Myq Kaplan’s not that well known in the UK right now but hopefully that will change after his debut London show at the Soho Theatre in February and March as he’s one of the funniest comedians around, which you can see for yourself by watching any of the large selection of videos of him on youtube. Thankfully he’s enormously popular in the US though after appearing on America’s Got Talent and making it through to the quarter finals, as well as guesting on Conan, Late Night With David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Comedy Bang! Bang! and a lot of other fantastic shows including The Chris Gethard Show, @Midnight and Last Comic Standing. Here he talks about his show All Killing Aside, what it was like to take part in America’s Got Talent, his forthcoming role in Mystery Mansion and why a heckler is like a baby and someone committing an infidelity.
Comedy To Watch: How would you describe yourself to someone previously unaware of your comedy?
Myq: It’s been said that to someone who’s never eaten a kiwi, no amount of description can ever fully convey what it’s like to have a kiwi. And that’s what my comedy is like: sweet, fuzzy, and indescribable. Also fun, sincere, and full of paradoxes. And NOT full of paradoxes.
CTW: And what can we expect to see in your show at the Soho Theatre in February and March, All Killing Aside?
Myq: Here’s the official description of the show: “New York’s cosmic comedian Myq (Mike) Kaplan takes you (and himself, and the universe) on a journey of kindness in his debut London run. From universal challenges like love, death and bathrooms, through controversies like religion, politics and Nickelback, into a spiritual land of ayahuasca, peace and Kanye West, down the rabbit hole past all the turtles and back up again in an Inception-like structure, covering everything there is, forwards and backwards and in the folds. All Killing Aside is a comedy show about truth, love, and not murdering. Guaranteed to appeal to all the not-murdering enthusiasts out there.”
Here’s the unofficial description of the show: “Don’t tell anyone, but it’s a super fun funny show. Okay, go ahead and tell people.”
CTW: What’s your favourite thing about being a stand up comedian?
Answering interview questions.
Bonus answer: I sincerely love thinking of a new thing and sharing it with an audience and finding out that they agree with me that it is funny and meaningful, or finding out that they disagree but thinking I’LL SHOW THEM, I’LL SHOW THEM ALL, OR AT LEAST I’LL SHOW FUTURE AUDIENCES OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE, OR MAYBE NOT, WHO KNOWS. Comedy is a fun discovery process!
CTW: And conversely what’s your least favourite thing?
Myq: Answering THIS interview question.
Bonus answer: Not knowing the future. Though this might not be unique to comedy.
CTW: What was it like appearing on Late Night With David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Conan?
Myq: It’s a joy to get to perform for millions of people. I’m very grateful. THIS ANSWER IS SINCERE. THERE ARE NO JOKES IN THIS ANSWER.
CTW: You were also in an episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!, what was it like working on the show?
Myq: I’m happy that people I know are making great TV shows and occasionally asking me to participate. It was like showing up to a building, learning a few lines, saying them, and I believe then jumping away as though I were a kangaroo. You know, like any job.
CTW: What can you tell us about your role in the forthcoming Mystery Mansion tv series?
Myq: The role I play is I believe called “eyeball.” I’m a talking eyeball. It’s exciting, maybe even more so than acting in a show, because getting to do VOICE acting means I don’t even have to move. Big fan of accomplishing things while remaining still.
CTW: You appeared in the tenth season of America’s Got Talent, what it was like taking part in such a show? And did you have much interaction with the judges off screen?
Myq: One thing about that show is it’s real weird to be competing with other acts that are totally different. My jokes versus a cute little kid singing. A dance troupe versus dogs doing tricks. A fiery hula hoop versus a ventriloquist mime. It’s fascinating. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity. Did I interact much with the judges off screen? Let’s just say that we all live together now in a mansion in my mind, because in real life the answer is no.
CTW: How do you feel about hecklers, and has there ever been a heckle which has made you laugh?
Myq: 1) A heckler is like a baby, except that instead of crying (which is a baby’s only option sometimes), a heckler could simply leave if they were unhappy.
2) Sometimes when a married monogamous couple experiences an undesirable infidelity, it ultimately brings them closer together and makes their marriage even stronger.
Sometimes when a person goes through a medical ordeal, they come out of it with a greater sense of calm, self, purpose, and compassion moving forward.
And that’s what a heckler is like. An undesirable breach of the trust established between performer and audience. An ordeal.
It’s possible that the heckler story I have from last night, or any night in the past, is a funny one. But I still don’t want to have one tonight, or any night in the future. I’m a fan of all hecklers existing in the past.
3) If there is ever a heckler who could say a funny thing, I would encourage them to write it down and become a comedian and go say it at their own show. Also, the actual experience of having a heckler at my show is much rarer than you might think. I get asked more questions by interviewers ABOUT hecklers than I get heckled for real, I would say. (And I welcome your questions. Thank you for asking them.)
CTW: Apart from stand up is there anything else you’d like to do in the comedy world?
Myq: I guess maybe, more standup? Or whatever other opportunities might arise. Also, I’m working on a book of illustrated jokes with my friend Ramin Nazer who is a wonderful comedian and artist. Mostly, I’m just happy for all that I have done, and I’ll be glad to do any more that comes my way. LOOK OUT, SINCERE ANSWER ALERT! SINCERE ANSWER HERE!
CTW: If money were no object, what would you like to create?
Myq: Standup. Music. Books. Animations. Graphic novels. Videos. Fun. Sentence fragments.
CTW: What one piece of underrated comedy do you wish more people knew about?
Myq: Aparna Nancherla. Ramin Nazer. Jo Firestone. Nick Vatterott. Lorelei Ramirez. Zach Sherwin. “Underrated” is potentially relative, depending who you know and how you rate them. Whichever of the above people you haven’t heard of, them. And more.
CTW: And finally, if you could interview yourself, what question would you most like to ask? And what would the answer be?
Myq: The question is “what question would you most like to ask?” And the answer is “what question would you most like to ask?” Inspired by you.