What are your feelings on Passover?
It’s a bizzaro universe for a few days. I hosted some Seders for my cousin in Scotland. I don’t mind Matzoh, I welcome the break from bread. It’s just too much bread all the time. I like the Passover story. It’s good enough to make a famous Hollywood film.
Hollywood is remaking everything. I kinda wish they’d remake it [the Ten Commandments]. If they did, who would you want to play Moses?
If they did…I’d like to play Moses because I need a job. If not me, Joaquin Phoenix.
I like it. Then the in the end there can be a surprise twist where it turns out he’s the Pharaoh. He was just playing with us the whole time.
Hollywood loves that kind of stuff.
Is there anything big that you’ve been doing recently? (PLUG FOR UPCOMING PROJECTS)
I’m doing Yak.com show. It’s been going on for a few weeks. Just had Michael Ian Black on, the band Red Fang, and Jerry Brooks from Curb (Leon). That’s been going good. I’ve got the CD coming out on Stand up Record, it’s called Some Kind of Comedian, I recorded that a year ago in Scotland. (next month hopefully) It’s my first CD.
If I can plug the twitter. I’ve been tweeting a lot. @dannylobell. Trying to put out a few funny tweets a day. I got into the twitter game late. I just did This American Life on NPR. I did a story for them and am working on another.
Just a couple more Qs for you: Self-Deprecation, how much would you say it plays into your comedy?
Not too much I kinda see it as a crutch that I used a lot more early in my comedy. It’s an easy way to get laughs, and they’re not laughs I enjoy getting. I think the easiest thing you can do is go up there and say ‘laugh at me’ and the deeper you go, ‘don’t laugh at me, laugh at this crazy concept that we’re not laughing at but should be’. For me, self-deprecating humor is something I try to stay away from. I’m not against it where I won’t be the butt of a joke, but I don’t go for it.
How do you get away with making more risky stuff without getting away?
I mean it’s a crutch. Let’s make fun of myself and then let’s make fun of cancer babies. And people are like ‘well I’m with you on that’ but if the cancer baby joke is so good and clever on it’s own, where it can get people laughing at cancer babies, as horrible as a concept as that is, if you can do without self-depricating, you really got something there. And if not, how do you know they are laughing at you for the right reasons.
Go for the offensive, go for the shockin stuff, but back it up. Don’t just do it to do it. Have a unique take on it where it’s undeniably funny. I like when people say ‘that guy’s a dick but shit that’s funny’. Not just about me but any comic. When you see a guy tell a joke that’s offensive but you laugh anyway, that’s a great kind of joke because he got you to laugh against your will almost, against your morals. If you make someone laugh based on what they were expecting to laugh at, you haven’t accomplished as much as you are when you just change someone’s mind with you jokes.
The last question I have: Did you go on Birthright n your college years?
Not birthright, but Young Judaea program on a year course. I’d go more if it wasn’t so damned expensive. They should have a program for artists to visit Israel. Something for struggling Jews. The Struggling Jews Foundation.
(Chuckles) Those don’t exist though. That’s just an urban legend.
Yeah (laughs) I’m like the unspoken of Jews, the Jew without money.
The Jew without money who’s also Scottish. So it’s like you don’t exist.
Yes, I’m the miserable Yeti Jew.
Thank you for talking with me today.
Good luck on your comedy career.
You too. I do hope to see you as Moses. In the Ten Commandments Remake. In 2015.
Yea. (Dramatic Voice) Danny Lobell is: Moses.
Then your parents will finally be proud.
They’ll find a reason to hate it.
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