How to be Mediocre
This week on Funny Title Here, David Huntsberger is the interviewee. I am the interviewer. I don’t think I can do justice for David without screwing it up, so I’ll let the Austin Chronicle take it from here:
More fun than a barrel of Scopes Monkey Trials, David Huntsberger’s brand of stand-up straddles all things rascally and erudite. Taking audiences on a comic odyssey about evolution and de facto social Darwinism, the 26-year-old Huntsberger displays a distinctly Kubrickian view of humankind’s relationships with technology.
Paolo: Your Austin Chronicle article about you says that you used to substitute teach K – 12 graders. Is there a difference between substitute teaching and doing stand-up? Show your work.
David: Dealing with little kids is exactly like dealing with drunken adults. In both cases, teaching and comedy, you’re trying to do something nice for them, and mostly they just want to talk about girls and farts. The difference is in comedy you have amplified sound and can call them anything you’d like. And kids, you can ruin their future …which feels pretty good.
Paolo: How did you get into comedy?
David: I did my first set at the comedy store in La Jolla, CA. I didn’t realize that once you do one open-mic, you’re in comedy. Even though I still had a day job, I’d be hanging around all theses other open-mic-type characters (who also had day jobs and had never been paid for comedy) and they’d be saying, “Well, you know us comics …being in comedy…” and things of that nature, and then I realized I was in. I wish there was a little more discretion, or a ceremony to announce you’d been let in.
Paolo: Who are your comedic influences?
David: I think as people get older, they only remember the influences that are socially acceptable, but I remember liking carrot top and Jeff Foxworthy, Ellen, Seinfeld, and Roseanne. I don’t know if they influenced me, but I liked them. George Carlin and Gary Larson were my biggest influences. Adam Sandler and the Jerky Boys were probably who I emulated the most.*
*emulated = stole from
Paolo: What was the absolute worst show you’ve ever had?
David: I drove to Palm Springs from Camarillo, CA on December 23rd, 2007 to a lounge in the Agua Caliente Indian Casino. a few of the lights outside had burned out so it just said Agiente. the lounge was not partitioned from the slot machine area, so you could hear every nickel dropped from every bitter, liver-spotted hand. the sound didn’t work, the sound guy made fun of me despite his lack of teeth, and the crowd was mostly elderly folks. Not cool, “Hey, we’re at a casino because we’re still young.” elderly, but the, “We’re horrible grandparents who are out spending our grandchildren’s gift money two days before Christmas and yet still have the nerve to judge you in silence.” old people.
Paolo: I am enamored with your drawings. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but do you think that your draw your drawings from the same place that you write your stand-up?
Thank you. I think so. Mostly just a refusal to let anything die. All ideas can go somewhere regardless of how bad they are. “This is an awful stand-up bit, maybe it can be a sketch, or a short film, or a comic.” Most people have the good sense to just leave it alone, but diarrhea pancakes and pigeon rape have to live somewhere.
Paolo: Are there any requirements to joining the fake mustache club? Is there a newsletter that I can subscribe to or anything?
The only requirement is being awesome. There is no newsletter or chat group, but we could maybe start one. I’m open to suggestions. All you have to do is email me a picture of you in a fake mustache. It can’t be drawn on. Most people don’t even look at the actual page. They give up at the old timey page. Rascals.
Paolo: Lastly, any last words to your adoring fans out there in internet land?
David: Sure. Thanks to those of you who email or come out to live shows. You are always pleasant and nice. And to those of you who give my videos low ratings, I hope you are eaten by sharks soon.
David Huntsberger everybody! Many many thanks to him!