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Interview

Brian McKim p5

Standup comedian, author and podcaster Brian McKim talks about standup comedians as readers…

READERSVOICE.COM: Do you find that standup comedians you’ve encountered over the years tended to be very bookish people who are constantly reading and learning, or do some come along who don’t read that much at all?

BRIAN MCKIM: The majority of comics are literate, thoughtful people with a lot of time on their hands. Many of them read books, I assume, though I have never polled them, nor have I engaged in much book talk with any of them. My lovely wife is a reader– she’s currently tackling Les Miserables on her Kindle– and she has, over the past few years, tackled a lot of classic American lit.

RV: It was interesting reading in The Comedy Bible how comedy writing never becomes a simple formula for comedians. Are you still learning new lessons all the time?

BMcK: I am in a somewhat productive phase. I stepped back a little from performing and paid attention to freelance writing and editing Traci’s CD and other projects. With my newfound free time, I embarked on an effort to finally organize my comedy notes. Now that I have tamed that paper beast, I feel like I can start constructing new jokes, new “chunks,” explore new premises and perhaps even look into some subtle style changes. It is an ongoing process. I am glad I was able to stop time for a bit and climb out of a bit of a rut. When we mothballed SHECKYmagazine, we harvested tons of material for a new book. We wrote three chapters, but did not find a publisher. We will probably self-publish when the time is right. In the meantime, we started the SHECKYmagazine Podcast and that has been a tremendous creative outlet and a way to get back to our former, cantankerous, opinionated selves. When I was preparing to leave home for college, I sought a Fourth-Class Radio Operator’s license– a necessary document for becoming a radio DJ, which was something I thought I might want to do. I went over to Philly and took the test at the FCC offices there. I failed! That was 1975. Forty-four years later, we started the podcast, which, let’s be real, is just like being in radio! Everything comes full circle… sort of!

– See brianmckimcomedy.com for the Shecky Magazine Podcast and more.
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