Like brown paper packages wrapped up in string, you need to know some of my favourite things.
ME: Hi Gary Gulman! Are you cool with me calling you by your first and last name always? There are few people I do this with and I think you should feel honoured. (We use the “u” in words such as “honour” and “rumour” and “glamour,” I hope that didn’t throw you off.)
Gary Gulman (GG): You may! (YESSSSSSS! *Macaulay Culkin arm pump*)
ME: You used to teach. Was it a gradual transition into stand-up or an instant switch – what compels you to continue?
GG: I had many jobs between college and the time I became a full time standup. I started out as and auditor for what is now Price Waterhouse/Coopers then I waited tables at various Boston restaurants, I was a bouncer/doorman at a bar, I was an auditor at TJX Companies, a Starbucks barista and then a substitute at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School in Massachusetts. (What-da-what? He’s a protector, can probs make a mean brew, has balance and can probs do your taxes with no issue. These are the qualities, my friends.)
ME: Was there a point in your stand-up comedy career when you realized you were a bonafide babe, or a “tenderoni” if you will? I mean, what is the man-to-woman ratio at the average Gary Gulman Laugh-Time Jamboree? I feel like it’s the complete opposite of Alaska’s. Or maybe men know there’ll be an abundance of ladies and flood to your shows to enjoy the funny but have their pick of the womens. I mean, AM-I-RIGHT???
GG: I haven’t noticed a huge difference in the number of males vs. females at my shows. It couldn’t be that disparate if I didn’t notice right? (Maybe so, but maybe the spotlights are too bright for him to take notice. Maybe that’s the right answer.)
ME: I know you were tall from a young age (he’s 6’6″, folks), but were you always as confident as you are now? Did you have any self esteem issues as a young Gary Gulman?
GG: I have had self-esteem issues and I continue to. I was raised with older brothers who were very critical and judgmental so it was a tough crowd growing up. (Not that any of his responses weren’t, but this hit me as being so genuine and earnest. Self-esteem is struggle worth fighting through).
ME: Who were/are your biggest influences in comedy (dead or alive)?
GG: Chris Elliott, David Brenner, Paul Reiser, George Carlin, Woody Allen (CHRIS ELLIOTT. Period. Another favourite of mine so this list makes me happy.)
ME: I know you have a fondness for 80s music, I mean, who doesn’t? I still listen to the majority of my music on vinyl. What are the last 5 songs played on your iPod/MP3 player/iTunes/equivalent technology?
GG: Bob Dylan: Just like Tom Thumb’s blues;It’s Alright Ma;Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie;Ludacris:Stand Up; Isley Brothers: Fight the Power (The eclecticity is ALMOST too much to bear.)
ME: Do you have a musician/band new music alert for us – who do you really dig? What gets Gary Gulman?
GG: Azealia Banks 212! (If you know me, you know I’m peaking right now. Track is a modern-day classic, tbh tbh tbh.)
ME: I believe my fondness for your comedy bloomed when I realized the passion/frequency you discuss food. The content in Gary Gulman: Boyish Man never fails to make me laugh and I’ve heard the jokes dozens of times. Discussing food items is personal passion of mine, so my question is: are you scheduled to perform in Toronto any time in 2013? (I’ve submitted your name to JFL42, so don’t worry, I’m pulling my weight trying to get you gigs.)
GG: I will not be in Toronto any time soon but I am at Montreal JFL in July (First of all, this year’s Just For Laughs, or JFL, is called “The Ethnic Show.” Sooooo…I’m just over here Googling Quebec tourism. Totes unrelated.)
ME: And obviously I need to know: if you had to choose one dessert to have for the rest of your life (you can have any meals you want but your only option for dessert is this one thing FOR-EV-ER), what would it be?
GG: Carrot Cake (do you think it’s WITH icing or without?!)
ME: This is a two-parter because I’ve been dying to know – 1) At which point in your life did you finally come to terms with Joe Manganiello basically stealing your look? 2) Is there any beef between the two of you?
GG: I did see a pic and I am flattered by the comparison. We’re cool, now. (Phew!)
ME: In the made-for-tv Hallmark movie of your life, who would you cast to play you at the age you are now? Please show your work.
GG: How about Vince Vaughan? He’s tall and he is entertaining, I’m not much of a party guy but he can play reflective.
ME: Do you have any shows/appearances/things of note we should be looking out for? Give us some first-hand scoop!
GG: I’m taping an episode of John Oliver’s New York StandUp for Comedy Central in a few weeks and then I was in a movie with Toni Collette called Lucky Them that is in Post Production as they say. (JOHN OLIVER!!!!!! TONI COLLETTE!!!!! My eyes are currently peeled for premieres and release dates. Priorities.)
ME: Thank you SO much for doing this, Gary Gulman. As a former stylist and avid viewer of your vids online (but mostly as a hot-blooded woman) I would like to give you a friendly style suggestion: plain white t-shirts (round or V-neck) with medium or dark washed, straight-legged denim jean will always be your best friends. Please, for the love of all things good in this world, believe me on this. Your female audience will also thank you.
GG: What shoes go with that? (Don’t worry, I sent him some options offline. I think he’s set.)
Well, there you have it. My first celebrity Q&A and I have to say I’m on Cloud Infinity. Here’s a little stand-up for ya – the Discman section gets me every time.