ANDY RIDER: Hand Talker. Joke Maker. Comic Book Hoarder.
Mutton Chop Dealer. Squirrel Lover.
You may not know this about me, but I know quite a lot of famous people.
Well, whatever, they’re famous to me.
I have some of the most assiduous, unique, creative, smarty-pants’d friends who keep me on my toes (metaphorically, because…ouch!) and challenge me to pursue my creative goals (literally, because…they’re bossy.)
I met Andy Rider the year Facebook launched to Harvard and Martha Stewart launched to prison and he’s had me laughing ever since.
He’s one of THE most hard-working and conscientious creatives I know and he’s got a humor that, if you’re not careful, could slip right by you, steal your wallet and smirk its way to the door.
I asked if I could interview him and, not surprisingly, he said yes.
(Comics love free publicity.)
EMANDASAYS: When did you first realize you were funny?
ANDY RIDER: I don’t really think I realized I was actually funny until my second or third year of doing stand-up to be honest. Most of my childhood was spent trying to make people laugh and failing at it, but trying nonetheless.
ES: What is the most annoying thing about doing stand-up?
AR: I think the most annoying thing about doing stand-up is the judgement you can place on yourself. There are a lot of times I’ve left the stage and wondered what I could have done to make it better, even if it was a great set. Great sets stick with you for minutes, a bad set will have you seriously questioning why you continue to breathe.
ES: Have you ever tried to belch the alphabet? And if so, were you successful?
AR: I’ve tried, but never got past ‘A’ :/
ES: Who are your top 6 (5 is overrated) comedians?
AR: Emo Philips, Steven Wright, Nate Bargatze, Paul F. Tompkins, Maria Bamford, Wendy Liebman
ES: What are your thoughts on rugby?
AR: I find it to be an underrated sport, though I never watch it and have only played it one time and then by force. Sometimes people try to talk to me about it, but all I really hear is, ‘Here’s something else you can’t do.’
ES: Describe, in daunting detail, your perfect sandwich.
AR: First you have to bake a lasagna (noodles, tomato sauce, mushrooms, ground sausage, garlic, cheese) then, when it’s done, cut out half a slice and paste it on bread. I make sandwiches out of everything I eat for the most part, but my favorite is lasagna.
EM: If you were to turn into any animal for…let’s say, 3 1/2 days. What animal would you hunt down first?
AR: Armadillos. I’m not really looking for a fight and I’ve always wondered what they taste like.
EM: Speaking of armadillos, does food ever get stuck in your manchops?
AR: Mmm, not full pieces, no. Crumbs mostly and they’re not really worth it
EM: What do you think of Wikihow’s, “How to Start Doing Stand Up Comedy” checklist?
AR: I guess it’s not bad advice overall, though I don’t really see the problem with sharing your set with a friend if they’re willing to listen. Going up to complete strangers at a grocery store sounds kind of dicey and who still carries a datebook around with them? Also, I find that writing jokes about your friend’s experiences never quite works for me.
ES: And lastly…What 4 things does it take to be a successful stand-up comedian?
AR: Before I give these four I’m going to say that my definition of success is just being good, not necessarily rich or famous.
- Be honest with yourself. Bad sets happen, bad audiences too, but be honest about your part in the badness and grow from it.
- Write jokes and let them be about things you’re genuinely interested in or have experienced, even if it isn’t the difference between men and women, politics, etc.
- Treat it like a job, but a fun one. Show up on time, be kind to the other comedians, do your set.
- Do open mics, regardless of where they are. There’s all kinds of different audiences and its best to get a large sample when testing your jokes so get out there!
: Andy, thanks for taking the time to let me pick your brain and splash your mutton chops all over EmandaSays!
AR: Thank you for the interview. Love your writing and I hope you increase your site’s bandwidth because this is probably gonna bring in a ton of people.
Well folks, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this slice into the life of Andy Rider. I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna make me a hot lasagna sandwich and watch this video to see Andy’s chops in comedic action.