In this edition of Run the Light, we interview comedian Andy Kozel.

Ari: You do spots at all the major clubs in LA, when and why did you start doing stand up?

Andy: Yeah, came out here from Chicago. Was a co-host of a popular morning radio show in college at the University of Illinois. We beat out Bob and Tom for the #1 spot in our area ratings. Pretty good for a student station. We were all over the papers, had a parade, and everything. We had a pretty loyal following. I’ve always wanted to have my own morning radio show, and do stand-up comedy, but morning radio was pretty much a dying medium at the time, and there was NO money in it. So I went to the Second City in Chicago. Found out that that was pretty much a $1000 t-shirt and that I really hated improv, so I moved to LA so I could get serious with stand-up. But now with Sirius radio and podcasts popularizing the morning show formats again, maybe I’ll get myself a show someday.

Ari: Montreal Just For Laughs showcase… How did that go?

Andy: It was a weird audience for all the comics that night. I don’t think anybody really has great sets at industry showcases, unless you’re the one that brought the audience. There’s always a weird vibe because the audience was probably forced to be there in the first place. And they’re always on a weekday at some little theater…some that don’t even serve booze, the mic’s never loud enough, etc. And then the industry people in the audience are probably so burned out by watching stand-up all the time that they don’t laugh either. I’ve even seen comics get heckled at industry showcases. Now what kind of asshole person would go to an industry showcase and heckle people? It can be a very nerve wracking business sometimes.

Ari: You were recently featured on FunnyOrDie’s list of “Funniest Dudes to Follow on Twitter in 2013.” What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment so far?

Andy: I guess being on one of those lists is pretty cool, since there’s so many of them out there and that they’re so arbitrary. It’s good to know you’re doing at least something right and that somebody is noticing you. I’ve had a lot of shitty luck in this business. Been through a lot of agents and managers. A lot of comics can probably say that as well. One time I was picked to do a set on Craig Ferguson like 5 years ago. Told all my friends and family. Then that writer’s strike happened like a week before my taping. Then like 4 months later after the strike was over, I think they replaced the booker and they made everybody re-submit. I never heard back. Ha. Guess the new guy didn’t like me. That was kind of embarrassing. Thank god for booze and drugs.

Ari: When you tell someone you’re a comedian and the response is “tell me a joke” how do you respond?

Andy: That’s why I don’t tell people I’m a comedian. It’s much easier just to say I’m a financial planner or some shit. Then they’re disinterested and walk away. People don’t really say “tell me a joke” anymore. Now when you tell them you’re a comedian, it’s usually “Do you know Tosh?”

Ari: You are a screenwriter as well, do you ever incorporate your jokes into your scripts?

Andy: I just finished a script with my buddy and comic, Dave Lease, that we’re shopping around now. It was kind of a gangster drama, so there wasn’t too much comedy in it, but they’re some dark funny scenes. I like to write with Dave because we get each others sense of humor. That’s the key. You get that, and the jokes just flow naturally.

Ari: It seems that most comedians are out of shape but you exercise and even play on a softball team, how do I get on the team?

Andy: Like how you get anything in this town… Get on your knees.

Ari: Professional softball player or comedian, which would be cooler?

Andy: I used to play Junior College baseball before I transferred to the University of Illinois. Baseball’s the best game in the world. I think it’s every kids dream to be a pro baseball player. I think Derek Jeter is banging way hotter chicks than any comic. Not sure about professional men’s softball. It’s kind of weird, if you’ve ever watched it.

Ari: Now the question all the ladies asked me to ask you, what did you do for valentines day?

Andy: I went to the party at the Pali House in West Hollywood. These girls I know that run the “DirtyandThirty.com” website threw a singles party. There’s a nice little plug for them.

Ari: Any Projects we should look out for in the coming future?

Andy: I actually just jumped on board to produce a low budget horror movie (which I’ve always wanted to do) with a few friends of mine. Kind of excited to see how it’s gonna turn out. Maybe it’ll be the next Blair Witch.

You Can Find Andy At

AndyKozel.com

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