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Inside With: Gabe Liedman

By: Meredith Haggerty

Be it stand up, videos, or blogging, Gabe Liedman is one of the most hilarious guys running around today. His stand up show, Big Terrific, which he co-hosts on Wednesday nights at Cameo with Max Silvestri and Jenny Slate, has become one of the marquee shows in the city to attend and perform in.  I sent a few questions to Gabe about his celebrated show, his experiences, and, of course, Glee.

Big Terrific was recently named the "2010's Best Stand-Up in New York," by New York Magazine, which was kind of a big deal because it sort of affirmed the passing of the comedy torch from Manhattan to Brooklyn. How did it all come about?
Jenny and I had a show running at Rififi before it passed away, and Max had one running at Sound Fix in Brooklyn. We were all friends, and neither of the shows were weekly, but we figured with three hosts, we'd be able to pull it off every week. Almost two years later, we've built an amazing little institution, and we are all super proud of our baby (none of us will ever make a real baby).

Stand up, writing, or videos: Do you have a favorite medium to be funny in?
Stand up is definitely home base for me. Even in my videos and writing projects, I basically always "play" myself anyway. My standup is super personal, and I like that. When I get compliments on it, it makes me feel like everyone else is as big of an asshole as I am, because they relate.

You've been performing with Jenny Slate as a duo for years, but you also work alone. How do you find working in a pair versus performing solo?
Working in a pair with Jenny is awesome, because as well as we work together, our joke writing is super different. She comes up with shit that would never occur to me, and vice versa. I'm always like "what?!" about jokes she thinks are totally normal. Doing my solo stuff has been eye-opening, because for a long time I didn't know if I'd even be funny without her, but I am! And my voice and point of view have kind of surprised me, now that I'm writing 100 percent of the jokes. Also, I never thought I'd write over an hour of standup in a year. I've been really surprised in a good way by my solo stuff.

To make a huge and sweeping generalization, the stand up scene is a lot of straight guys. How do you find audiences react to a gay man/straight lady comedy duo? Do you think you attract a different crowd?
I am always kind of scared to do my super gay material in front of straight crowds and straight comedians, but it always goes over well. I even have a bit about anal douching, about how my ass is a pussy that fills up with shit every day, which gay guys don't even talk about with each other. But the truth is, funny is funny. It doesn't matter. And if someone doesn't wanna laugh because I'm gay and that might make them gay or something, well, I'm the least of their problems. As for the other dude comics, no one's ever been weird or rude to me about my sexuality, unless they haven't seen my act. And again, if that's the case, fuck 'em, they're the ones not having fun. We do get a lot of gays at Big Terrific, but I don't know if that's because of me, or because of the neighborhood... Either way, there's tons of straight people too!

Speaking of things that are gay, you've been writing hilarious recaps of Glee on Videogum. What do you want to see happen on the show in these final episodes?
I'd love to see a whole episode about Brittany; she is the best. So funny, SO good at dancing, I can't get enough of her. Maybe a good lesbian affair between her and Mercedes, where Mercedes sings every song and Brittany does all the talking and dancing? Also, no doy, if Puck kissed Kurt I'd die, in a good way!

Finally, what's next for Gabe Liedman?
Up next? You'll be seeing me a lot on TV, as a talking head. Apparently I'm good at that! Also, I'm working on a bunch of funny-ass writing, new jokes and scripts, you know. I know that's super vague but a girl shouldn't jinx herself, am I right? What I'm saying is don't worry about it, everything's going great!

--Meredith Haggerty crushes dreams for a living, but in her free time she is a nerd about jokes. She is a former SNL intern, and blogs sometimes laughable stuff here.

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Reader Comments (3)

Hi-larious! Looooove this.

Awesome interview. Great questions. And Gabe actually answered them directly.

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElle-Marie

gabe 4 eva

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralex

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