Judah Friedlander Interview
By Hannah Chusid
Hannah Chusid: I’m here with the #1 World Champion, Judah Friedlander. How are you doing?
Judah Friedlander: Unbelievable.
HC: So, how did your set go tonight at The Stand?
JF: Four standing ovations at The Stand.
HC: Four standing ovations! This is a brand new comedy club, what do you think of it?
JF: I like it a lot. It’s well designed, intimate, good sound system, and good seats.
HC: How was the crowd tonight?
JF: Very good.
HC: Where was the first club you performed at here in NYC?
JF: I don’t remember…
HC: It was that long ago?
JF: It might’ve been a place that’s not open anymore called the Eagle Tavern.
HC: Where was that located?
JF: That was at 14th between 8th & 9th.
HC: Oh wow…Chelsea, right?
JF: It wasn’t in a good neighborhood back then.
HC: No, it was not. And now it’s really nice over there…Have you ever tried improv or did you start in improv?
JF: I’ve never done it with an official sketch group, or an official improv group, but I do a lot of improv within my act and in acting things I’ve done tons of improv, but I’ve never been part of an improv group.
HC: Did you ever take acting?
JF: I never studied it.
HC: Where did you go to school?
JF: I quit school after the third grade.
HC: Of course, ‘cause you’re the champion.
HC: How were you dubbed “The Champion”? This is what I’ve always wanted to know. I’ve always thought about this.
JF: You know, they had the world championships, I won it, and there it is.
HC: You just got it because you’re #1.
HC: How many of those hats do you have?
JF: I’m not good at math.
HC: But you’re the champion!–
JF: But not of math or reading.
HC: No math, no reading…Where was your favorite place to perform in NYC?
JF: Well here at The Stand so I don’t want to not say “here”, but there are several clubs I do in the city. I’m probably at the Comedy Cellar the most. I like this club a lot, and I definitely think people should check this club out, because the guys that own it are not just business guys–they live and breathe comedy. They really care about comedy, and it’s a reflection of the room. It’s a well-designed room…but I perform all over the city. The Comedy Cellar the most. I’ve been here just since it opened. I do the Comic Strip–I do all the clubs pretty much. I do Stand Up NY, I do EastVille Comedy Club, I do Caroline’s. I get around to all of them. It depends. I don’t want to say one or the other, but The Cellar i’ve been working at for the longest and the most. If I were to have one home club, it would be that one.
HC: Definitely. Do you find there’s a difference between audiences in NYC vs. audiences outside of NYC?
JF: Not necessarily. There are some things that are different. In general, New York’s audiences are probably the least best-behaved. They’re also good. They’re tougher than other audiences sometimes, which is good.
HC: What was your inspiration for your book “How To Beat Up Anybody”?
JF: That’s a book I made based off of my stand-up, but it’s all new material made just for the book. Stand-up comedy is my main thing #1 for me. It’s based off of my stand-up and being the world champion, but there was new stuff made just for the book, because I like doing comedy in all different mediums. I’ve been wanting to do a book for about 10 years, and i started making that book 10 years ago, and then after working on it on-and-off for 8 years, without trying to get a book deal, people knew my comedy from TV shows–30 Rock–my publicist asked me about doing a book and I told him well I have one I’ve been working on for years. So I made it all myself and it took years to make.
HC: Also, I’m curious about how you got into ping pong/
JF: Oh, yeah I played that as a kid all the time. And then we learned from a neighbor’s friend, Chinese guy, who would go to official tournaments and stuff. So then me and my brother got into some real official ping pong…
HC:…and you’re the #1 Champion of ping pong too, right?
JF: Now if you look up the official ratings, they may not say that, but we knew that they’re corrupt and that I really am [the champion].
HC: And that is our time thank you so much, Judah!
JF: Thank you. And also I’m running for president so vote for me: WorldChamp4Prez.Com.
Make sure you follow the world champion @JudahWorldChamp. You can look him up on Facebook and visit him at JudahFriedlander.com.