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Emailing With Comedian Gabe Liedman
Edith Zimmerman: Gabe! Your new album is so funny. (Everyone should listen to the excerpt above [verrry mildly NSFW], and then buy the whole thing!) Halfway through “Hoarders,” when you’re imitating their screams, I lay back and laughed in a way I haven’t in a long time. It’s actually kind of lonely to laugh that hard by yourself.
Gabe Liedman: I’m glad you liked “Hoarders,” that one’s controversial. Or, really, it’s just hit or miss with whether people are going to like me telling mentally ill people to kill themselves like I’m some genius.
EZ: Where are you?
GL: Fort Greene [Brooklyn], in my living room, on the couch, all the way to the left.
EZ: What are you wearing?
GL: A full sweat-suit. It’s me time and raining.
EZ: Does hanging out with stand-up comedians ever feel like battle? Like you say a joke, another comedian says a joke, and everyone’s laughing, but there’s this stacking-on-top feeling like someone has to say the last best one, and it’s kind of like … dueling? I don’t know. Maybe this doesn’t make sense. But like laughter is the blood, and you’re stabbing away, going for the bloodiest kill, or trying to hit a bloodier artery. But no one dies.
GL: People actually DO die EDITH!!!!! JKJKJK. To me, no, it doesn’t feel like battle. But there are lots of different types of people who end up as comics. I’ve had people tell me that I’m not one of those comedian’s who’s “always on,” which I take as a big compliment. So, I can kind of hang back and watch the riffing go down and just be a laugher as much as I jump in and joke around with the rest of them. My close friends who are comics are so insanely funny pretty much around the clock, and I actually love it. Like with Max Silvestri or Jenny Slate for example: I never EVER know what they’re about to say, even though I spend all my time with them and know them inside and out. It’s thrilling. But if they were assholes or I hated laughing, then yeah — it would be hell and I’d be covered in blood.
EZ: What’s the worst part about this album?
GL: Well, I hate my voice, so that’s pretty rough. Also, I dropped a joke from the set that I consider one of my best jokes, but I’ve found that it is so super dirty that it straight-up doesn’t fly outside of New York (I recorded in LA). It’s a tangent in a longer joke where I refer to my butt as a pussy that fills up with shit every day. Every time I’ve tried it outside of New York people really hate it, and you know what? They’re right, it’s gross. But I do miss it because I am subhuman.
EZ: The best part?
GL: I liked a couple of the on-the-spot riffs I did, I’m glad that there’s spontaneous stuff on there. It’s just one show start to finish, and every show has little moments that make them different. Oh, and I can also pick out some of my friends’ specific laughs in the audience, and that’s super fun for me. Like I can hear Jenny Slate and Michelle Collins so clear on some jokes and I love it. This makes me sound like I listen to the album a lot, but I don’t. Just twice.
EZ: Do you search yourself on Twitter?
GL: I obsessively check my @ replies and mentions. I rarely just search for my name, though, because there’s never anything there. But, like, if someone says something right to me then I see it within milliseconds because I’m a super chill individual.