In this edition of run the light we interview comedian Grant Cotter.

Ari: When and where did you start comedy?
I started doing stand up in Orange County at a dive bar called Martini Blues back in 2007. I did it once and was instantly hooked. I hit the ground running and never stopped. Back then I was one of the youngest people in that scene doing stand up so everyone was really nice and supportive. I got a lot of stage time and bailed out on going to college to pursue doing stand up full time, even though at this point no one had ever paid me to tell jokes.

Ari: How long did you do comedy in OC before you decided it was time to LA?
I stayed in OC for 5 years before I moved to LA. Living in OC was great because I was in the middle of everything. At the time, the comedy scene in Long Beach and Orange County was bumping so it was easy to get up 10-12 times a week. I was close enough to LA to see great shows and meet cool comics and occasionally perform up there. Those first few years I was everywhere. Me and my buddy Friendly Frank would drive a couple hundred miles a night to do 3 or 4 open mics around So-Cal. After a fews years of grinding it out in coffee shops, laundromats and bars I started getting guest spots here and there at the Improvs in Brea and Irvine. Then moved up to hosting, featuring until eventually I had my own show there. There are so many rad shows and contests in OC but once I did all the shows and won all the contests I thought it was time to make the move up to Hollywood.

Ari: What is your first memory of being funny?
Ummmm- the first big laugh I remember getting was in kindergarten or first grade. Our teacher was reading a ‘Duck Tales’ book I accidentally called Ducky– FUCKY and the whole class laughed, one kid pissed his pants cause I cussed so then teacher started laughing too.

I didn’t know it was a bad word until I went home that night and started saying it to my family hoping they’d laugh too– they didn’t.

Ari: What were your biggest influences in comedy?
Jim Carrey was my favorite. The Mask and Ace Ventura ALL DAY. I loved in Living Color and would beg my parents to let me stay up and watch it. Some of my biggest influences were skate videos. The Big Brother videos, CKY and CKY2k were the funniest shit ever when I was younger (those dudes later went on to create Jackass). I really liked the Tom Green show on MTV. He was so loud and crazy and got to be on TV for being himself- I thought that was rad. I’m half British so we always watched shows like Mr. Bean and Absolutely Fabulous.

Ari: Do you have any advice out there for young comics?
My advice to young comics is to write every day and perform every night and don’t be a dick.

Ari: Any big interests outside of the comedy world?
There are things outside the comedy world??

I like art, skateboarding and girls.

Ari: Whats next for you in 2014?
2014 is rad so far! I’m on a new show on MTV called ‘Jerks With Cameras’. It’s a fast paced hidden camera show where we prank unsuspecting people on the street and compete to see who can get the best reactions out of people. I spent 3 months with some of my best friends in comedy laughing non stop. It was literally the best time of my life thus far so– It was a dream come true. I got a little part in a movie called ‘Spare Change’ that I shot with some really funny and talented people, it was such a fun experience. I filmed a spot on a new stand up show called ‘Off The Chain’ on BounceTV that premieres on April 1st and have some new episodes of ‘Mystery Diners’ on the Food Network premiering in March. Aside from all that? Just doing a ton of stand up- You can see me at the Improv or the Laugh Factory in Hollywood every week. COME TO A SHOW!

Ari: What is it like to be on MTV?

MTV totally molded me in my adolescence. I’d rush home every day to watch Carson Daly host TRL. I thought that was the dopest job ever. He got to host a show in Times Square where hundreds of people screamed for him outside in the cold while he interviewed celebrities. Shows like Cribs, Making the Video and Jackass were rad too. So it’s incredibly satisfying and fulfilling to be able to be included on a network that I grew up with.

You Can Find Grant
Jerks With Cameras Thursday’s @ 10:30/9:30c on MTV

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