Comedy has always been my favorite source of entertainment whether it’s stand-up, podcasts, movies, or television shows, I enjoy a good laugh. One of my favorite comedians, Jim Florentine does it all and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask him some questions.
You may know Jim from Vh1’s That Metal Show, the season finale of Louie, or the romantic comedy Trainwreck.
I was first introduced to Jim’s unique comedy from the show Crank Yankers where he made prank phone calls creating characters like Special Ed and Bobby Fletcher. It wasn’t long before I picked up a copy of his prank call album, Terrorizing Telemarketers and I have been a fan ever since.
I now enjoy listening to his podcasts where he gives a voice to everyday frustrations that are relatable and it somehow makes it more bearable knowing someone else in this world is as disgusted as I am.
Recently Jim did a show in Cedar Rapids but due to my extended hospital stay, I was unable to attend. I will be keeping an eye on his tour dates in the future so I can catch one of his shows and even though I didn’t get to see him live, I am excited I was able to do this interview.
I also grew up in Middlesex County and when I moved away I noticed my family from Jersey were the only people I knew that enjoyed the same humor as me. When I found out that you also grew up in Jersey, I wondered if this type of humor was a regional thing and how you are received in other parts of the country. Do you find that the same material works all over the country or do you feel the need to change it up a bit when doing a show in the midwest?
It used to be a problem with east coast humor not translating in other parts of the country but thankfully shows like The Sopranos and Jersey Shore audiences understand the rage.
It must be hard having to travel and be away from your son. Do you like to visit new places throughout the country or is it just part of the job to you? Do you bring Luke on the road with you when possible?
I don’t bring my son Luke with me yet when I travel. He is 5 years old so it’s a little tough. In a few years, I will take him to as many places as possible. When I travel for work I don’t do much sightseeing. The few vacations I take a year with my son we do all the corny stuff you’re supposed to do when you get there.
I enjoy listening to you on the Opie and Jim Norton show which you seem to be on quite often but it seems like this show may be on its way out. Do you have any plans to team up with Jim Norton on a regular basis in the future? Maybe a podcast or a radio show?
I love going on Opie and Jim’s radio show. I haven’t heard anything about the show going away and I would be sad if it did. Not sure if I ever would do a show with Jim Norton. We are good friends but both of us are always busy with other projects. I wouldn’t rule it out in the future.
Obviously, I am just a fan and don’t have any behind-the-scenes info on the ending of the Opie and Jim Norton radio show. I was basing my assumption on some things that were said during a heated argument between the two and a lot of internet rumors that I probably shouldn’t listen to but I love the show as well and would hate to see it end.
Throughout your career, you have done a little bit of everything from movies and television to stand-up and your podcast. What are you most proud of and what are some goals for the future that you hope to accomplish?
I think I’m most proud of that I’ve been able to make a living doing stand-up for over 20 years now. It’s what I love doing best. No boss, no rules and I can say whatever I want.
Not to sound like Special Ed but that’s great! I am very thankful that you can say whatever you want, that is one of my favorite things about your podcast. It is real and most of the time, you are saying exactly what I am thinking.
You have worked with a lot of funny people including two of my favorites, Louis CK and Jim Norton. Who are your favorites to work with and what comedians are your favorite to listen to?
I like working with mostly everybody. I like being around other comic’s because it makes me feel normal. I root for them all. There is room for everyone.
I agree and from a fan’s perspective, the more the merrier.
You have done a lot of great interviews over the years with a lot of interesting people, is there anyone you haven’t got to interview yet that you hope to sit down with someday?
Eddie Van Halen
I would love to hear that interview and hope it happens someday.
It seems that you get a lot of ideas for podcasts from fans and have an active social media following. Having an engaged audience is great but I’m sure you receive your fair share of negativity. Do you read all of the comments and how do you deal with the negativity?
I try to stay away from any negativity. I don’t read comments, message boards, or nasty emails. I know whatever I’m doing at the time is not for everyone so I don’t take it personally either. No sense in reading negative things. As long as I know I did the best I can on whatever someone might bitch about then I don’t care what someone says.
On a recent podcast, you mentioned that you were going to bring your phone into the stores and tape your interactions with cashiers. I love this idea and think it would make a great show, I have been looking for it ever since and can’t find it, is that something you have done or have you changed your mind?
I am going to do that and I’m still working on it. I have a bunch recorded but not enough for a podcast yet.
I am looking forward to it!
You can listen to Jim Florentine’s Comedy Metal Midgets Podcast by clicking here.