In this edition of Run the Light, we interview comedian Tony Hinchcliffe.

Brad: You’re now a paid regular at the Comedy Store, how cool is that to have your name on the wall there?
Tony: Being a paid regular at the Comedy Store is awesome. It has special meaning to me because my first time on stage was there at an open mic and I immediately fell in love with the place. I got a job working the door there soon after which led to many more spots and getting to make friends with some of the funniest people I have ever met. I spent countless hours working there wondering what it would be like to be a paid regular and where my name would go on the wall. Now that I’m passed there I couldn’t be happier, not only is it my favorite comedy club to perform at, it’s also my favorite place to hang.

Brad: You recently won the 1st comedy rap battle at the Hollywood Improv in front of a sold out crowd, we know you got comedy skills, where’d you get the rap skills man?
Tony: Haha, well that wasn’t the first comedy rap battle, it was the battle of all the returning champions, so it was very difficult. Comedy rap battles are sort of like a math problem…it’s like roasting + writing + short-term memorizing multiplied by timing. It’s perhaps the biggest adrenaline rush one could ask for, because if you do well it’s incredibly rewarding, you look and sound cool as hell, but if it goes wrong like I’ve seen it do with other people it is scary, there comes a moment where they realize they have already lost but the music is still playing and they have to finish..it’s hilariously sad. The rap battles are also fun for me cause I listen to a lot of rap when I’m not doing stand-up…to get to do both at the same time is perfect.

Brad: One of my favorite shows to watch on TV is Jeff Ross’ The Burn, you’re a writer on the show, how is working with the Roastmaster General himself?
Tony: Working with Jeffrey is amazing, he is one of my best friends and mentors. He had many mentors when he was coming up in New York City at The Friars Club, so I feel like some of the teachings are extra profound because it’s coming from a guy that learned it from comedy gods. I’ve been working with Jeff on The Burn since it’s inception and its a blast. Jeff hired the best writers in town and it is inspiring listening to the jokes these guys can come up with. Some of the writers are TV veterans and some of us are young edgy stand-ups. I think we all have different styles and push each other towards greatness. It’s a comedy writers dream because the jokes can be super hard and evil, cause that’s what the show is, the jokes are too edgy for late night network TV. Basically, we laugh all day.

Brad: You recently were on the Fresh Faces show at the Laugh Factory, how did that go?
Tony: Only took me 6 years to be a “Fresh Face” there. That place really has their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in Hollywood.

Brad: Our favorite joke you do is where you are working at Out of the Closet and you have to tell people they have AIDS, hard job to really work or just a perk?
Tony: Tough job…can’t possibly pay enough. That joke is also one of my favorites. The Comedy Store piano player and one of my very good friends Jeff Scott has been working there for almost two decades and has seen a lot of great comedy. He was diagnosed long ago with HIV. He laughs at that joke every time I say it at The Store. I guess if an aids joke can make a guy with HIV laugh…than it’s not your typical aids joke. Plus it’s not easy to make Jeff laugh since he used to watch Richard Pryor on the same stage.

Brad: You also open for Jeff Ross on the road, got any dates coming up in the future?
Tony: No dates booked yet with Jeff, but I do have some shows in Pittsburgh, Columbus, La Jolla, Texas and Montreal coming up…my schedule constantly gets updated…so best to just follow me on twitter @TonyHinchcliffe or you can check TonyHinchcliffe.com…better yet just make that website your homepage.

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is a stand up comedian located in Los Angeles, CA

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