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Entries in lee camp (1)


Inside With: Lee Camp

By: Matthew Filipowicz

Have you ever watched the Fox News channel and gotten so mad that you wished that you could tell off the right-wing hack host to his face? Well, Lee Camp has done just that. He’s also been on Comedy Central, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, CNN, PBS, and MTV. He writes and produces short comedic videos for the Huffington Post and is a contributing writer to a little newspaper called the Onion.

His fans include Janeane Garafolo, Roseanne Barr, John Oliver, Dick Gregory, and the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Wesley Clark. Not a bad group.

Lee is taping a DVD March 26 at the Tank in New York City (the show is sold out, an encore performance has been added April 29). I recently sat down with Lee, via email, to discuss standup, politics, and his upcoming projects.

MATT: So, you're filming a live DVD, "Chaos For The Weary", March 26 at the Tank.  What topics can audiences expect at the show?

LEE: My audience at the DVD taping can expect to hear me talk a lot about the finer plot points of "Jersey Shore" as well as whether Kate Gosselin's new haircut was a bad career move. No, god, that would be horrible. My audience can truthfully expect to hear a lot of cultural criticism, a lot of questioning how our society ended up the way it has. But there's also a ray of hope in there -- I give a lot of solutions to our problems. For example, I suggest we solve our energy crisis by burning reality TV stars such as the aforementioned Miss Gosselin. I also suggest we put tracking devices around the necks of people who take the bible literally or believe ghosts are walking around. So basically the audience will leave the show motivated to fix our crazy world yet also questioning whether we should simply fire bomb this flying space rock of ours and start from scratch. I like to leave them on a high note like that.

MATT: You're going to be featured on Showtime's "Green Room with Paul Provenza". What is that show and how did it come about?

LEE: "The Green Room with Paul Provenza" is an amazing new show that's kinda like "Inside The Actor's Studio" with only stand-up comics as guests and a lot of cursing. Paul talks with four of the nation's greatest comics during each episode. Then at the end of an episode he has on a lesser-known comic for a few minutes. So I got to be on the end of the show with Roseanne, Bob Saget, Sandra Bernhard, and Patrice O'Neal. It was truly a highlight of my career. Roseanne started a standing ovation for me -- which, as a comic who's trying to push the envelope a little, she's like a god. So the moment was mind-blowing for me. And how did I end up there? Well, Paul has been a friend/mentor/fan of mine since I met him at the Montreal Comedy Festival in 2006. Then when he got to do the show, he wanted to have me on to talk about my now-infamous moment on Fox News.

MATT: Speaking of the Fox News appearance, you famously appeared live on the network and proceeded to tear it a new one.  If you could confront any current Fox host, who would it be, and why?

LEE: I guess it would feel most useful to confront someone like Huckabee, you know, one of the hosts that feels like they actually have a rational thought in their head -- even though that thought is completely misdirected. I mean, when you're dealing with someone like Glenn Beck, you're just dealing with a freak show. He's not interested in any kind of truth or objective reality. Confronting him would be like trying to shout facts at a sword-swallowing clown who's on fire. I don't think it would really get through to him.

MATT: Back to Paul Provenza. You’re also featured in his new book "iSataristas", tell us about that.

LEE: I'm awe-struck to be in "iSatiristas!" (which comes out May 11) because essentially Paul interviewed every amazing edgy comic in the entire country (and famed photographer Dan Dion took tremendous photos). The book has everyone including Stephen Colbert, Lewis Black, Conan O'Brien, David Cross, Paul Mooney, Doug Stanhope, Janeane Garofalo, and so many more. It's even got George Carlin's final interview before his death. This is, like, the book I would've killed for when I was just starting comedy -- and I'm IN the damn thing. I'm thrilled. It's like being a little kid who gets to meet Santa AND Santa wants to sleep with you. ...I'm sorry -- Was that analogy off-base? I grew up Jewish. ...Point being, if you consider yourself even the slightest fan of comedy, you should buy the book. ...or steal it. ...Abbie Hoffman taught me that.

MATT: You're well known for your political and social comedy. What's your overall take on the Democrats and the Obama administration so far? Any hope left?

LEE: First of all, I think we all need to agree that having Obama in the White House is 100% better than Bush, or McCain, or whichever greedy right-winger you can find. But I, like many on the left, think Obama is backing down too easily and too often. I mean, more troops in Afghanistan? Really? Aren't we just running up the score now? Shouldn't we pull our starters out of the game? Look at it this way -- if this were the U.S. versus Afghanistan in football instead of war, the fans would've gone home long ago. No one wants to watch Ray Lewis beat the fucking pulp out of a little league team. And of course Obama has many corporate backers who are influencing at least some of the shots. I honestly believe that no truly major change will come about in this country until we get the money out of campaigns. Right now it's just too easy to buy elections, and it's going to get worse unless we stop it. Also, there was a time in our history when communities had a say in whether corporations had served their community well. And if the corporation harmed the people, it lost its charter. We need to go back to that, and until we do the American flag will continue to be covered in brand names. The truth is little green men have indeed taken over our entire society without so much as a whimper from us -- those men are the faces on our dollar bills. And we all know what little green men ultimately want -- anal probes. ...I feel like I'm having a bad analogy day? No?

MATT: One last thing, Kelly Carlin, George Carlin's daughter, is going to do a special introduction at your DVD taping. How did that come about?

LEE: Yeah, I'm so outta-my-head excited about that. She's an incredible woman, and I met her on the set of "Green Room." But I didn't know who she was. She came up to me and said she loved my stuff and thanked me for what I said on Fox News. And then when I found out who she was and she said "I think my father would've loved your stuff too," I pooped myself a little… But just a little. Nothing crazy. Anyway, months later I asked her about doing a video intro for my show, and she said she would love to do it in person. For a comic, it's like being in the presence of royalty.

Catch Lee Camp live, 7:30 PM, Apr. 29, at the Tank. Tickets only $5.

Matthew Filipowicz is a comedian, cartoonist and satirist whose work can be found at