Eastern Carolina Style Interviews: Bruce Bruce

Posted: January 31, 2014 by The Life in All, Comedy, Interview, Stand-Up
Tags: , ,

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MAS – You have been in comedy touring for around 20 years and have been to, easily, hundreds of cities and played in hundreds of venues. Looking back, which of your shows do you feel like is your crowning achievement to date?

Bruce Bruce – I don’t really know, I don’t think I have gotten to that point yet. All the shows I have ever done in any theater or in any club I have so much fun and all of my crowds are basically the same. Also, I always give 100% with whatever I do. So, I haven’t gotten to that theater yet where I think I achieve anything like that. I am still out there having fun.

MAS – On the other side of that, are there any shows that you have done that you wish you could do over again?

Bruce Bruce – Oh yeah, there are shows that I wish I could go do again. I have never had one that I can’t go back to, never had a bad show. But shows that I would like to do again, I would like to host BET Comic View again. The previous show that I did, I thought that it was very good and it was a very good year. I think we had over 2 million viewers, and that was pretty good.

MAS – What is there in your career that you would like to do that you haven’t already done?

Bruce Bruce – I would like to host my own TV talk-show. I would like to host a show like Johnny Carson. I think I could get anybody to do the show and I think I am a great person to interview them. I have the personality for it. That’s one thing I’d like to do. I’d like to have a long run like Jay Leno, who took over for Carson. I’d like to have a show like that. I’d like to have the desk, I’d like to have the whole setup, couch everything.

MAS – I forget which show it was that I was watching of yours, but I watched you go person to person lighting them up joking on them as they were walking to their seats during your set. Have you ever really pissed anybody off doing that?

Bruce Bruce – Yeah, I think I have pissed someone off but I have a way of making it up to them right there onstage. I don’t know how I do it, but I have seen people really get pissed and then said things to them and done some things to them in the midst of the show and they have forgotten about the whole entire thing. They are laughing and loving it, they are like “First, you pissed me off, but we really like you, you are really good.” By the way, when I do it, it is nothing degrading, nothing personal, nothing to intimidate you, it’s all in fun. If I see a big guy, I’m gonna talk about me and him. He’s gonna think the joke is on me and him, but it’s really on him. He doesn’t realize it, but that is how I do it, a maneuver that I do.

MAS – You have a huge library of material, like an encyclopedia Britannica of comedy to pull from. What can we expect from you?

Bruce Bruce – Definitely different, I have different stuff that I do. Also, I do a meet and greet after each show. I always have the, “Why didn’t you do that joke?” Some people really want to hear some of the old stuff, so a lot of time when I go out on stage I ask, “What do you want to hear?” because a lot of time people just want to hear the old stuff, I definitely have new stuff that is really, really good. The key thing is how my show goes…You go to a comedy show and you see the comedian and they give you a roller-coaster ride. One minute they are very funny and then they come down and then they go back up again and then they come down. I don’t do the roller-coaster ride, I pick you up and I leave you right there. That is my whole goal, I want to pick you up and leave you laughing right there. I don’t do the roller-coaster ride; that is not comfortable to me. I come do a great job, so I am going to pick you up and up.

MAS – I have talked to some of the more controversial comedy acts; Jim Norton, Tracey Morgan, etc. They are all not afraid to push the envelope in subject matter. In hearing your set, you talk about some of the same subjects; race, women, sex, etc. but with a completely different tone. What has pushed you to use that type of material and the tone that you use?

Bruce Bruce – Well, honestly… I think, once you have a person’s attention, once you get their attention you can just about sell them on anything. When you go to church, you go anywhere, you go to a seminar; once they have your attention; you have a tendency of listening. When I have people’s attention I think that is my outlet, especially with guys, to let them know about racism, and relationships; I do a lot on relationships. They need to know these things. A lot of guys, they don’t know, they think they know because they feel they are a grown man, “I’m a grown man now, I’m a big man,” a lot of time we just don’t know. Once I have their attention, I just lay it on them and it just comes natural for me.

MAS – You have been in this business for around 20 years…

Bruce Bruce – 24 years in 2014, I’ve been doing it for 24 years professionally.

MAS – That kind of experience makes you a subject matter expert; you are the man to ask. Let’s pretend I am an up-and-coming comedian, I want to be the next Bruce Bruce… How do I do it?

Bruce Bruce – The key thing is, you have to have a passion. I need to know if you have a passion for doing stand-up. If you do have a passion for it, be creative and use your own material. Don’t take bits a pieces of other people’s material. I can see you taking somebody’s style, but not their material. Use it to your advantage. It’s not hard to pick up a lot of material. I tell every young comedian, I go up to the mall and I sit and I watch people and that is how I gather my material. I learn things about the city, so when I come up on stage I’m gonna say something about the city that you think I don’t know anything about. It is about bringing creativity and being original and using your own material. Energy, you’ve got to have energy, but first and foremost, you’ve got to have the passion for it. If you have that passion, you can go to the top…

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