Holding down the door at the Improv in "South Central Irvine," comedian Friendly Frank has what it takes to entertain a crowd. Tonight he will be once again leaving his post as "door guy" and gracing the stage at the Improv to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's 2011 Light the Night. Making his rounds and showing off his comedic skills, Frank will also be showcasing in the finale show of the, "Fu*kin Funny Comedy Series" at The Harp in Costa Mesa on Tuesday). Grab your tickets and make a date to see Friendly Frank unleash the power of his funny and his 'fro.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): First and foremost, it seems like you're anti-Twitter, but you do have a Facebook. Do you have a website?
Friendly Frank: No website yet. I'm too poor to have a website. That's for those fancy comedians.
You could get a free website you know...
Yeah but that looks like, "Awww....that's so sad. Someone poor did that." I might as well wait until I have some money so I'll have something that will meet everyone's standards.
I think you mean up to your standards.
Well yeah! I don't want people to be like, this dude is hilarious but dannnng, did you see his website? They'll be like, "I know the brother lives in Irvine so he can spend a little money on his website!
Speaking of Irvine. You have a lot of Irvine pride, are you from there?
No, I just live here now. I'm originally from St. Louis Missouri. The quick story of how I ended up out here is, I came out here in 1992 on vacation and I liked it so much I stayed out here for four years. I met a girl that I would end up marrying in 2005, and I'm back. Yeah, that's it.
I'd call that the cute version! So sweet. How long have you been working at the Improv?
I've been there for three years. I'm what they call, a "door guy." That's what they call a grown man that helps feed the room. A "door guy."
Well at least you're not called a door bitch.
Yeah...or a door boy. I used to work a grocery store and they used to call us "bag boys" and I resented that very much. It was in a rich neighborhood and some of the people just enjoyed it way too much. Ohhh bag boy!! Would you run and fetch my bags for me bag boy? That was back in 1982 in when I was just about to graduate high school.
Oh I keep forgetting you are an old man!
Noooo! If you looked at me you wouldn't think I'm that old. It's all in your head.
Thanks for bringing it up, let's talk about your head. What products do you use to keep your fro so tight?
I like to use the S-Curl no drip activator and moisturizer. I also like Hollywood Beauty olive oil shine. It's made from virgin olive oil! Or you can just lie and say I use juices and berries like Eddie Murphy said in Coming to America.
Whatever you are using, it's working. How did your gloves become part of your set?
It's not really part of my set but I just do it sometimes. I tell people the only reason I wear gloves is to mess with everybody. Plus I do security at the Improv and being a "door guy," sometimes when people get loud and obnoxious they don't take me seriously. But when a black guy dressed in all black, that has black gloves on, and comes over with a big afro and tells you to shut-up, you'll look at those black gloves you're gonna shut up. That's the real reason. Nobody wants to mess with the guy with the black gloves!
Especially if he's black, dressed in all black, and has a big afro.
Yeah! And he's the only one there and he's probably he hasn't made it big yet in comedy! And he's still hawking t-shirts at the Improv for $10 and he's a grown man of all things!
So what's up with those t-shirts?
The only way you can get the "South Central Irvine" t-shirts is to go to the Irvine Improv and ask for Friendly Frank. The t-shirts are funny, they don't make any sense, and those t-shirts will also get you into the Improv for free on Tuesday nights if you wear them! Actually, if you buy any of the Irvine Improv t-shirts and you wear into the Improv on a Tuesday night, you'll get in free. They call it T-shirt Tuesday's.
If you threw in a free cocktail I'd be all over that. When did you decide that you wanted to make stand-up a full-time thing?
Oh my breakthrough moment? Really ever since I was a kid I wanted to do this. People would say, "What makes you think that you can make it?" I thought, I'm tired of not being happy. I would rather be poor and happy than rich and unhappy. Right now I'm a comic that's trying to get to the happiest.
Well this upcoming comedy must make you happy, have you done a show at The Harp before?
No, this is my first one and their last one for this series. They changed the line up each time and this one is the finale. I've never performed there so this will be interesting!
Usually I like to go look and check out a place before I've performed there and visualize it in my head. But I've never been there before, but it'll be good.
What will you be covering in your set at The Harp?
I'll talk about Obama, that's always good to do. I'm gonna talk about the Asian lady who cut off her husband penis too. That should be a warning to all white guys that live in Orange County who like Asian girls.
And who like Ginsu knives.
Yes! That'll fix you! Better be careful!
I don't know what it is, white guys always end up getting their dicks cut off!
Exactly! [Laughs.] See that is what I'm saying! See you went exactly where I went!
Do you think it's because a lot of people don't carry machetes and that is what you'd need to cut a black man's penis off...so rumor has it?
Yeah...or a woman has to have a lot of saw action. Power in her forearm is needed. It's not just a wack. It takes a couple of good tries.
I don't know because, wouldn't a man wake up and not allow a second wack?
I don't know but I couldn't go to sleep if someone was lying next to me who could do that. I wouldn't be there. See, just because you are thinking like that means you could possibly be one of them.
Yeah but I'm not Asian, so I get a pass. Can you give us some behind the scene scoop on any good comic stories?
Hmmm...let me think. There are a lot of things I can't tell.
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Come on, I won't tell anyone! I'm just recording this interview for fun!
[Laughs.] Yeah that's why I'm thinking very carefully of what I'm going to say. Wait until I make it big then I can't make some real money off that shit!
Check out Friendly Frank tonight at the Improv for an amazing cause, to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's 2011 Light the Night. Tickets are available here. Also check out Frank at The Harp this Tuesday for the Fu*kin Funny Comedy Series. You should also "friend" him on his Facebook and tell him to get a Twitter dammit!