Ian Bagg doesn't like repetition.
Upon getting the chance to interview the Canadian-bred and Los Angeles-based comedian, I took the red and blue pill in the research, basically going to Ian Bagg college online. I watched clips, read other interviews, watched more clips, and essentially downloaded a Bagg. I spent a lot of time laughing, making me wonder if I should only interview comedians who are actually good at their job.
What I took away from the guy's act is that he never repeats a live show. Bagg works the audience over, but in a good way, and doesn't trot out the same material over and over. Just check out his podcast, National Bagg Radio, for an idea of what he's got to offer.
The guy has worked with the likes of Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno while appearing on Adam Carrola and Marc Maron's podcasts-but he finds the most fun out there on the stage. Bagg's "Conversations" from The Comedy Dynamic sprung a world tour that hit Australia this spring, but on June 2, he's coming to St. Louis The Send Up on Shaw. We Are Live, the Lou's courageous team of comedy Jedis led by Chris Denman and Travis Terrell, are hosting an all-day event at the Gaslight Lounge right off The Hill with Bagg and Jonathan Kite headlining a posse of local comics and podcast hosts. There will be drinks, food, jokes, music, and plenty of roasting.
At the center of it all will be Bagg, a hard working comic who is finally getting to do his own thing after competing on shows such as NBC's Last Comic Standing. While he was finishing up the final leg of his world tour, I threw him a few questions to warm up the room before his arrival. The questions dropped fast and the answers were ever quicker, so I hope you weren't expecting a long-winded Barbara Walters type chat. Who has time for that anyway?
Buffa: Being a Canadian, what's the second worst thing a person can say in Canada besides, "hockey stinks and I'd like to play football?"
Bagg: That hunting is better than fishing. Who is Bryan Adams?
Buffa: What's the first thing a young soul has to know about being a comedian?
Bagg: Your sleep pattern will be horrible, but everyone in the normal work will think you get 12 hours a night.
Buffa: Every live Ian Bagg show is different. How did that idea come about?
Bagg: I thought comedy was suppose to be about the moment but most people like to recreate a moment. Neither is wrong as long as everyone (well most) are having fun.
Buffa: What did NBC's Last Comic Standing teach you, other than the fact that better commercials are needed?
Bagg: That people still watch NBC! They hold a grudge as well and will tell you should have won three years later.
Buffa: The ageless idea is that creators/performers have to grind and live through hardship to get to the top of the mountain? You did a number of shows and gigs that weren't the best, but you had to do it, right?
Bagg: As dumb as it sounds... it is a journey and you gotta enjoy the journey. Getting to this no matter how bad the crowd, how little the paycheck is amazing. Although I (really) love big crowds and big paychecks!
Buffa: First joke you ever told and who heard it first?
Bagg: Oh man..... hmmm i have no idea but my favorite joke from when i was a kid is
Why do polish people names end in ski?
Cause they can’t spell toboggan
Buffa: What's the allure of performing live as opposed to recording a radio show or podcast? Describe it.
Bagg: Instant gratification. I love the connection with the audience. A great show is when at the end we all feel like we have been friends forever.
One of the best things to watch in the world is a performer working freely without staring at a clock. A comedian getting on a stage without having to play someone else or tap into another persona in order to be good at his or her job is quite a nice spot to be in life. The best comedy is improvised and off the cuff with a little reckless abandon thrown in. People dig that and that is what Bagg provides. Something different yet just as funny.
On June 2, go check him out. I mean, go see how good he looks and then listen to his comedy and laugh at his jokes. Try not to laugh, I dare you. The man is funny. Just ask him about that hockey or why people wear player jerseys to funerals (okay that last one was all me, pardon me). Ian Bagg is a good dude doing the kind of go-for-broke work that a young comic only dreams about. After paying his dues in the business and scraping for opportunity, Bagg is flying high at the moment. That's something worth checking out.
Follow Bagg on Twitter here and purchase tickets to the June 2 show at weareliveradio.com.