
Louis Ck: I’ve taken his detailed describing of genitalia
Seinfeld – There’s a bleakness to Seinfeld’s stuff that says “well clearly there’s no point to anything, existence is meaningless so I’m just gonna talk about the expiry dates on milk”. I’ve stolen that.
Jim Gaffigan – I do his “inside voice” occasionally, which is his voice-of-the-audience voice. I’ve been known to borrow his pale skin complexion on occasion. I think it would be cool to have a joke-writing wife partnership like he does but without the seven thousand children they also own/made.
JB Smoove – He shows how you can get 5 to 10 minutes of material out of the thinnest of premises. Like “cops have a lot of shit on their belt”.
Eddie Pepitone – His socially-aware screams of terror. I don’t do them, but how good is he, eh?
Maria Bamford – She’s the best comedian in the world, I’ve tried to steal that but I have found it to be an elusive property.
Eddie Izzard – He’s the most amazing greatest at understatement and also you can tell his material was written standing up, which since noticing that, I barely ever sit down.
Cosby – sits down to perform, since noticing that I barely ever blah blah.
Rodney Dangerfield – For him it’s all about the jokes so now I try to make it at least sometimes about the jokes.
Bob Ducca/Seth Morris – Lists
Mitch Hedberg – I’ve tried to steal everything from him, likeability, not needing to be dominant, failing well, joke formats, rhythm, speech affectations, saying the word “alright”.
Sarah Silverman – She’s really good.
Norm MacDonald – Being from Québec, I stole that. Talking about complicated stuff and making it simple and no part is not funny – working on jacking that from him too.
Stewart Lee – In interviews I’ve heard him mention that he hates when people steal from him. I hate that too, I took it from him.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
ATB: Always is a big word, I mean, when does a desire to go into comedy begin? At conception? Birth? Not for me, my want only began 8 years ago. It arrived at about the same time as my loathing for doing anything else.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
Sitting and writing, walking and writing, walking and recording, working shit out on stage, through conversation, some pop up completed in your head, I’ve had some come to me in a dream… Basically any way that’s ever been mentioned in a “15 ways to increase your writing productivity” webpage or in interviews with comedians/artists or in TED talks or whatever other thing I’ve done to procrastinate doing actual writing – I’ve tried many ways and material appears through this huge variety of ways, I don’t know what the secret is I’m just happy it comes to me sometimes.
CB: Do you gig as a stand-up full time or is it more of a part-time hobby?If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
ATB: I don’t do stand up full time but it’s more than a hobby. At the moment I’m lucky enough to be doing exclusively comedy stuff and surviving off of it, but they’re not all stand up. Like TV, sketch, podcast stuff. Got my fingers in some pies, I got my toes in some pies, I am basically putting every extremity I have into a pie in the hope that I can continue to do comedy stuff for the rest of my life cause I think It’s the only thing that I feel is worth doing. That and helping people is probably a worthy cause too.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
ATB: I like the bit where you get to make comedy, the other bits are fine too but that bit is probably the best bit.
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
ATB: I’m not too picky, just humans with the capability to focus on and understand what you’re saying is fine by me.
CB: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging?
Not much, but the last two years at the Melbourne Comedy Festival Pat Burtscher and I have done a late night variety night called “Soul Bank” and being so late those have had some seriously drunk hecklers that we’ve had fun with, yelled at them, carried them out by just lifting their chairs and taking them outside.
CB: Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
ATB: I did develop a taste for it, sort of a “oh I wonder what’s going to happen” but I realize that it’s disruptive to the show and my material is probably better than anything I could come up with shutting down a loud drunk person.
This wasn’t really a heckle but I asked a guy in my show if he was enjoying it and he said “meh”. Simple yet brutal.
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
ATB: Start as soon as possible and do it as much as possible. You will be horrible at the beginning but if you work really hard and spend loads of time doing it you will become a little bit less horrible.