Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Todd Glass - Comedy


When somebody finally writes a book called, "The Greatest Stand Up Comics of All Time," Todd Glass is going to get his own chapter. That's why I interviewed him. He's not just a great stand up comic, he is one of the greatest progenitors of modern comedy alive today. Long before modern comedy as we know it conquered new vistas like Netflix and the Internet, Todd Glass was there, helping to set the foundation. He is, he was, and he shall be.

I saw Todd Glass perform live for about fifty people at a show called Good Heroin in Los Angeles. I was impressed. Here was a comedian who had paid his dues, worked television shows and films back in the 80's, kicking ass and crushing an audience of hardcore, cynical, socially just Echo Park denizens. That takes talent, courage and genius. It also takes intelligence. Audiences change. Comedians must adapt. Glass had done all that and more. If you are a comedian, and I am interviewing you, it is because you are one of the best. A good comedian informs. A great comedian inspires. Glass is an inspiration. It was an honor to interview him.


By the time he was eleven Todd Glass already knew he wanted to be a professional stand up comic.
"I was able to relate to it. I could connect to comedians. It was fun to see adults act juvenile. I started at sixteen. It's addicting." Now a veteran in an industry that steadily disentegrates cowards and charlatans, Glass believes stand up comedy is the best bang a person can get for their buck. "If you go to see a comedian do an hour, you'll get hundreds of laughs. If you go to see a movie you don't get that."

Over the years Glass has not only performed in prestigious locales across the planet, he's also appeared on television shows such as "Jimmy Kimmel Live", "Late Night With Conan O'Brien", the legendary "Politically Incorrect", and sitcoms like "Home Improvement", "Friends", "Married With Children", his own Comedy Central special, and other shows including "Comics Only" and "The A List". Even after success, Glass warns that for any comedian, performing can still feel like taming a lion for the first time. "Stand up can be harrowing. It's like sex, you must really want to do it or you never would."


Stand up comedy is still a facet of the entertainment industry, and eventually any entertainer has to either make money or settle for enjoying the ride. Glass knows. Between the Internet, YouTube and other platforms, comics have more opportunities than ever to make it. "It really just takes its course. You just do it and do it. Some people take longer than others. I have friends that do it as a hobby. There's a lot more vehicles than there used to be. Comedy gets better and better, more real. Acting has gotten more real. Comedy gets more real and gets better." If you've always wanted to check it out, now is right. "I think comedy is in a good place," Glass says. "It seems like a golden age."

Glass observes that stand up comics should be realistic. "On one level, they all want to make a living. I've been doing stand up a long time. You see people who go further than you, but you also see people who quit." For some, simply doing stand up isn't enough. "There are actors who ended up on a series that got canceled and they are back to waiting tables. At the end of the day people want a vehicle to get noticed, and that can be just about anything these days," Glass says. "A podcast, Netflix, and even social media."


What's the one thing people just don't understand about doing stand up comedy that only a stand up comic understands? "I think it's the intimacy that doing it needs. Even if things are hectic, it is still very intimate. Good comedy clubs don't let you talk at the tables." Glass prefers venues that keep things quiet, like a jazz club. "I don't think people understand that intimacy. You have to pay attention. Most audiences are awesome." A bad audience, he explains, ruins the relationship. "Good audiences reap the benefits. You want to give them a big hug."

Glass keeps busy playing every club in Los Angeles when he isn't touring the rest of the planet or doing his podcast. "I just got done shooting another one hour special. I put a lot of time and work into it. My last one ended up on Netflix." He is still thinking of a name for it. "One was Act Happy. Another was Passive Progressive. I wanted to call it, Suck My Pigeon Dick, but nobody wanted that." He's also working on a television show. "I've shot a pilot called Camping with Todd." The premise involves taking various celebrities into a deep, dark forest for an interview. "We sit around a crackling fire and talk." So far some of his guests include John Dore, Zack Gafflinakus and Eddie Pepetone.


Part of the class Glass has is that he is cool with cannabis. "I said a long time ago I'm not pro marijuana in that I want to march to get it legal. I just want to smoke it." Across the country, however, possession can still mean prison. "Unfortunately, it is a fight," he says. "If someone is anti liquor, I get it. If you don't think pot or liquor is good, that's OK. If a person thinks liquor should be legal but not pot, I don't know where to start. If I go down to the beach and have a hack or wine, nobody says anything. So I act the same way about pot. I started smoking it at
30. I don't want to smoke it 24 hours a day. I don't smoke seven days a week, but I like getting high and I enjoy the people who enjoy it, too."

Find out more about Todd Glass at www.toddglass.com. His terrific tweets are at www.twitter.com/ToddGlass. His fabulous Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/toddglassshow.

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