Comedian K-von has performed on television and more recently in his own internet videos. You may know him from some hilarious appearances on MTV’s Disaster Date and Showtime. As a stand-up comic he has headlined internationally, and this week he’ll be in Southern California performing in Hollywood and Long Beach.
When he’s not doing stand-up or acting, K-von creates his own hilarious web videos with some help from students at my alma mater, California State University Fullerton, which you can watch at his YouTube channel “KvonComedy.”
K-von grew up admiring Late Show host David Letterman and the legendary George Carlin. In an interview that is long over due for publication, we talked about the various new and exciting projects he’s working on.
I was looking at your schedule and it’s just ridiculous. You said that you like to come back to Southern California for a couple days before moving on to the next place?
Yeah because there’s quite a few auditions, or I try to upload some viral videos. So I just try to come home and spend two or three days getting my business square.
Man, that’s non-stop. I was talking to some comedians about this a couple days ago, all the travel expenses when you’re on tour, is that on you?
The best gigs in the world cover travel, hotel, flight and pick you up from the airport. The worst gigs in the world don’t do any of that…I’ll be at the Four Seasons all expenses paid one night and the next night I’m in another town in the “Flu Seasons.” I’m like, ‘Do I have to pay for this hotel?’
Haha. And like when you’re in Scottsdale (AZ), and some of these other places do you use your time to get some tourism done and check out the city?
Yeah, I put in my iPod and go for a big long walk. Try to burn a few calories, try a few items you never have before. The funny thing is…like, let’s just say you met a real good looking girl on the road. You won’t meet her if you have a Four Seasons hotel, you’ll meet her if you have the Motel Six. And you’re like ‘You want to come back?’ and she’s like ‘No, it’s O.K.’ It’s Murphy’s Law. You only meet hot babes when you’re in the shitiest hotel she would never set foot in.
(Laughs). Where exactly do you live in Southern California and how did you get in touch with people from California State University Fullerton?
I live near the airport, LAX. Which is convenient to get in and out of here…The one awesome thing about Cal State Fullerton is they hit me up to do a big show last April – like a college gig – and they really packed it out, couple hundred kids, we had a great time. And then the next day one of the students emailed me and said, ‘Hey I really enjoyed your comedy. I’m a film student here. Do you want to make some videos?’ And I was like ‘Oh my God, that’d be great because I’m really trying to boost my viral video game.’ So I have a lot of good memories doing the Cal State Fullerton gig.
When he emailed you and you were like ‘Yeah I want to do some videos,’ what was the next step? You guys had to add more people to your crew? It’s not just you two guys right?
Well the cool thing is, he’s got all the equipment and stuff. And I’ve been doing the writing. And then whenever we need someone for a sketch I’ll just call him up, and we’re all comics, and everyone knows we’re working hard and don’t get paid, so we just grab people when we need them, and that’s the extent of it.
What are the latest videos you’re working on?
We just finished one called ‘Adopt a Convict.’ And the funny idea of it is, why would you send money to people in third world countries when you can help people in you’re own backyard? And if people just got out of prison, yeah you might put you’re entire family at risk, but you just might feel good about yourself. Haha…Yeah, so I have like ten of them ready to go it’s just a matter of feasibility.
What do you like to do more, videos or stand-up?
Well I love stand-up but you can only do stand-up at night, for the most part. So during the day you can either just sit on your butt, you know, Google things all day long, or you can try to come up with something during the day that kind of helps. And with me its auditioning during the day that loosens me up for comedy that night, or acting classes sometimes. So at night you’re already in a silly mood because you’ve been working, you’re in the comedy zone.
The other thing you talked about before was how doing these videos help show what other roles you can play, because the casting directors only trust you to do a role they’ve seen you do before.
Yeah in a way that’s true. Because I did a hidden camera show and now I get a lot of offers, ‘Hey are you interested in this hidden camera show?’ Just because I did it once doesn’t mean that’s all I can do. But that’s all they think you can do. So yeah, doing videos provides you the unique opportunity to show what you can do. So if I think I’m a leading man that’s what I’m going to cast myself as… And then when you have these clips you can show them to producers and they go, ‘Hey that’s our guy. We can use him for this.’
I thought it was cool how you also did the Tuskegee Airmen video.
Yeah, yeah. That was awesome because the “Red Tails” is a George Lucas production documenting the first ever black World War II pilots…And because of that PBS – they always do some sort of release of a ‘behind the scenes documentary’ whenever there is a big feature film coming out that is historical. And I got to be in that scene, I was the one white pilot – captain – who actually believed they could be trained…Noel Parish, he’s a really cool historical figure. So I came out looking like a good guy.
I’m looking at some stuff on your bio, and it says your inspired by David Letterman and the late George Carlin. I’m a huge Letterman fan myself. What is it about those guys that inspires you?
Letterman was the first guy I was allowed to watch all the time. You know, he comes into the home…I just thought this guy had the coolest job ever. He gets to tell jokes to the camera then sit down and interview celebrities and be funny the whole time. I thought that was really cool you know? Then I found he had a newscaster background and I thought, ‘Hey, I kind of look like a newscaster. I’m about as funny as a weatherman.’ (Laughs). But then I realized, no, you have to get into the stand-up game and really improve your talents…And then George Carlin, even if he’s not hilarious and funny the whole time, he’s so pointed and he has such a great opinion and I’ve written lots of jokes and I’ll go back into the archives and listen to a whole George Carlin record or file on Itunes and I’ll see he already said that. Which is cool because you know you’re writing like George, like we think alike, but it’s also bad because he pretty much nailed it and you’re not going to do as good on it.
Yeah you have to go back to the drawing board and come up with more stuff. One question I always ask comedians is what is your writing process like? Some people will wake up and have four cups of coffee, others are like insomniacs and do it all night.
First of all, I’ve never drank a cup of coffee in my life (laughs). Because back in the day I couldn’t afford it. I was like, ‘Man I can’t be paying Starbucks all this.’ So I wake up, put on some running shoes, go for a jog. Sometimes I put the CNN in my little ear buds and go jogging, listen to the news, come back, read the paper, write a bunch of jokes. Then eat lunch, pull out my laptop and write a bunch of jokes. I’m writing all the time. Writing is fun. Some things don’t get used for stand-up and I submit them to a magazine and they’re more of an editorial than a laugh-out-loud stand-up bit.
You don’t seem like the kind of guy that goes on a rant but are they like that?
A little bit. One article I did was a poem about why I got rid of my Ebook reader (laughs). I’ll just take a topic and really break it down.
Alright man, thanks for taking time to do the interview.
Definitely, no problem.
For info on where you can watch K-von perform live check out his website K-vonComedy.Com. You can also read his witticisms on Twitter @KvonComedy. His humorous writing and acting skills come to life on YouTube here.