Judah Friedlander Talks About Life After 30 Rock and Being the World Champion: Interview Outtakes

Categories: Comedy

It seems strange and like it's a stand-alone thing, but in comedy you almost have to give up work to get work, and then you will still have to suffer or live very frugally for a long while.

Yeah. I'm still on that mentality. I remember I used to have a day job working at a front desk at a gym. I worked from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then I would go home and take a nap for a couple hours, go out to do spots, and I wouldn't get home until around 2 or 3 a.m. because some of the clubs I couldn't go on until really late. So I was never getting more than like 3 hours of sleep at a time.

How long did you say you were in that routine for?

I started in '89 but I was in school then too, and then I think it was '97 or '98 where I stopped having a day job.

And in terms of writing material at the beginning did you write a lot out or just develop material on stage or ...

All of the above.

So in a way then having a day job was just an extension of developing your comedy because it allowed you to sit at a desk and write.

I always keep a sheet of paper in my pants pocket and a pen. And if an idea ever pops into my head I can jot it down. I'm not a person that really that sits down and says "Okay, I'm going to write now." It's sort of just an ongoing process for me.

Is it easier for you to take an idea and run with it rather than sit down and say 'I'm going to write jokes for the next hour?'

I usually have a full joke when it comes to me. Well, it may not be a joke, but it's a concept or a theory or something and I'll expand on it. And then I come up with a lot of new lines on stage. There's something about being on stage... I write a lot on stage as well. So I might do the first joke to get the laugh and then the brain is working at such a fast speed I want to keep that clap going, so I'll come up with an additional joke right on top of that. That I may not be able to do sitting down at a desk, because I don't have that pressure. But when you are doing stand-up in front of an audience there is that pressure to get that next laugh immediately, so it just kicks the brain into a faster working mode.
I tend to come up with more stuff on stage or sometimes in conversation hanging out with some other comic friends of mine, but that might be from riffing off each other or ripping on something.

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