The Basement Lounge
The Basement Lounge

Season 1, Episode 42 · 2 years ago

"Regurgitating My Journal Entries" with Ben Howard - The Basement Lounge: EP# 42


He's a comedian and a writer and he's got a lot to say. Ben Howard sits down via Zoom to talk about getting started in a coffee house, his brief stint in the Movie Trivia Schmoedown as "Dale The Dude", and what he'd get rid of if he were President.

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... Hey, guys, this is Mike Shay and I want to talk to you about anchor. Yes, anchor is the brand new free way for you to get your podcast career off and running without any cost to you. Simply download the anchor APP or go to Anchor Dot FM to get started. Anger is the easiest way to make a podcast to give you everything you need in one place for free. You can use it right from your phone or your computer. Their creation tools allow you to record and edit your podcast so it sounds tolay magnifeek without having to worry about all the costly set up. They'll even distribute your podcast for you so it can be heard everywhere. spotify, apple podcasts, Google podcast, stitcher. All of that, and you can easily make money from your podcast with no minimum listenership. They sent you up with awesome sponsors. All you got to do is record a script kind of like what I'm doing now, throw it onto your show and start making money once again. Download the anchor APP or, go to anchor DOT FM and get your podcast career off and running right now. Just do it already. Grab a drink, pull up a chair and settle it, because you're in the basement lounge. Welcome to a brand new episode of the Basement Lounge. This is the cool, relaxed face where we have conversations with guests, be they comedians, actors, musicians, podcasters, guys who have pretended to be read next on the Internet, whatever you want to call it. And on this week's episode we've got a gentleman that I have the pleasure of meeting back in January and getting the home a little bit. Now we're going to get to know them really good here on the show. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Ben Howard to the Basement Lounge. Oh, hello, let's get a see a little. There we go, get some applause going. Yes, that's what I'm used to. Yeah, that's that's the same time used to enter. So, Ben, let's see, we met in January doing doing a Sunday night at while he's comedy joint here in Dayton Ohio. Had a nice little conversation there and and from there I knew at some point on the show I wanted to get you on and we were finally booked up some new episode of new guests and you reached out and I was like well, Shit, dude, beat me to it. All right, cool, yeah, I was excited to get on. Let's let's talk about you, man. So right now, where are you living at? Right now? Right now, I live in a in a small nothing town called Greenville, ohioh yeah, yeah, I think there's a green bill in every state. Man, there is. There has to be. I think any when green is in the name of the town you live in, there's just you get the idea. Yeah, you get it. I lived in South Carolina for a number of years and there was a Greenville South Carolina and it was a nice little small city. But I went to college forty five minutes away from there, called into in a little town called Green Wood and Oh yeah, tiny little Mormon town. Everything closed at eight PM. Yeah, it was good times. There's Greenville. South Carolina is farst perior to Greenville Ohio. I know that for fact. My brother lives in South Carolina right now. But yeah, there's, yeah, Greenville, Greensboro, green acres, only in all the Greens. They're going to be great. What little family town. We worshiped God in this town of Green. Are you originally from like the the Miami Valley kind of Ohio area. I was born. The year was one thousand nine hundred and ninety three. Oh Shit, I was. I was born in Kettering. Oh No, shit, yeah, I was born in Kettering, lived in Eaton. Okay, was technically the home. Was My hometown. It's the hometown. I had a kettering birth M and the first few years of my life was lived in Eaton and then parents split when I was for not like left, they split up, they said they both said...

...fuck this, he's on his own. Yeah, they are. They met me and within four years they were like no, no, they divorced that I was four, and so my dad and mom remarried very, very quickly, and so Greenville is actually where my dad and stepmom lived. Okay, and then my mom and step dad lived in a even smaller town called seven mile. Oh Wow. Yeah, and and then we when I was eight, we moved to Phoenix. My mom and stepped out and that's we moved out to Arizona. So I've got into that. From two thousand and one up until two thousand and eighteen, I was I know I was in Arizona. Dude. That's that's I came up on the comedy scene in Arizona. I went to high school and graduated through it at in Arizona. I'm Arizona to me is his home, but I guess technically Ohios where I'm from. Well, yeah, I give me, but if you spend most of your life in in one place, you know your formative years are spent in one place, you kind of tend to call that one on. Yeah, I which mean I'm split, because I'm we move. We I lived in North Canton, Ohio until the year I start of high school. We moved down to South Carolina right like the summer I started high stool before I started high school, and then we I live there up until five years ago when I moved to Dayton. So I'm kind of I'm spoiling. Yeah, but out in Arizonas that's where you got into the comedy scene. So what what was the what was kind of the the catalyst in deciding to go into comedy? I started out writing, not even stand up. I mean, well, that's not true. I guess I wrote stand up without even really knowing how to do stand up, when I was probably like seventeen, like a sixteen and seventeen and but that I was I was acting. I wanted to to act and do little skits and like, I just remember the way stand up became a thing. Is I was working with the dude who is still my writing partner to this day. I was eighteen and I was living on a Futon in two dudes apartment and I had written this pilot episode for a Web series. Remember when those were a thing? Yeah, I'm yeah, written a pilot episode for a Web series that I wanted to get made. I'd shot a couple skits that I had written already with these this married couple that shot stuff and it was all comedy based stuff and I was one to actually do a web series. They didn't want to commit to that and I'd asked around who was kind of, you know, the ballers in town for for filming and and Shit, and I was at a coffee shop called coffee rush, which would then basically become my home base for years. That the patio of coffee rush. They allowed outdoor smoking and every what. It was the best coffee and just everything fountains out there to one nice little slice of Heaven and the Dude would become my writing partner was actually sitting like three tables down and they were like actually, that guy and his brother run a production company called a Paris. They've won some awards our short films and Shit, and when over and I annoyed the shit out of him for like three weeks until he finally was you know, I did a bunch of voices and act and like impressions and accents and stuff for him and he decided to make that and then we started. We started making stuff. We did a feature film in Two Thousand and twelve, like a few months later, because his buddies were making a feature and they asked him to get some actors for a certain group in the movie. Let's do that. And then during that time met another actor who was just starting to do stand up and my writing partner, right he's my best friend, jared say, but he kept telling me's like Howard,... got to do stand up and you got any knew I wanted to. I love stand up. I was I'd been in love with stand up since I was right in sixth grade. And then one of our other actor buddies are and he was hosting a show and he just called me and he was like Hey, your name is on the list for this show to go up like a month. So get five minutes ready, because you're going up. So I was. I basically was kind of forced into stand up, but I love it. I love it and definitely and that was that was what year, and that was at Jesus. I was nineteen, so it had to be two thousand twelve added two thousand and Holy Shit, you've been going ever since. Man. Yeah, I've been off and on, because then I'd like I would be acting or trying to pursue that at least. And then I graduate through an Improv theater. So I let stand up go for a couple full of years. I was dating a female comedian and that'll kill that real quick. And and so I was doing long form Improv through the theater and Phoenix, and so I was focused on Improv for a good number of years and writing. It's been trying to write a feature film and make a feature, you know, for four years now. And you're a big movie guy. You're a big film guy. Yeah, absolutely anything. You know, it's movies, movies in comedy. That's really it's all I want to do. What was the what was what was it that wanted to get you into into writing in the first place. Was it just a you? For me, it was. It was I love telling stories. I Love I love good, compelling stories. So I don't know what that that's what it was for you, or it's you know, it's probably a number of things. I grew up with my debt. My Dad was is obsessed with movies and big, big movie Guy and he would sit me down from a young age. He made sure to show me jaws and which I think I'm wearing jaws shirt right now. Nice. He showed me jaws and back to the future and all these movies that, you know, he knew were big staples in cinema and would sit me down and watching. I fell in love with movies from the time I was a kid and I just I love them. I started trying to actually write scripts when I was like thirteen to fourteen. I would write stories just longhand and a notebook and stuff, and I think it just it. My Life Changed After the Movie School of Rock. Really I can pinpoint it to that. Yeah, it sounds ridiculous in it is, but like that's just that's the way it did it school of Rock, because that let me, changed my life. I because I was watching a bunch of kids my age not only play music and being a band, and that's something that my dad and my brother did professionally and do professionally, and that was, as been, a big part of my life too. That's a separate thing, but so seeing him do that kids my age, but also these kids were in a movie. They're my age and they were acting and I was I understood that. I understood that they were in a movie and this was these were scenes and these were actors and and the first movie script I think I ever tried to write, I was like thirteen or fourteen. I've tried to write a sequel to School of rock. I remember doing that and of course, like I put myself in it and all the stuff, but yeah, I remember doing that. That's so cool, man, school, school rocks. And Yeah, I kind of felt the same way from school rocks. The reason I got into music, I think, was just because it was like, Oh shit, he made it looks so easy to say. Yeah, the first thing I started we had I remember the first band I ever was like and when I was like a teenager, were like you can't be in this band. Unless you've seen school of Rock, like we were that lame, like, but it was such a big it was such a big impactful movie too kids and it fuck, it's a Richard Link later film. Yeah, it's a it's a fantastic movie.

Jack Black is said it's the best project he's ever been a part of. The I agree, like, yeah, it's it was a huge staple film for him. It's very well written by Mike White, the guy that plays the real nutge deevil in that movie. Yeah, and it's. Yeah, it's fantastic movie. I think people like to like to kind of like write it off because it's a Jack Black movie, but it's it is, but it's a lot more than that. When you watch it, like it's not tenacious. D Okay, it's really I mean it's definitely not. There is because, I mean I remember a couple of years ago there was the video that serviced online. He did a reunion with all the kids and they were they all played the song as a band together because they actually learned how to play that stuff, like it was them playing. It was real. They had they had yeah, they were, they were all really playing their instruments in that movie. They cast it him specifically for that and they had banned rehearsal every day. I've watched them behind the scenes on that movie so much it's ridiculous. I'd spent I've watched the COP I listened to the commentary on Dude, I spent so many years as a kid. I've seen that movie over fifty times. I know that, but it's yeah, so that was ridiculous to say is like a twenty seven year old dude now, but it was. That movie was very impactful on me at like age, you know, Thirteen, twelve, thirteen, I saw that. It was also for me because because of the at the time, I was still really getting into music and kind of rediscovering some of the older ones and because he was kind of educating them on bands like motorhead and ACDC. That was also kind of a gateway for me to get into these more classic bands that I still listen to now to this day. And Yeah, it was really yeah, I was raised on a big part of that. My Dad was a was a professional musician for a long time and plays guitar, Bass Piano, who's a songwriter. He sings like and yeah, the S and s music. It's what I grew up on, but not the not the that the heavy, the heavier stuff, the ACDC motorhead, more Zeppelin. If there was the camp of Zeppelin or eagles, I grew up on the eagles camp. Okay, so, like I eagles, Journey, Steve Miller band, Billy Joel Credence, clearwater revival, stevie Ray Vaughan was a huge was is a huge someone. I Oh, I have tried to Stevie Ray vinyls sitting over this so cool. The the Beatles in a huge way. So yeah, it's more of the lighter side, more technical musician style of music from specifically the the seven. So it's as far as like you, so you mentioned like working on feature films and things together. So what is there like? Is there like a when it comes to filmmaking? Is there a particular style or genre something you go for? Is it just kind of whatever, whatever you can, whatever you can latch onto at that moment? Well, as far as genre goes, it's essentially I I live very comfortably in comedy m that's that's you know, that's just what I am drawn to the most. For the most as far as a style of filmmaking, I think you it's your job as a filmmaker to come up with your own and but picking different pieces from what moves you depending on what type of movie you're trying to make to you're not going to shoot a grounded kind of like I'll set. Judd apatow changed the way I wrote. Oh, but he did what they did with dialog. Completely changed the way I wrote. This realistic way of speaking and because, I mean if you if you watch movies of some of the great filmmakers and these big, big, a list heavy hitter actors, listen to the some of the lines that these actors are saying. No one talks like that, which is fine, like it list of the way Aaron Sorkin Rights, right. No, yeah, no one says in real life these lines...

...that are being said, like for the most part it's it's very dramatic language with their writing for the theater and putting it on screen for it's somewhat yeah, well, that is the case with like a few good men, which was an Aaron sorkin movie. That was a play before the movie, and so but you have like Judd apatow and Seth Rogen, the way those dudes right. Movies change the way I looked at writing. Dialog it's two dudes in a room talking how two dudes in a room would talk. It does it's not this big, grandiose and there's nothing wrong with that. By the way, I wish, I aspire to be able to write like Aaron sort and everyone who writes movies Shit Right, but you know, I don't know should but whatever. But so I definitely take a more grounded approach in writing. I know that as far as a writing style, because I can't even claim to have a filmmaking style. I'm not the one behind the camera. I don't aspire to be a director. That's my writing partner. He's a fantastic, if not one of the most talented editors in the southwest in my in my opinion, he's brilliant behind a camera. His brother Gret combat, is one of the best upancoming cinematographers in that region as well. The dudies work for big, massive accounts like like Golf Digest. Oh Wow, flying yeah, we'll fly him down to South America to shoot, you know, to shoot these incredible documentaries and like real and shows for their big golf resorts there that you incorporate drone footage and really, really beautiful landscape shots and I've been a part of some of his short films. I've been privileged to be a part of Song of his short films. The guys are fantastic cinematographer and I've worked with them just even on stuff like music videos and like, and you see the artistry going into that. So I can and probably will never claim to be a filmmaker, but as a writing style I definitely gear more towards the grounded, Realistic Dialog that genuinely occurs on a day to day basis between people. Now that I think you're absolutely right, Jett Apataus comedies are were my staple, I mean in the college, High School and college even to now, to this day. I mean I can quote forty year old virgin knocked up. Did he do role models? Was Role models one of his? He wasn't. I don't know if he directed. He was a producer on it either way. That movie, that movie, you can tell had his had his hands on it at some point. Yeah, Pineapple Express, and that's more Seth Roguan than Jetta Apataw. I think appataw maybe produced it, but but yeah, it's from, yeah, from forty old virgin to knocked up forgetting Sarah Marshall, I love I love you man, and Pineapple Express, like the the the dialog in those movies are is next level it. It really is, and it a lot of people think that it relies heavily on improvisation, which maybe some of it does, but there's a very I've I'm I am trained in long form Improv and it's like they're not just improvising, you're just going in a good go and make up stuff. That's not really the way that works. When people refer to Oh, they just improv that's like maybe that line and right. You know, I think we will like to like to embellish, and by people I mean like faint, like viewers, not not people on stage. They like to embellish how much things are improvised, like Oh, they improv that scene. It's like, well, no, they probably did it a couple different ways and had some leeway to de flex the flex the the wording a little bit, but it wasn't like they just went in without a script, you know. And there's definitely things called line a Ramas, which is like we have a set up here, fire off a few and a lot of the time, like guys like Will Ferrell's partner forever, Oh shit, started making more serious movies...

...for so I know you're talking about too, because they did that a lot with anchorman. Anchorman had a lot of line a RAMAS that, yeah, the guy that directed anchorman. They were yeah, he was a writer. Saturday live for Adam mccade MC Kay, looking it up right here live on air. Folks were googling. Yeah, Adam McKay. He'll sit behind the mic with a with a or he'll sit behind the camera with a god Mike and Basically he'll fire lines at you. To say, I think, most some of the best lines that were improvised while they were filming or actually Adam McKay's lines. He's telling the actors to do. It's it's a really it's a I'm in love with the process of filmmaking, whether it's television or or film. I'm I'm in love with the process and the game changing technology and just technique that goes into stuff. So I would be remiss if we did, if I didn't bring this up, because you did the first time I met you, because I didn't recognize you the first time I met you, because I'd actually seen you once before online. You made an appearance, and we've talked about it many times on this show, in something called the booby true via shmow down as Dale the dude. They all do. I just rewatched that match the other day because I knew, I knew this interview is coming up. Where the where the hell did dale the dude come from? Where did that get concocted? Did you see? Have you seen it all the documentary that was made with Dale the what? Yeah, also, it's as like forty minutes. It's on collider. It's uncle I probably where. I haven't seen it. I will watch it as soon as we're done here, but yeah, it's that's that's the most Dale Dale ever gets, because that was exclusively me and and jared, my writing cart. Okay, we put that whole thing together and just I emailed it to Christian harlof and I was like, Hey, we made this. I need you to say okay on it, because it's you're it's about your thing. Right, Dale was invented as a solution to a pro not a problem, but a solution to goal, okay, which was I was at jared's one time we're working on something else and he was in his office editing. He was like how our coming here and like in here and look at this dude and it was he's, he's, he's like I've been watching some of this while I've been editing, and it was the movie trivia. Schmo down and he was like these guys like come out as characters and it's like all movie Trivia and he sat me down and he made me watch an episode and it was the Finn Stock Verse Makuga episode where it was actually Mark Andrei. Good, yeah, which is a long time ago. Yeah, season for yeah, like that was a while ago. She's for that and I was like I have to be on this show. Yeah, that was the goal, was to be on this show. And Basically Dale came about because I had already been doing that voice and Improv shows, which basically just stemmed from this thing that my brother and step brother used to do making fun of all the dudes that lived here in Greenville, which were these like these let dudes from these small towns all dude, let's let's go fucking camp and dude still quad and dude, like just focus. Yeah, like focusing in on the word dude, like it's just these like guys that were big meat, had idiots and and so I had kind of like done that that voice Improv shows and I just called the voice tale because it was fitting. HMM. And we noticed that the aside from Youtube, the most the smow down interaction happened on twitter, HMM,...

...and so I decided it. We decided to basically make the short little videos of this character just talking about how much he loved showdown, okay, and that he was a super fan. We had to invent this Super Fan that was basically the guy that thinks wrestling is real. That's who Dalle it, like and the problem is I knew nothing about the show down and I had to make this dude an expert. So it was a lot of very calculated like dropping names and references that I had no idea what it was, but I would become to know because through doing that character I got obsessed with the show. HMM. Like it's very easy to do if you're in love with movies and like, you know, show silly showmanship. Yeah, so I we got a hat for him. I was very particular about the hat. I knew I wanted. I wanted to not like a trucker hat, like with too on the nose. I wanted it to be a hat that like your dad would wear the fish had from the sandlot. And Yeah, and we went to a thrift shop and I found the hat and I was like this is perfect, mant that's some weird state park. No one's ever heard of. This fantastic. And Yeah, we just started making it was all hey, it wasn't even we, it was more it was I would just and it was all improvises, all of those videos, because Dale has done probably over a hundred just a little too minute videos on twitter. I invented it. I made a fake twitter for Dale. I improvised in that first video just the name of his show, shmowdown, dude talk, and I just declared myself the host. I'm shot down the top and overnight this super fan of the shmowdown who now hosted his own after show, appeared out of thin air online. And I also realized that the maximum time limit you could directly upload a video to twitter was two minutes and twenty two and that when you directly upload a video to twitter, it automatically starts playing when you scroll over it. You don't have to click a link and people are more psychologically. They just more they'll watch something that just starts playing as opposed to clicking a link. It takes the most with and so I stayed off Youtube and just focus on twitter and I would just yeah, I just made these videos to try it. We with the goal of we're going to get these dudes attention and annoy these dudes to the point where I'm going to be on that show, and I think I we made that first video about it was nerds watch versus above the line. Okay, I think was the first video ever. It was when pushing and snapsock. We're still at a team and I made that video. I had an Improv show that night when out and did that. Got Home around like eleven. Created that twitter uploaded the and I knew I wanted to pick a nickname too, and I could not believe that no one in a movie trivia show had taken the dude. That's astounding to me, and so is Dale, the dude. Youubes. And Yeah, just upload that first video and less than five minutes later I got a notification. Christian Harlov retweeted your tweet, Christian Harlot Start Start following you and I'm like fuck yeah, this is working so well already, and I made another one the next day and within two days Christian harloff was quoting the tweet and whatever and saying like this guy's a going one of my favorites, Yata gotta. And it took maybe two months and I got a direct message from harlof that was like hey, we're doing this thing called the shmodeown spectacular. It's the second one we've were ever doing. We'd like you to come out to...

Burbank where we shoot, to be a part of the spectacular. And I called jared and I was like you're not gonna fucking believe just happen. It works, dude, it fucking works. And Yeah, we went out there. They thought Dale was real. This when I when I got there, because I hadn't told them he wasn't. Like that is been. They a real dude. So when I showed up without an accent and introduced myself as been, they were like what. I'm like, yeah, yeah, sorry, he's not a real guy. He's not. That dude was real. Oh my God, let's credit you acting ability. I guess it's. Yeah, who knows? But yeah, Dale was a fun I was a fun character that first that first trip we took out there. That a California for that spectacular. Jared brought his camera and was shooting all behind the scenes stuff with Dale. We would do little side things. I had a like Dale had a mic that the connected to the camera, so he would be doing like on site interviews in character. And we got home and jared was like, all right, we're going to shoot interview footage with Dale recapping the trip and we're going to turn it into a documentary. And we did. It's called Dale does the spectacular and we shot it, edit it and yeah, collider put it up on their main channel. That's so great, Dale. I'm looking it up right now. Dale as the spectacular as fantastic. I found it. Watch it, watch that later. That's so crazy. That's so craze. Just the idea, the idea of what this fuck around on twitter, see if we can get them the notice it and and and how you know, two months sounds might sound like a long time deal. Two months. I mean that. That's that's such a quick turnaround. It may have been less. Even I honestly, it was. It was too quick. It was like wow, this is getting or may have been longer, I don't know on my memory is horrible, but it was a very short amount of time and they enter, they asked us to come out to the spectacular and then it just went from there. I kept doing every match Dale would have a would have his show come out the day of the match. Afterwards I would just ran and rave. I would always make the I'd be doing sometimes up to like eighteen takes of these things, like because I dale was a fast talker, I only had two medics and twenty seconds. The intro was always the same. What is going on? But it this is Dale good do deals come at you with an addition of shmowdown bootelp like it was allays like it was that and then boom and it was let and it was I had to make all these tiny little jokes that were some movie references. I called William Bibyani's success well at one point, like just little small things like like like what maybe on a first hit the scene, dude. I mean it was like the trailer for suicide squad. Booed. Everyone was excited, everyone's going crazy. It's going to be awesome, Dude. Then Bibyani plays and it's like the movie suicide and to a bunch of movie fans that it was making these tiny little movie references, especially with characters that they've all kind of grown to love, and it is a very wwe mentality of you know everything and I had to learn about wrestling to I didn't understand anything terms KA favor any that, it was a really fun experience. It was a really fun experience and I'm glad you have done it. Yeah, and let me allowed me to meet some really, really great, great people. Christian harlof and Mark Ellis are two of the best dudes, and all the dudes that were running around it can nap sock is very standoffish guy, but very nice, Nice Guy, and draco's always complaining about something. It's also a very, very nice guy. I get to meet get to meet napsock... Chicago last year and at first because the place they were doing, because he was there for for els is special taping, and and the venue, the venue we were at. I mean even else has said like it was. It was such a divy biker bar and it was really crowded and kind of aggressive. It looks great on camera, but he was trying to find a bathroom and he was in the upstairs rooftop bar, which was just full of the most just like burly biker motherfuckers you've ever seen, and he was just trying to push them get a bathroom and I tapped them on that. He was pushing through and and I was trying to get through myself and I didn't realize I had seen him at for a first and then I saw him and I tech on Joelur. I said Hey, Ken and he turned around. At first I thought I guess he thought he was about to get into a fight and I was just like, dude, I'm a big Fan. He kind of went oh, all right, good, yeah, that's very nice to me and he walked off because at that point, yeah, he was probably in a hurry, but yeah, it's hey, guys, it's Mike. I want to take a brief minute to just interrupt the show so I can tell you about all the awesome people that are helping support the show on anchor and Patreon. Shout out to Mike Wells, who's helping support the show through anchor and shout out to all of our awesome patrons over on Patreon, Greg Great, Joey, Craig, Melissa Shay, my awesome mother, Jody McDermott, soul hs and Whitney up church. Thank you, guys, so much for helping support the show, and if you want to get your name shout about, just go to patreoncom Basement Lounge pod and join our three dollar a month VIP tier. Get access to all kinds of awesome rewards, including have your name shouted out on the show. All Right, guys, thank you so much again. Now let's get back to the show. And he thought about like bringing back Dale the dude, keeping him going, doing more, not necessarily the Shmo now, but just doing more stuff. Jared, it's like every time we talked it seems like yeah, it's like, how are you got? He's a yeah. He's like what would day of is a about this brow? I'm like, fucking nothing, because it doesn't this any more and relax, like you guys bring it back like tick tock or something, or God, I talk. I hope that all burns in the ground. I hate social media so much, even though it got me that level of small. It's better solation. Yeah, it is this. I hate that. As a comedian, it seems like it's the norm of how to get noticed. Yeah, I don't. I don't fully believe that in the in the way, in the vein of having to post content every day, some video of some funny thing or some post about that. I don't believe in having to do that and I refuse to. I won't. Yeah, it's not something I want to do. It's not something I want to be a part of. This, this social media. It was. Social media was this giant experiment, basically, that was set up to to introduce the global community to one another. Is What it was. And the result of that experiment was we all met each other and almost immediately decided we did not get along. Yeah, and and I I think it's sound a baddy experiment. If I was president, I swear to God I would be so unpopular because I would get rid of social media. You can keep instagram, youtube and email the end, like I think all the other ones need to fucking go as it's there. There, there. I don't enjoy them. They're they're very conservative. You there's. Well, no, I'm I go both ways on it. On one hand, it's like I can't tell you how many times I've been like man, I wish I could just just just get rid of this shit and never have to use it again. But because of the career fields I've chosen to get into and, like you said,...

...because now they are all so dependent on you having a strong social media presence, like well, if I do it, I might as well just, you know, pack in everything you know as a comedian, as a as a content creator. It's like, if I'm not, I remember I talked to I was talking to one guy at a club in Chicago and I told him I had been I've been doing stand up for for fifteen years, and he was like, he's like, well, how's your social media presence? And I was like I mean, he's like, are you verified on twitter or Blah Blah. I was like no, dude, because that's not where I do my work. I do my work on the stage. I don't. I don't do my you know that. I know some Comedians who were great on twitter. Guy, local guy who's a one liner comic and he basically uses twitter as his sounding board. He, you know, tweets a couple times a day. They're just ideas for jokes he has. If they work, he tries them out on stage. But, Mr Mike, Wells, Mr Mike, fucking wells man, Mike, what the fuck? Wells, I'd be wearing a shirt right now, but it's in the wash. But yeah, you know, for serve for stuff. For once, it will for every so often a personally that I'll work. But yeah, as a comedian, my work isn't defined by how well I tweet, you know. But yeah, and and honestly, fuck your blue checkmark the shit, like, I don't, I don't get. It does not make you any more of a person. It doesn't make you any better at what you do either. Yeah, all it is is is, it's a mother's a metric. Yeah, and it's also on a platform that, I'm sorry, it's extraordinarily biased towards certain things. Yeah, and it's and I you know it's. At the end of the day, it's just a IT'S A it's company. Yeah, it's business. I don't the fact that it is ingrained. So the if you think about the time between when we asked do you have a cell phone and do you have a facebook, that was a ten years, huge, huge gap of time. We like not you. I mean ten years isn't even that much. I mean and that and that was just ten years. And from two thousand and ten on. Now forget about but what I was talking about as far as long period of time as like you know, I remember going through all of middle and High School, Oh do you have a self? Have a self, Adat cell phone. But then the period of how quick it was. We're wanted to have a facebook. It was, it was. It was far narrower, and and and and now it's because I remember, I remember being a freshman in college and my one of my media professor's talking about how how apple was developing the first iphone, and I remember thinking about this is two thousand and seven. I remember the first I phone had a big metal back. Yeah, yeah, and I remember thinking of Myself, oh please, that'll never take off, you know. And if they do, it's going to be so fucking long before something like that's even pot you that that won't to that can't exist. We're so far behind that technology. And now it's I mean it's helping me run the show that we're recording right now, as it's docing on my computer right now, and it's so hard to even fathom the time and how it again, it's only been thirteen years. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a long time. It's it's, it's it was an insane explosion. Just the fact that you watch a presidential debate, if you debase yourself to watch that kind of content, the fact that on our presidential debates, which essentially at this point is just a reality television show, is the twitter and facebook logos in the corner? Oh Yeah, is that are and I'm like, what the fuck did that get in here? Which means, which heavily means it's influencing policy, HMM, and and and social norms and ways of life. And I don't. I don't like it. And I'm twenty seven. I'm supposed to love it. I'm supposed to be in that generation that it's all about. It. I could give a fuck. I don't care about your stupid fucking filters and I don't care about puppy dog years on checks and God, I don't. I don't. I care about yeah, I care about the work. I care about making people laugh and connecting genuine people and doing my back. I don't even own a television. I entire... room. I have went to. I have for white boards in a report and that's that's what I use my my time. I've ordered three books on Amazon through this whole quarantine. You know, trying to read through a lot of those and you know it's about putting the work in Netflix and Youtube, in these things, which are they're so dangerous, man, they're so Dang it's digital harold. They will suck your time away and keep you glued to that couch, to anything to make you not productive, not thinking for yourself, not creating origid or having original thought, and it's a very dangerous precedent that that it's setting as a social norm. I wish I could write funny things and like sand of about that, but there's really no funny way to talk about it's not funny. And and only somebody, only somebody with the with the charisma and and and unbeknown charm of Lewis Black, and pull off something that angry and right. I think he should run for president. I wish to God he would at that. Man, I lose black. He'sily my favorite comedian ever because it's just like hit. Nothing he does should work, but somehow it does. You remember seeing him? The first time I ever got introduced to him was the movie accepted. I love that movie. I love that movie so much. It's my old girlfriend Sarah Pel Fan. The kids go to college to get a good job, to get a great starting salary. Oh, we love that idea. Fucking A, you set them a bag of dog shit. It was a metaphor for what, for their full shit. I love them so much, so great. I. Yeah, I've been a fan of his ever since, like I saw his back and black special with with the starbucks bit and and the Alzeimer's patient. That was, you know, the end of the world. was just fantastic. But yeah, it's I you know, I I'm again. I'm of two mindsers about everything. You know. On the one hand it's like, yeah, I can't tell you how much time in my day I've lost to rewatching, you know, old seasons of cheers on Netflix or something. But I will say I've also seen to where some really great creative ideas from small, unknown filmmakers have finally found places to exist where they wouldn't normally be able to exist in current Hollywood. That that's the thing. You can you know, I can rant and rave about not liking all this shit and that that. That's not that it's all bad. It is, it's just, you know, when you let it basically become your recreation. Sure, sure, yeah, absolutely, there is an end. Listen, if you're, and I'm speaking more to people that are trying to pursue creative endeavors in their life, if your life is perfectly content to go to work, work your nine hundred and twenty five, get married, have a kid, come home, make dinner or pizza, sit down, watch Netflix, go to bend it all over in the next day, there's nothing wrong with that. Yeah, and that's just being a person, speing in Americans, being a human like. Do that, like, but if you're trying to be a stand up, you're trying to be an actor, what are you doing? Like? I mean, I can't set aside maybe those times, but you gotta work, man, you gotta work. I can't. I can't watch comedy specials anymore because I've been doing it for so long a I find myself like trying to analyze and pick apart everything from from from a comedian standpoint, but also because I find it hurts. It hurts my creativity, because what ends up happening is I'll be trying to write some new shit and I've got the new John Laney special in the back of my head and and it's it's it's stopping me from coming up with my own ideas because then I'm always worried that either a, it's going to sound too much like is or I can't think of it because I'm thinking of is what John Mlaney fucking say about this shit. And and yeah, that's the thing that I think, where that those platforms are helpful, as now we have a lot more information. Yeah, I'm given by people that we admire and a spy and aspire to be on...

...the same level as where we know what a comedian finding his voice is. Yeah, we're in the S. That was something I think you had to find out for yourself and people weren't really talking about it. There weren't, you know, full interviews and podcasts going in depth on stand up from people that you respect and admire, and so you find out all these great things. You know, finding your voice what that is the easiest way to letting go and a lot of that stuff writing and but I mean honestly, I still, I think, for the last three four years of my life. When I go to bed, I don't put on music or anything. I put on stand up radio. Okay, I got a bed listening to stand up and, to be honest with you, it's it's, if anything, given me more confidence really because, yeah, because you listen to some of these albums of touring. These are comics. They have albums, they're on spotify, there's a crowd in the audience, they got paid to do that, they have a booking agent, and then you listen to their material and you're like, okay, like mucking groundbreaking. That's not they're not gavest, they're working, they're making a living and that's not cracking me up. You don't have to be a Chapelle. Aspire to be a Chapelle, but don't get care yourself. Comparing yourself to people you admires maybe the worst thing you can do because, yeah, you're going to get in your own way. I'm not, who the fuck am I? I'm in a little to bedroom apartment in Shuldville, Ohio. So I don't know what I'm preaching about, but it's it's shit. I'm finding out for myself. I'm basically regurgitating my journal entries right now. It's true. It is true that how many times have any of US measured our own successes or failures by those of people? It's hard, not that exactly. It absolutely is. You know, you see like Oh man, well, this guy did it and it was able to do this in six bonds and I've been doing it for a year enough. There, who gives a shit? WHO gives a shit? Biggest that's the biggest scam on run, writing movies. You know, fucking heart it is to write a movie, a full features. It's as it's so fucking s it's a weal stories. When you hear these stories of like, Oh, you know, Mike Myers wrote the first awesome powers in a week. Well, fuck him, like right, good for him. You know, most good movies take at least like two to four years to write a final draft, from start concepts to final draft. It's like a four year process. It's a very long writing a fucking movie script that is good chunk a movie. It can take it can take a while. Yeah, so I I made one last year and that script, you know, it was a five minute short film. The script was six years old. I wrote it I wrote it. I started it years ago, got stuck on it, Brent couldn't figure out to do with it, put it away, came back and revisit it later on. W I had some new, fresh ideas, new experiences, you know, and and it just yeah, sometimes that's just the way it is. You know it. I was insanely proud of it, you know. But now, but now it's done. Now I can just move on to the next idea. But yeah, it's not you. Yeah, you do get those. Yeah, Mike Myers wrote whatever in a week. Cool, you know, once in a while that happens. Every once in a while I'll have an idea, I'll crank it out in the day. Cool, it's done. Other time it yeah, it, but I get it, though. It is hard not to see someone else's progress and not judge yourself based on it, because it's because it's right there. Yeah, I mean as a comic, though a lot of my jokes, they are jokes. Yeah, they really only within the last year, as my writing started to get more personal and coming from more my point of view rather than just a joke, which I respect jokes, but there is something to be said about that. Really, writing from like I talked about my dad on the stage. Now everything it's just like that's not something I was doing years ago at all. You know, I have jokes about why I think, you know, Yoga is stupid and what's up with girls and Zodiac...

...signs, and it's like that's you know, I love those jokes. They're going in whenever I work, whenever I'm trying to get a half hour put on tape next year. Yeah, and those jokes will be in there, some of them. But you know, a lot of what I'm writing now is is more from personal experience and from my specific point of view and also, these days, just not being afraid to say I say the word count in a joke. Don't be afraid to say that it's a word that people use. For the people use it's, you know, and it's not being it's also in reference to it dude, and I think you get cart blanche to call a dude AC countany time you want. Oh, absolutely, yeah, yeah, for sure. I've known many not not being afraid. I think Dave Chappelle did a great thing. I think I listened to Joe Rogan and Kevin Hart Their interview yesterday and they start the very end of the podcast to start talking about Chappelle and really what he did was stand up for comics in a time where it was very dangerous to do that. Yeah, and I think that's important, you know, because I do think nowadays, and it's in the current state of things, comedians are having to we had gotten to a place where we were where we were starting to have our place in the world again, and now we're kind of having to refigure it out when we were just starting to get it back. and WHO's the blame? fucking twitter, there not fucking wrong and we're back. Then we're back, and comedy we call that a comeback. I call back kids. I did. I was I was part of it, of an ill fated comedy tour when I was in college, and all those are fun. Yeah, it was. We basically did the first show of the tour and then the whole thing got scrapped, but we were filming the DOT. We were going to we're going to document the whole thing on film. And the guy who was headlining the tour, because the I I had taken time off from stand up to go back to college and he had been going so he had a bit he was a bit further along in his career than I was at this point. So he was the headliner. So we were doing the documentary and we're talking to our friends and, you know, doing these kind of you know, because they were talking to us and like how we met and how we got in a comedy and all that, and he he made a call back to something that from a conversation earlier, it turns me, goes, by the way, Mike and Comedy. That's called a callback. And I was like, I taught you that Shit, motherfucker, you prick. Do I'm sure that? I'm sure that was ironic and like and making and it was making a joke. It was I really do love when, like other local comics try to give you advice exactly. But you realize we're on the same show right now, right right, like we're both at the same open might get a bar that no one came to anybody. We're both not getting paid for this show. So thanks for giving me your insider tips. Wall Street been you know, we're just about at a time here. But you know, obviously we'd be remiss if we didn't talk about the current state of the world. With covid nineteen in the quarantine and everything going on. Man, how you been? How you've been doing through all this? I've been fine, okay, cool, okay, all right, yeah, yeah, no, I mean genuinely, I've I've been, I've been okay. I quit drinking right before, all right, before all this really started, and I'm I come from the last about five years whatever. I hate when people talk about their sobriety, but I'm sober. No, fuck yourself, but been like that position where I am, and I use the word sober, because it was I was drinking. It was I'd have to buy a new bottle of whiskey every twenty four hours. Uses and yeah, now, that went on that way for a good four years. There was not a day that I...

...could not. If you ask me when was the last time I didn't drink, I couldn't give you an answer. So it was I wasn't going out to bars and everything. So it wasn't an outward problem that was affecting others for the most part, which is why I think I got away with it for so long. I could, I could sell it off in my mind is not being a bigger problem. They was just whiskey every single night at least two pints. Was Gnarly, but I finally decide to quit drinking late, late January, early February, and then all this stuff started, and I'm not sure if I'm glad or not that I chose that time. He did. I actually I think I'm glad that I chose not to continue drinking through this. It probably would have made it worse, because I've gotten mad. I'm upset, like I can't get on stage, I'm pissed off and people aren't putting on shows. I don't know what. I said this the other day. I don't know what. I'm not calling out any specific comics or whatever in the area, but it's like people that are putting on shows and responsible for putting on shows and these people that use this phrasing like like we'll get back to it, you know, like whenever we get back to it, like Oh, we'll be on stage at at some point. It's like you do realize if you're waiting for the WHO or the CD or the CDC to put out some statement or tweet that says, Hey, guys, it's all good, that's not going to happen. Yeah, like you have. That's not going to happen. It's just isn't and so you can't say everything's going to get back to normal soon, but then when people try to start getting back to normal, you yell at them and and say they don't care about public health. You can't do that. Like it's. It's we've waited this out. Yeah, it's pretty, pretty fucking I think clear that the numbers were horribly inflated and that possibly some other shit is going on. I'm not saying it doesn't exist. That would be stupid. Hmm, I'm sure. I know people do say that, but that's that's I know. I feel center. Yeah, I don't think it doesn't exist. I think it was horribly inflated. I think a part of it was severely political and I'm not going to get it all that, but I just want to get back to play and shows. We're fucking comics. Stop acting like a bunch of fucking Nancy's and start putting on shows again, like you know, and just don't allow anyone in over seventy. Don't want old people are our comedy shows anyway. The PARD Skelton, but I'm up there doing no respect that Red Skelton was born old. Yeah, there are some people of that was okay. No, I've been finding this. I've been reading quite a bit and I've been getting a lot of work done. I'm back and forth on two different movies right now that we're trying to we're trying to to work on. I'm doing treatments for both and scripting for both, and that's taking up a lot of my time. I've come up with probably a good fifteen minutes in new material. It's none of it covid related. I don't think anyone should be right here coronavirus Chi. I don't think anybody is. I think, I think honestly, there I think everyone right now that I've talked to was trying really hard not to, because for a lot of people it's all the reality has been. You know, and yeah, and and want a long when so many you, especially the local types, right from reality, when your reality is depressing and repetitive, it's hard to it's hard to find a way to write around that. It. Yeah, I guess it's like they're you just let let your mind go to where. If you're only focusing on what's in the headlines, then I mean, I suppose if I've never...

...been a headline comic. I don't write generally about current events. Yeah, so maybe it was easier for me. I respect to people to do though. Those are the guys that get writing jobs on, you know, late night shows and stuff. Yeah, the guys that can real quick come up with funny stuff about, you know, current events. I respect that, but just not really how I write. So it didn't really affect my writing too much anyway, but it yeah, I've come up with some new material. I got, you know, the work I'm doing. I'm cooking a lot. Yeah, and, you know, drinking a lot of lime, Seltzer water, buddy, and and hot tea. Right on, man. Good, well, you know, good could congrats, I guess, as enthused about it as you seemed on the on the on the quitting drinking. I'm STI this big thing. Yeah, so good for you, man. Keep keep on the writing, though, man. Yeah, I'm all. You know, I've been slowly transitioning to focusing more on film than stand up, as much as I love doing stand up, and so I always say, you know, keep writing and you know, hopefully sooner rather than later you and I can can work together on something again, to go on stage together again. And Ben Howard. Man, and since you said Fuck Social Media, normally is where I ask everybody. Hey, where can they find you online? I do have a podcast, so I should plug so let's look. Yeah, let's let's plug the podcast real quick because because I do, I do want to talk about that. So what's The podcast? Man? Yeah, the podcast is what a week I'm having. It's on spotify and apple podcast you can find me. Yeah, that's the podcast. Has An instagram and a twitter, but I don't really plug those because you can follow me. I'm it's not a podcast for the cohost or anything. It's like yours. You're you're the only junior podcast. It's and I don't really even have guests, ranting for about forty five minutes every Monday. Every Monday, new episodes every Monday. What a week as a what a week I'm having on Apple podcasts and spotify, and then you can find me instagram and twitter at Ben Howard comedy. All right, we guys. Make sure you go check out the what a week I'm having podcast hosted by Ben Howard. Check them out on facebook and twitter. Been Man, so glad we got to do this. Man, thanks taking the time out of your day to come on the show. Absolutely, Man Love to do it again. Absolutely you. Fuck Yeah. Well, soon as, yes, soon as we're allowed to have you have go out in public again, and and and and whatever. Anyway, yeah, we'll get your will get you in here in the studio. Hopefully by then we'll moved into an actual studio, but we'll see no more. No more MOM's basement. Two Thousand and twenty one. All right, but that being said, guys, we're gonna that's going to do it for this week's episode of the Basement Lounge. Make sure you follow us on all the social media's, facebook and Instagram at basement lunge pod, twitter at TB underscore pod, and, of course, you can support us on patriarch. Go to patrearcom slash basement lunge pod three dollars a month get the VIP to you there. We'll see you, guys, next week with a brand new episode brand new guest. Until then, I'm Mike Shay and, as always, live well, rock on, take care and bub bye.

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