Rod Man Interview with ManCave

Keep Being Funny, It Works Itself Out

Written by Joe Dixon -

Rod Man is a comedy veteran who’s been honing his craft long before he became known to most as “the guy from Last Comic Standing” with the neat delivery. After winning last season in 2014, he came back to perform a set on this week’s finale. In the time between he’s connected with Wanda Sykes and Kenny Smith to play a successful comedian who leaves L.A. to return home to Georgia. The upcoming sitcom plays to the standup comedian’s strengths, as he’s known for his southern charm.

Seems like it’s a pretty good time to be a hard-working comedian with a hefty history of performances on his belt. Let’s go meet the Man.

Man Cave Daily: You were called in to audition for Last Comic Standing. They give you two to three minutes to perform. What do you suppose they were looking for in such a sort time?

Rod Man: I think they saw some video and they want you to come in live. See if you’re funny live. You can’t do much in two or three minutes but you can be funny.

MCD: Were there different levels? You came in and did two to three minutes then came back and did some more or was that it?

RM: No you had to go on to the producers then you got on to the…and then they call you and ask if you want to do the show. There was the two-minute and then a four-minute set that night and then your on the show.

MCD: Okay, cool.

RM: I didn’t skip no steps. I had to go through all the steps.

MCD: [laughs] I’m not suggesting anything. I didn’t think you skipped anything.

RM: [laughs] Nobody gave me nothing. I had to go through all the steps!

MCD: You’ve said comedy is a business. Which do you think is more important to the industry, being funny or being marketable?

RM: I think, industry-wise, they’re going to go more on the marketing side but as a comedian we just want to be funny. And we know we’re not guaranteed to make any money but you keep being funny, all that stuff works itself out.

MCD: How long have you been in the business of being funny?

RM: I’ve been in the business of being funny 20 years but I just got in business. See some fruits of the labor. I’m still growing but when the show came along that’s where I was. I was in my funny zone.

MCD: Writing a lot. Getting on stage a lot. All important to the craft of standup comedy. What else would you say is important?

RM: I think being memorable. You gotta be memorable. People go about it different ways. People have different things people remember them by.

MCD: You’re going to headline a series on NBC, right?

RM: That’s what they tell me, Joe.

MCD: If the show is a hit and everyone loves it, please tell me 20 years from now when the show is in syndication, please tell me after that happens you won’t be revealed to be a serial rapist.

RM: [Long pause. Laughs] I know what road you’re going down…I’m not even going…They about to kill Bill [Cosby]. Don’t kill Bill. I’m a dad with daughters so I can’t even…I wouldn’t want that to happen to my daughters. I want to remember Bill as Dr. Huxtable. I don’t know but I wish he’d say something. Say I’m sorry or something.

MCD: You’ve said you don’t like to roast people. Why is that?

RM: I don’t like to make the comedy mean-spirited. I might be blunt and say different things but I’m here to make you have a good time. I want you to see the show, I don’t want you to be the show. I mean it can happen if you choose for that to happen, it can go wrong for you, but that’s never my goal. My goal is to give you a show.

MCD: I don’t even know if you can answer this question but I was talking to a friend about this. Why do you suppose actors are so much more supportive of each other than comedians? I mean comedians will talk such $#!+ about each other that you just don’t find, I think, personally, that you just don’t find among actors.

RM: Well, we don’t have a union. [laughs] Comedians are independent contractors. We’re like construction workers or golfers. You trying to get your game together. You’re like, I gotta work on my swing. You’re working on your comedy. It’s a competitive business. I’m comfortable with you not liking me because comedians, they ain’t ever gonna pay to see you. They gonna get a comp ticket.

MCD: [laughs]

RM: So it don’t really matter.

MCD: Kevin Hart’s advice to you was to drink lots of water and eat chicken salad. What did he mean?

RM: I don’t know. I didn’t even ask for the advice. It was unsolicitated. He was like: “Hi, Rod Man. Nice to see you. Drink lots of water and eat chicken salad.” It was a brief meeting. I guess that’s one of his secrets, drink lots of water and eat chicken salad.


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