Here’s my interview with one of my favorite comedian Godfrey! He’s here for Just For Laughs and I got to chat with him about all kinds of things!
Ash: So what’s up?
God: Nothing much!
Ash: I actually met you two years ago, I don’t know if you remember a short indian guy, two years ago?
God: Oh. There’s a lot of them *laughs*
Ash: Before I start the interview, I just want to say that I’m a big fan of yours. I love your whole indian food coming out of your ass like an indian song joke.
God: Ohhh yeeeaahh *laughs*
Ash: So you have a show at just for laughs this summer, a date night special right? Can you tell us a bit about it?
Godfrey: Yes. The theme of the show is about relationships: girlfriend, wife, family, just about how we females and males deal with each other, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll stick to the theme of the show, we’ll be making other jokes as well.
Ash: Two years ago you did a set for Mike Ward’s Gala Fuck Les Variétés. The audience loved you. What was your reaction to that? Have you done galas like that before?
God: Yeah, I’ve performed for quebecois before. I mean I just never did a Gala with that kind of reaction, I mean I’ve done some galas before but never with that kind of reaction. That was really awesome. I think i got a standing ovation right?
Ash: Yeah, the audience loved you.
God: I did not expect that. I just really wanted to do well, but it’s just one of those situations where you come enough time to get to know montreal and get to know the audience. I’m glad I did good. I hope they show a lot of reruns in canada *laughs*. Tv shows can be difficult sometimes because they don’t give you a lot of time and you need to maximize your time. So I’m glad I did good.
Ash: Do you ever have people recognize you on the street? How do you react? Do you feel like a celebrity? I mean, when I met you two years ago, you were super chill and low key.
God: I feel normal. I know there are people that are larger than me that are around. I just feel like “Well if people recognize you, you might be doing something right?!”. I handle it really fine, as long as people are cool when they approach me.
Ash: What are some of your biggest influences and how do you get your material?
God: Ah everyday life. You never know where it’s going to come. Different situations, living in new york you get so many situations. Living life gives you so much material. Your personal life and friends deliver so much. My biggest influences are Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Eddy Murphy.
Ash: The classics.
God: Yeah, the classical guys.
Ash:: You never just sit down and write material, you just go with the flow?
God: That’s the way I do it. I never just sit down. I just let it come, I just live and let it come up. And when situations come along, I just write notes down.
Ash: What makes you laugh specifically? Is there a type of humor that makes you laugh, like I don’t know, ethnic humor and/or like really dark humor?
God: It doesn’t even matter. It could be clean or dirty. I don’t care. Funny is funny to me. Doesn’t matter what their style is. Slapstick is funny: someone runs into a wall makes me laugh. Babies, kids stuff, etc. I mean it really depends on the situation. I just like funny: I don’t care what type it is.
Ash: You have a varied taste.
God: Yeah! I’m not that picky. Funny is funny. Just make me laugh. I’m not an expert in humor. Comedy was there before I got here, I’m just a participant.
Ash: How do you feel about viral videos. Like if someone puts a video of you online. Like how do you feel about that kind of stuff?
God: Well times have changed. There were no viral videos not too long ago. The way to get famous was that you had to show up at places a couple of thousand times. Now you send like a viral video in the middle east or china and you can get famous overnight. I think it’s good for certain comedians and artists who want to show their talent and people can see them quicker. But there’s also a danger of if you show your viral stuff and it gets big, that might be all you have and you might not be ready for that fame because you got nothing else and people are expecting more from you but all you had was that viral video. It’s a double edge sword with that. But for people who have been doing this for years and have a lot of content and need that exposure, that’s a great way for them. You can make yourself famous now and not have to worry about producer noticing you. Anybody can be become famous now!
Ash: Because I’m a huge fan and I like to show my friends my set, like that joke you have where indian people can’t swear and say shit like “you fuck my ass” It’s a classic bit of yours and I’m glad I can show that bit to my friends and then I can get all my friends to go see you. But in terms or your material, do you retire the material that goes viral or do you only retire it when you feel the time is right?
God: It depends on how you feel, because some people actually want to see it live. Some people want to see that indian joke with the diarrhea thing! Sometimes it’s a classic and sometimes classics are meant to be brought back sometimes. Some people want to watch what they’ve already seen. Like music. Some people what to see it in person. It might be a little different live you know? And what’s great about that joke is that it’s a real experience. I grew up with indian people all my life. I’ve been eating indian food at my friend’s house before even restaurants. All my ethnic stuff comes from real experiences with my friends.
Ash: It’s a timeless joke.
God: Definitely timeless. A lot of stereotypes comes from a bit of truth even with my people, Africans, there are things you can say about my people that are so true. because there are people who are actually african like that. *Laughs*
Ash: Besides stand up comedy and acting, do you have any hobbies on the side?
God: Me and my girlfriend are really into Health. We find new ways to work out and buy new healthy foods to eat. I think health is my hobby. I’m not into sports as much as I used to, because of injuries. *Laughs* I just try to not get injured. Not getting injured is also my hobby.
Ash: Have you gotten injured or something?
God: Well you know, just being in sports for years and then you get older and then you’re just like “Euhh I just want to make sure this knee that I have doesn’t get hurt, because I don’t have great kness anymore. My ankle kills me, so I’m not going to do anything to really hurt it. So i’ll just walk around…” *Laughs* I also love to watch sports. I love to watch everything: soccer, football, baseball. That’s also kind of a hobby of mine. But my main hobby is to not get injured by not playing sports. *Laughs*
Ash: What are some of your current top comedians as well as some people that deserve more attention?
God: Oh a lot of people: Dave Attell, Billy Burr, Louis CK, Jim Norton, Greer Barns, Robert Kelly, Maria Franklin, Rachel Feinstein. There’s a lot of different people that are really funny that should be really famous. I should be more famous. *Laughs*
Ash: What’s the last comedy show you’ve been to?
God: The last comedy show I went to go see live and paid tickets to go see was Bill Cosby with my girlfriend a year and a half ago. I mean, when I perform I also get to see other comics for free all the time, so I don’t really need to pay to see them.
Ash: Is there a comedian you haven’t already met that you would really like to meet?
God: Euhm… I met Eddy Murphy a few times… Euhm… I’ve met Seinfeld a few times as well. I’m in his documentary. Euhm… I wish I could have met and sit down with George Carlin. He must have been really cool to sit down and talk to. Yeah George Carlin.
Ash: Do you have any advice for new comedians trying to get into the scene?
God: Just get on stage a lot and develop yourself on stage. Write all your ideas no matter how great or shitty they are. You never know when you’re going to use it, ‘cause comedy is a long road and you never know down the road how that shitty joke might be perfect now. Also read and watch everything. Everything counts. Comedy is like a big ass jigsaw puzzle with an infinite amount of pieces that you’re going to continuously be putting together, but that will never be complete.
Ash: At what point in your career did you realize that you wanted to do comedy for a living?
God: The first couple times I went on stage in Chicago and people started to laugh and I was just like “Wow! this is something I created and they’re laughing!” Also being able to express myself and talk about “This is how I feel about something.” I felt like this was great.
Ash: When’s the last time you bombed?
God: Oh damn. It’s been a long ass time. It was probably like in 1997 or 1998. I mean like, I haven’t bombed, like eating my balls, in like a while. I mean like, I’ve dealt with hecklers but that’s not bombing.
God: Yeah it’s on youtube! We were both cursing at each other. I was getting all worked up and like “Man you motherfucker! Let’s take it upstairs!” but that was all bullshit I just said that cause I knew I could put it on youtube. *Laughs* Good stuff. It’s like an action video man.
Ash: So, Any future goals/plans?
God: To get better and accomplish a few more goals I haven’t accomplished yet. Also get bigger in Canada. I’d like my presence in Canada to be bigger. Every time I come to Montreal I see it getting bigger which is good. And every time I come, I hope it’s better this time. I mean I think the shows we put on are pretty good? I Also want to participate in more social media stuff. Try to work smarter and try to reach more people. Keep Building a fan base.
God: Hey, isn’t Russel Peters going to be at Just For Laughs this year? Get all your indian friends and Russel Peters’ fans to come see me *Laughs* He’s a friend of mine. What is the key at getting 80 million indian followers? Is there like a website or somewhere where we can link our stuff to get the indian demographic?
Ash: You have to sell your dvd for like a 100$ and then pretend someone is giving away your dvd for free and all the indian people are going to be like (indian accent) “oh this was 100$ and I got it for free. We must watch it!” I can’t wait to see you in Montreal! Nice talking to you man!
Hey by the way. Have you ever had poutine? Did you like it?
God: Poutine? Oh that nasty shit?! Aw Hell no! I was at the movie theaters and I got some poutine, and I was just like “DAMN! did you shit on my fries? Did you just shit on my fries?!” *Laughs*
Follow Ashutosh K. Gupta on Twitter at @gregariousdamn and on Instagram @deemsmauro