Slope Speaks with Comedian Eugene MirmanApril 29, 2011 —
Bonnaroo is a diverse festival, in the past few years comedy has been added to the line-up. This year Eugene Mirman is among the many comedians to perform.
Gary Graff: Do you use the festival – do you use the festival for material is that a you know a good place?
Eugene Mirman: Do I use the festival? I guess it depends if something funny there happens sure. I won’t, I’m not purposefully, I’m not like I can’t wait to write jokes about a music festival but I’ve done lots and lots of music festivals. Mostly I’m excited to go and hang out with friends and see bands and stuff and do an incredibly good job making fun of my surroundings.
Sarah Sharp (Sidelines MTSU): Hi, who are you excited to see at the festival?
Eugene Mirman: Who am I excited to see? I’m excited to see Buffalo Springfield and John Waters. I don’t, I’ve never seen him do standup or tell stories but I bet it’s pretty fun. The Decemberists, there’s lots and lots of bands Iron & Wine, there’s a lot of bands I’d like to see this year. And then also a lot of comics like Lewis Black, (Kid), super funny, Hannibal.
I should make up something that sounds dangerous or just say no. So the answer is both.
Ken Weinstein: There are some comics that I mean obviously you know some of them, we know some of them but I don’t know all of them. So are there like some hard to find ones or you know some new up and comers that are on this list of performers that are – that we should absolutely check out because we’re going to regret it if we don’t?
Eugene Mirman: You (ought) to check out this kid Lewis Black.
Ken Weinstein: All right he’s one of the ones I know.
Eugene Mirman: Do you know Hannibal Buress or Craig Baldo or Tig Notaro?
Ken Weinstein: No, none of those.
Eugene Mirman: Well those three comics are all amazing.
Mishal Qurexhi (DePaul University): Is the, is the atmosphere and the comedy tent different from when you’re in a club as opposed to when there’s all this music around you?
Eugene Mirman: …I mean it’s different than in a club because it’s just sort of gigantic and there’s so much going on but the question is more like how different is it from other festivals which I don’t really have an answer to because I haven’t been to Bonnaroo yet.
But in general when I’ve played festivals you know it’s very, very fun. I get to see bands you know I get to see a lot of friends. Festivals in general are where a lot of times people from you know all around the country end up coming and meeting up. So that’s you know I’m excited for that.
Mishal Qurexhi: Can you give us a sneak peek of your set – of your act?
Eugene Mirman: A sneak peek of my act?
Mishal Qurexhi: Yes.
Eugene Mirman: Like you want me to like list the – yes I’m going to talk about hotels.
Mishal Qurexhi: No.
Eugene Mirman: Is that good; is that what you would like?
Mishal Qurexhi: Yes, thank you.
Eugene Mirman: You’re very welcome. And other things, and Czechoslovakia. I will mention Czechoslovakia I promise.
Sushmita Gordhandas: Hi. I was just wondering how is playing for a music concert or festival different from your usual crowd and do you change your approach at all?
Eugene Mirman: You know I guess it depends on the space itself but actually the answer is no in the sense that I mostly tour doing comedy at seated music venues and theaters. So I actually you know I mean I obviously do stuff at comedy clubs not nearly as much as I do things in places where most other nights there’s music. And actually the same sort of things that work well there work generally in regular clubs. People generally just laugh at the funniest things.
Sushmita Gordhandas… you attend and perform a bunch of festivals so I was just wondering what you do during the festivals and if you have any advice for us festival goers?
Eugene Mirman: Mostly I high-five people who think I went to high school with them. And then advice, I don’t know drink a lot of water and don’t take things, don’t take drugs that people just hand you. Bring your own (‘shrooms) and make sure to drink a lot of water.
Sam Davis (Relics): Just in terms of you know Bonnaroo’s known for its collaborations between a lot of the artists that are there would, are you looking forward or do you have any aspirations to collaborate with any of the other musical or comedy artists that are there?
Eugene Mirman: Yes, I hope to do a sketch with Buffalo Springfield.
Sam Davis: Maybe any of the comedians like maybe a…
Eugene Mirman: I exclusively hope to do a sketch with Buffalo Springfield but if I guess that doesn’t work out maybe Tig and I will do something.
Christian Grimaldo (LSU): Yes I’ve seen – I saw that you toured with (Kid) and Modest Mouse what draws you to rock and roll. Like I know a lot of other art, comedians do festivals and stuff what do you think the relationships between rock and or music in general I should say and comedy would be that they go so well together at festivals.
Eugene Mirman: Well, I think that a lot of is just a certain very similar ethos and maybe sensibility and stuff. I mean a lot of the audiences that like the bands I’ve toured with you know also like a lot of comedy. I think also in general they like seeing a variety of stuff. It’s fun to get – you know it’s fun to see a band and then a comic and then something else or another band that’s newer or something or older.