Andrew Mayer has long been one of the most imaginative and unique voices in the city of Boston and it’s nice to see him getting the credit he deserves. Last month he won the Boston International Comedy Festival. His CD “Nonsense” is a hilarious peek into the mind of a brilliant and strange man. He’s just announced that he’ll be traveling to Seattle next month for their comedy festival which is regarded as one of the most prestigious in the world. Keep an eye on this young talent because there is no limit to how far he could go.
A fan of ultimate frisbee, dogs and basketball Andrew is an affable character that might remind you of a golden retriever. In fact you may even try to pat him on the head if you could but at 6 foot 3 that might be out of reach, also it would be a weird thing to do so don’t do that. Just let him pet your dog instead and you’ll get along just fine.
Andrew was kind enough to sit down with us for a little Q & A this week and here are the results for your reading pleasure.
– First of all, Congrats on winning the Boston Comedy Festival. How does it feel to be named a champion of comedy?
Thank you (I am co-champion, as you know, but feel free to cut out this parenthesis if you like. Or leave it in, including this part)! It’s been a fun couple of weeks since the festival, for sure. There’s so many variables outside your control in contests that they’re almost impossible to predict, but it’s very nice when one works out the way you want.
– What year did you start getting on stages and why did you decide to get into stand up comedy?
I first got onstage in August of 2004, and performed a little through the rest of college. I always loved stand-up as a kid, not necessarily wanting to do it, but I started writing jokes during my first year of college, I guess in case I ever wanted to perform. My Dad found that out and signed us both up for the Stand-up class at the school where he teaches. The “final” for that class was a performance, which was my first show.
– You have a fantastic comedy CD available online titled “Nonsense”. When can we expect your next album?
Thank you again! I wish I was closer to having another chunk of time ready (we maybe all wish that?), but it’s not quite there yet. Things have started to come together a bit, so hopefully by sometime next year I’ll feel good enough about enough of my jokes to want to make another recording.
– You are a married man of course you handsome bastard, is it difficult to juggle comedy and a marriage?
Short Answer: Yes. Long Answer: Maybe? I think that juggling comedy and anything is hard, but can work if you want to make it work. I never really dated anyone regularly before I started doing standup, so I don’t have a different lifestyle to compare it to, but it works for me. I think it just involves a bit more planning, and appreciating the time you do get to spend with the person you love, when you get it.
– If you had to pick just one: Basketball or Ultimate Frisbee?
Ultimate Frisbee. Basketball is great and fun, but it’s been a lot harder on my body over the years. People take it so seriously, too, which can stress me out. Ultimate Frisbee’s more my speed.
– Who makes you laugh the most? On or off-stage.
My wife, probably, she’s the funniest person and I see her way more than the rest of you. I’ve also had drives with Will Smalley where we’ve almost crashed, we were laughing so hard.
– You always seem to have new material. Do you ever get writers block or is that just for chumps?
That’s very nice of you to say. I actually feel like I am almost always in a state of writers block, that I don’t write that much, and that any good idea I’ve had has just been a fun one-time coincidence. It’s difficult to shake that headspace, but it usually only lasts until I find a new joke I like, and then everything is great. Having a new joke that works is the best feeling, and we’re all just chasing that all the time, I think.
– Every comedian deal’s with a hell gig once in awhile. What’s the worst show you’ve ever had to do?
In 2006 or so in Royalston, MA, I signed up for an open mic at their town hall. The couple running the show found out that I was a comedian and decided that I should host, and do some jokes in between the bands while they set up. I did not want to, but they insisted and introduced me as people were still filing in to the room. I did a couple of poems (I was very artsy) to mostly disinterested people (there was also a silent auction going on). After my second joke-poem, I saw one lady turn to the person sitting next to her and shrug (they were the only two people paying attention). I quickly got offstage, where the couple running the mic told insisted that I should continue to host the show, in between bands. While the first band was on, and their backs were turned, I quickly got into my car and drove away.
-Do you have a comedy mentor?
There are too many comedians I respect and look up to and try to be like to list. The person I bounce comedy things off of the most is Josh Gondelman, who is too nice, and gives excellent advice.
-Can you give me like three names of people we might want to write about next time for this column?
Sean Sullivan (Song and Dance Man)