Long gone are the days of David Alan Grier making us bust a gut on In Living Color and Chocolate News. Renewing his stand up chops and his literal chops (in the kitchen), the 58 year-old comedian is busy these days balancing his love of cooking and comedy as he continues to tour, blog about food and cause an occasional ruckus on Twitter. DAG is bringing his hilarity to the Brea Improv July 10th through the 13th. Before kicking off his long stint in OC, he got on the phone with us to talk basketball, his recent soy sauce addiction and a forgotten hip-hop puppet show he once worked on with Kanye West.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I know you're a big NBA fan as am I so, how'd you feel about the Finals?
David Alan Grier: Well I'm a Lakers fan so I didn't really have anyone in the game but, I wanted it to be better in the Finals. I wanted games where is was neck and neck all the way until the end with double overtime! I really feel like it was no contest this time. The Spurs dominated the Heat and I felt like I was watching LeBron in Cleveland again. And I'm not getting into the level of play because it was like the Harlem Globetrotters versus the Washington Generals. I was wondering why they didn't start whistling. It was ridiculous. And people were saying they were great games? They weren't great! More people stayed to watch Prince on that TV show New Girls. It's also not encouraging when the best player in basketball says, "It's only a game." [Laughs.] I was like, wowwwww. This is not good!
Yeah, it was over before it started. I can only assume that is what premature ejaculation feels like.
[Laughs.] Wow. Yes, it was like a prolonged premature ejaculation because we had to watch it six times in a row. It's like the pillow talk afterwards, "Wow you're so beautiful." [Laughs.]
Well thank you for indulging me in basketball pillow talk. OK on to the next. I loved the reading that you did on Kanye West's tweets.
[Laughs.] I forgot I did that! It was in the press stuff for "Bad Teacher." The day before they cancelled us I was saying to the press lady, so when we get picked up… She was like, "Oh well you don't have to worry about that!" I was like, damn! What do you mean by that? She goes, "Meaning that you are so great." Ummm yeah. I love Kanye though. I worked with him when he was doing this hip-hop puppet show that he was producing.
Wait a minute. Stop it. What the hell?
Oh yeah! [Laughs.] It was for Comedy Central and it never made it on the air but it was awesome. He was getting his haircut, editing something, on the phone with some producer, and producing me in this thing all at the same time beautifully. It was fun to talk to Kanye really. Anyway, that didn't work out.
My mind is blown, I have to look that up immediately. I was thinking that the stuff you got away with on In Living Color was pretty monumental as opposed to where life is now. Do you think this new nonsense we're dealing with can get worse?
I think it's gotten worse. You know, when In Living Color was on, the only options to show outrage was to write a letter, call the station, or send a telegram. It was the 90's! Now with Twitter, it's an immediate response. I was watching the "outrage" of this black comedian from SNL who did a bit that I thought was hilarious. We talked about it and I just said, it's Twitter. They have to find outrage with everything. You literally can't tweet anything other than, "have a nice day." One time I congratulated Gabby Douglas for winning a gold medal and this woman harassed me for not congratulating every medal winner. It's like you can't say anything without someone finding a fault and now, they have a platform.
It is like, how can anyone grow if everyone keeps pushing them back?
Well it trends and it builds steam where you're forced to answer it. I, like many people I know, started reading stuff online and you get to see the negative stuff. You can scroll by a million comments that say great things and then there is one fat middle-aged dude that lives in his mother's basement who writes a 5,000 word dissertation on why he doesn't like you. You have to just ask yourself, what kind of nut-job does that? I love that on Twitter you can block someone. If they change that option, I'm gone. As long as I can block you, I'm good. There is always going to be someone talking shit.
Urghh, it's so frustrating. On to a better topic. I noticed that your food blog has been slowing down with posts lately but you're still into cooking right?
Oh yeah! I haven't posted lately but right now, soy sauce is my main thing. I have five pots brewing in my house but it takes around two years to make. I have this prize bottle of eight year soy sauce that I brought to the Queen Latifah Show for a cooking episode and as I'm leaving the studio, I realized I forgot it. You would've thought I left my daughter on top of the car. I was like, WHERE'S MY SOY SAUCE!! I ran back and got it but I was so freaked out. [Laughs.]
Hilarious. You should have your own cooking show. The stuff you post on your blog is so gourmet-ish. And yes, I know that's not a word.
[Laughs.] I actually just met with my managers because I want to do a cooking show! I'd love it! And there would be some real shit on my show! I wouldn't want it to be like look at me, "I made a cookie and it'll put a giggle in your belly!" No. I wouldn't do that. [Laughs.] I'm like a mad scientist in the kitchen and I'm really into it. I grew up on what I thought was the most amazing recipe ever, creamed chipped beef on toast. So my gourmet background was "shit on a shingle" but it was my favorite recipe. [Laughs.] My daughter is six and she loves mac and cheese but for me, I have to make it better so I use age Gruyère cheese, artisan pasta, and organic milk. When she tells me that my mac and cheese is the best, I am like, you don't even know the half of it!
That's so cute! Well it looks like you have a ton of upcoming stand-up dates and I'm happy you're coming back to Brea.
Yeah I'm chilling out and having fun hanging out with my audience. I'm rediscovering my joy for stand-up. I've also been doing some dates with Tommy Davidson in theaters and then going back to do some clubs. The unique thing about clubs is the intimacy. I can see the audience, go into the audience, and I feel like there is more of a direct conversation. I've been playing at Brea for years and it's a long fucking drive, but nothing beats the clubs!
Check out David Alan Grier at the Brea Improv July 10th through 13th, 120 South Brea Blvd. Brea, CA 92821. (714) 482-0700. For tickets go to http://www.improv.com/. For more info, go to his website http://www.davidalangrier.net/, get fantastic recipes on http://www.chocolateglutton.com/, and follow him on Twitter at @DavidAlanGrier.
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