In this edition of Run the Light, we interview comedian Dave Ross.

Ari: Did you do any pranks for April fools?
Dave: Nope!  I was on planes most of the day coming back from Philadelphia, so all the pranks at my disposal had already been done by terrorists. (Different day, though.)

Ari: You recently wrote a very informative article on how to have sex with an animal, what animal would you have sex with?
Dave: I will have sex with literally anything.

Ari: What did you study at USC and has it helped your career?
Dave: I studied psychology and no.  Or maybe?  I don’t know.  Not directly.  I performed nary a once in any capacity while in college and didn’t start stand-up until 5 years later.  College definitely expanded my vocabulary, and grew my understanding of the English language, people, and the world in general, and it certainly helped hone my social skills, but nothing about my degree has directly helped me as a comedian.  I failed a lot with girls and making friends and staying happy while I was at USC, and that’s probably the thing from that part of my life that’s helped me write jokes the most.

Ari: You started in radio, are you planning on starting a podcast?
Dave: Yes!  I’ve had two podcasts so far in my time as a comic, both of which I’m very proud of.  The first was one called Cats and Pussy that I ran with Jake Weisman and the other was the Sex Nerd Sandra Podcast, which I co-hosted.  The latter wasn’t my show — I was brought onto it — and I recently left, but it’s still around and still great.  I’m starting my own show on the Nerdist Network at the end of April.  It’s called Terrified.

Ari: What was your guy’s inspiration to turn Women into a live show?
Dave: It was something we’d wanted to do for a long time.  We love to make videos, and that will always be our main focus, but we wanted to see what we could do given a completely different, in-the-moment platform.  It was a challenge.  We also love to play with form, so it was especially fun to take the idea of a live show — something that’s been done a million times before — and twist and mold it into something weird and disturbing that no one’s ever seen before.

Ari: If you could pick anyone to headline HolyFuck that has yet to do it who would you have?
Dave: Tom Lennon.  He’s the best.  The best at everything.  The very best at everything ever.  Also, Bill Burr.  Who might be even better than that.  And if Bill Cosby ever did the show, I think I’d just kill myself at the end of his set.  (That’s a good thing.)

Ari: As a guy who plays in both clubs and alt rooms but got “known” by creating your own show, what is your opinion on the whole club scene vs alt scene.
Dave: That divide was much more apparent to me when I had just started.  I “came up” in the alt scene, and I felt an extreme alignment to it back then, but now I go everywhere and have friends everywhere, because funny’s funny.  The only real difference between the two scenes is in their bad comedians.  The bad comics in the club scene are misogynist or racist or hateful or ignorant, and those in the alternative scene are sloppy or holier-than-thou or use an exorbitant amount of obscure references.  If the former drives you insane, you start in alt rooms, and if the latter makes you wanna kill everyone, you start in club rooms.

Obviously, I oversimplified it, but that’s the basic jist.  Once you’re at the point where you’re doing lots of shows, you’ve worked so hard already that you realize it’s all bullshit.  Funny is funny and a good writer is a good writer, and we all talk about fucking, so shut up about alt and club.

Also, I like the Shins, so…  alt rooms.

Ari: You produce shows, you do stand up, sketch, act, what would your dream job be in the biz?
Dave: If there were a WOMEN tv show that was written, performed, directed and edited by the four of us and our friends, I would have the perfect life.  Making dumb sketch during the day, doing stand-up in town at night, and doing stand-up out of town on the weekends…  Yeah man.  And actually, stand-up is the dream.  A life where I do stand-up every day and nothing else…  That’s all I want.  I have this pie-in-the-sky retirement fantasy of living in a beach town, running a record store and doing stand-up every night.  That’d be perfect.

Ari: Any projects you have planned in the near future?
Dave: There’s the podcast that I mentioned before, Terrified.  I’m really excited about that.  The short description of the show is that each episode, I’ll interview a different comedian or famous person about what makes them hate themselves.  More specifically, I’m interested in what eats people up inside, or makes them feel small, or afraid, or anxious, or sad, etc. That is, honestly, what I’m most interested in in life, and what I think is funniest.  I can’t wait.

And there’s also the Holy Fuck album.  We recorded over 40 comics over four shows near the beginning of this year and are now in the process of mixing and mastering it into a double-cd compilation album.  Kyle Kinane’s on the album, Eric Andre, and so so so many more.  I honestly can’t believe we’re pulling it off.  Should be released at the beginning of May!  And then after that, I will never produce anything ever again and possibly I will die.  It’s great, and I’m really happy we did it, but I’m looking forward to getting back to just writing and performing.

You Can Find Dave At,

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