Interview Esther Ku Stand UP Comedian at Dangerfields Comedy Club
1. What other jobs did you do before starting as Stand UP comedian?
I was a cashier at a uniform store, movie theater usher, waitress at a deep-dish pizza place, marketing rep for a couple of dot coms, orientation leader for my college, restaurant hostess, private music teacher, dental receptionist, extra in TV shows, and a pen sales representative. Any job where you talk to new people every day is great for a comedian to exercise those muscles of coming up with banter.
2. How did you know you wanted to be a comedian?
People told me “You should be a comedian.” My grade school librarian saw that I made all the kids in school laugh all the time so she asked me to host the eighth-grade talent show. I didn’t know that being funny on stage required preparation and was a different animal than being funny around friends. I did prepare a bit but I bombed real bad.
3. If you weren’t doing comedy, what would you be doing?
I don’t know. Don’t ask me that.
4. Where are some of your favorite places to perform in New York City?
I love Caroline’s because that’s where I met Jason Steinberg for the first time. I love Dangerfield’s Comedy Club because they have a grand piano on stage and the decor hasn’t changed.
5. Who are some of your favorite up-and-comers in the Stand-Up comedy world?
Del Harrison is absolutely hilarious. She cracks me up multiple times when she goes on stage. I love Stevie Brown. He does an amazing five minutes on burritos. Eric Myers is out of control hilarious.
6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Jimmy Shubert told me to read Comic Insights by Franklin Ajaye. It improved my stage presence immediately and taught me that most pro comics don’t sit down to write, but they write down funny things they’ve said in conversation throughout the day.
7. When did it feel like you were a professional comedian?
When I did forty colleges in a year.
8. How often do you perform comedy per week?
I get up five times a week.
9. How do you deal with hecklers?
I shoot em down by ridiculing them harder. You can’t ignore them.
10. What advice would you give your younger self?
Work for an airline so you get flight benefits. Set bigger goals. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to bigger comedians.
12. What do you talk about in your act?
I talk about my relationships, sex, North Korea, social media, my family, etc.
13. How did you develop your style of stand up? Who were your influences growing up; both from the world of comedy and elsewhere?
I loved Amelia Bedelia’s innocence in situations. I loved Joan Rivers don’t give a fuck attitude. I loved Robin Williams in Aladdin and would recite his lines at school. I loved Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura and would mimic him as well. There were funny people in my life too. This guy Angelo played music at my church and he was always really funny. I wanted to make people laugh as he did but in my own style.
14. I love to interview comedians, Can I ask what happens when you are in front of a crowd, and no one laughs?
I make a joke about the previous joke that bombed. Like that one was just for me. Or I’m still working on that one. Or that’s just an observation not really a joke. I address it at that moment so they know I’m present. Otherwise, you look like a delusional robot.
15. What made you decide to be a comedian? Were you born funny?
My parents were incapable of loving me. I converted laughs into love. If you neglect and abuse your child enough, they too may grow up to be a comedian.
16. When can people see it?
17. Is there anything else that you wish to promote?
You can catch me on Showtime hosting the 2019 AVN Awards.
Follow Esther Ku on Instagram
Here is a link to her Website