“I Started The Day Comedy Died”: An Interview With Comedian Eugene Mirman
When comedian Eugene Mirman was in the sixth grade, instead of presenting a book report (as was assigned), he lip-synched Bill Cosby bits. He was subsequently placed in special education classes. This event illustrates rather aptly Mirman’s career: His jokes are absurd and he’s found success on his own terms. In the last decade he’s recorded three critically acclaimed albums and a Comedy Central special. While those achievements alone could establish Mirman in the highest echelons of the comedy world, he continues to prove himself an innovator through his unrelenting work ethic: he’s responsible for the curation of the standup showcases Invite Them Up and Pretty Good Friends; he written a book, The Will To Whatevs; he produces the annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival (a great comedy festival and an even better inside joke). He’s also played various versions of himself (both character- and name-wise) on shows like Home Movies, Flight of the Conchords and Delocated. He currently voices the character Gene on the Fox hit Bob’s Burgers.
Leading up to his performance at Fun Fun Fun Fest, we gave Mirman a ring at his home in Brooklyn (pre-Super Storm Sandy) to discuss the boom and bust nature of comedy, the exciting possibility of meeting Run-DMC in the hotel hallway, and the tenuous nature of cartoon-child/human-adult relations.
I wanted to make sure it was okay to talk right now.