12 Questions With Stand Up Comedian Tamer Kattan at The Comedy Cellar
1. What other jobs did you do before starting stand up comedy?
– In college, I worked as Donatello, the Ninja Turtle for supermarket openings, kids bday parties, and things. The place was called Barbies Balloon Boutique. The craziest job I ever had. If you’re into MILF’s dressing up as a Ninja Turtle is the next best thing to having a mini-van with spinner rims. Soccer moms go crazy for turtles.
2. How did you know you wanted to be a comedian?
– I didn’t. I was made fun of a lot and learned to fight verbally, the way people who get beat up a lot learn to fight physically. There was a kid who beat me up so often, I said fuck it and just started making fun of his giant ears. A week later he comes up to me and says, if you stop making fun of me, I’ll stop beating you up. THAT was like snorting cocaine for the first time. Where wit beat out physical strength and I’ve been chasing that power high ever since.
3. If you weren’t doing comedy, what would you be doing?
– Advertising agency job, married, kids, house OR dead from an overdose.
4. Where are some of your favorite places to perform?
– Honestly. ANYWHERE. Because comedy isn’t a location. It’s an energy exchange. It’s a communal drug – like passing around a bong and watching our brains go out for adult recess. That’s what I love about comedy. It’s like the cockroach of arts. It’s not as pretty as the other arts. It’s in dark, damp corners, no one treats us well and drunks chase after us, but even if a nuclear bomb went off we’d be the ones still performing, while the other performer bugs would go deep underground.
6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
– Keep going.
7. When did you feel like you were a pro comedian?
– Performing for the troops in Afghanistan and also for student protestors in Egypt during the revolution. Comedy for people that WANT to laugh, is great. Comedy for people that NEED to laugh, is art.
8. How often do you perform comedy per week?
9. What are your favorite comedy clubs that you perform at?
– Fat Black Pussycat
– West Side Comedy Club
– Gotham NYC
– The Stand NYC
– The Comedy Store in LA
– The Improv in LA
– The Comedy Attic in Bloomington
– Comedy on State in Madison Wisconsin
10. How do you deal with hecklers?
– Comedy is a weapon of the underdog, I make sure that before I ruin their lives the audience knows whats about to be delivered is fair and just. It’s different each time and for each person, the one thing that stays true is everyone in America likes to cheer for the underdog and hiss at the bully.
11. What advice would you give your younger self?
Go big. Go after every single thing that scares you or makes you feel stupid. Living fearless is the goal.
12. You travel around the world to do stand up comedy, do you have some favorite cities to perform in?
– London is my 2nd home. Absolutely love the scene and audiences
– Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
– Military tours
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