Standup comic K-von is much more than a pretty face. Born to a Persian dad and an American mom, his humor thrives on pushing ethnic boundaries, so everyone gets their fair share of jabs, no matter who you rooted for during the Iran-Iraq War.
Keeping a versatile style has landed him gigs alongside greats such as Russell Peters and Maz Jobrani, a role on the MTV show Disaster Date, and the job of the spokesperson for ScamBook.com, plus, it has made his road schedule seemingly nonstop. He's wrapping up Nowruz (a.k.a. the Persian New Year) with back-to-back shows and a live taping this Sunday at the Irvine Improv. So grab a date to squeeze in a few laughs; don't forget that celebrating another culture's New Year is still reason enough to hook up at the end of the night.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I hear Persian parents aren't down with kids going into the entertainment biz, so how did [your dad] take it when you told [your family] you wanted to make a career out of it?
K-von: Are you kidding? I never told my parents. In fact, I still haven't made that announcement. Oh, no: 99 percent of all people who touch the microphone give up or quit within two years, so why drag other people into that with you? My strategy was always to do something for a couple of years and keep it quiet. Then, if you have some success, bring it out into the open. I never understood people who want to announce all their life changes. Just do it behind closed doors and show off the final result.
Point taken. Disaster Date was pretty uncomfortable to watch, situation-wise. Was it ever that way for you?
Nothing about Disaster Date was uncomfortable. I like antagonizing people. I always have, especially when, in the back of my mind, I know it's a joke and they don't. So on the "dates," if a girl sent her best friend in to meet a "really rich and really handsome guy," I'd then tell them exactly what she hated and slowly irritate her over the course of the hour. How many guys do you know get paid to "blow it on a date"? It was glorious. And now I know how much mischief I can pull before a girl will head for the door. Hint: It's a lot.
Ha, that's so unfair. You're on the road a lot; do you have a thing for the TSA?
Most comics make a decision, and it's either "I'll be a road comic" or "I'll stay in LA and make very little money and hope for that one big break." I never had enough confidence that I'd make it by just doing one or the other. Also, I consistently get requests from bookers to come make people laugh in great cities, so who am I to say no?
Comics say they don't get a lot of "groupies," but I'm going to assume you get some. Spill it.
It's all relative. I'm considered good-looking in the comedy world, but when I go to an acting audition, the producers look at me and immediately shout, "Get out!" When it comes to the ladies, rock stars get a lot of girls after each show, and comedians have that one who hangs in the back of the T-shirt line, then limps over once everyone has gone. Rockers have groupies, and comics have a group-ie.
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Riiiight. So break down what's happening at the Improv because I know it has to do with the Persian New Year, but clearly, I'm not well-versed.
I'm excited because this is a live taping for my one-hour special. We're transforming the stage into an opulent Middle-Eastern living room, with Persian carpets and chandeliers, and I'll even be wearing a suit. Therefore, dress nice, come with a smile for the cameras, and be ready to laugh. My material is mainly PG-13, so they're allowing ages 13 and up, so you can also bring your well-behaved teenagers to their first comedy show! Oh, and one more reason to come is many people still aren't sure if they even like Middle Eastern people, so my advice is to come and laugh at a half-Middle Eastern guy first, and then you can decide! Also, the first ten people who contact me on www.facebook.com/KvonComedy or through my site at www.KvonComedy.com mentioning this article will receive two free tickets to my show!
K-von performs at the Irvine Improv, 71 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (949) 854-5455; www.Improv.com. May 19th. Call for show times and ticket prices. For more info, visit www.k-voncomedy.com or follow him on Twitter: @KvonComedy.