Thursday, September 16, 2010

The BC Q&A: Jon Fisch

Jon Fisch plays Club Bohemia at the Cantab tonight.
Newton native Jon Fisch doesn’t have any comic gimmicks. No props, no politics, no nerdy stereotypes. What you get with Fisch is just flat-out funny. Great writing, an easy sense of himself onstage, and the ability to walk into any comedy club and make people laugh, sometimes til it hurts. It’s what got him into the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, on Comedy Central, and Last Comic Standing.

Tonight he’s back in Boston, playing Club Bohemia (the downstairs room at the Cantab), for a show sponsored by Mass Hilarity, a production company created by local comics Elvis Collins and Angie Frissore looking to start its own Boston comedy blog by the end of the year.

I spoke with him by e-mail this week.

How did you hook up with Mass Hilarity to play the Cantab?

I did a benefit show a couple summers ago for Angela at the Somerville theater. A comic friend, Steve Burr booked the comics for Angela. He’s from Rochester, ny but I still like him cause he’s a sox fan. It was a really fun show that Steve hosted with Moody McCarthy, Keith Alberstadt, April Macie, Tom Simmons, James Johan and Christina Pazsitz.. Angela is a great person, a big comedy fan and we've remained in touch.

Did you ever play one of the comedy shows that popped up there from time to time when you were in Boston?

I did one that I can remember. Steve Calechman may have been behind that cantab show. I think Sam Walters was there that night and Mike Birbiglia claims that’s the night I met him and his brother Joe.

Who were the people you learned most from while you were here?

I learned a lot from watching and talking with Robbie Printz, Paul Nardizzi, Kevin Knox, Jim Colliton, Tony Moschetto, Tim McIntire, Don Gavin, and Tony V.

Where was the first place you tried stand-up?

Rick Jenkins comedy workshop graduation at the Comedy Studio.

You label yourself a “prolific monologist” on your Web site. You have a point of view, but not an easy gimmick or label, like a blue collar comic or a political comic. Do you think that means you have to work harder to make a more immediate impression?

I remember doing a set on a showcase show, I must have been the sixth or seventh comic on the show and it was one of those nights where we were all having great sets. After my first joke I heard a woman say something to her friend like “ooh this guy is different.” I let my bits and my act speak for itself and I try to be original by being personal and hope that sets me apart and make an impression. But then again, I am not a household name so maybe I should get a hook, any ideas?

It seems to me that a lot of comics have a kind of home club in NY. Not sure why that is, if you need a place to plant your flag so people will notice you, rather than getting lost playing a ton of clubs, or if it’s just a matter of a comic finding a comfortable place to play.

It’s nice to have a place that loves you. Different clubs over the years have given me love at different times. I'm fortunate to perform at the clubs that I think I fit well at. I think it's more about that, finding that place where you are comfortable.

When do the Tank seasons begin and end? Pretty organized to have actual seasons.

It’s probably less of being organized and more just in need of breaks. It can take up a lot of time so ending a season is just my excuse for taking some time off. We have started recording for season 3 with new equipment and should start posting them for our listeners starting next Tuesday.

What do you get from interviewing other comedians?

I love comedy. I love doing stand up and I love talking about stand up. I think most comics; most real comics have an interesting story to tell and an interesting perspective on stand up. I just try to provide a little time capsule for their career. There are interviews with the famous comics out there, but we all have our own insight to share. I’m a fan of stand up and this podcast is for other fans of stand up and for the fans of the particular guest.

What do I get? I guess I get to talk to other comics and I hope to draw out that nugget of wisdom that can sum up a certain part of stand up.

Who’s coming up this season?

Things happen and schedules change but looks like we’ll have Karen Bergreen, Rob Cantrell, Jim David, Gregg Rogell, Joe Derosa, Lynn Koplitz, Al Ducharme, Jesse Joyce, Allan Havey, Nick Dipaolo and Dwayne Perkins

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