Rich Vos, ‘being an old piece of shit helps me write ’

Jul 6, 2016 at 11:15 am
Rich Vos, ‘being an old piece of shit helps me write ’

Rich Vos has spent most of his career earning the reputation of being a brash, straight-talking curmudgeon with a healthy dose of Jersey grit. Vos has been seen on HBO, Showtime, Starz, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and Comedy Central. He came in third on the first season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” Vos also co-produced, with his wife, (comedian Bonnie McFarlane) the hit Netflix documentary “Women Aren’t Funny.” The two also host a weekly podcast, “My Wife Hates Me.” Vos returns to Louisville to headline at The Laughing Derby this weekend.

LEO: Last time we spoke, it was your first time in Louisville. Is there anything here you’re looking forward to this time?

Rich Vos: The friendly people of Kentucky — that’s what I’m looking forward to. If my golf game were better, I would play Valhalla. But my golf game is out the fucking window, so I may not even bring my clubs. Sorry if I seem cranky, but I just played bad golf, and I’m driving back into New York, so I’m extra cranky. It’s not you. I went from shooting high 70s and low 80s to not being able to hit a fucking ball.

LEO: You’re fine. But you’re married to comedian Bonnie McFarlane. Does having two comedians in a marriage make things harder?

RV: No, it’s hard being married to a cunt. My wife’s not a cunt, so it’s not really hard being married to her. Life is hard, and marriage is hard — that’s all. Are you married?

LEO: No.

RV: Do you have a girlfriend?

LEO: I do.

RV: Is that easy?

LEO: I don’t know. Sometimes, I suppose.

RV: Well, take what you go through with your relationship — times it by 10 — and that’s marriage. I’m not on the road all of the time like a lot of comics, but the traveling helps a little bit, because we aren’t in each other’s faces all of the time. And I think the fact that we’re both comedians helps us realize that sometimes we both need space, and it helps us recognize when those times are.

LEO: When you sit down to write, where do you start looking for inspiration?

RV: Personal shit, life experience and how I view things. Basically, it’s the world from my perspective: It’s some wife, [and] some kids, but mostly I think just being an old piece of shit helps me write my material.

LEO: Do you write at home or wait until you’re on stage?

RV: I’ll come up with an idea, and write a couple of words down on a piece of paper to remind me of what I was thinking about. Then, I’ll take it to the club and will work it out from the stage. I’m not going to write the whole thing out word for word, I’ll just keep taking it to the stage, until I get it right.

LEO: You’ve written for The Academy Awards and Comedy Central Roasts: Is there a trick to writing for someone else, as opposed to writing for yourself?

RV: It’s no trick. It’s just seeing the world from another perspective than yours. Sometimes you have to learn the voice of whoever you’re writing for, which can be tough, because it’s hard not to hear your own voice, but it is a tool in my toolbox.

LEO: You produced, with your wife, the documentary, ‘Women Aren’t Funny.’ Why is there such a common misconception that women aren’t funny?

RV: I think it’s primarily based on numbers: There are simply more men in the comedy industry than there are women, so men kind of hold up an old-guard mentality. But funny is funny. There are shitty female comedians, and there are shitty male comedians. But women couldn’t be hotter in comedy right now. They’re on fire with Amy Schumer [and] Maria Bamford. Hopefully, that misconception is going out the window.

LEO: There are some great clips on the internet of you dealing with hecklers. Is there a part of you that enjoys that part?

RV: You know, it really doesn’t happen as often as you would think. I do a lot of crowd work, so if I’m talking to the audience, and they talk back, it’s not heckling, I spoke to them first. But if I’m doing material, and someone starts getting out of line, I’ll handle it, and move the fuck on. That’s just another tool I have in my toolbox. If I have to beat them down, I beat them down — no one came to the show to see anyone but me.


July 7 – 9

Laughing Derby

1250 Bardstown Road, 459-0022

$12-$15; Times vary