I met Sam Tallent the first time several years ago when I was a judge at Open Screen Night. He and two other members of The Fine Gentleman’s Club were hosts, and I was the only one – judge or host – who wasn’t a professional comedian. I was but a lowly blogger at the time. I felt like a total fraud. But he, and truthfully, everyone that night, was so nice to me and I’ve never forgotten it.
He joins me this week to talk about his new novel that follows the travails of a once prominent standup comedian as he trudges across the American Southwest telling the same tired jokes and battling substance abuse issues. He tells me it’s very grim. Sounds very much like a book of our times! If you’re interested in picking up a copy, email Sam at sam (dot) tallent [at] gmail (dot) com.
On a lighter note, we discuss his outstanding work as commentator for Lucha Libre & Laughs, his brief time living in Las Vegas, the band Big City Drugs, how his background in improv informed his standup style, and riff about earnestness and sincerity. We also spend some time discussing his piece written for Vice called “Making People Laugh for a Living Sucks.” Short, but important point here: Editors are fucking ruthless. It’s a fun hangout, and I suspect we could all use a good hang in our times.