Tom Dustin regularly delivers stories about his personal life onsage that, when heard secondhand, would probably not make him seem terribly likable. His slmiy entertainment lawyer character from Robby Roadstemaer's Quiet Desperation webcom series won't help that image much. But watch the crowd when he tells them about his dating habits or makes a particularly offensive joke about race, and you won't see many disgusted faces. What you'll usually see is a lot of people laughing. Tonight at Mottley's, Dustin invites some of his friends into his comic world with Dark Blue.
What's the general concept behind Dark Blue?
Dark Blue is a dirty, politically incorrect stand-up comedy show. Dirty shows are not a new idea. But instead of having a bunch of easy F-words, thoughtless sex jokes and racist shock humor that you might expect from a show billed as such; I wanted to get some truly talented comedians who typically shy away from the edgier side of comedy and have them use the material that might be considered inappropriate for general audiences.
"Dirty" comedians are often asked to "keep it clean" by booking agents. But I've never heard of a "squeaky clean" comic being asked to bust out their edgiest stuff. So, that's exactly what I decided to do.
What made you decide to do the show?
Bill Cosby, Brian Regan, Jerry Seinfeld and Jim Gaffigan. These guys are all hysterically funny and they all work squeaky clean. I wondered what it would be like if they worked "blue".
So, I decided to take amazing comedians, most of whom almost never swear onstage and rarely explore controversial issues or taboo topics, and tell them to do the material that they have that is too questionable to perform at most shows. I said "I want to hear that hilarious, dark blue stuff that usually gets cut out of your act for fear that someone might be offended enough to write a letter of complaint because their delicate sensibilities might be injured." I said, "let it all hang out".
How did you decide who would be on the bill?
I booked the guys who make me laugh.
Joe List was the easiest choice. We've been friends since we started in comedy and he's hilarious. He works the best clubs all around the country and plays by the rules at those venues. But, Joe's stockpile of material contains the funniest filth I've ever heard and he rarely gets to show that stuff off.
Jason Kanter is a comic originally from Ohio who now lives in NYC. He's a great writer and has some twisted stuff that will undoubtedly fetch big laughs where groans might be (on another show).
Josh Gondelman is doing a spot also. Josh is the nicest, most polite and likable comic in Boston. I'm trying to turn him to the dark side.
Tim Kaelin and I have been talking about doing a show like this for years. While Tim isn't known for being squeaky clean, he is intelligent enough to be filthy-funny without just being filthy.
Juston McKinney really personifies what the show is about. He is a squeaky clean comic who has done The Tonite Show and won the "Listerine clean comic award". I'm looking forward to watching him go dirty for once.
Is this a show you'd do again, or regularly?
I'd like to have it as a monthly show. And I've had alot of great comics ask to be on future installments. But for now, we'll see how this one goes.
You have a unique ability to say awful things to a crowd of people and make them laugh. How do you develop that skill without getting beat up after the show every night?
I get away with saying some things that other comics might have a hard time pulling off. I don't do it to intentionally offend people, I'm just being myself and saying things that I think are funny. After all, I am trying to get them to laugh and have a good time. Plus, if you make most of the crowd laugh, you've got alot of back-up if a few sensitive audience members want to kick your ass.
Is there anything you wouldn't consider talking about onstage?
I can't think of any topic that I wouldn't cover if I thought it could be funny. I don't ever want anyone to be mad or sad based on something I said. It's comedy. It's suppose to make you feel good. But, at the same time, I feel like there are people who go through life looking for things to get mad and complain about; they want to be offended just so they can whine about it. I have never understood how people get offended by anything a comedian says. I always want to ask them: "where does it hurt?". Because I don't get offended by words and ideas. To me, there's only funny and unfunny. There is no offensive.
Do you improvise your parts for Quiet Desperation?
Yeah. For the most part, the Quiet Desparation series is all improvised. Roadsteamer tells me what the scene is about, gives me some ideas of direction and then we shoot it.
What appeals to you about that role?
My lawyer character is basically an extremely exaggerated version of my real self, so it's not really a stretch for me. I love the idea of playing a total scumbag with no morals, no ethics, and no concern for what anyone thinks about him. I'm a fan of villains.
Do you plan to do more acting in the future?
I've loved doing the stuff I've done. And I'd love to do more if the opportunity presents itself. But, right now I'm just trying to focus on my stand-up.