Episode 079 of the podcast is a big one. Pete Holmes was the guest. He may not be a household name, but he’s certainly a householmed name… God, what a terrible way to start this post. Get it now, ya holmosexuals!
Direct Download: 2012.02.06_WL_079_-_Pete_Holmes.mp3
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Aside from being a headlining comedian, Pete writes for television, does voice over work (Ever hear of the ETrade baby? Of course you have.) and has published cartoons in the New Yorker. His sketchwork on the Internet is prolific and enviable and he does his own podcast, You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes on Nerdist.
Begun in October 2011, it instantly elbowed its way into my regular rotation, becoming a must-listen for me and my billions of friends on the Internet. A majority of his guests are accomplished comedians, many of whose achievements match his own as well as others who toil in different facets of the laughter industry. Pete’s favorite pommel horses are comedy, sex/relationships and religion and he approaches each topic like a malfunctioning tennis ball machine, peppering the listener with varying intensities of felty bruiseyness. The times he goes down Memory Highway with the comedy friends he started with in Chicago are of particular interest to me because I feel/hope I’ll one day pass similar signposts. It’s entertaining. It’s thoughtful. It’s pure Pete Holmes.
He was kind (or bored) enough to do my podcast. For all he knew I was just another Twitter jackass who asked him to do a podcast. He didn’t have to say yes. But he did. And that’s the kind of risk-taking that makes Pete such a strong performer, as I got to see for myself the night before the interview. A lady friend and I went to the Up Comedy Club at Second City to see him headline. He was everything I want to be on stage: tall, white, hilarious and paid. As for the lady friend… I can report that that relationship ended as quickly as it didn’t begin. Coffee is for closers. I drink tea.
Every time I watch a headliner perform a full set in front of a paying audience I observe the show with the eagerness of newly sentient robot pouring through a stack of books, seeking wisdom and insight– something, anything that could help me grow as a comedian. It’s kind of an awful way to be and is one of the things I lament as a comic: that I’ll never be a pure audience member, a work-a-day dolt out to see a performance, hoping for a good time and genuine laughs and that whichever babe I’m with eventually starts rubbing my thigh in anticipation of eventual toe-curling penetration. Instead I study the complex psychological interaction between the performer and the audience, the interaction I spend most of my time parsing and dissecting as I work on my own stand up career. Doesn’t stop it from being impressive; just makes it impressive in a different way.
After the show Pete was seated at the merch table (‘merchandise’ for you civies (‘civilians’ for you norms)). I introduced myself as the Twitter jackass and we settled on a time to record the show.
I’m always surprised that you can just walk into hotels, go to any elevator and wander around any floor, especially nice ones like where Pete was staying. (He assured me they’re rarely as nice.) I feel like I’m supposed to check in at the desk or something, let them know I’m not a psycho. But I suppose such a requirement would hamper the pizza delivery and prostitute industries.
Anyway, it was a great interview. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from people who’ve listened. The one frustration was that I screwed up the levels on the mixing board, making my voice sound a little off. See that picture there. All I had to do was turn that knob on the left down. DAMMIT! SO ANNOYING!
It’s really not that bad, you’ll see, but I get especially irritated when a problem’s solution is so easy. Thanks for reading.
Check out Pete’s website: PeteHolmes.com and follow him on Twitter: @PeteHolmez