Last week I had the chance to chat with the Pitbull of Comedy Bobby Slayton. We talked about his daughter, how he got his name and what he thinks about my boss, Jeremy Hechtman.
Jo: What do you think of Jeremy Hechtman?
Bobby: That’s the best you can come up? He’s an asshole, you already know that. You didn’t need to ask this. No I love Jeremy, the Wiggle Room is a great place and they make fantastic cocktails! I’m only saying this to get free cocktails.
Jo: You’ve heard about the Comedy Works closing? Yeah he closed it down, didn’t tell anybody and shut down abruptly.
Bobby: No I didn’t. He didn’t tell anybody? I’m sure the Just For Laughs mafia has something to do with. What happened?
Jo: They say the main reason was because of the condos and attendance was low.
Bobby: That’s a shame. It’s always been a great place during the festival to come and practice your set before your big gala. That’s really sad to hear.
Jo: So where did you get the nickname Pitbull of Comedy?
Bobby: That happened a long time ago before Mr. Pitbull made it big in the rap world and my daughter sings with him too. She’s cheating on me with another pitbull. It came about in the late 70s early 80s when people started reading about pitbulls eating ther children and chewing the leg off the mailman and turning on their owners, and of course, that’s how they were trained and not the nature of the beast but I was on a radio show and I made a joke about Macdonalds and they got really pissed and I lossed the radio station a big account, and the DJ Alex Bennet said you’re like a pitbull, you bite the hands that feed you: We put you on the radio, we plug your gig and you bite the hand that feeds you. So it kind of stuck, The Pitbull of Comedy. I don’t know why, when someone ask me I don’t really call myself that anymore but it’s on my albums and my specials, I should copyright it but I’m too lazy.
Jo: What do you enjoy the most about coming to Montreal for Just For Laughs?
Bobby: The hookers
Jo: They’re legal now. I believe they passed a law that soliciting for sex is not illegal.
Bobby: They are? Then I don’t want them. It’s not fun anymore. I stopped dope when they, made it legal in California. I lost my interest. I love coming to Montreal. I like doing the Nasty Show, I run into comics I don’t see all year. I don’t really hang out with many comedian besides back at the hotel or out to dinner or lunch with comics. I like to eat and Montreal is great eating town which is a shame because I don’t get to take advantage of this as I am working at night. But I love coming to Montreal, it’s a great city.
Jo: Have you always been a dirty comic? Is that how you got into JFL?
Bobby: Yeah I did plenty of clean gigs. I did a TV show, galas where you have to work clean, I hosted the relationship show,… I was in Israel two weeks ago for a tour and I did 25 minutes of clean material every night. No problem but the Nasty Show is suppose to be nasty so I turn it up. I try not to get too gross but some comics do grosser stuff, some do dirtier stuff others do meaner stuff. That’s like nasty, it’s a combination of all those things. It doesn’t necessarily have to be blue to be nasty.
Jo: You can be smart dirty too. It doesn’t have to obscene and gross like people think it is all the time
Bobby: No although the idea of smart, dirty and obscene together is brilliant.
Jo: When did you realize you made it? What was the gig that brought you to the next level?
Bobby: I’m still waiting. I’ve been with the festival for 25 years and I waiting to win comic of the year of a lifetime achievement awards. But there’s few things like tht come along every year. The first time I did the tonight show, the first time I did a movie, and another movie and a pilot. Back in the clubs, another tv shows. The little things that thought would be big journey in point but they never are and it’s ok. I’m making a good living, I’m still coming to Montreal. It’s fine, life is good.
Jo: I always say I don’t have to be rich but just comfortable.
Bobby: I gotta be rich. They say Money doesn’t buy happiness but being broke is a tremendous down payment on being miserable.
Jo: You’ve done a lot of TV, voice acting, movies. What do you find more challenging and what has it brought to your comedy career.
Bobby: I don’t really like acting very much. It’s good to do cuz it’s a nice change in pace of traveling but I’m not crazy about memorizing other peoples stuff. I’ve never been good at that. With stand-up I get to call my own shots when I ‘m up there. You have to on at a certain time and I have to be off at a certain time. With the Nasty Show I have the responsibility of keeping the show tight and bringing on the comics, giving them a great introduction and keeping the show moving along, that’s really not easy. But as far what the other stuff has brought o my stand-up, I’m not sure.. I like doing voice-over work. Cartoons are the best. You can dress anyway you want, no memorizing, no live studio audience. get in and get out.
Jo: If you can sum up your style of comedy in an alcohol
Bobby: Champagne. Light and bubbly. No really it would be a very good Grappa. You want to sip it, you don’t want to take it in large doses and when it goes down it’s really harsh but if you let it sit for a bit you will realize how good it is. That’s beautiful
Jo: That was actually poetic my friend.
Bobby: That was brilliant, I was shocked I came up with that.
Thank you for your time Bobby and I’ll see you soon!