Rob Ford is reportedly somewhere in rehab. While that’s a good thing for the Toronto mayor – and probably for Canada’s largest city – it’s a loss for comics like Josh Wolf.
When the news broke last week, Wolf tweeted “Never pegged Rob Ford as a quitter. #disappointed.” It’s a small tidbit (all too small, if you ask Wolf) of the social commentary that is the regular fare of the stand-up comedian, whose fame is rooted in his regular appearances on E!’s “Chelsea Lately.”
Wolf, who also is the author of “It Takes Balls: Dating Single Moms and Other Confessions from an Unprepared Single Dad,” is performing stand-up Friday and Saturday in Helium Comedy Club.
I chatted with him last week about Ford, Twitter and life as a stand-up dad.
I saw you tweeted about Toronto’s mayor. Are you really disappointed to see him step out of the spotlight?
As a comedian? Yeah, I’m disappointed. Are you kidding? Not since Charlie Sheen have we had a wealth of material like this guy. Who else is going to give me their “what-I-am” crack ramblings? Nobody, I tell ya. Nobody.
How tuned in are your kids to your comedy?
My daughter asked me one time, “Do you really feel like you need to tell that joke about me?” I said, “Did you like those new shoes? My joke pays for your shoes.” They get it. And they also get that my humor is based on a truth. But sometimes the truth needs punch lines. That’s something they have a harder time with, because the truth might even make them look a little better. And I’m like, “Well, I’m not interested in making you look better. I’m interested in funny.”
For you and virtually every comic, Twitter is a necessity. But it also means you need to put out material almost every day. What’s your take on Twitter?
I truly do like interacting with people. It’s fun. The problem is sometimes you get caught up in interacting with [jerks] and it can ruin your whole day. And also for me – and this is about as honest as I can get – I’m a way better comedian than I am at being funny on Twitter. Because my stuff is more based in story form, I don’t have a whole lot of great 140-character jokes.
I’ve said things out before and people have tweeted back, “Not funny.” I tweet back, “That’s why this is free.” It’s not my stand-up.
Are the jerks the people who disagree with you? Or is it people who are being critical or nasty?
I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, and I have no problem with someone who doesn’t think I’m funny. The beautiful thing about comedy, and art in general, is that it’s subjective, right? You can have your opinion. There are a couple of bands I don’t like. But I would never in my wildest dreams reach out and say, “Hey, you should quit. You suck.” You know what I mean? It doesn’t make sense to me. So sometimes you get caught up in responding to those people instead of letting it roll off your back. I’m not one of those people who takes the high road very often.
You’ll be in Buffalo for multiple shows. How do you like to spend your time?
I like to go do things. I always like to find cool breakfast places to go. I’ll probably go try to find some off-the-beaten-path spot, and then I’ll try some beers. Last time I was in Buffalo, the Taste of Buffalo was going on. It was amazing. I ate so much, I had a little food coma. It was a good time.