AmericasComedy recently spoke with Seattle radio show host and stand-up comic Jubal Flagg. Flagg has been writing comedy and performing on stage for years, and his radio show “Brooke and Jubal in the Morning” on Movin 92.5 is wildly creative, and a huge hit in the Seattle area.
His new comedy album Parlor Tricks released earlier this month in conjunction with New Wave Dynamics. Parlor Tricks features a strong dose of sexual, raunchy humor as well as commentary on some of the strangest and awkward social situations between men and women.
We talked to Flagg about his style of stand-up, his radio show, and why he’s living at a place called “The Man Ranch.”
Your album comments a lot about the way young people live their lives and the way they interact with the opposite sex. What attracts you to doing that sort of comedy?
“That’ definitely something everybody can relate to, relationship type issues or the difference between guys and girls. That’s usually what I end up talking about when I’m with my friends. It comes up a lot about how girls are different than we are but in actuality we end up doing a lot of the same thing.”
You also get into sexting and Facebook a lot. Those are two things comedians like to talk about. Are we at the bottom of the well or tip of the iceberg with these two things? Do you think people’s fascination with these two mediums will wear off?
“I think it’s just going to keep going. There’s always going to be some type of way for people to stalk people or send text messages. There’s texting and there’s Skype…I have a theory that eventually social media – everybody is going to know everybody – and then the world is going to be so incestual and that’s when we’re going to die. It’ll be so incestual that we’ll all be related, and we won’t be able to survive anymore because of social networking.”
It actually got me thinking, one of the things you didn’t talk about on Parlor Tricks was Chatroullette.
“That’s a perfect example right there, basically where perverts just hang out all day long. At least you know they’re staying at home.”
You also make fun of what I would call the stereo-typical male. Not very sophisticated, overly horny. Not smooth with the ladies. How much of that is the real Jubal Flagg and how much of that is just part of your comedy?
“That is the real me. You know, the stories that I tell, they’re all true stories. Of course I’ve added punchlines. But some of them I haven’t even added punchlines. I’m a little bit awkward in the things that I do. I really haven’t even figured out the relationship game. I’m a typical guy you know, I think about sex a lot, I think we all do.”
There’s definitely lot of sexual humor on the album. When you’re up their talking about sexual fetishes, masturbation, do you notice people in the audience tighten up? Do they get uncomfortable?
“Yeah they do. Sometimes they tighten up. But I think if you do it in a playful way, and they realize you’re not just trying to be crude, they kind of relax and get into it. We all do of the same things. I never understood why people tighten up when you talk about those things. I’m just talking about it. There’s a lot people who don’t give guys like me who do a lot of sex jokes credit..they say it’s not necessarily smart comedy – which I can agree to a certain extent – but at the same time there’s a difference between a good dick joke and a bad one. I’d like to think that most of my stuff is pretty well written perverted jokes.”
Do you hear that criticism about it not being smart humor from other comedians or is that from the critics?
“Comics always kind of talk about it. And everyone strives to be a smart comic. Ultimately though my job is to make people laugh, and you’ve got to learn to play to your different crowds. I think there’s something to be said for all kinds of comedy. And just because it’s not super intellectual doesn’t mean it’s not still funny. It challenges people in a different way. It challenges people to open up and be willing to laugh like they were in elementary school again…But I think that there is a stigma that goes along with people who tend to be a little more sexual…it gets labeled as being easy laughs. But comedy is not easy no matter what. So you can get up there and try to do just nasty jokes, but if they’re just nasty and not funny they’re not going to work.”
Was there anything you wanted to joke about that you didn’t get to on Parlor Tricks?
“Yeah there was. It actually started off as a DVD – a 45 minute DVD – and it got edited down. There was some bits I do that have music. I have a bit on CSI Miami, on David Caruso, and how overly dramatic he is, and I have the beginning music to that show. I do it after I tell a few jokes. But they had to take it out, some copyright issues and they can’t distribute that. But there’s a lot of material that I didn’t do. I wish I could have done it again. But I suppose I can just put it on the next (album) I put out.”
So that means you want to release a second comedy album?
“Yeah I do. This was recorded about year and a half ago. So it took a while for to get it out. I’ve been writing and I want to get an hour – an official hour – whether it’s a CD or DVD, so that when it’s edited down it’s an hour. But I have started working on a new set.”
The album has been out for two weeks. Overall how do you feel about the way the whole thing turned out?
“I’m happy with it. I’m never happy with anything I do. I’m always very skeptical of myself and not the most confident dude in the world. I’m happy with the response I’m getting form people. Even people that have been to my shows, seen and heard a lot of those jokes and everything else, are still enjoying the album. I get emails from people saying they just bought it and they think it’s awesome. I’m happy with the way it turned out, and all the editing that got done, to bring it (the time) down. I feel like it’s tighter and better than it was before.”
If I put a gun to your head and made you choose between doing radio or stand-up which would you choose?
“Stand-up. Absolutely. I started stand-up and radio at kind of the same time in LA. Radio kind of came to me quicker. Stand-up is hard in L.A.. You’re doing like laundry rooms, and coffee shops, and you’re with like two people who want to be comics and the rest are just actors who think they’re going to be discovered in a coffee shop trying to do comedy. I don’t feel like I really developed as a comic until I came to Seattle. But I love being on stage. If I had to starve and live in my car (just to do stand-up) I’d figure out a way to do it. There’s no other option in my life, it’s all I ever wanted to do since I was a little kid.”
Do you know where that urge to do stand-up comes from?
“I dont know. It must come from an urge for attention or something. My dad is kind of overbearing, my sister is pretty loud. Like they were all kind of attention freaks, and I’m a pretty soft spoken guy most of the times, and I figured the only way people would listen to me – because I could never get in on family conversations – the only way people would ever listen to me is if I had a microphone in front of me, talking about my penis.”
Haha. Do you see a difference between writing for stand-up and writing for radio?
“Yeah there’s a huge difference. I also write for a prep service for radio. They sell jokes to stations nationwide, and I’ve always thought to myself, ‘so I write all these monologue jokes for radio every day, I’ve tried to adapt those to the stage but it just doesn’t work.’ There’s something about the spontaneity of radio where you can work those in. I’ve gone on rants on the radio, and they’re really funny, but I’ve tried to do them on stage and it doesn’t work. And the other way around, I’ve tried to take jokes on stage and do them on the radio and it doesn’t work. It’s very hard to get something to work in both realms.”
You’re radio show is every weekday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. How do you prepare for a show that starts that early?
“I get up at about 3:30 in the morning. And I prep at home. I do some prep work and I do some stuff that we put on the website. Then I take another nap from about 4:30 to 5:15, and then come to work. And I’m usually here till about two in the afternoon. So yeah, we get up pretty early, which is hard when you have a show and you’re getting home at eleven or midnight.”
How do you like working with a co-host?
“I love it. I’m happier now than I’ve ever been. I love everybody that I work with. It’s a great show, we have a great vibe. We’re all positive. Nicest place I’ve ever worked, for sure.”
Were you ever on the radio before, doing solo hosting?
“When I first started in radio, yeah. I was in Stockton, which is a horrible, horrible place. I was there for six months on a small AM station doing late afternoons there. And I just couldn’t take it anymore so I went back to L.A.”
Alright, well my last question is, what goes on at the “Man Ranch”?
“It’s called the man ranch because I live there with two other guys and a while back we were hanging out drinking and I don’t know why but I started singing a jingle for the ‘man ranch.’ I was talking about dude ranches, and how they’re really kind of gay. We were all hammered. I started singing this jingle, ‘welcome to the man ranch, it’s our place to play, welcome to the man ranch, we are not gay.’ And so the ‘Man Ranch’ kind of stuck…One guy who lives there sells beer for a living so there’s really no shortage of beer ever, I’m doing my thing, and the other one of us is kind of like our mom, and he does all the cleaning.”
You can purchase Jubal’s album Parlor Tricks on Itunes or on Amazon.com. He also has a fan page on Facebook and tweets under the screen name @JubalFlagg. For more information about his comedy CD check out newavedynamics.com.
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