Louis Katz just released a digital album called If These Balls Could Talk via Comedy Central Records. On the album, Katz asks the interesting questions such as, “What would a hippie roommate call her cat?” He also gives his experience dating women with self-imposed diet restrictions. We caught up with Katz a few days ago to talk about what he’s been up to since the album’s release, how he got his start in comedy, and his plans for the future.
The Laugh Button: So tell us about the new album.
Louis Katz: The new album that just came out is called If These Balls Could Talk. I recorded it late last year at the Sacramento Punchline and it’s fifty minutes of hilarious jokes.
TLB: What was the idea behind If These Balls Could Talk? And why did you call it that?
LK: I thought it sounded funny and I thought it would have been a good name for the album. It was just funny and I liked the play on words.
TLB: I thought there was some metaphorical meaning behind the title. I spent my first time listening to it trying to hear your testicles. I was always thinking, “are your genitals going to be referenced?”
LK: There are a lot of dirty jokes, so I think if my balls could make some jokes, they would be very similar to the jokes that my brain has already written, I think.
TLB: How would you describe your style of comedy? I was trying to explain your stand-up to friends, and on one hand it’s dirty, but on the other, it’s not filthy
LK: I like to say that it’s “smart dirty”. It’s dirty but not so in an offensive way, which is really good and tempers the dirtiness. A good way of saying it is that it’s “blue and not black.” The humor is not dark humor, it just happens to be dirty.
TLB: What made you get into comedy?
LK: Well, I always liked being funny when I was a kid, but when I was in high school I liked making people laugh and I liked playing music so I figured I would be a radio DJ and just say whatever I wanted. That way I could be funny and play whatever music I wanted. Then I realized radio DJ’s don’t get to do that at all. They can’t play whatever music they want or say whatever they want, then I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. So in college I joined an Asian sketch comedy troupe. That went really well, I just saw I could do something in comedy and saw that stand-up was the easiest way. People say how hard it is but for me, it’s just me and a microphone. There’s no sketch comedy group, there’s no moving plot, it’s just saying funny things. So it seemed like it had the least overhead, in a way, for getting started in comedy.
TLB: What did your friends and family say when you decided to be a comedian?
LK: All of my friends were into it. They have been super-supportive my whole career, so has my family. I guess you can say they were a little surprised at first but everyone has been very supportive. I didn’t go mid-career, when I was making all of this money as a lawyer and then I switched it up. So it wasn’t like I was missing out on something by starting comedy. I was young enough so I thought why not try it. Luckily I get a small break every few years, I would get some kind of little break that would keep my parents from bugging out on me. So yeah, everyone has been totally supportive the entire time.
TLB: Other getting to release a new album, what would you consider your biggest break?
LK: The very first night I performed comedy, it just blew up, it was amazing! I can even remember that night, I was lying in bed after I did that sketch and I was just beaming. I thought I was going to do this, I was going to perform. That was my first big moment. I would say career-wise, back in 2005 I got a callback audition for The Montreal Comedy Festival to be one of their “new faces.” At the callback an agent from The Gersh Agency saw me and the next morning he invited me to breakfast in Beverly Hills and wanted to sign me right there and then. I ended up going to Montreal represented by The Gersh Agency and performed at the Montreal Comedy Festival. So that was a big deal for me. Later that year I got onto Live at Gotham and on some TV sets which was memorable also.
TLB: You were born in LA and then moved to New York. If you could do one more move, what other city’s comedy scene have you always loved and would like to be part of?
LK: Well, Chicago has always been high on my list of cities to go in America period. For some reason I’ve never made it to Chicago. There was an entire class of awesome stand-ups that just came out of there recently, plus the whole improv scene, and the food. So I would definitely like to check out the city. Also, I would love to break into London and see what is going on there. I mean, really any international scene I would love to check out, there’s a big comedy festival there, Australia would be great also. Those are the top of my list. Chicago domestically, and then it’s all overseas. Although I heard Toronto is good, I’ve always wanted to check it out there.
TLB: Toronto is very nice. Canada in general is very nice.
LK: Yeah they’re almost too nice, they creep me out because they’re so friendly.
TLB: I always describe Canada as “America if people cleaned up after themselves.” So what is your goal for your career in three years, where do you hope to see yourself after this?
LK: Well mainly it will be to continue headlining, and to headline more and more clubs. Hopefully build more of a grass roots following by that. I’s also hoping to raise my profile by either doing some kind of TV show or movie, something like that. Three years is a short time for that, but hopefully it will happen. I would definitely want to write a script and to record another album by then.
TLB: Look at it this way, if you start writing Transformers 4 now you can get it out beforehand, so I’m just saying it’s NOT impossible.
LK: It will be a low budget an art piece version of Transformers…
TLB: You could premiere it at Sundance, maybe give it an apostrophe so it sounds French
LK: That would be a great idea actually.
We’d like to thank Louis Katz for taking the time to talk to us. Check out his website for show information. His new album, If These Balls Could Talk is available at all digital outlets now, pick it up!