Living in Los Angeles now, comedian Greg Hahn had a brush with a celebrity that left him confused. At one performance, Roseanne Barr told him she was concerned about going onstage, but he reassured her that the audience would be excited. “I found it funny that I was backstage counseling someone who is practically a billionaire. I’d be like, ‘Who cares?’ If I had a billion dollars I’d be at home with a hot wife, an iced tea and not giving a damn.” Hahn has appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Comics Unleashed” and “CMT Comedy Stage,” to name a few. He is at The Caravan starting Thursday.
LEO: I know this isn’t your first time through Louisville.
Greg Hahn: I practically learned comedy in Louisville. I think when I started coming there… I don’t think I was even an opening act. I think I was doing open mics. I swung through there hoping to become an opening act. I have done literally decades of shows there, and Louisville is key to my moving to New York and now LA.
Your last time here was with Daniel Tosh at the KFC Yum! Center. Is it different performing stand-up in such a large venue?
Oh, yeah. I don’t want to sound cliché, but clubs are more intimate. Clubs are more fun. If you start talking to one guy in an arena, it’s stupid — it’s 7,000 people. No one else in the place can hear what he’s saying, or see what he’s wearing. The bottom line is that club shows are better. And that club in Louisville [The Caravan] has always been known for its cast of characters. The Land of Misfit Toys. The people who worked there were always wild. And when you walk down those stairs, you never know what’s going to happen. That’s what makes magic happen there.
Was comedy always part of the plan?
I wasn’t the class clown. I liked to make fun of the class clown. That, and I liked to make the girls laugh. But it really came about in college. They hired a comedian to come in. They paid him $10,000, and he bombed. And I thought, ‘Man, I’d like to bomb and then get 10 grand.’ And here I am. It beats the hell out of working.
I’d imagine the first time you actually bombed, you thought, ‘Ya’ know, the $10,000 isn’t worth it.’
No, I would just go get a Snapple and show up again next time. That’s one of the reasons I’ve done well… is I just kept showing up. No matter what would happen, I would always reappear. They’d be like, ‘This guy is here again?’
Is there a Greg Hahn bomb that was more nuclear than the rest?
This drunk lady in the front row was opening and closing an umbrella just to draw attention to herself. So, I grabbed a glass of ice water and thought, ‘Won’t it be hilarious when I bounce this water off her umbrella?’ When I threw it, she closed the umbrella. The water and a big chunk of ice went over her head and nailed the lady behind her. The lady I hit had a glass eye, and I hit her in the good eye! It was awful! I did talk to her after the show, she took it in stride. And her eyesight even got better, she now sees 20/10.
You are from Florida. What is it about Florida? Every headline we read from there is insane.
Yeah, what is it with Florida? There’s a lot of people hiding out in Florida. I’ll tell you what’s going on in Florida: It’s warm, and there’s no state tax, so everybody wants to be there. That includes cool people and the weirdest people in the country. It’s a good place for wanderers. Maybe that’s why I’m a comedian: It all seems normal to me.
Have you had any funny or embarrassing celebrity run-ins while living in LA?
One time was interesting. Roseanne Barr jumped on a show I was doing. She asked if I was on the show, and I said, ‘Yes, I’m the headliner.’ She looked back at me, and in that very specific Roseanne Barr voice says, ‘I’m the worst comic on the show. I basically found out that America finds me revolting.’ And this was years ago, before all the recent stuff. I told her, ‘Well, don’t worry about it. They will all be excited to see you.’ She went up, killed it, and left with her bodyguards. But I found it funny that I was backstage counseling someone who is practically a billionaire. I’d be like, ‘Who cares?’ If I had a billion dollars I’d be at home with a hot wife, an iced tea and not giving a damn. •