EmandaInterviews: Andy Rider

ANDY RIDER: Hand Talker. Joke Maker. Comic Book Hoarder.
Mutton Chop Dealer. Squirrel Lover. 


Andy Rider
Photo Credit: Marshall Bowles

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?
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.

  1. Be honest with yourself. Bad sets happen, bad audiences too, but be honest about your part in the badness and grow from it.
  2. 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.
  3. Treat it like a job, but a fun one. Show up on time, be kind to the other comedians, do your set.
  4. 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!

ES: 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.

Andy Rider @ 2013 Theatre 99 Stand Up Semi-Finals
Video Credit: HaZel Rider


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