Comedy fans from the mountains to the coast and at several stops in between can enjoy headline acts in North Carolina this week, but Raleigh’s Goodnights Comedy Club might feature the best lineup.
Goodnights has two headliners — Todd Glass and Doug Benson — on the bill Thursday night and Benson’s popular “Doug Loves Movies” podcast will tape Saturday afternoon before Glass closes the weekend with two Saturday night shows.
In Asheville, Hari Kondabolu is playing the Diana Wortham Theater on Saturday, one night after Aparna Nancherla headlines Wilmington’s Dead Crow Comedy Room as part of her Tar Heel State visit that also includes appearances at the N.C. Comedy Arts Festival in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The NCCAF starts today and features stand-up, sketch, improv and podcasts, including the “My Fantasy Wife” podcast with Blaire Postman and Gary Haymes, who spoke with Raleigh and Company this week.
Myq Kaplan is also in North Carolina this week for album release shows at Greensboro’s Idiot Box on Friday, Asheville’s The Southern on Saturday and Durham’s Motorco Music Hall on Sunday.
Oh yeah, Chris Rock is performing in Durham tonight and Marc Maron plays Bull City on Friday. Good luck finding tickets.
All of these shows should be great, including Nancherla’s Dead Crow set which I will be attending, and as much as I would have liked interviewing every comedian performing in my home state this week, I was especially excited to talk to Glass in what I hope continues to be an annual interview. This is my third Q and A with Glass and as always, he was thoughtful and funny when we discussed how his podcast, “The Todd Glass Show,” helped me quit drinking, how live music improves the vibe of a comedy room before a show, when he taped his most recent hour special1 and more.
Enjoy the interview, follow Glass on Twitter @ToddGlass and don’t forget The Best Tweet I Can Find in Five Minutes at the end.
Tony Castleberry: I haven’t had a drink in almost nine months and I want you to know that your podcast helped me. Just hearing you say, “You’re great” or “I’m proud of you” meant a lot in those first few weeks. I was lucky enough to have some people in my life who said those things to my face too, but it also gave me strength to hear you say it so thank you, Todd.
Todd Glass: I really appreciate that. I get empathy for my weight, my food. I get it. Every day you wake up and you say “Tomorrow, I’m gonna do this.” Then you’re like, man, two years have passed. It’s lucky that it’s food and not heroin or drinking, but it doesn’t matter. It’s the same thing. The outcome of what happens if I slip is not as bad, but I get people that get on the better end of it so I appreciate that.
We don’t have a show that deals with that. We’re just a silly show that throws out some love sometimes.
TC: You put that out there and you get it back, don’t you think?
TG: Yeah, I think you do. Also, because of my nephew, I know that it’s so fucking hard. … Also, I get some emails sometimes and I just figure it’s so easy to throw out some love so I appreciate that it helps.
TC: It absolutely does and like I said, it’s just little positive reinforcement in a moment of weakness. To hear that you’re gonna be OK is all you need to hear sometimes. You’ve performed in Raleigh for years. Are there any restaurants or places you try to visit every time you’re in town?
TG: I’m a nighttime person so I don’t really do that much. The one place we went, because it’s so close, is like if you leave the comedy club and you make a right and you walk like three minutes. It’s on your right. It’s like a dive bar, but we’ve gone there after some shows.
There’s that cool bar underneath the comedy club with all the stone and mostly I just like to go down there after the shows and hang.
TC: We’ve talked before about how much you love a comedy club that is run the right way. It seems like Goodnights is one of those. Does it give you a sense of relief to know that pretty much everything here is going to be taken care of the way you want it when you show up?
TG: Oh my god, yes. It’s gargantuan, especially when you know the club gets all the little things you like, including the way the room is set up. I’ll have my little band playing as people come into the room. Yes, that’s very comforting because I know it’s gonna be exactly the way I want it.
TC: Is incorporating music into your shows something you’ve done just in recent years or have you always tried to do that?
TG: It’s really only been maybe the last three years that I’ve started to reach out to musicians. They used to just play for me during my act, then I started having them play even as they’re seating the room because it just makes it feel special.
TC: I came to one of your shows at Goodnights last year and when you walk in and hear the music playing, the room seems even more inviting. It gives you a really good feeling before the show even starts.
TG: Exactly. I try to make it like an event, something that feels different from anything else they felt that day. …. I think even when people are being seated, you hear live music and I think it adds to the evening.
TC: I saw all the confusion about this online so now you have a chance to clear it up once and for all: Have you taped your latest one-hour special?
TG: Serious question: Do you know that that’s a joke?
TC: [laughs] Of course I do. Yes.
TG: Some people don’t. I’m happier doing a bit when everyone knows it’s a bit. I thought, that’s one that everyone can tell, but a few asked me and I’m like, “No, that’s a bit.” [interviewer laughs] I thought it was so obvious, you know?
You know how that started was a text that went back and forth between me and Jon Dore for literally a month. Then he read it on the Sklar Brothers podcast, the thread back and forth and then people started tweeting it.
They get the joke. I love that they all get the joke no matter how adamant I am. “Please, I’m sorry for the confusion. I already taped my special. It’s being edited.” Then people tweet me back, “Oh Todd, you can’t fool us. Can’t wait to see your show tonight.” I put it in all bold letters, “I shot my special. It is being edited.” “Oh, I get it. You can buy tickets to watch it being edited?” “No, I shot it Nov. 5. It’s being edited. You cannot buy tickets.” “I’m so excited to see it. I hope I get good seats.” It makes me laugh.
TC: It’s hilarious and I went down a deep rabbit hole reading those tweets from people and your responses. You retweeted a bunch of them too. It was so funny.
TG: I still giggle. Sometimes I’m laying in bed at night and they make me laugh. When people get the joke, they all know how to react and no matter what I say, they are confused.
My favorite one is, “Todd, I’m sorry, but I get it now. It’s Nov. 5, 2017.” [interviewer laughs]
Here it is, The Best Tweet I Can Find in Five Minutes:
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin has stunned 46 percent of the people in this photo, including the president. pic.twitter.com/GKkz0cjB5d
— Dan McQuade (@dhm) February 15, 2017
- Comic Jon Dore, Glass and their followers on Twitter had a blast with this so if my question and Glass’ answer don’t do an adequate job explaining it, just look at Glass’ tweets and get ready to smile. ↩