Interviewed Stand UP Comedian Brian Scott McFadden at Stand UP NY
Written by Joseph Santiago
Brian Scott McFadden sat down with us at the Stand UP NY Comedy Club located in the Upper West Side section of Manhattan. We discuss the comedy business, finding inspiration, and developing new jokes and more.
Where do you get your material?
The same place I will be getting my answers to this questionnaire: A large cadre of child factory workers in Bangladesh. They work 19 hours a day.
Ok Ok…enough with the jokes…The truth is I usually get obsessed with ONE thing & I’ll write about it INCESSANTLY…the subway, airline pilots, what women want…and I won’t stop until I feel like I have written a DEFINITIVE piece on it…Like it’s the last word on the subject…
What happens if they don’t laugh
I ask the club owner to have them immediately removed & replaced with the crowd that will…Then after the club owners refuse I resort to plan B: I have a few weird approaches to try & turn them around. Sometimes when a joke would bomb I would launch into an Irish priest character who would then perform a eulogy for the joke…and get the crowd to bow their heads & pay their respects & for whatever reason that would work. Crowds often love to have their lack of laughter pointed out to them…audiences can be like troubled teenagers; all they want from you is to acknowledge their bad behavior, punish them for it and then they immediately respect you for not putting up with their nonsense….and then they’ll start laughing
Who would you say are your influences in the comedy world?
I’ve influenced so many people it would be hard to make a list…
Oh um…you mean people who’ve influenced ME??? Kidding….
Pryor, Hicks, Carlin, Jeni…in that order…
What is one of your more embarrassing memories from childhood?
The day my Mom tried to abort me. Obviously, it didn’t go as planned. (Ba Da Bum Crash)
(Actually, I think that may not be a joke)….I also bombed in front of the class in 5th grade with this comedy bit that had totally KILLED the year before…that totally shook me up. I have often thought my ENTIRE comedy career might actually be about making up for that one bad show I had when I was 10.
What three things would you take with you to a deserted island?
A Walmart, a plane & Kate Upton…. And a larger more populated island…I think those would solve a lot of the traditional problems of being a castaway
Do you have any quotes that you live your life by or think of often?
Joseph Campbell’s definition of comedy: “Comedy is the wild, careless, inexhaustible joy of life invincible”
How to handle hecklers from the stage?
Luckily I do voices & accents so I often start impersonating them & go into a riff where I become THEM…& say what I think is really going on in their heads: ”I have no friends & my life is sad & empty so I like to ruin other people’s fun! PAY ATTENTION TO ME COMEDY BOY!!!!!!!”
“What advice would you give your younger self?”
“Don’t be like me”
What most important lesson you learned in comedy?
That tragedy is way easier
How long do you spend developing new material?
The same amount of time I spent developing the old material only I do it NOW instead of THEN…I wish I wrote short jokes…I’m obsessively perfectionistic so I work on stuff over and over again…I spend too much time on one piece… I usually end up writing these Wagnerian Operatic pieces that go on forever…and so the short answer is… TOO much…
What’s your drink of choice?
The sweet nectar of a woman
Greatest cartoon of all time?
The current political administration
Let’s say you could live the life of any animal in the wilderness for one day: What would it be?
Bigfoot…Cuz he has a show on The Learning Channel & like most comics I have always wanted my own show
So the stereotype of comedians being horribly depressed and neurotic is true?
I think comics are just more visible & grandiose about our inner torments…we turn it into the public spectacle…we don’t hide our torment as well as say…some accountant in Iowa who seems totally normal & happy until he finally snaps & shoots everyone at his firm one day…
Do you ever get tired of being a comedian?
I’m exhausted right now if that means anything
So at the end of your day, what’s your ultimate goal?
To get through this interview
What would you say troubles you the most about the world today?
Well speaking as a comedian…I t bothers me that somewhere along the line the public & the media went from holding POLITICIANS to higher standards than COMEDIANS….to holding COMEDIANS to the SAME speech standards AS POLITICIANS. That is amazing. Entertainment values have taken over politics, religion & education…everything….But conversely, that has made people delude themselves into elevating ENTERTAINMENT to a level of importance that is not only UNDESERVED but illusory & destructive as well. I don’t think the guy I see onstage at The Chuckle Dumpster in Staten Island needs to adhere to the same speech code as Chuck Schumer. That’s nuts. When you hold COMEDIANS to the speech standards of POLITICIANS, you’re NOT RECOGNIZING the importance of COMEDY, you’re TRIVIALIZING the importance of POLITICS.
(Wow..that was way more profound than I had intended…)
Download the Best Comedy Tickets app
Save 50% on comedy tickets