Comedian Josh Macuga is a busy man, handling his business on the stand-up stage, hosting a podcast, acting and doing a live talk show. Even with this packed schedule, Macuga isn't too busy to donate his time to a great cause. Tonight, Macuga performs at the Irvine Improv, with proceeds from the show benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
We spoke with Macuga about his career and charity work.
You've mentioned in your act that you used to be a bartender. Do you miss that job at all?
Macuga: I was a bartender, yes. I wrote a book that I am trying to get published called Life Behind Bars. It's all about the things I've done and seen behind the bar and the dichotomy of being a bartender. I would recommend that people do not get into the service industry, but at the same time, I would never exchange my time in it. I did it in New York, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, and Los Angeles. It really is just unlike any industry because you deal with people at their worst. [Laughs.]
Because at the end of the day, you're still a servant, and when you first get into it, you don't realize that. Then pretty soon you realize that they're your friends until something goes wrong with their order.
At least it's in the past now! These days it would seem like you are involved with a bunch of projects…
I am. My live podshow is called, “Between the Sheets” and we film a webseries where I've basically turned my apartment into a sound stage. I bring on comedians, actresses, people in the adult industry, and there are just a lot of personalities. I bring on anyone that I think is interesting and worth the interview, which I think everyone is. I've found that through these interviews, I really like getting to know people and just talking. I started podcasting about three years ago with, “Three's 2 Much” on The Toad Hop Network and it has just been awesome. It feels like I am spreading myself thin sometimes, but hard work pays off. I just put my nose to the grind and do whatever I can to make it.
And with all of the interviews that you've done, are there some that stand out as the best?
Oh man! [Laughs.] There have been so many, but for me, there is this weird grey area between being a celebrity and not being a celebrity. I interviewed people like Bryan Cranston, Chelsea Handler, and Robin Williams and these people are megastars and they don't act like it. Then you interview someone from reality television and they think they're Marilyn Monroe. Getting to know people in the adult industry has always been really interesting to me though. I always find it interesting to meet them and hear about what they do. It's just very different; I was raised in a very Catholic household. [Laughs.]
So the show tonight benefits the Leukemia N Lymphoma Society, how did you get involved?
I've done a show and a couple of radio spots for this cause; it's a very important thing. I did a lot of work with pediatric cancer when I was in college at Penn State as well. I personally lost my grandfather to cancer and so many people in my family were and are still affected by the disease. Until you start working for a cause that has affected so many people and you start hearing about the stories and people come out and say that what you are doing is important to them, you just don't realize it.
Hopefully we'll be able to sell out the Improv in order to raise some money because yeah, it's stand-up comedy, but it'll be great to get on stage and tell some jokes for something other than just trying to make people laugh. It's a good thing.
I saw a mention of twerking for charity on your Twitter. Will you indeed be showing off your moves at the Improv?
Yeah sure! I will do anything to raise money. If they want me to twerk for forty-five minutes, I will twerk for forty-five minutes. I am fearless on a dance floor. I mean, give me a wedding and an open bar and just watch me go nuts. I love that. I don't know where my talent comes from but when I get on a dance floor. I am goddamn Gene Kelly.
Come out to see Josh Macuga and support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society this Wednesday, September 25th, 71 Fortune Drive Irvine, CA 92618, (949) 854-5455. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. Check out Josh's podshow Between the Sheets and his podcast Schmoes Know on The Toad Hop Network. For more info, go to his website www.JoshMacuga.com and follow him on Twitter @JoshMacuga.