Shout-Outs to Brandon Dyer
June 22, 2011
Today’s shout out is dedicated to Brandon Dyer
What made you decide to start performing
I grew up in the 1980’s where there was literally stand-up comedy on at anytime of day. I guess you could say my descent into madness started then.
Can you name a couple of comics you look up to and why you admire them?
First and foremost is Mitch Hedberg. His jokes don’t ever get old to me. I can listen to his albums over and over. I especially like when I meet someone else that loves Hedberg and they immediately launch into their favorite bit. But what’s telling about his genius is they do the bit as Mitch Hedberg. His voice was that unique and his jokes resonate. The other comic that I admire is Dave Attel. I’d do just about anything to get “Insomniac” back on the air.
One word answer: What do you consider the hardest part of performing stand-up comedy?
One word answer: What do you consider the best part of performing stand-up comedy?
What is the worst/funniest experience you have had while performing at a comedy show?
I performed at a senior night at Lemoyne College in my hometown of Syracuse. I do some jokes in my set about the obesity issue in the United States. My set was going well, when a woman in the front row yells out “I’m Obese!”. I reply, “See, this obese woman agrees with me!” The problem was that 99% of the audience didn’t hear what she said, they only saw me call a innocent woman obese. The entire audience decides I’m a douchebag and looking back, I don’t really blame them. The next comic that went up then did stolen material, that killed. So at least I wasn’t the biggest douche bag there that night.
That sounds brutal, and a good lesson in repeating a heckle so the audience knows what was said, for sure. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Don’t invite people to come see you until you have something to see. It’s pointless to invite out everyone you know to watch you eat it for five minutes at an open mic. It may take you a year of writing before you have a solid five minutes. It may take you 6 weeks. But until you actually have the solid 5 minutes, stop posting events on facebook. That also goes for these self-produced shows where someone calls themselves a headliner when they only have 15 minutes of actual solid material but they do 45. Don’t rush into the phases of marketing and promotion until you have something to market and promote.
Name three movies, TV shows, or books that you go to when you want to have a good hard laugh.
#1 “Arrested Development.” For those that have never heard of this brilliant series, buy the DVDs and set aside a weekend. Michael Cera just absolutely kills it. I don’t know if shows like the American version of “The Office” or the ABC sitcom “Modern Family” exist without “Arrested Development”.
#2 “Young Frankenstein” is the first Mel Brooks movie my mom let me watch because she banked on me not understanding the sexual innuendo. I was 6, and she was right. But it was still hilarious. It was sort of like how there are jokes for adults in Pixar movies that go over the heads of kids, but there is still plenty there for kids to enjoy. “Young Frankenstein” has gotten funnier as I grew older.
#3 Just for parallelism sake, the book I go to for laughs is a Daily Show send up called “America: the Book”. Sections by Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and other correspondents from the Daily Show circa 2003 are brilliant satire.
Modern comedy shows owe a great debt of gratitude to Arrested Development for sure. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
I worked as a reporter for “CDC News” which stands for “Construction Data Company” but is the same acronym as the “Center for Disease Control”. Basically I cold called contractors and they told me what they were working on and if they needed any subcontractors. Most of the time after they figured out I was not from the Disease-CDC they hung up on me.
What kind of humour bores you?
I tend to gravitate away from “shock” humor. I don’t think anything is taboo but it better still be funny. Just talking about something that you wouldn’t bring up at dinner doesn’t make it funny. Punchlines are what make it funny. So if you can come up with a great punchline about rape I’d love the hear it, but I seriously doubt most people would have the comedic acumen to pull that off.
What 5 comics, dead or alive, would you book for your vision of a perfect stand-up show?
Moody McCarthy would host, he was on LCS. I’d have Mitch Hedberg up next, Brian Regan, Dave Attel and headlining, the king: Bill Hicks.
What is your favourite comedy album?
“Skanks for the Memories” Dave Attel.
That album is amazing. Do you have any topics that you consider off-limits in your act?
No, I don’t. I think if it’s funny it’s in. I tend to be “clean” but I think that’s more my personality then an artistic choice.