If there is one thing that can be said about comedian Keith Robinson it is that he always speaks his mind. OK, let's say two things about him because the other thing is, he's fucking hysterical. If you aren't familiar with this Philly native (and now that you know two things about this incredibly talented comic), it's time to get acquainted. We've personally been a fan of his since Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, he's had his own half hour special, he often chimes in on Opie and Anthony, and to be perfectly honest with you all, if you don't see him when he headlines the Ontario Improv this April 3rd through 6th, you'll seriously be missing out. Now that we've laid down the way we feel about Keith (and we hope you picked it up), we're going to get you in tune with the way he feels about the "PC police," what his thoughts are on how comedy varies from the east to the west, and also, what the scoop is on his upcoming hour long special.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): It seems that you lean more towards the underground comedy scene over the mainstream but is that just because New York is more of a comedy mecca versus California?
Keith Robinson: I'm not underground because I really do everything. I'm not in a secret society were you have to have a password! Like, "black power." Yeah come on in! [Laughs.] I'm really not underground because I've done a lot of stuff! Hey, I'm out there!
No! I know you're out there, that's not what I meant at all. I mean there are more clubs out where you are and to us, it seems underground-ish. OK, I'm an asshole.
Do you mean I've done real shitholes? Is that what you call underground these days? No, I know what you mean. [Laughs.] And yeah, I've done some real shitholes! New York has a great comedy scene. The comedy scene. You just go out there and get dirty. Like whenever you leave a place, you have a stain on you. It's like grit. You leave there, you have a stain, and you feel good about it. That's how you know it's been real on stage. Like the Comedy Cellar is literally underground and then you have the Village Underground where you go down, and then really underground. You gotta creep in the cave. It's dark, you look around, and you're like, this is what I'm talking about! You just get so used to what you think is the norm but the these shows sell out consistently and they have two to three shows a night! We just go out and get dirty all weekend.
I hear ya and yeah, I'm a bit jealous. You touch on what some might say are "controversial topics." What do you think about the media backlash because of that?
Oh yeah. Everyone is so squeamish now like, oh what is he saying? Now it's like if you say anything gay, you're in trouble. You gotta go and apologize and say, "Hey I'm sorry! I'm coming out next week myself!" [Laughs.] It's like you just want to have some fun and of course, I'm not a guy who's against homosexuality because people can do what they do but, I can have an opinion sometimes! Damn! Can I get one opinion in about something? It's like I can't even say "black" and I'm black!
It's weird what people get mad about now. It's only an opinion but the second someone in the public eye says something, all hell breaks loose.
Well you're a woman so you have the "C" word, I have the "N" word, and gay people have the "F" word. The only people that don't have a word is straight white males! [Laughs.] They don't have a letter! You can say anything to them! Shut up you cock sucking honky!
C.S.H. There it is! Cock sucking honky.
[Laughs.] Yeah, I'm giving them multiple letters! The straight white make gets nice letters. It's like a graduation. You know what it is? Racist. It's the "R" word. Shut your mouth you fucking racist! Don't call me the "R" word! I'm going figure it out and give the straight white male a sweet letter. What will upset a white male?
Your guess is as good as mine but I'd like for you to figure it out so I can use it often. I'm all in on that. I'm guessing the answer will be no BUT, are there any topics you won't touch?
Ummm…you know what? I gotta think about that one. Sometimes you get in trouble, like last night, people were angry at me because I was talking about a woman's vagina. I said something like, it's a law that women can stay monogamous for seven to eight years because that's how long their vagina is good for. They were just so angry.
Maybe they were angry that you used the word vagina.
[Laughs.] Well I could say pussy but I'm just trying to be nice. And yeah, that's how long it's good before you get tired of it! It's a cycle but then, I guess you can rejuvenate it. Would you rejuvenate yours?
Haha I don't think I need it at this point but also, it would seem I drop men every seven years so your theory doesn't work on me.
[Laughs.] I like that. You gotta get them to sign a contract. Then in seven years, I'd just see if you are going to re-up or return me! It can be a campaign like, I promise to this vagina that I will respect it and honor it with dignity. People can go on the campaign trail and get those signs to stick in the grass right in your neighborhood. [Laughs.]
Oh my god, I'm dying! That's an incredible idea but since I'm sure you and I would be the only ones who'd think that was funny, on to the word "bossy." I'm sure you've heard about people wanting to ban this word so I need your thoughts.
Really? No! This is what I'm saying! It's like, enough is enough! Jesus Christ! You can't have two letters! I refuse to let you have two letters! You can't ban the "C" word and now the "B" word! You have to pick one.
Well I'd personally pick banning "bossy" because I use the word cunt wayyy more.
[Laughs.] I'm a boss! So if I can be a boss, you can be bossy. You can be bossier actually! I'm not allowing that one to stick. No way! We gotta campaign on that one too. I mean, people have to make up their minds. Cunt or bossy? Which one do you want because you have to pick one. We gotta run that one through congress.
Ha! OK I fucking love you! We are so off track so give me the scoop on your show out here in Ontario. Do you have to switch up parts of your act for the area?
I think New York has a harder edge but I think it all translates pretty well. Once you get more confident about what you're doing, the better it becomes. I've learned how to flip it the way it's supposed to be because I used to live in Philly and when I'd reference Septa, the New York people would be like, huh? What's this asshole talking about? I've done Ontario before with Wanda Sykes when she was working on her special and now, I'm working on mine. I'll be taping my special "Back of the Bus Funny" on May 17th so I'm coming to Ontario to get my hour right. I'm ready to make it work because I've got a few more weeks to straighten it out so, we're just gonna hang out and make it happen!
Catch Keith Robinson at the Ontario Improv April 3rd through 6th, 4555 Mills Circle Ontario Mills Ontario, CA 91764, (909) 484-5411. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. For more info check out Keith's website www.ComedianKeithRobinson.com and follow him on Twitter @1KeithRobinson.