Eastern Carolina Style Interviews: Myq Kaplan

Posted: January 20, 2014 by The Life in All, Comedy, Interview, Stand-Up
Tags: , ,

myq-kaplan-comedian

His show is one long verbally articulated stream of comedic consciousness.

 

There are several different ways that you can approach comedy and be successful. We have all see performers that do hilarious impressions like Frank Caliendo. We have truly successful ventriloquists like Jeff Dunham. There is also the tried and true method of finding a societal subject or stereotype to focus in on like Jeff Foxworthy and so many others have done to create a routine.

One of the less often used methods to find a laugh is the style that is used by Myq Kaplan. When you listen to Myq perform, it is almost better if you are able to NOT laugh at his jokes. He delivers one-liner after one-liner in such fast succession; you will often miss a follow-up joke because you are still laughing a previous joke. I would describe his style as automatic rifle comedy; once the trigger is pulled you no longer have control of the number jokes you are going to get.

During our conversation, I tried to pin Myq down to learn how he developed his routine. What I got was very enlightening; from Myq, “Stylistically, in the beginning it was just a joke then another joke, a joke, see if it works, another joke see if it works. A few years later I had chunks of jokes that were still one line things. But now here were all the lines I had about being a vegetarian. Here are all the lines I have about certain movies, TV shows, books, relationships, sex, religion, or whatever; so, little topic chunks started forming.”

Every comedian has jokes that don’t always work, when Myq talked about his experience with dud jokes, he showed me how is used it to get better. “It is possible that it was out of insecurity, initially, that I wasn’t comfortable with the silence. It would often accompany a joke not working so, ‘Oh there is silence there; move on to the next joke, move on to the next one. When the jokes started working a lot I still had that ‘Oh that jokes over, move on to the next one’. I was packing more punch lines in the setups.”

As we continued to talk about his development Myq let me in on some not-so -secret, secrets of comedy as it relates to joke writing and connecting with the audience,“When most people start out doing comedy, if you know anything at all, you know that, probably, you are not good at it or are not going to be any good at it for a while… I never wanted to just write something that an audience would like, I wanted to write something that I enjoy and see what the audience likes.” He continued, “In the beginning it was more passive like ‘is this funny’ and then see if they said yes. Now it’s more, ‘this IS funny’. Over the course of time, I gained more confidence in some of the jokes by sheer volume. Some of them started working more than others.”

As Myq continues to talk, I learned that he really is machine-like with his comedy, “I don’t necessarily use that information to craft new things, but I get more confidence in myself and in those jokes in general and become a better performer. I can then go back and those jokes that didn’t work in the past, I do actually like them and now I am a better comedian and can use them better.”

Myq succinctly sums up his style in saying, “What I have done is not necessarily actively to pursue anything specific other than to talk about what I think is funny.”

This weekend, we have the opportunity to see this unique comedy style in person at Goodnight’s Comedy Club in Raleigh. Myq Kaplan will be performing a series of 4 shows on Friday and Saturday night. Be sure you take this chance to see a truly unique comedian.

Tickets
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