Todd Glass is positive. Super positive. You name the subject – comedy, TV, podcasting – and he is ready to share an opinion, and an upbeat one at that.
That’s a little surprising for a comedian who, by his own admission, has been doing this for so long that the cities and the clubs start to run together, a point made clear when he is asked if he has been to Buffalo.
“I think so, about 20 years ago. I remember talking to people and everyone worked at Kodak, and I was like ‘Whoa. How does everyone work at Kodak?’ ” I told him that’s Rochester. His amended answer was that he has not been to Buffalo.
But he’s not concerned about it.
“A good comedy club draws the good people from the surrounding area,” he said. “I worked the comedy club in Minneapolis, in the Mall of America, and thought maybe this isn’t a good city, but then I worked the Acme club nearby and it was a great experience.”
Glass will appear at Helium today through Saturday. Tickets can be purchased by going to the website at www.heliumcomedy.com/buffalo.
Glass started doing stand-up while still in high school in Philadelphia and got to see some of the rising stars at the time – Jay Leno, Paul Reiser and Jerry Seinfeld – which he said helped him early on in his career.
When the subject of comedy comes up, heckling is not far behind and a fear of heckling is what stops a lot of people from trying comedy. In reality, it happens a lot less then most people think, but it’s like a crash in NASCAR; that’s all people want to talk about after it happens. There is a YouTube video of Glass dealing with a heckler several years ago that shows the best way to handle that situation.
“I have a new philosophy to heckling: It’s still annoying, but I don’t make jokes. I try and break down analytically why that person is being annoying and that usually works. But heckling isn’t the worst problem,” he added. “Loud talking is the worst. It’s harder to deal with. But 99 percent of people follow the rules. It’s just a sense of entitlement some people have. They feel like the customer is always right and if they didn’t get kicked out of the Cheesecake Factory for being loud, they shouldn’t get kicked out of the comedy club.”
Glass also does a podcast called “The Todd Glass Show” on the Nerdist podcasting network. He said he believes podcasting is in its golden age.
“Podcasting is radio at the end of the day. It’s giving radio the purity of stand-up, so that makes it naturally great,” he continued. “It’s radio when you get rid of the suits and mix it with theater of the mind.”
Last year, Glass made headlines when he came out as gay on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast. There were several high-profile suicides among gay teens at the time, which motivated the announcement.
He is working on a pilot for Comedy Central tentatively called “The Todd Glass Situation,” in which he plays a version of himself, but not a comedian. He also has a book in the works based on his life and recent coming out.
What: Todd Glass
When: 8 p.m. today through Saturday with 10:30 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday
Where: Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St.
Tickets: $15 and $20