Kevin Meaney has seen and done everything in the world of comedy a 25 veteran in the game and he’s still learning new things from his craft and how to be a better comic. It’s a drive many of the greats have, to keep pushing the edges just to see how far they can take comedy. Meaney was in NYC to perform a few intimate appearances at NYC’s The Stand.
We got the chance to catch up with him right after one of his spots to find out what he’s still learning from stand-up comedy, new movie and TV projects he’s working on, and also what he’s still learning by bombing on stage every once in a while.
You just did a set at The Stand; how did it go?
I thought it went pretty well. I liked the crowd. I live in New York, but when you go out on the road to do my standup, I’m kind of safe, and I do all of my bits, and I’ll throw in a new joke here and there, but here in New York, when you get up, you really have to do all new things because you can’t be a pussy. You can’t have the comedians go “he’s doing the same things that he’s been doing for 30 years; that’s really pathetic.” So, it’s kind of fun to come to New York and do this stuff live in front of an audience.
Do you like doing the smaller clubs, because you really commanded the crowd. Do you like big places? Or what do you prefer?
At first, I really liked this club (The Stand). I did a benefit here with a friend of mine. He asked me to do it, and I said “Yeah, I’ve never heard of that club, let me go over there and do it.” So I did the benefit and I really liked it. Then they booked me. They said “would I do the show,” and I said “Yeah!” So I come, and I do the show, and I bombed. There was one guy in the audience that said “you suck,” and it just tore me up because it’s such a small room, and I knew everyone fucking heard it, and this little piece of shit that had no right to say “you suck,” but he just said it, and it made me mad, and I was like “I have to turn this around, I have to do something,” so I came back. And it is a different energy when you work a club that has really low ceilings, and you’re in this prison. It’s really weird. It’s a weird dynamic to have a room with a low ceiling, and then the ceiling is even lower because the stage is like a big high-heel or something.
I’m kind of shocked that you still bomb, or you feel like you bomb.
Oh, you do bomb. Oh my God do you bomb, and you bomb it over again. It’s horrible. I was on a ship, and I bombed so bad that the passengers wanted to throw me overboard. They hated me. They leered at me, and after the show they said “that’s the one over there that gave us the awful show.” The cruise director actually went up the following night and had to apologize for how bad my show was. When I go down, I go down big. Really, really, really big. When I go down, I go down in flames. It’s just not funny, it’s offensive, and it’s like “why would anybody torture people like I did.” That’s my act, and I have to live with that.
It seemed like, especially tonight, if someone didn’t laugh at you, you would just attack them in the best way possible. I thought that that can turn the bomb around, right?
It can. It can, but you’re kind of skating. That’s the great thing. I’m trying to create a new act, to do a new special, so I want to do that this summer, to be able to at least have half an hour or an hour of new stuff that I can say “well this’s what I’m doing.”
So you have a new special in the works. Is it too close to even say when it might come out?
Yeah. God. I would like it to come out in 10 years. I want to do it in July or August, and film it, because you can film it yourself. You don’t need people to come out, and have a big production company to do it. You don’t. You can do it. It’s simple. We’re doing a radio show right now, and we’re doing it on the street. It’s simple. You have a windscreen on the microphone. You don’t need a big studio to do stuff anymore. It’s on the fly, it’s great.
You’re also doing a lot with that voice over show with Lance Bass.
Yeah, I just did that. I was actually just with my friend Mark Johnson who put the whole thing together, and Ryan Duff who does the animation and the writing and they’re absolutely wonderfully talented, crazy, insane people. We just had lunch today.
Can you tells fans about that show? When it’s supposed to air, and what it’s about?
Oh, it’s just a bunch of toads saving the world. It’s for little kids. For preschoolers. It’s like for babies. Babies, or people who are totally high on heroine. It’s just baby stuff. That’s all.
That’s cool that that brings a whole new market. I’m sure fans of your comedy, and parents would love to hear you as opposed to a lot of other voice over actors.
Yeah, I mean, it’s just fun to do. You have to put your finger in everything. I was just up in the University of Connecticut where I did Hairspray the musical. I was an artist in Residence for like…six weeks. I played Edna, which I always wanted to play, and I did it on Broadway, but I played the Male Authority figure, and I played Wilbur, but I never played Edna. So, I got to do it up there, and I had a great time, and then you do T.V. shows, and you do standup comedy, and I do a radio show every week with Jay Thomas on Serius satellite radio. There’s a lot of different things that you can keep busy doing, and still not work.
You also have a film coming out too.
I do have a film coming out. It’s called Blood Ransom. That’s really exciting because I play a vampire.
How was that?
It was great. Some of the dialogue is so creepy, and weird, and scary. And I was a total straight vampire. Gay. He had gay undertones. So, I don’t know if people will laugh or if they’ll be like “Oh my God, this is really scary,” so I don’t know. I’m excited about that.
It seems like you are very busy right now, that’s awesome.
Oh God, I’m just hanging in there, but follow me on Twitter @KevinMeany. Because Facebook, I have a limit on that. You can follow me on Facebook, but I think Twitter is where it’s at. Facebook, I have 5,000 friends, and I can’t have anymore. They can follow me but they’re not the friend. People want to be the friend. They don’t want to be a fan, they don’t want to be a follower, they want to be a friend. And I’ll say “well you can follow me,” but “I want to be your friend. You can’t delete some people so you can be my friend?”
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us.