Ben Gleib is a busy man. From roundtables on Chelsea Lately and his own podcast called “Last Week on Earth,” to acting and stand-up, Ben keeps it moving and always keeps it funny. This Tuesday (3/27) he'll be joining a hilarious line-up for “Comedy Juice” at the Irvine Improv so forget about your work day woes and get ready to get your laugh on!
OC Weekly: Esquire named you one of
“the six comedians who could be comedy's next big things” and they
labeled you an “alt-comic.” Would you agree?
Ben Gleib: An alt-comic is usually not something I
am considered because comics that fall under that category don't usually
play mainstream clubs, they've created their own thing. Their comedy
is a little more off the beaten path. Someone like David Cross or Patton
Oswald. It's not really me but, I'll take the title because it's also
someone who creates out of the box type of comedy.
There's been a lot of talk about comics having to apologize for
doing their job; which is making jokes. Do you think comics need to wait
a certain amount of time before joking?
After a tragedy you mean?
Yeah, that's when Al Sharpton comes out and gets pissed.
[Laughs.] Al Sharpton is always pissed first of all. I don't think
there is any hard and fast rule. People say that comedy is tragedy plus
time. The time can be a year or one second though, depending on the
tragedy and the quality of the joke. If someone is just throwing
something insensitive out there just to be a rebel then I think they
should wait longer and tell a better joke. But if they have a brilliant
line, I sometimes find myself laughing just moments after I hear
something horrible. It's also a coping mechanism and that's very
important. I don't think we should ever put restrictions or rules on
comedy other than you need to be really funny.
Agreed! How is your “Last Week on Earth” podcast going?
It's going really great! It's on Kevin Smith's Smodcast Network and
we debuted as the number nine comedy podcast on iTunes. It's a big
challenge because what I try to do is remove the need for people to
waste their lives watching hours and hours of news. I do it for you. So
I'm consuming countless hours of news and trying to translate it into
easily understood ways. Also, I try to make it really funny and
entertaining for people. It's quite a lot of work but I'm pretty happy
with the end result. I've also been fortunate enough to get some really
wonderful celebrity guests to come on. I have an episode with a guest
every other week and then ever other week, I do it by myself.
Any stand-out guests that killed it for you?
Yeah! I've really enjoyed quite a lot of them though. The Sophia Bush
episode was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the Greg Proops episode
because he's one of the smartest social satirist's out there. Brian
Cranston was maybe my favorite because Breaking Bad is my favorite TV
show. To have him come over to what he called, “my shitty little
apartment,” and to talk to me about acting and the state of the world
was an exciting event for me in my life.
Would you like to make a public plea to anyone so they'll come
and do your show? OC Weekly is viewed by only important you know.
Oh man! That's a great question! I would love to get one of the
Republican candidates for President to come on. I make fun of them every
week! I believe what I am saying is always based on logic and they
obviously believe what they are saying is based on logic. I would hope
they would come on and debate with me. That'd be great. Or Obama. That'd
be great too.
It's almost your one year anniversary of getting on TMZ with the whole Brandon Davis thing. Any words of reflection?
[Laughs.] Well you know it's been a whirlwind year since my TMZ
debut. I really feel that TMZ makes so much possible for the betterment
of the world, and I'm being sarcastic.
So what's up for Tuesday at the Improv?
I'm really excited about doing the show because the Comedy Juice
shows are always the best shows and the one in Irvine has a very unique
vibe. Its got a lot of college students in the crowd and they're often
not very sober. It really challenges you to keep their attention. It
often changes the style of my act and it goes into quite a lot more
trash talking to the audience, doing crowd work, and just having an
insane time on stage as opposed to doing all of my preplanned jokes.
It's a fun time.
Speaking of fun, if there was a “most interesting man in the world” commercial about you, what would be your catch phrase?
[Laughs.] Let me think. It's hard to talk about yourself like that!
It would be, he swims in bathtubs and can murder a mountain lion with
Wow. That would actually make you a magician.
But a murderous magician!
You can get your Ben Gleib fix by checking out his podcast, his website www.BenGleib.com, or following him on Twitter @BenGleib. Ben Gleib performs at the Irvine Improv tomorrow. Call 949-854-5455 or log onto www.improv.com for tickets. The Improv is located at 71 Fortune Drive, Irvine.