Sam Morrill doesn’t mind sticky interviews. The 36-year-old comedian’s interview with a local TV station in the South has become legendary on social media for his ability to revel in the host’s discomfort.
Consider, for example, a recent morning show interview he gave in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“I went there many years ago. I think Tennessee still allowed abortions back then. It’s a lot more strict these days, so I’ll be wearing protective gear on this trip,” he said. told the newscaster. roast. “There may be some shooting jokes, but I’m going to keep it light.”
Is Morrill pushing the nation’s human rights issues around his neck, or is he lyrically singing about the era of gangster rap: “Sure, people died in the end, but it was fun.” –Morrill prides himself on his ability to make people laugh about painful things. subjects. He wants us to confront ourselves “but in a light way” through black jokes.
“No one is watching…these kinds of shows want to be on the show,” Morrill says of the local news coverage. “So why don’t we do something outrageous so that the audience can see how funny I am?”
But Morrill had just recently passed a law restricting drag performances in public in Tennessee, and unknowingly told the morning show host to include “all the kids” in his next performance. I want them on board, and I watch them say, ‘I’m going to put on a show,’ with a straight face. Drags Only in Tennessee” isn’t just funny. It is interesting.
The East Coast comedian has two separate shows at the Paramount Theater on Thursday, June 22nd, and will likely have a few mile-high thorns when he hits the stage. To find out more about his TV interview strategy, his thoughts on podcasting, and his dream sitcom as a kid, we interviewed Morrill while he was on the road.
Westward: For someone who jokes about abortions and mass shootings, you speak and navigate the subject of “cancellation culture” very well. Are comedians complaining about cancel culture like old-school basketball big men who can’t even hit a jump shot? Do comedians need to adapt for today’s games?
Sam Morrill: I always have to adapt, but it’s not the people that worry me. Big tech companies like TikTok and Facebook. I wouldn’t call it censorship, but they find ways to stifle speech, block keywords, and eliminate nuances. I worry about that.
Anyone offended by a joke? who doesn’t care? But if I make a Nazi joke that denounces the Nazis and the joke is banned because I said the word “Nazi,” that’s dangerous to me.
Many of my jokes are on sensitive topics. The plan is to keep them light and fun. For example, if I mention an abortion or a mass shooting and it drowns out the joke, that’s annoying. We were very lucky to avoid most of the big streamers. Having a special on YouTube was a big deal for me, but if they started censoring the content, it would be much harder to reach people and fans. That’s what I’m worried about. I’m not the kind of guy who says “I suck” on Twitter. I don’t care about that.
How long does it take to craft these jokes around serious topics?
Sometimes you get presents, sometimes it takes forever. And sometimes things that work forever stop working. It’s always a challenge. I don’t know how my batting average is, if it’s better or worse than before. I definitely have less time to write than I used to.
What is killing your writing time?
These days you have to do 900 podcasts to sell tickets. I love doing podcasts, literally all my friends have podcasts. If I was told that if I sold the same amount of tickets, I would never have to do a podcast again, I would walk away immediately. You don’t have to talk like this. I love to write and think more about what I do. Podcasts are fun sometimes, and I enjoy them that much. I didn’t start comedy to be Don Imus. When I was younger, I wanted to make a sitcom.
Is the sitcom dream still achievable? The way we watch sitcoms and TV has changed a lot in the last five to ten years.
Not in the classical sense, but there’s definitely a way to make a show. That is, if we can solve this writer’s strike. My mom was horrified when I encountered this. She wanted me to take the “safe route” and become a screenwriter, but with the strikes going on, it sounds ridiculous as a safe route, but I’m going to be a TV screenwriter. I was thinking of it as a way to get someone to hire me. “I know comedy. But for stand-up, I thought if I could get to a place where I could sell out the room, I would be okay. I could always work.”
I was in the middle of making a program, but there was a writer’s strike, and now I can’t even meet people. We have to respect that and not put anyone in a position where they can scab.
You were quite successful as a comedian from a young age. Was there a moment when you wondered if you made the wrong choice between entertainment and standup?
Yes, of course. I am going to Chattanooga this week. The last time I was there was around 2011, they were bombing. There are moments when you think, “Is this a good thing? Is this a wise thing to do with my life?” But I think you’re getting enough to keep it going. When you get enough validation to start working, you get to the point of “So what else can I do?” And I’m kind of stuck. So thank God it works.
You will start receiving presents. For me, it’s the opening of a larger comic, followed by the show. Even if it’s a small club, it’s very nice to have your own show. From there, start building your audience. I’m in the theater now. It’s pretty good.
To what extent do you tailor your jokes to the specific city or region you’re currently performing in?
I’m working on a new album for everyone, so it’s not one-size-fits-all. If it’s he one show, he’ll certainly tell some local jokes. But the actual hours I’m building are not adjusted for any city. It’s one of the few forms of entertainment that focus groups still focus on, and for me the audience is part of the editing process.
Comedians love to throw in cannabis jokes when visiting Colorado, but now legal mushrooms are making an appearance. Any plans to hear about them at your show?
I don’t do it so I don’t really care. You guys are so potheads that sometimes we joke about it, but I like alcohol, not psychedelics or hallucinogens. I like to keep my thoughts in check. I have too many thoughts in my head already, so I like to silence all the voices in my head when I’m relaxing.
Having seen your local TV interview, the editor was probably glad this was written. Do these TV anchors know what they’re up to when you come to tell abortion and drag show jokes?
sometimes. It really works either way. If it doesn’t work, it’s funny because they hate it. If things are going well, they’re smiling. I don’t think it matters too much.
Here’s my thought process on it: Anyone who sees this and sees me doing a candid interview about this kind of show will not want to come to the show. So why not do something outrageous to let the viewers see how funny I am?
Let’s say you’re doing it in Colorado right now. What are you going to burn us for?
Perhaps weeds are involved, but you have to think about it. No one knows what’s going on in Colorado right now. What’s interesting is that people know me and relate to me. It’s fun. However, it can also get you into trouble.It’s not worth losing your job to make an abortion joke at 9am
You have a nice smoky voice. Have you tried doing more voice work?
yes. To be honest, I’m a little annoyed that I don’t do more.I participate in many episodes 10 year old tom Max, second season. I don’t know when it will be released, but it’s a very good show by Steve Dildarian. The Life and Times of Tim. I play a lot of random characters, and they let me do more, so I think it worked. I hope there will be more like that. But yes, I’m a little annoyed because I don’t get more than that. I think I’m good at it.
yes. That means Will Arnett will now be voicing all commercials under the sun. What do you give?
Sam Morrill’s The Class Act Tour, 7pm and 9:30pm Thursday, June 22nd, Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenham Place. Tickets are $35.