Here’s our first episode. We recorded it back in January (yes, January, it’s now May). Jess and I agreed not to release an episode until we had three episodes recorded. Then we recorded three episodes, but none of the episodes “felt” complete. At a certain point you have to hit “publish”, so here we are.
Check out our first episode featuring Luke Touma, a fast rising comedian on the NYC scene.
Jessica Ventura 0:00
All right, welcome to Comedy Noted. I’m Jess. I’m Dave. Alright, your two hosts, and we’re two non-comedians…
David Park 0:05
Jessica Ventura 0:11
That’s our spin. But yeah, super excited we’re doing this game. Can’t believe we have interviewed our first comedian.
David Park 0:18
It’s a miracle. We’re doing this. We were in it, we actually tricked or somehow got someone to do this. And he’s really funny.
Jessica Ventura 0:25
And he’s hilarious and awesome. You guys have to check him out. Just a little bit about us, we are two friends that met at a network event that hit it off. And we just started talking about our passion projects and podcasts was one of them. And so Dave asked me to be his co-host and I have always wanted to do a podcast. It’s been one of my goals and just never started. So thank you, Dave.
David Park 0:51
Of course. And on my side, a comedy club called The Stand opened down the street from where I live. And I was like, well, that’s convenient and I like stand up. And I like comedy podcasts. And sometimes…
Jessica Ventura 1:05
You hang out at The Stand and you’ve talked to a couple (comedians) before you decided…
David Park 1:10
Yeah, I met some and thought some of these guys are even funnier off-stage than onstage. And on some podcasts, some guys are hilarious just hanging out. I was like, I live right down the street. Maybe we can hang out some comedians and find out what makes them tick.
Jessica Ventura 1:26
David Park 1:27
And interview them.
Jessica Ventura 1:29
So what really makes someone want to stand in a massive crowd and tell jokes? Yeah. But also, I don’t know, they’re really great, but also really make fun of themselves, which I think is amazing. And they really put great topics out there.
And you deal with all this stuff?
David Park 1:47
Yeah, the heckling.
Jessica Ventura 1:48
The heckling. Yeah. Which our first guest deals with. He has mastered it. He’s hilarious.
David Park 1:55
Can we talk about the fact that he’s actually mastered bro heckling?
Jessica Ventura 1:59
Ohhh, yeah…bro heckling. Yeah, that’s that’s key.
David Park 2:02
It’s a different form.
Jessica Ventura 2:03
It’s a whole different … it’s a whole different animal. So, we interviewed our first guest. His name is Luke. Toma.
David Park 2:13
Touma. It’s all good. And yeah, we were surprised he did it. We checked out some clips on Instagram. And he’s funny and surprised he did it, but here we are. What else do we talk about that was good?Just to give a little preview.
Jessica Ventura 2:33
Great guy. Funny.
David Park 2:35
Oh, the Buffalo stuff.
Jessica Ventura 2:36
Yeah, he’s from upstate New York. He gave us great insight into upstate New York as I’m also from upstate New York, but it was just hilarious to hear someone also agree and know all the same things that happen.
David Park 2:48
Yeah, you guys definitely were able to connect on certain things about Buffalo. I’ve actually never been to Buffalo so I was … like kegs and eggs? What is that? I have no idea.
Jessica Ventura 2:59
What is everybody talking about
David Park 3:00
Exactly but yeah, it was cool. He was awesome.
Jessica Ventura 3:03
Yeah and he’s really well known and he just talked about the heckling, how he handles the bros. How bros are a great audience and then how he was also has been training his whole entire life because he was fat as a kid. Yeah. And that has really like, truly took the took him to like be really funny and be able to like be quick.
David Park 3:25
It’s kind of interesting to think that grown up as quote unquote, like a fat kid trained him to be a comedian, which is pretty funny in and of itself.
Jessica Ventura 3:33
So yeah, so super excited. Check it out. And I hope you guys really enjoy it.
David Park 3:37
Yeah. And without further ado, here we go…
The immediate question I have is why did you agree to do this?
Jessica Ventura 3:45
Luke Touma 3:47
Because I don’t know. I figured if you asked me to do it, you liked some of my comedy you saw online or something. So it was nice you reached out and I figured, the person’s a fan of my work. I might as well come do the podcast. And also, I remember being super new in a comedy and wanting comics to come to my bar shows and stuff. So I try to reciprocate when people ask me to do random stuff, even if I don’t know them.
David Park 4:14
Well, I don’t know how you felt Jess, but I was really surprised you agreed to do it because to your point, I was like, “well, this guy’s, legit funny”. And it was one of those things where I was doing a Google search on various comedians playing around and not to say you’re the only person I asked, but I saw your stuff and I immediately was like I gotta ask him. And cross my fingers hopefully he does it. Also, I think sometimes you’ll see stuff afterwards on Instagram or something it doesn’t resonate as if you’re there, but with your stuff I thought it would be even funnier because it was like legit funny.
Luke Touma 4:52
Oh, thanks. Yeah, so so like if this podcast because the biggest podcast in the world and I told you to go fuck yourself that’s going to bite me in the ass, so I’ll come do it.
David Park 5:01
Yeah, that’s that’s a valid point. I guess you never know. If we can get more than our parents to subscribe then…
Jessica Ventura 5:08
No, no, I’m totally excited to have you and then also when we were researching you and getting to know you. I was like, oh a fellow upstater. You never really hear anybody from upstate New York.
Luke Touma 5:21
Where are you from?
Jessica Ventura 5:22
I’m from actually from Albany. So when you say Buffalo it’s like oh, okay.
Luke Touma 5:28
Yeah, Buffalo. A bunch of my friends went to SUNY Albany.
Jessica Ventura 5:31
Okay, there you go. Yeah, I went to SUNY Albany too.
Luke Touma 5:33
Yeah, what’s the thing with the eggs?
Jessica Ventura 5:35
Oh, kegs and eggs.
I thought it was everywhere in college that everybody does.
Luke Touma 5:39
But it’s a big thing in Albany though.
Jessica Ventura 5:43
It’s a very big thing. So kegs and eggs is for St. Patty’s Day. Yeah. So everybody in the morning gets up, or you stay up from the night before that Friday before going into St. Patty’s Day and I don’t believe there’s eggs involved, but you just started drinking really, really early. Yeah, but it’s like the funnest St. Patty’s Day experience ever and so wherever… I moved to San Francisco after college and I just remember being like, oh St. Patty’s Day kegs and eggs. And everybody kept staring at me like I had nine heads
David Park 6:17
I’ve never heard of it!
Luke Touma 6:18
Every New York SUNY school has their own big party day where they just go crazy. SUNY Oswego has the bridge street run, where you try to get a drink at 60 different bars in the same day, and everybody wears white t-shirts, and you write your name on each other’s t-shirts. And Fredonia has Fred Fest. I remember going when I was 17 years old and there’s this row of houses. And everybody was just partying in the middle of the street and on the front lawns and you would just walk into this house, grab a beer then walk out. And you didn’t know who any of the homeowners or tenants were. And I remember walking in these houses thinking how are these all not gonna get condemned next week. Every house was a completely trashed party house, like nine houses on the same block.
Jessica Ventura 7:01
I don’t think there’s any rules in upstate New York. I thnik that’s the problem. I mean, not really a problem, but this is what makes college so much fun.
Luke Touma 7:08
Yeah, and everything’s so cheap that it’s like nothing matters. There’s bars upstate SUNY school bars where it’s 25 cent drafts, 50 cent drafts. It would be a Wednesday night, you’d bring a mug. You’d have to buy a mug for like $5, but then you keep the mug in your room. And then every Wednesday you’d go to this bar and then give them the mug and you’d get a 50 cent Rolling Rock or something like that.
David Park 7:30
That’s insane. Is that that still thing do you know?
Luke Touma 7:33
Yeah, I think at all those schools there are still nights like that whereyou could drink for literally change.
Jessica Ventura 7:37
Which is amazing. That’s the good thing about upstate New York. It’s pretty cheap. It’s fun. Ther only thing you can do is drink. That’s it. There’s nothing else.
Luke Touma 7:50
I just went home for Christmas. And when I left I was like I’m I’m an alcoholic now. I was here for four days and now it’s all over. My life is different now.
David Park 7:58
Wait, so you went you went to school at Syracuse too, right?
Luke Touma 8:01
I went to Syracuse for a year. And then I transferred to this school in Boston called Emerson.
David Park 8:07
I went to school at Boston University. Emerson is a writing, like, poetry type…
Luke Touma 8:14
Yeah, there’s a lot of arts kids. There’s a lot of journalism kids. There’s a lot of comedians have come out of there. There’s a lot of film directors and stuff like that. Paul Thomas Anderson went there.
Jessica Ventura 8:23
Is that why you moved? Is that why you went there?
Luke Touma 8:26
I wanted to do stand up honestly. But I alsowanted to work in the music industry as like an A&R. And I was going to Syracuse to try to get into the Newhouse school. That was really hard to get into, but the more time I spent there, I thought this school’s really good if you want to be like a broadcaster, but I didn’t want to be like a college football analyst. The kids who were really killing in that schoo they were gonna end up being like the next Bob Costas or whatever, but I didn’t really want to do that. So then I started looking at schools which had good programs for working in the music industry. And Emerson had this program called Marketing Communications, which geared people towards those type of jobs, back end jobs in music or film or stuff like that.
Jessica Ventura 9:10
Okay, so you always want to be a stand up comedian?
Luke Touma 9:13
Honestly, I wanted to be since I was like 10 years old.
Jessica Ventura 9:15
Luke Touma 9:17
It wasn’t something that randomly came up. I was fat growing up and the only thing I was ever good at was being funny. It was the only thing I was ever good at. I wasn’t good at anything else. So I was just like, yeah, this is clearly what I should do.
David Park 9:32
What was your first time doing stand up and getting on stage like?
Luke Touma 9:36
I was 19 and I was at this bar in Boston called the Hideout which is now closed. They had a Thursday night open mic. And I signed my name up. There’s this old comic there that is now a friend of mine, Mike Kerrigan and he told me to tell them it’s your first time and they’ll go easy on you.
…No, no. Actually, I lied to him and told him I had been doing comedy for a while. He’s like how long you’ve been doing comedy? And I said a couple years, you know. Here and there. I just moved down from upstate New York. He’s like, oh, cool, cool. I don’t know why I lied, I just didn’t want to tell him it was my first time. And then I met these guys, and the guys told me if it’s your first time, tell them it’s your first time. Then they’ll be nice to you. And then I was like that’s for *******. I don’t need to do that. I’m clearly the funniest person on earth. This is gonna go great. So maybe you guys had to do that. But let me show you how a pro does it and I got up there and I was just bombing horribly. No laughs for two minutes and then I just said this is my first time. And that the point the good graces are gone. They’re like nah, we’re done. Youu had your chance to say that the beginning. But I remember I got one laugh. And it was a big laugh. And then the rest of it was silence. But the big laugh I was like, that was the shit..
Jessica Ventura 10:54
I’m glad you remember the big laugh. I would’ve just been like oh my god.
Luke Touma 10:58
No, I thought it was like the coolest thing ever. Just the fact that I got the one laugh. That was the best feeling ever. And I was more focused on that than the fact I was bombing. I was just so excited.
David Park 11:12
Wait, so you just went up solo? You didn’t bring a crew of friends? You just said, I’m going to do this?
Luke Touma 11:18
Yeah, I went solo. I didn’t know anybody who live in Boston when I moved there. So I didn’t even have friends to bring I had no friends (laughs).
Jessica Ventura 11:29
Wait, do you remember that the jokes that you’ve told onstage for the first time?
Luke Touma 11:34
Oh yeah, I think I was trying to be edgy and like I think Joan Rivers just died and we tried to do some Joan Rivers joke that was just bad and dumb. And I was just like, yeah, this will get him because it’s cool and edgy man. It just bombed. Also it’s a room full of comics, they’re not gonna be shocked. They’re just gonna be like, this sucks.
I remember the first little joke I did that worked, I talked about going to that school Emerson. And I was like, there’s like a lot of girls, and a lot of gay guys. And I thought when I got to the college, I was thinking, oh, this is gonna be great, more for me. And then I realized it’s just women who wouldn’t fuck me and gay guys who also wouldn’t fuck me. But that used to get like a little pop and I was like, okay, so you get to see, how to fit some fit a punch line in there. And I just ramble about a dead celebrity.
Jessica Ventura 12:35
How did you prepare to go on? Because I feel like there’s a difference, right? I have friends that are actually really funny. But if they get up there and try to tell jokes it would be completely different. They would just freeze. It’s not the same, right?
Luke Touma 12:51
Honestly, the stage presence part of it I kind of picked up pretty quickly. I really liked being up there and I felt comfortable compared to some of the other guys pretty quickly.
What was hard for me was structuring the material. That’s still I feel my weaker point. I’m not a natural writer, I’m more of a natural performer. So quickly, I was pretty comfortable on stage. But I had to learn that this stuff needs to be structured and there’s a way to write jokes and there’s a way to tighten jokes up and get rid of your setups. So I would go out there and just tell a story about some shit that happened to me the other day, and it would get these big laughs and especially because I was young, and looked really young. And so I was the crowd was into it. Listen to this cool thing that happened the other day, but then I’d try to do it again. And maybe it would work two or three times then it would stop working because there’s no structure. And once it loses the freshness of the first time you’re telling the story. Yeah, because I would literally tell the crowd a story like it was me telling it to my buddies for the first time. But comedy material needs to be structured and your setups need to be as trite as possible. So your setups need to be as short as possible, your punch lines need to be as funny and as unpredictable as possible. If you’re telling a story it has to be interesting, there has to be punches throughout. There has to be characters you’re working into it. So that was what was the thing I had to learn, how to become structured in the way that I developed material.
David Park 14:21
The actual like art form of it, right?
Luke Touma 14:23
The crafting of the material.The feeling comfortable thing. I was okay with that.
Jessica Ventura 14:28
Luke Touma 14:29
It was nice. Yeah, I mean, I just thought it was fun. I also think I, had the benefit of being younger than the other comedians. I think I was too young and ignorant to feel that self conscious. If you’re young enough, you have a confidence that’s rooted in stupidity. You’re like confident because you’re too dumb to be self conscious. Because you’re just like a puppy dog. You’re just like, oh, this is fun. And these people laugh and they like me, and I like doing it. You don’t think about things like where’s my life going? I dropped out of college. I have to get health insurance. You’re not thinking about any of those things. You’re just in a good mood about everything.
David Park 15:16
But that’s a different level of stupidity because it’s one thing to be like a dumb college kid versus not care and go up on stage. It’s one thing to goof around with their friends but like, I feel most people would be freaking petrified to go on stage and try to make people laugh.
Luke Touma 15:37
No, you’re right. I mean, I also think this is the thing that I’m supposed to be doing with my life. And this is the thing that I’m naturally the best at. I tried to play basketball. I was terrible.
Jessica Ventura 15:52
comedians or basketball as the only time
Luke Touma 15:54
But you see them trying stand up and it’s looks… Them doing stand up looks the way I looked when I played basketball. I don’t think that everybody that does it is supposed to be doing it. So I think that you’re right, the difference between being a dumb college kid but then also getting on stage and like feeling comfortable. It’s like you also have to be naturally inclined to do that thing. So it’s like, I’m sure that when Adele first started singing, she was young and she could be confident. But I’m sure her voice was pretty good from a young age, you know?
David Park 16:28
Yeah, makes sense. I think one thing that I picked up and you (Jess) also picked up was that you’re really good with dealing with hecklers. And in particular, the bros that go to your show.
Jessica Ventura 16:41
Bros really follow you.
David Park 16:42
Yeah, what’s the deal with that?
Luke Touma 16:45
Umm.. the bros heckling and just being like…
David Park 16:48
Why are they at your shows? I know they’re at shows in genera. but do they go to your shows more so than maybe other comedians? Is it because you’re younger?
Luke Touma 16:57
Nah, I mean, I have fans now. My fans are relatively diverse right now. I think like the more fans I get, maybe they’ll have more of a distinct look or feel because certain comedians have certain niche if you go to Jo Koy show it’s gonna be mostly Asian people in the crowd if you go to a Cedric the Entertainer show it’s gonna be mostly black people in the crowd but also if you go to like I don’t know a Joe Rogan show it’s gonna be bros but a specific type of bros but if you go to a Bill Burr show it’s gonna be bros but different looking bros. You know?
David Park 17:28
Wait, we’re classifying bros now?
Luke Touma 17:30
Yeah. There’s deifferent types of bros. Definietly. And so, I don’t necessarily know what my fans look like yet. I will say bros just go to a lot of shows.
Jessica Ventura 17:39
It’s like a first date thing kind.
David Park 17:41
But there with other bros though. There not usually on dates.
Luke Touma 17:45
It’s a first date thing. And bros like comedy. I also think personally, people will disagree that as long as they’re not too drunk, bros can be a great audience members, because they want to laugh. They’re not uptight, they don’t get offended by anything. If you make fun of them. They just like it. They’re just like yeah roast me bro. They’re in a good mood. Now if they get too drunk, they’re a nightmare. But for the most part bros can make a good comedy show. But I think the reason they make for a good comedy crowd, but the reason there’s some clips of me having fun interactions with bro hecklers or whatever is because I grew up around so many different types of dudes that I feel I know within two seconds of talking to a guy know like, exactly who he is or what type of guy he is, or where his head’s at when he’s yelling something out. So I think it’s easier for me to dissect like that.
Jessica Ventura 18:34
Okay, so when was the first time you got heckled on stage? And how did you react?
Luke Touma 18:40
I don’t even remember the first time. I don’t know the first time I got heckled. I remember I had to learn like to not get mad at them. That’s a big thing. I’m sure the first time I got heckled I dealt with it terribly. Because you get angry and being angry is not funny. But especially when you’re new even if you’re comfortable up there you don’t know what you’re doing so even if you’re out there a part of you…it takes a while to know why you’re doing well or why you’re not doing well. After you get a certain point of experience, you know if you’re bombing and why are bombing. So I’m sure the first time I got heckled I’m sure I was so thrown off my game that I was like, ah fuck you. Which that never works out. And if anybody’s listening don’t get mad at the heckler even if they deserve it the crowds not gonna side with you. Everybody’s gonna get uncomfortable. Yeah, so I don’t remember when the first time was but I’m sure I did a very bad job.
David Park 19:48
One thing that you mentioned a bit ago, which I always wonder with comedians, because I saw this with you and so we were like stalking your social media of course. And it looked like so for a while you were interviewing MMA fighters Obviously Joe Rogan’s, very into MMA, there’s Brandon Schaub and there’s such a connection between comedy and MMA. Why is that? I’m also a fan of MMA, have you ever thought why? And what’s the deal with you doing the MMA interviews?
Luke Touma 20:20
I was doing my interview stuff just because I love MMA, and I loved it. It was just so fun. The brand I was working for, they kind of just ran out of money, and I wasn’t really getting paid that much. And then at the end, at all, and it was cool, but … I could have shopped around for more jobs in the MMA world, but I would have had to really switch gears. And I was hoping that through them, I would just be able to build to a point where I’m making them money and we in turn get residuals or we can get I don’t know a good podcast with like good fighters. They just had no money, so I had to stop doing it. But I loved doing it. It was awesome. It was so cool. Getting press passes, because you get to sit at like Staples Center in the front row or like MSG or something.
David Park 21:09
So well, that’s how they paid you though, right? That was like their version of paying.
Luke Touma 21:12
I mean the experiences were unbelievable.
David Park 21:16
But that doesn’t pay your bills.
Luke Touma 21:17
No, no. I I had to stop. I thought about this too. The only thing I can think of is that both MMA and comedy, are very rooted in the performance of the individual. It’s not a team game. It’s a solo game. And then the other thing is they’re so unpredictable, MMA even more so than boxing is unpredictable. Like there are so many more knockouts in MMA and stoppages than there are in boxing. An MMA fight is so much less likely to go the distance and a boxing match or even like a karate match or something because it’s there’s so many different ways that somebody could get knocked out. There’s so many different ways somebody could get submitted. And I think like the similarity then with stand up is there’s so many variables when you’re on stage, literally to the point of, are they drunk? Are they not drunk enough? What is the demographics of the crowd? What is the room like? Is the mic shitty? Is the is the spotlight good? Is the ceiling too high? How many people are here? How few people are here? What is the physicality of the room? Is it feel like a hallway? Or is it set up well? Or is it too spacious? There’s just so many different things going on. You know? Do I feel good? Am I tired? You know? Am I high? Whatever. There is so many different things that go on so I feel as a comedian you just gonna be attracted to that sport, because you’re just like, oh, yeah, there’s so many things that could go wrong and it’s just up to this one guy to weather the storm of all those things and find a way react. He has to be reactionary in a way that makes him win and lreact well to whatever is thrown at him, which is kind of similar to stand up.
I feel every time we go to comedy shows or I’ve gone to a comedy show so many times the crowd can be dead, they won’t laugh at anything. I think it’s funny but you really walk in there not knowing what to expect.
There’s like a young guy thing. I had this kid say this the other night, “man, you can never blame the audience, man.” And the more you do this, you’re like, yes you can!
All the time it’s their fault, dude.
If a crowd is timid or tight or weird. The more experienced the comic is, the more equipped he’s going to be to deal with that scenario. Having said that, it’s he’s not the reason … It’s better to go in if they’re already in a great mood and laughing louder. There’s hot crowds and cold crowds. And that’s not to say you can’t do well with a cold crowd. But there’s like this young guy thing and also things it this older dudes teaching them that they’re like, “man, no crowds are bad crowds.” Some crowds are definitely bad crowds.
So that’s just a thing you have to deal with though when you start. I haven’t headline full weekends on the road like five show weekends at clubs, but I opened for this guy a lot and I’ll do a full weekend with him so we’ll go to Connecticut or Boston or DC or fucking wherever and do a big like 300 seat room you do five shows Thursday to Friday to Saturday. Just from opening for him I’ve noticed that unless you’re famous that Thursday shows there’s only like 50 people in the room. But if you’re there and you have fans, they’re more likely going to be your diehard fans so you can do more material can get a little darker, weirder and they’re gonna be on board. And then early fun Friday is fund, late Friday is always really fun. Saturday early is usually the best show of the weekend. And then Saturday late, a lot of times they’re too drunk. So you’ll see that like happen. A Friday early crowd sometimes they’re a little tight because they just got out of work. And then a Saturday early crowd they’re at the perfect level of intoxication. They’ve had the day off they’re well slept they’re in a good mood. Then a Saturday late crowd sometimes they went to brunch and they’re hammered, wasted. So being on the road with him has showed me that. There’s all different types of crowds. Even in one weekend, you can do five shows and you can have five completely different types of crowds.
Jessica Ventura 25:31
And people react differently too.
Luke Touma 25:33
Yeah, and the better you are, the more you’re going to be to adjust to that.
David Park 25:39
But you never know is what you’re saying though, right?
Luke Touma 25:41
You never know what you’ll get. I host a lot so the only person that really never knows is the first person on stage. So in the city, I like to host because you get paid more, it’s an easy way to get in. If you’re good at hosting clubs are more inclined to book you because they need hosts. And everything in New York is a showcase club. So I do like that, it’s gotten me more work, you get paid more in New York City so it gets you a little more money. But on the road, the hosts are the new guy in the scene. And then the feature act if the headliner is not bringing a feature, the feature goes second, he does like 25 in the middle. He’s probably been doing it for like, seven, eight years or something like that. And the opening guys been doing it for like, one year, two years. So that’s kind of like the bitch spot is the host spot. That guy’s the only guy who really knows who really is going up there not knowing what they’re like because by the time the headliner gets up there and by the time the guy like closing out the showcase goes up there he’s seen multiple comics go up and he’s seen 45 minutes of what this crowd is like. It’s like when a golfer watches another golfer putt on the green to see how the green breaks. You ever see that at the Masters or something, a guy’s putting and the other guys stands behind him, his opponent and just crouches down watching. He wants to see how the green breaks. That’s like if you’re a headliner and you see how the green breaks and the host doesn’t get to do that. You just kind of have to. It’s a mixed bag, you find out what it’s gonna be like when you get out there.
But that’s the standard thing that headliner goes in, checks out how the crowd is versus don’t sometimes since they’re the headliner just roll up a couple minutes before they’re on because they’re the headliner, right?
The dudes that have been doing it for a while. Yeah, they love that. They’ll show up two minutes before they walk on stage.
David Park 27:31
We’ve seen some big guys and I feel they weren’t there, then they’re there and then they’re gone.
Luke Touma 27:36
Yeah. That’s the way it is. They’ve been doing this for so long. Some of those guys have been on the road for like 15 years too and now are famous, but it’s 15 years of most weekends, you’re in a random city living in a hotel, three out of three or four hours every seven days is spent in another city in a hotel, you know? So you’ve been doing that for so long. I mean, I love that stuff, but you see how those guys get worn out of that lifestyle and they just want to come and do the job and then relax.
David Park 28:08
That makes sense. Just going back to the hosting thing, do you ever get a choice on who performs at the show? Or is it, here’s some comedians that we booked, now you go host it.
Luke Touma 28:20
I used to run bar shows where I would like book them so then you choose is going on. But the one that I do at The Stand on Thursdays, “Too Many Cooks”. This woman Louisa Diaz books it so she chooses everybody who’s on and then I just show up and host.
Jessica Ventura 28:37
And how do you prep for that? Do you just research everybody? Or does it just depend on how you feel that week?
Luke Touma 28:43
Like who does she put on?
Jessica Ventura 28:44
Do you talk about them when you host?
Luke Touma 28:48
How do I prep for bringing them on stage? Yeah, I know all of them. So at that point, I even know what TV shows they’ve done and stuff. And if I don’t know them before you bring up you just ask, “Is there anything you want me to say when I bring you up?” And then if they give you like a TV credit or something you say that before you bring them on, but most of the time it’s like, tonight there’s Rojo Perez, who was on Conan O’Brien, Carmen Lagala, she was the Colbert Show.
David Park 29:16
What if, well I feel in general, the comedy community seems to stick together, but I also noticed that there are definitely beefs between comedians but for whatever reason…
Luke Touma 29:28
Like the one that happened on my show last week.
David Park 29:30
Oh for real.
Luke Touma 29:30
Yeah. I wasn’t there. I was in Buffalo for the holidays. I was with my family enjoying Christmas. Celebrating Jesus. Just kidding I’m not religious.
There was a fistfight at the comedy show between these two guys who have Twitter beef. So stupid.
David Park 29:52
Oh, I actually saw that on Twitter
Luke Touma 29:57
There’s there’s definitely two sides right now. It’s weird. I feel like it’s dying down but for a while it has been like the woke side and the … I don’t even know, the enemy of that. A lot of those guys are podcasters. A lot of guys who are at the clubs a lot of just like straight dudes, white dudes. I’m definitely more in the podcast straight dude white dude camp then the woke side for sure. But I’m not trying to wage any wars right now.
David Park 29:58
For now. You say that now, right?
Luke Touma 30:43
I do think one side of it is trying to limit what I say. And also supports friends of mine getting fired from their jobs, and also seems to really enjoy when people lose their jobs and like to call people out online and the guys over here just want to talk into a microphone for an hour. They don’t seem to be really coming for you. You never see a guy who does a podcast in his room trying to get some fucking writer from the Tonight Show fired. I’ve never seen that. I’ve never seen it go the other way, you know?
David Park 31:18
So it sounds like you have no beef with any comedians at this point though.
Luke Touma 31:23
I’m not really like that type of dude, but I could see it maybe happening sometime, but I don’t really know. I’m not that type of guy. That’s not my thing. I also like to do my thing and continue succeeding on my own path and not really try to get caught up in too much stuff.
David Park 31:41
Okay. So we’re back again. Where do we go? Let’s switch this up. So you’re young guy.
Luke Touma 31:51
David Park 31:52
How long hae you been in New York now?
Luke Touma 32:03
Two years. Yeah, a little over two years. September 2017.
Jessica Ventura 32:10
Congratulations on making the move.
David Park 32:13
Before we hit record, we were talking earlier and you said you are dating someone.
Luke Touma 32:21
I’ll say we just started kind of seeing each other more and more often. I was in a long relationship for three and a half years. We met in Boston, and then we lived together there. And then we moved here. We lived together here. Then we split up maybe six months. And now I’ve been seeing this new person. It’s been nice. It’s cool.
Jessica Ventura 32:46
How’d you guys meet?
Luke Touma 32:50
She’s a waitress at one of the clubs. She works like one night a week and one of the comedy clubs. But she also works for New York One the news station.
David Park 33:00
Two questions, because people always ask about dating in New York. And then the other is dating as a stand up comedian.
Luke Touma 33:14
It’s easier to meet people. Ive never really used dating apps. It’s a lot easier to meet women. When I became single, I was seeing a lot of people and it was really fun. But then there was a girl I liked a lot but then our schedules didn’t sync up. And she was just like, “Oh, you’re flaky. We try to do this, this and this.” And I was like, well, you never want me to come over during the weekdays, we can hang out, but you won’t go to my place and I won’t go to your place. And the only time you want me to spend the night or vice versa, is on Friday or Saturday nights, which is when I do stand up until two in the morning. And she worked a nine to five and she’s very serious about her job. She’s very ambitious, which I appreciate it but I was not gonna not do shows on weekends. You know? That’s just the way it goes. Weekend shows, some of them start at midnight. So that is a weird thing I’ll be honest. You have a schedule that’s where if a woman that you’re dating is in the nine to five work life you’re literally working off the opposite schedule. You start doing shows at seven and sometimes end at like midnight or one, which is the opposite schedule of someone who’s working at nine to five. It’s either a lot of times you’re coming over really late but then the girl starts to feel like a booty call and doesn’t like it. Or you find a girl who also has unconventional hours in an odd career. Or the girl that I’ve been seeing now she works for the new station New York One but the shift she works there is nighttime news. So she works three to 11 or three to midnight or something like that. So we hang out after. I also wait tables a couple days, weeks. So then if I don’t have work the next day, we’ll hang out and get coffee, stuff like that. We both like to stay out pretty late.
Jessica Ventura 35:07
As you should. You’re in New York in your 20s.
David Park 35:11
The timing works.
Luke Touma 35:16
The schedule can definitely make it tricky. For sure. And how often I do stand up.
Jessica Ventura 35:23
Is talking about your dating life on stage off limits when you’re dating that person? How do you manage that? I saw your skit on long distance. Which I thought was great.
Luke Touma 35:35
Which one was the one you saw?
Oh, when I talked to that Albanian guy.
Jessica Ventura 35:41
Yeah that was so funny. How do people feel about long distance. Isn’t it great? And you’re like, all the sorry yes’s.
Luke Touma 35:51
I like to really get into it and talk about anything in my life. Dating, sex, any of that stuff. It’s pissed people off in the past, but I’m not gonna stop doing it.
Jessica Ventura 36:08
Every time I go to a comedy show a lot of people talk about who they’re dating or they’re very open. Oh, I just got dumped. They talk openly about their sex life. So I always wonder what it is like, on the other side, if they ltell their significant others. Hey, I’m about to do this joke or do you just not talk about it?
Luke Touma 36:31
I mean, I kind of just start doing it. And then I’ll let them know, I’ve been doing this joke, blah, blah, blah, and then I’ll tell it to them. I don’t know. My ex used to get mad about jokes, but I was like, I’m not gonna stop doing it.
Jessica Ventura 36:46
It’s really great content.
David Park 36:48
It’s amazing content.
Jessica Ventura 36:51
And you know the type of comedy I do. I don’t do this absurd, abstract comedy and I don’t do one liner stuff. I do conversational comedy about my life. So if something ridiculous happens in our relationship sexually, fight wise, whatever, I’m gonna talk about it.
I like your tarot cards bit.
Luke Touma 37:19
I don’t think I put this bit online but it’s like a long like bit that I’ll do. It’s five minutes long. My ex and I went to a sex party. I have a five minute bit about it, how awkward and uncomfortable it was for me there. It’s one of my favorite bits I have. It’s the longest bit I have. When it’s working it just works. It goes great. I just love it. But she she was livid I talked about it.
She was so mad at me. And she apparently said that when we walked in, I don’t remember this, but I don’t think she’s lying. When we walked in she was said, you can’t do a joke about this.
So I said I won’t do a joke about it. And then of course, three months later…
But yes, that’ll happen for sure.
Jessica Ventura 38:13
Yeah, I feel it comes with the territory because like Ali Wong she talks about her husband a lot. Yeah and I think it’s hilarious but…
Luke Touma 38:20
It’s so fun.
David Park 38:22
Wait, I’m still thinking of a sex party?! Yeah, don’t giveaway all your material but how weird was it? Super weird?
Luke Touma 38:35
It was weird.The premise of the bit essentially is there’s a bunch of couples.
David Park 38:47
Oh wait, like a swinger party?
Luke Touma 38:50
Kind of but like. Well yeah, people were swinging but we were like doing it and the other people around were doing it like, kind of just to watch each other. And get off like that and then get into your own thing. It’s like live porn.
But we were had to pair off with a couple. And so then the dude try to be like, “Oh dude, nice job, bro.”
He tried to like give me like…
David Park 39:18
Luke Touma 39:21
And I was like no I don’t ever wanna…So that’s most of the bit. I think it’s real fun. But yeah she hated it.
But yeah like Ali Wong talking about her husband. Louie talked about wanting to punch his kids in the face. And it was hilarious. It was so funny.
Jessica Ventura 39:44
Yeah, so many parents can relate to it.
Luke Touma 39:45
When he first started blowing up, he was doing all that stuff about how angry you are at your kids when you’re parenting. It’s was a kind of a perspective you hadn’t heard before. Not oh, man my kids are …isn’t it difficult being a dad? He’s really like I hate these…
That was such a great angle to take that material
David Park 40:12
So since it’s a new show we don’t technically have segments yet but we’re trying shit. We do this thing where we stalk people’s social media and try to find something. You already mentioned it, but scrolling through Instagram. We found this…
Luke Touma 40:33
About how fat I was?
David Park 40:37
Yeah, you’re a pretty thin dude now. Now this throwback Instagram photo of you, you were definitely a pretty chubby kid.
Luke Touma 40:46
Super chubby kid with an afro.
David Park 40:47
The Jimi Hendrix shirt is pretty cool. Did you just eat a lot? Then went on a super diet? What happened?
Luke Touma 40:57
I had baby fat. And the food in Buffalo is really unhealthy. You’re just eating garbage all the time and my mom tried to get me to be healthy but I think once you have unhealthy food you don’t want to eat the healthy stuff. And then when I was in high school, I drank a lot of beer… All the food in Buffalo is drunk food. The food whether or not you’re drunk is food is intended for drunk people. She knows. It’s chicken wings, chicken fingers, chicken finger pizza, chicken fingers subs. Have you ever gone to the Stinger in Buffalo?
Jessica Ventura 41:32
No, but I’ve been to Buffalo a couple times through an old company that I used to work for. And when I was in Buffalo and I don’t think I ever saw greens.
Luke Touma 41:43
There’s nothing. There’s no vegetables. There illegal in Buffalo.
David Park 41:46
And so we came across this other photo. And you do this funny pose? You have some funny poses. What is with these poses?
Luke Touma 41:56
I was a really goofy kid. Really silly. That that probably made me laugh so hard when I was doing that when I was 10 years old just imitating that sculpture.
David Park 42:06
I’m dense. I didn’t even realize that’s what you’re doing. I wondered why is he posing like, that?
Jessica Ventura 42:13
You knew were gonna be a comedian.
Luke Touma 42:15
I was just silly. I was just fat and silly and funny.
David Park 42:20
And then did you just naturally grow out of it. Did you go on a crazy diet or was it just a phase?
Luke Touma 42:24
When I went to Syracuse, I lost some weight, because I drank a lot of beer at Syracuse, but less beer and bad food, but less bad food. And then when I moved to Boston, I drank way less and I ate way better. Still not great, but better and less. And I was walking around a lot because you walk in Boston, when you’re in upstate New York, it’s too cold to LA, you know. So then I lost a lot of weight. And then I came here, and I I just exercised and stuff, but I’ve been thin for probably the past four years, I would say.
Jessica Ventura 42:58
Okay, so it’s not like you outgrew it as a kid.
Luke Touma 43:01
No, I was fat throughout high school, like chubby.
David Park 43:04
Did you get picked on?
Luke Touma 43:04
When I was that age I did. There was a girl who picked on me. She’s a professional hockey player now. She’s a friend of mine. Her name is Maddie Elia. She’s a friend of mine, she’s really cool actually. But she used to pick on me for being fat I remember. There’s other kids too. Yeah, you get picked on for being fat. But then you learn how to … then you become the kid that picks on everybody. Because you learn how to punch back so well. Now you’re, you’re going after them before they can go after you. So you’re finding things to f*** with them about because you know, they’re gonna say something about the fact that you have tits.
You’re gonna come after them about something.
Jessica Ventura 43:45
This is where your preparation came from. Dealing with hecklers. I get it now.You were you just were born ready.
Luke Touma 43:52
I learned how to counterpunch from a very young age.
David Park 43:55
You’ve basically trained your whole life.
Luke Touma 43:59
Tha kid was getting heckled, like, dude, we see your love handles.
David Park 44:06
Jeez. And so another thing. I don’t know if these segments will stick but it’s going through the news and any given day there’s so much random news. The one that I saw that was interesting. Do you know who Gene Simmons? Lead singer KISS.
Luke Touma 44:26
Yeah with ice in the cereal?
Yeah, you know about this? I just came across us today.
Gene Simmons puts ice in his cereal.
David Park 44:34
I’ve never heard of this s***. Have you heard of this before
Luke Touma 44:37
No. I also don’t understand what the what the benefit of that is. Cereals is not hot.
I used to put a cube of ice in my hot chocolate when I was a kid just to make it less hot so it wouldn’t burn my tongue. Cool. I can drink it faster. That’s how you know how fat I was. I was like I need it now.
But cereal is cold. It’s not hot. It’s served cold. So the ice cube just stays there as an ice cube?
David Park 45:08
No, it makes it colder though because let’s say you get ice tea. I’m not trying to defend this because I think it’s absurd but I think his rational is to make it even colder.
Luke Touma 45:18
So something about very chilled cereal.
David Park 45:22
Yeah, the thing I don’t get is that it’ll water it down. It’s gonna make it soggy faster too, right?
Luke Touma 45:30
I mean Gene Simmons is a freak. Bring up a picture of Gene Simmons. He’s the guy who puts ice in his cereal.
Jessica Ventura 45:40
Has he been doing this forever though?
David Park 45:42
I have no idea.
Luke Touma 45:44
I mean this is a man who needs therapy.
This is a troubled man. That’s the guy. That’s the face of a guy who puts ice in his cereal.
David Park 45:55
Everyone’s like why would Gene Simmons put ice in his cereal? Well, why would Gene Simmons look like this? Clearly gone awry. There’s a lot of childhood trauma. Gene, tell us what’s wrong.
Luke Touma 46:08
Tell us how you’re feeling.
Jessica Ventura 46:12
This is a cry for help.
Luke Touma 46:13
He’s lashing out you know.
Jessica Ventura 46:14
We should all be concerned.
Luke Touma 46:15
David Park 46:16
It got him trending on Twitter. It’s crazy.
Luke Touma 46:19
Ice in the cereal.
David Park 46:21
That’s that’s what it takes him, I’m just saying.
Luke Touma 46:22
Oh, it’s insane.
David Park 46:25
The thought of it, kind of grosses me out though. It shouldn’t be gross, but it just feels wrong though right?
Luke Touma 46:32
Yeah, it’s up. Right yeah.
David Park 46:36
Anyways, I think on that note it’s time to call it a day. Thank you so much for doing this. It was a lot of fun.
Jessica Ventura 46:44
Yeah. And also if you want to share out your social media.
Luke Touma 46:49
I’m @Luke.Touma on Instagram. If this goes out, and you’re in New York, I’m headlining Caroline’s on Tuesday, February 11.I just found that out today.
Jessica Ventura 47:03
Luke Touma 47:05
I would love whoever’s listening to come and bring you friends. Tuesday, February 11 I’ll be headlining Caroline’s. Thank you guys.
Jessica Ventura 47:13
David Park 47:15
Big gig. Congrats.
Jessica Ventura 47:16
Thanks for joining us on Comedy Noted.
Luke Touma 47:18
Thank you for having me.