INTERVIEWS

Brooks Wheelan: Right in the Basket.

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brooksBrooks Wheelan has done more in the last few years then you have done in your whole life. The fact that he is still likeable is proof the kid is going to go the distance. Some career highlights?  Cast Member of Saturday Night Live (2013-14), appeared on Conan, appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers, appeared on Girls, appeared on MTV’s Ridiculousness, appeared on @Midnight, appeared on Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, had the #1 comedy album on iTunes with the release of his debut album, “This is cool, Right?

Brooks will be at the Crepe Place on Sunday, April 17th Get your tickets here: http://tinyurl.com/zm6uvzw

SUSC: You seem like you would like Santa Cruz.

Brooks: I really love Santa Cruz, I have a friend who lives there and I helped her move in. Dude, if I wasn’t in this entertainment world, I would live in Santa Cruz.

When you were coming up in Iowa, was there a scene?

It was pretty non-existent. In 2005 I was 19 and I had some pretty good 35 year-old friends. That was the open mic scene in Iowa, older dudes who were bored. I was like, “Hey guys, want to move out to LA?” and they were like, “No. I have a job.” Now Iowa has a much better scene and those comics will ask me, “Do you have any advice?” And I always tell them, “Get out of Iowa.” You have to go where it’s happening if you want to make it.

Did you have a job lined up?

I got a job in engineering when I moved here. I graduated college and drove to LA to pursue comedy. I did mics for four years up until the day I got hired on SNL and I quit my job as an engineer.

How do you get known as a stand-up comic and get hired as a writer for SNL?

I auditioned and it went well, but I didn’t do any impressions or characters. They thought I was really funny but they didn’t know where to put me in the cast. They brought me onboard because they liked my ideas. That happened to John Mulaney also.

Seems like a really accelerated comedy career. How did you adapt to the SNL writing room?

It was tough. I wasn’t just doing open mics, I had done the Montreal Comedy Festival and Comedy Central broke me the year before as one of ten comedians to watch. I had already done my first TV set on Adam Devine’s House Party so I wasn’t out of nowhere. I just got there and learned how to write sketches. It was a steep learning curve.

What was your first big step before SNL?

Comedy Central got on board with the Comedy Central Showcase out in LA. And the rest of the entertainment industry got on board after Montreal.

Was that when you first got an agent?

I had already written a bunch of television shows. One had gotten a lot of traction in LA and that’s how I got an agent. I got a manager because my friends talked me up. Matt Braunger and Mike Burns recommended me and she picked me up.

Do you have a passion project script you’ve written with you as the star?

I’m in the middle of pitching it right now to all the networks. I created it with Mike Clattenburg, he created Trailer Park Boys.

Do you feel like your background helps when dealing with corporate executives?

Ah, no. I’m pretty bad at compromising. I’m stubborn when I see my projects being changed up. I think I need to change that because it’s not really working out for me. I’ve been on panel shows where I realize I don’t want to be there because it doesn’t match up with my sensibility. Instead of just rolling with it, I just want to get out of there.

What was the worst show you’ve been on where you thought, “I can’t do this ever again.”

Uhm, I can’t say that, dude.

Who are your peers in LA that you are stoked to work with?

I just did a show the other night and I even brought my girlfriend. I was like, “You gotta see these guys.” Hampton Young, Andy Haynes and Ian Karmel. There are so many great comics in LA that aren’t household names, yet.

Your new album is great. Are the kind of comedian that now abandons all the material from you act that was on that album?

For sure. I don’t even breath those words anymore. To be a good comedian you have to be prolific. If I keep doing the jokes I know that work, it’s boring.

If you said something on TV is it out of the act.

Yeah. If I say it on TV, I quit saying it on stage. Also, some jokes get better over time, and if I keep telling jokes from an album and they get better, I’ll be like, “Dang it. I should have waited to record that.” It’s easier on the psyche to not tell those jokes again.

I’m not saying you’re Louis CK rich, but now that you have success do you write as good as you did when you were hungrier?

I’ve always talked about whatever is going on. I write a lot more now because as I got my name out there, I started doing a lot more stand-up. I’m onstage 5/7 hours a week. I have to write more to stay sane and not bored.

Do you miss your day job at all?

I think having a day gig is healthy. I like the structure. You also are more excited for the weekend. Other than that, no.

When you were working with bio-medical engineers, were you the funny guy?

I would just show up at my job and work. I was more interested in hanging out with comedians. I had a few friends from work and we would get lunch. They’re great. There are a lot of funny bio-medical engineers out there.

Alright man, well I know you have an appointment with disc golf, so take it easy.

Disc golf with a lady!

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Interviews
05/04/2015

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