Since the 2012 rebranding of “The Half Hour” show we get to see the best comics ever. Splisider talked with 16 Half Hour comedians about their specials, careers, comedy world and stage life.
Joe DeRosa is presented on comedy Central for the second time having recorded a Comedy Central Presents in 2009. Joe is a regular on the “Opie and Anthony” show. He also have several appearances on comedy series “Louie” and “Bored to Death”. He is known for handling hecklers at his show and, by now, no one manage to stand up to him.
You’re the only one this year who also did a Presents. Why did you decide to do another one?
"The opportunity was there to do a second one, so I felt like, why not? It was a really good chance for me to get new material on the television. It’s been a little bit of time since I've had anything on television, and it was an opportunity for me to get material onto television pretty close to the state that it would be in a club environment. That was important for me too. For some comedians, it’s hard to find TV outlets where you can kind of let loose and really be yourself, and you don't have to worry about scrubbing and cleaning everything up. And aside from some bleeps in this special, I felt like it was pretty close to what you'd hear in a club. And then also with recording a new album and everything, I felt like, the first time I did one of these was four years ago or something, and it coincided with the release of my first album. So it felt like things kind of came full circle to where they were with the first time I did this and my first album."
What did doing your first half hour special mean for you?
"I felt like after that first one, I started to get treated like an actual comedian. That was the biggest thing for me. I noticed that when I was doing spots in clubs and showcases, they started trusting putting me anywhere on the lineup, versus like, he's a newer guy, he has to go earlier. It felt like the first step into that transition of becoming one of the New York guys, and being somebody that's really part of the scene here."
And then what did it mean the second time around?
"That's a good question. I guess you have to wait and see if it helps push your career in a different direction or up the ladder. But I definitely felt a step up in maturity as a comic. Not to sound cheesy, but I felt very honored in a way to get to do it. Guys that I really love and admire have done a couple of these and I was really flattered and honored to be somebody that got to do two of those. And maybe now you can kind of focus on whatever the next thing is. It was a big night for me because a lot of the material that I did on the special and the bulk of material that I'm gonna do on this new album, it was all stuff I wrote—my mom had gotten sick last year and I'd moved home to Pennsylvania for two months to stay with her, to help her through surgery and help my dad out with stuff. And I wrote most of the material at that time, and the themes of the material were coming out of where I was at that time in my life, going into the hospital and the observations I was making in there. And thinking about life and that sort of stuff. So, it was really special, no pun intended, to get to do some of that stuff on TV in this taping, and then have my mom there in the audience, healthy. There's a part where she's on camera where I talk to her and talk about how she's doing really well. It was just a big night, personally and professionally."
So, what’s your typical gig like these days?
"It’s a little more mixed over the last year or two. I do clubs, but I also do a lot of one-night shows in not-comedy-clubs venues. Smaller music venues, coffeehouses on the road that are big enough to book traveling acts but not huge rooms. I really like doing those. Very different vibe, you know? People are coming in because either they're fans or they're fans of the venue, or both. There's definitely more of a grass roots feeling to it. And I'm not knocking clubs, but it’s a different experience. Traditional comedy clubs are much more expensive, and I think sometimes the people in a comedy club audience that aren't your fans, sometimes they're fans of the venue, sometimes they're just people wandering in. So it starts to get a little more jumbled with who's enjoying you and who might not be. [Laughs] Or who knew what to expect and who didn't. Whereas I feel like in these venues, there's just a little more of that concept of, Hey, what are you gonna do? What's your thing all about? Let's experience it and see what's up. Both are interesting and challenging in their own way."