Brandon "Gooch" Hahn is well known around Las Vegas for being a comedian and on-air personality at KOMP 92.3 but on March 27th, this funny man is bringing his talent from Sin City to our stomping grounds. Finally! The Irvine Improv is the place to be this Thursday when the "Cackle for Cancer" benefit show goes down and for one night only, Hahn will be there on stage ditching his "PC" on-air persona for his hilarious observational style and rock-n-roll attitude. Before he joins the amazing line-up for this incredible night of giving back, we got more familiar with this man who mixes his realms in hopes that we'll get the chance to see more and more of him in and around Orange County.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): So which came first for you, the comedy or the radio?
Brandon Hahn: Comedy did. I was doing comedy at 19 years-old and out in Vegas, they're all bars so it's not like it is in L.A. where you've got a bunch of comedy clubs you can hit. I had a lot of comic friends that would sneak me in so I'd kind of get lost in the shuffle and then the bartender wouldn't ask any questions. That's how I ended up getting on stage. Eventually, I ended up getting caught at all of those places too.
How'd you get the nickname Gooch?
When I first started in radio, Cara West was working 7pm to midnight. I didn't really know her at that point but I used to call into the show. I was just constantly calling and finally she was like, you should just come in here. I ended up going in and she was like, "We need to give you a radio nickname and you remind me of this friend I had in Wisconsin who was also a funny guy. We all called him Gooch so how does that sound?" I was like, I don't give a shit because I just want to do whatever I have to do to get on the air. So now I'm stuck with that name!
OK I thought it was maybe some childhood nickname…
Not at all! [Laughs.] And then like a week later, Jackass came out and they electrocuted the "gooch," which is what they called the part between your balls and asshole. Much to my surprise they called it a gooch because I always thought it was the taint but either way, I had that nickname for like two weeks and I was like, oh shit here we go.
Oh my god that's great! I know you've been to a lot of shows so, what's the most rock star moment that you've had so far?
The only rock star moment I've had that made me realize what I was doing was pretty cool was with Vinnie Paul. Vinnie is the drummer from Pantera, I love metal, and I love Pantera. He was at the Hard Rock in Vegas with his band Hellyeah and I walked up and was like, "I really like the new Hellyeah record and I work at the radio station KOMP. I just wanted to let you know that I think you guy's rock!" He was like, "Oh yeah? Which one are you on the radio?" I told him Gooch and he said, "I fucking know who you are, man! You're the one who says all of that crazy shit!" I just thought that was the most awesome thing ever. It was a big moment for me.
It's such a great thing to have someone you admire know who you are. Very cool!
And that's what it was. I wanted to be a radio guy for a long time. I mean, I wanted to do both radio and stand-up and now I'm doing it. I'm pretty fortunate. But when you have somebody recognize your work, it's definitely a boost that makes you want to work harder.
For sure! As you know, I'm a big fan of your podcast "Rise to Offend." To you, and since it's like everyone has a one, what do you think makes your podcast different than the rest?
I think with us, we really do like to push the envelope a bit. We don't try to go so hard but then it ends up going that route. It's not like we're all sticking our chests out and trying to go hard on the topics that we do but hey, if it's in the news we eventually say something. "Rise to Offend" is everything we want to say on FM radio that we can't so, we take full advantage of it. The thing also is that a lot of people start up podcasts and they know how to be funny, but they don't know how to be broadcasters. We're just out there trying to grow and find an audience. We do our show at midnight too so when it comes to guests. we don't have a lot because they'd have to be able to do it at midnight in Vegas. But we'd love to have more if they'd be down for it!
Who's on your "dream guest list?"
I have so many questions for Dave Chappelle. I'd love to just have an honest interview with him because I've never seen anything like what happened with him. I'd also love to talk to Jimmy Kimmel because he's a Vegas guy and I love him. Obviously, I'd love to talk to Howard Stern because he gets interviewed for Rolling Stone but I've never seen him sit down and have a one-on-one like Barbara Walters style. I just think Stern is so , brilliant. Listen, I know you're an Opie and Anthony girl but Howard Stern really started it all for me!
Hey, fair enough! How pumped are you to break away from Vegas and perform in Irvine?
I've done a few shows in Hollywood and in Ontario but that's pretty much it so this will be my first time doing a show in Orange County. I love performing in California though because the crowds are always so nice, they want new material, and they actually pay attention. I'm really looking forward to it and I think it's going to be a fun show. I mean, the line-up is really strong and it's a good cause that we're doing it for so let's not forget that!
You can show your support for the American Cancer Society- Relay for Life by grabbing tickets to check out "Cackle for Cancer" with an amazing line-up that includes Brandon "Gooch" Hahn, Lahna Turner, Grant Cotter, Jen Murphy, Kevin Farley, and is being hosted by Gabe Lopez at the Irvine Improv March 27th, 71 Fortune Drive Irvine, CA 92618, (949) 854-5455. For tickets go to www.Improv.com and use the code "CACKLE" to get $5 off. There will also be raffles on hand thanks to the wonderful folks over at Peppino's Italian Family Restaurant and Shittens! You can get more information on Brandon by checking out his website www.YourBuddyGooch.com, tuning in for his podcast "Rise To Offend," and following him on Twitter @YourBuddyGooch and the podcast @RiseToOffend.