This week AmericasComedy.Com got a chance to catch up with comedian Chris Killian. The comic/songwriter can be found on the road and at RooftopComedy.Com now that his CD The Not Black Album has dropped. In our back and forth via email, Killian talks about scary moments, life on the road and what he hopes to get out of 2012. You can read our review of The Not Black Album here and follow Killian on Twitter @ckcomedy.
You’re on tour right now. What do you like most about being on the road?
There’s really so much, but I’d have to say the small cheap hotel rooms with the TVs that don’t hook up to my PS3. That’s probably my favorite. In a close second would be Taco Buenos. Have you heard of them? They’re out in the mid-west and they are delish. Like Taco Bell except less rancid.
What’s the creepiest thing that’s happend to you on the road?
Ha. About two months ago I did this show in Augusta, Georgia, and after the show, this chubby fellow in a John Deere cap (who’d obviously been drinking) comes up to me, and he shakes my hand and says, “Man, that was some funny shit right there. I gotta tell you. Before this show, I had been planning on killing my bitch whore of a wife…” He then proceeds to lift up his shirt and show me the gun in his pants. “But you made me laugh so hard, I plum forgot how badly I wanted to kill her and I think I might just let the bitch live now.” It was actually less creepy, but more personally rewarding that I had kept his “bitch whore of a wife” from getting what he felt was coming to her.
Your album came out this week. Are you doing anything cool to celebrate?
Besides the strippers and champagne? No. It came out yesterday and I pretty much didn’t do anything except play Lego Batman with my little boy and watch Boardwalk Empire.
On your site, you say you’re a comedian and songwriter, in that order. When did it occur to you to put songs into your set? Was that always the plan or more of an evolution?
I’d say that was always a plan. If anything, the songs led me to the stand-up. I enjoyed writing stupid songs to make my friends laugh, and when I started performing them on stage, I felt strongly that I didn’t want the guitar to be viewed as a crutch, so in order to do that, I had to learn to be funny without it. Not easy, my friend. Especially when you look as good as I do. (That’s called sarcasm.)
What do you remember most about your first time on stage?
I remember embarrassment. And the strong desire to further crush my self esteem some more.
You’re from the South. Is there anything unique to doing comedy in the South?
Some people think so, but I don’t really feel there is. The south’s a little more conservative, so they don’t like Jesus jokes so much, but other then that, they usually keep up pretty good.
You say a lot of things in your stand-up that people might be thinking, but never say… like “Christmas Sucks.” Does it ever rub people the wrong way?
I think comedy always has to rub somebody the wrong way. That’s why making fun of other people is so popular. It’s not good unless someone is offended.
I really liked “The Country Singin’ Poser.” What’s your favorite song on the album?
I mean, in their own way, I’m proud of all of them. I’d have to say that “Glory Hole” is one that most audiences don’t respond to very well, and as a songwriter, I think it’s just such a well-crafted song. People don’t appreciate how difficult it is to write lyrics about the dangers and thrills of sexing a hole in the wall.
What are your big influences in comedy and music?
Too many to name. I listen all kinds of comics and music and there’s no one out there who I don’t like, or at least understand why someone else likes them.
You say in the album that you wanted to do country music but did comedy instead. Was there a moment that led you to that decision?
I was being facetious. I never once in my entire life wanted to pursue country music. I think most people born in Nashville secretly loathe it. The people who migrate to Nashville later in their lives are the ones who love it. (I’m looking at you, Keith Urban. Really. What kind of Australian likes country music?)
Goals for this year?
Just to keep working and performing. I listened to the album yesterday and I already hate it. Not that it’s bad, I just hate it in an anorexic girl kind of way. I could just hear the love handles. Most people who have listened to it have told me it’s very funny, and I am grateful they think so. I’m just very anxious to drop this material and churn out something better for the next one.