Best Comedy Tickets Interviews D.C. Benny
Written By Joseph Santiago
Joseph Santiago CEO of Best Comedy Tickets sat down with stand up comedian and actor DC Benny at Dangerfield’s Comedy Club. Benny has been working as a New York based comedy writer / performer / producer for over 20 years. DC has performed on Comedy Central Presents. He has performed at many different comedy clubs in New York City and in Los Angeles.
Joseph Santiago: What do you wish someone had told you about show business before you entered it?
DC Benny : That having talent is wonderful but only a small part of being successful.
Santiago: Where do you get your material?
Benny: My life, often unpleasant things that happen which I mine for humor as therapy.
Santiago: What happens if they don’t laugh
Benny: Buckle up it could be a long night.
Santiago: Who would you say are your influences in the comedy world?
Benny: Early influences: Peter Sellers, Red Foxx, later, Tony Wood’s pacing for long form.
Santiago:What is one of your more embarrassing memories from childhood?
Benny: Getting caught jerking off.
Santiago:What have you learned about yourself from being a father?
Benny: I’m not a dad, a goal I always wanted and achieved.
Santiago: What are the most important rules you live by?
Benny: Don’t be a piece of shit to people.
Santiago: What was your favorite book as a kid, and what does that say about you?
Benny: Frog and Toad. Great life lessons in that series.
Santiago: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Benny: Bring a glass of water on stage so if you forget a joke, you can pause and take a sip and no-one knows you’re desperately trying to remember…thanks “Wanda Sykes”
Santiago: Given your feelings about the state of our culture, how do you avoid despair?
Benny: I look at vintage cars, cook, and hang with my dog. Other than that, despair is part of life and unavoidable. Just try not to wallow in it.
Santiago: What three things would you take with you to a deserted island?
Benny: Wife. Dog and cats. Pen and paper. That might be five things?
Santiago: Do you have any quotes that you live you life by or think of often?”
Benny: A fragment of a longer Bukowski quote which sits on my desk: “If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
Santiago: How to handle hecklers from the stage ?
Benny: He’s right. all the way is the only way. Nip in the bud.
Santiago: What advice would you give your younger self?
Benny: Stop saying: “I suck at networking” and go out and get better at it because its crucial to the game.But I was young then and wouldn’t have listened to me, because I knew everything then even though now I realize that I know nothing.
Santiago: What most important lesson you learned in comedy?
Benny: That no sensation, not sex, drugs, food, drink, love, hate, climbing a mountain, or deep-sea diving compares to killing onstage. NOTHING. Especially if it’s a new bit.
Santiago: What’s your drink of choice?
Benny: A good red wine. A dark beer. Green tea.
Santiago: Greatest cartoon of all time?
Benny: Any old George Booth or Charles Adams cartoons for New Yorker. Dark and funny.On tv, looney tunes characters really hold up to test of time.
Santiago: Let’s say you could live the life of any animal in the wilderness for one day: What would it be?
Benny: Lion or some kind of bad-ass large cat. Or bear. You really have to be crazy to fuck with a bear and I love salmon so that would be a good fit.
Santiago:So the stereotype of comedians being horribly depressed and neurotic is true?
Benny: True of all performers but not every performer.
Santiago: Do you ever get tired of being a comedian?
Benny: Never tire of being a comedian, just get tired of the business aspect. It really is two jobs, performing and promoting. Throw in a family and now you’ve got three full-time jobs. But, it’s part of the deal, so you suck it up, write new material, hustle, hustle, hustle, and move on, or fall by the wayside, a spent, bitter, husk.
Santiago: So at the end of your day, what’s your ultimate goal?
Benny: To have a unique body of work, widely recognized, to be respected by my peers, to do the right thing so I can sleep at night, to have an audience that loves what I do, to tell my stories in a variety of mediums, to be independent so I can control my creative content without being a slave to some idiots “notes” on what he thinks people will think is funny, to be happy, healthy, content, and remembered.
Santiago: What would you say troubles you the most about the world today?
Benny: It just seems like we are always on the brink of something not good happening, but the upside to it is…all the more reason people need to laugh, and I feel lucky to be one of the providers…maybe all these years have been worth it?