In this edition of Run The Light we interview Stand Up Comedian Nick Youssef.

Ari: How long have you been doing comedy?
Nick: I started at the age of 18 and have only quit roughly 753 times.

Ari: You started as a door guy at the Comedy Store, did that help your comedy a lot?
Nick: There is a lot to learn there. Comics from open mic level to living legends perform there. If you use the Comedy Store properly (taking risks onstage, watching and learning from the greats, making friends) it can really help you become unique and bulletproof.

Ari: Who are your favorite comedians?
Nick: Dave Attell, Norm MacDonald, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, Maria Bamford, Bill Burr, Groucho Marx and Lucille Ball. Lucille Ball was a genius.

Ari: You are a cohost of the occasionally awesome podcast, how did that come about?
Nick: Some people on Twitter started tweeting at Kevin Christy and I telling us we should host a podcast together. Since Kevin and I are actually friends in real life and apparently cave into peer pressure from total strangers with ease, we agreed to do it.

Ari: Who would be your dream guest on the podcast?
Nick: Neil Young or Lucille Ball. Or Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood. Oh, and Elon Musk seems pretty interesting too.

Ari: You just recorded your first stand up album at the La Jolla Comedy Store, how did it go?
Nick: It was great. I’ve been performing at that club for 10 years from opener to feature to headliner so I’m very comfortable with the room and the crowds. It’s also an extension of The Hollywood Comedy Store so I was able to do multiple shows and choose who I wanted to take down to open for me. It was a relatively stress free weekend considering I was recording my debut album.

Ari: What made you decide you were ready to record the album?
Nick: I’ve been ready to record an album for a little while now. It’s just nowadays you don’t have to wait for Comedy Central or anyone else to tell you it’s your turn. Doing it yourself is cheaper than ever and if you have a base of fans via Twitter or podcasts or YouTube or wherever, you can get your material out there. Don’t wait for anyone to tell you you’re ready. Take the chance and do it yourself. Unless you suck- then quit and go home.

Ari: With the album done what is your next big goal in comedy?
Nick: To make the next one more successful and the one after that more successful than that and so on until I’m dead.

Ari: What advice would you give to young comics reading this?
Nick: I think it’s weird when comics tell other comics what to write about and what kind of comic to be. I like seeing everyone doing his or her own thing. There is nothing better than variety and originality in entertainment. I suppose from a technical standpoint though I’d say¬†write all the time,get as much stage time as humanly possible, and follow your artistic instincts. Trends constantly change and there’s always a new and popular thing to say, do or be. Be yourself, be good to people and do what makes you happy. Unless you suck- then quit and go home.

Ari: Anything else?

Find Nick At

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