Dave Ross on tour mishaps, Drunk History, Deer Pile and his sketch group, Women
Dave Ross has accomplished a great deal in his comparatively short career. He's a member of Women, an all-male sketch comedy group that also includes Jake Weisman, Allen Strickland-Williams and Pat Bishop. On his Nerdist network podcast Terrified, Ross and his guests delve into their fears and insecurities. And he's in the middle of a month-long, cross-country tour that will roll through Denver next Wednesday, when Ross will headline the Fine Gentleman's Too Much Fun showcase at Deer Pile. Westword recently caught up with Ross to discuss booking his own tour, storytelling and appearing on the next season of Comedy Central's Drunk History.
Westword: So I've read a bit of your tour diary, and so far it seems like your trip been unusually packed with incidents, starting with your car breaking down.
Dave Ross: It's been interesting. And fun. It's funny -- I knew it wasn't going to be a fucking rock star, smashing shit-hotel rooms and banging prostitutes. But I did think there'd be more nightlife. Like a lot of the occurrences would come from me being out somewhere, drunk, and something dumb would happen. But it's been less of that and more just life happening.
I saw that you had to cancel some shows in Chicago, what happened there?
Oh, no, it's not bad. I was trying to think of a way to post that without people thinking something bad happened. What happened is, I got a Montreal [Just for Laughs Festival] callback.
So, yeah, you know, I'm gonna do that. But it's the same dates that I had for Chicago. It sucks that I don't get to go to Chicago, but it's good in a way that it was those dates because these were the only shows where I wouldn't be making any money and I'd have been doing shorter sets. So I have a show in Cincinnati on Monday, on Tuesday I put the car in long-term parking at the airport in Cincinnati, fly to L.A. and do the showcase that night, and then I'm flying back to Cincinnati the next day.
I know -- damn!
What have the highlights of the tour been so far?
Well, there are so many, which I know is cheesy to say, but it's true. Right now, I'm featuring for Kyle Kinane on ten dates in the midwest. Best shows of my life. Huge crowds. They've all been great.
Did you book everything on your own?
I booked the entire thing myself. Just through people I'd known from the last time I'd did this a little bit. I did a lot of e-mailing to friends and friends of friends asking them if they had spots, if they knew if anybody else in their state of Louisiana, or Mississippi, or Florida who had shows. I was just trying to find bookers in the area who had a reputation, shows that were regular, either weekly or monthly, that kind of already had an audience. Partly because I was worried about crowds and making money, but also partly because I wanted to make sure that I went places where people liked comedy and got it. They weren't going to be like, "What the fuck is this guy talking about?" I don't want to ambush people.
You're coming through Pueblo, too, right?
Do you know what venue you're performing at there?
Phil's Radiator Service.
That's a fun room. It really did used to be a radiator repair shop. Apparently Pueblo has some zoning provision against changing those historic buildings. Have you been there before?
Yeah, my parents live there. I didn't grow up there, they moved to Pueblo after I graduated college. But that's where I go fro Christmas and stuff. I know it's podunk, and there's nothing there, but I wanted to do a show there so my parents could come see me.
I think it's underrated. It has its charms. People hate on Pueblo too much.
Yeah, last time I visited my parents they took me to the downtown river walk area and it was pretty cool. That hatred should be reserved for Colorado Springs.
That's where I'm from.
I know nothing about that town, just that it's like a huge shopping mall and everyone is conservative. No offense.
None taken. I get it. The military and megachurches are the dominant cultural and economic forces there for sure. You see uniformed soldiers ever time you go to get a bagel. It's really pretty, but so is the rest of Colorado. Anyway, I wanted to ask about your podcast. Have you been hit by the patent trolls at all?
No, man. I don't even know what that is.
Keep reading for more from Dave Ross.