Comedian Rory Scovel on crowd tension, Bobcat Goldthwait and why Aurora didn't steal Batman from him
This is somewhat of a dated question, but when your friend Todd Glass came out as gay on Marc Maron's podcast last year, it was a big deal. Yet if he were a musician or a musical theater performer, his career definitely wouldn't have kept him in the closet. Why is the comedy world so many years behind politically?
I thought that particular moment was so beautiful, because it gave us the opportunity to listen to him say so many things about growing up gay and why he never came out before. I grew up in South Carolina, and the person I am now at 32 is so different than the person I was at 23 when I left. And it's because of moments like that podcast that opened my eyes to how I should treat people, and how I'd been treating people. I would like to think that it had the same affect on a lot of comics and how they approach standup.
I'd like to think that because people are pointing these things out, that other comedians are going to want to shed that aspect of comedy, and stop saying things like "women aren't funny," or something homophobic.
You recently sold a sitcom pilot to ABC that would star you as the lead. Do you worry that, even if you are successful at this, you're entering into a legacy of standups-into-TV nightmares like Tim Allen and Ray Romano, people who would never get respect in any worthwhile comedy scene?
It is in the back of my mind. I could hang up this phone and find out in a minute that ABC isn't going to do the show. It's a strange business, because if you're doing standup but you want to get into acting or writing, then you kind of have to take what comes. But you don't want to take a job just to take it, just for the money or exposure. Because it could certainly lead to what you just said.
I think someone like Louis C.K. just really likes to create content, and that's what I'd like to do, in addition to acting. I think that's the best way to get yourself out there. I think with Tim Allen and Ray Romano, when their shows end they're not like, "Oh I've got this movie I really want to make, or I like what's happening with Adult Swim, maybe I'll make a weird Ray Romano show for them."
I think with those guys somebody took what they were doing on stage and made it family-friendly. Whereas with someone like Seinfeld or Louis C.K., they created a show that just complemented what they were doing on stage.
But both Seinfeld and Louis had a lot of creative control -- I can't imagine that ABC at the pilot stage would just hand over the reins to you like that.
That's the thing. I pitched it as being like Married With Children kind of comedy, something edgier. I know you can only be so edgy with a network TV show, but when I was a kid I wasn't allowed to watch Married With Children. And when we pitched it, we said we wanted to make a show that parents wouldn't allow their kids to watch, because it's too much for them.
But that could change at the drop of a hat. Some producer will be like, "We'll make it, if you change everything."
Rory Scovel will perform at the downtown Comedy Works at 8 p.m. Thursday, January 31, and again at 10 p.m. on Friday, February 1, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 2, and 9:45 p.m. on Sunday. Rickets are $14 to $22; for more information,visit www.comedyworks.com.