Interview with Comedian Monroe Martin at The New York Comedy Club
Written by Joseph Santiago
It was at the New York Comedy Cub that we met up with one of our favorite comedians Monroe Martin after one of his comedy shows in NYC, which is located in the Kips Bay section in Manhattan. It was a Friday night and the New York Comedy Club was completely sold out.
There was this amazing energy filled in the room with people from around the world.
1. What other jobs did you do before starting stand up comedy?
I had too many Jobs. I was a Peer Educator for Planned Parenthood. I worked at Spirit of Halloween, McDonald’s, Philadelphia Youth Network, Tower Perrin, City Year, A charter School/ summer camp, The Philadelphia Zoo, a Security Company, a telemarketer, and Dave and Buster’s.
2. How did you know you wanted to be a comedian?
Honestly, I didn’t dream of being a comedian. I didn’t think it was something I could accomplish so why try, right? My friends were the first people that thought I was funny. They called me stupid all the time. Most people would take offense to that, but I didn’t. Calling someone stupid when they say something hilarious is the second highest comment. The highest is genius. I would find my self-writing down topics and points to bring up during the conversation. At the time I did know I was writing a set. Between making my friends laugh I would make some of my foster parents laugh. One of my foster moms and I would watch Coming To The Stage on BET. Which is a comedy competition. One day we were watching the show, and she said: “I could see you doing something like that one day.” I blew it off. The comics on the show were so funny I could never be one of them. There was one specific comic I thought was hilarious. I won’t mention his name. Fast forward to the summer, I have graduated high school and I have no real plans of going to college. I just wanted to hang out and go with the flow of life. One morning my friend and I were sitting on his front porch cracking jokes, and a garbage truck goes by, and the guy I thought was super funny was on the back of the trash truck. I tried to get his attention, by yelling “yo man you’re funny as hell” he wanted to ignore me, but I kept until he acknowledged me. Looking back I was being extra, but it was worth it because that changed my perspective on comedians. I felt like I could actually be a comic. I started comedy two years after that.
3. If you weren’t doing comedy, what would you be doing?
I would probably be fat as shit with a city job.
4. Where are some of your favorite places to perform?
I like The Knitting Factory, Stress Factory, Comedy Connection in Rhode Island, Denver Funny Bone.
5. Who are some of your favorite up-and-comers in the comedy world?
If you pay your bills off of comedy, I don’t consider you up and coming. If we are talking about comics that aren’t famous yet, then I have a long list, but here are some. I like Chloe Hilliard, Derek Gaines, Dave Temple, Ian Finance, etc.
6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Fail as much as possible.
7. When did you feel like you were a pro comedian?
The moment I got paid over $25.
8. How often do you perform comedy per week?
I get up about 10 to 14 times a week.
9. What are your favorite comedy clubs that you perform at in New York?
I love the Stand, New York Comedy Club, Gotham Comedy Club, Carolines Comedy Club, The Comedy Cellar,
10. How do you deal with hecklers?
It all depends on my mood. I can be very crass and make the heckler hate me, and sometimes I can be super charming and get them on my side.
11. What advice would you give your younger self?
Fail as much as you can you’re young you’ll be fine.
12. How would you describe your brand of comedy?
I guess, honest. I have been leaning towards being reflective on stage and talking about my past and current life experiences. I’m unapologetic. I know that sounds cliche, but I am.
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 think my style is naturally me. I speak the same way off stage. I changed my subject matter once I got to New York thanks to Keith Robinson. In 2013 he told me I was funny, but I wasn’t talking about shit. I just had a bunch of made up jokes. I was talking about things that never happened in real life. He told me that I had a better chance at a career if I spoke about my experiences growing up in foster care. He was absolutely right.
14. I love to interview comedians, Can I ask what happens when you are in front of a crowd, and no one laughs?
I sit in it. I’m not afraid of not getting laughs. There are a couple of reasons why they wouldn’t be laughing: either I’m not funny, or I said something interesting and they are waiting for the punchline. Either way, I’m okay with not being funny. It’s the process.
15. What made you decide to be a comedian? Were you born funny?
I became a comedian because I didn’t want to go through life as a regular person. Working shitty jobs and never taking chances.
16. When can people see it?
I’m always posting dates on my website and social media @MonroeMartinIII (on all platforms). I’m around New York City a lot. I’ll be at the Big Hunt in DC in 7/20-7/21
17. Is there anything else that you wish to promote?
I have a Podcast With Derek Gaines Called “No Need For Apologies The Podcast” on Soundcloud and iTunes.