Illustration: Franziska Barczyk
This week, we’re highlighting 24 talented writers and performers for Vulture’s annual list. “Comedians you should and will meet.” Our goal is to introduce a wider audience to the talent that the comedy community and rowdy industry has to offer. (You can read more about our methodology in the link above). We asked the comedians on the list to answer a series of questions about their work, performance, goals for the future, and more. the next is Always Mainard.
What would you do real housewives catchphrase be?
“Life gets messy. Get a Swiffer, bitch.”
Which of your works do you think you are best known for and what are you most proud of?
I think I’m best known for being larger than life and very loud on stage. I also incorporate a lot of storytelling into my performances and I’m really proud of the way I can connect with people on a genuine level while still being an absolute idiot on stage.
Tell us a story from your childhood that you think explains why you ended up becoming a comedian.
Once, when I was about 7 or 8 years old, my grandfather called me and the cousins to gather around a cow in his pasture. Then he put me on top of the cow so he could ride her like a horse, but there was no saddle and unfortunately a cow is not a horse. I immediately fell.
If a network greenlit a semi-autobiographical series for her to star in tomorrow, what would her character’s name and job be?
Ok, sure I’d keep my name the same. The second part? I think I’d like to be a downtrodden, alcoholic game warden who stumbles across a dead body and, in a foolish attempt at redemption, takes it upon himself to solve the case even though he has no detective or forensic training. It’s not autobiographical at all, but I would love to be a park ranger.
If you had to go on stage with just one song for the rest of your life, what song would it be and why?
This sounds like hell and I refuse to answer. (Lol, “The Whisper Song” by Ying Yang Twins.)
Tell us all about your worst show.
You think you taste shady, but then you’re performing at a small casino in Michigan’s upper peninsula in the dead of winter. There is no going back from that. I’m changed, man. Something has been lost.
Nominate a comedian you don’t know personally who you think is overdue for wider recognition and why.
This is a bit difficult! There are so many comics that are long overdue for wider recognition: kamali melody, Ali Clayton, Lindsay Adams, Lisa dye. It is difficult to choose one. I also think Martha Kelly should be a household name.
When it comes to his opinions on comedy, on the material, the performance, the audience, the industry, etc., which hill will he die on?
I believe that our acting style must match the change and growth that we experience as people. I think a lot of people get caught up (myself included) in this mindset of, Oh well, everyone knows me for doing this kind of thing, and if I tried anything else, it would be weird and inauthentic., or anything critical we say to ourselves. If you want to try something new, go for it! Try it!
What is an embarrassingly serious goal you have?
I would like to look back on my life and really know that I gave it my all and had a good time doing it. #nodaysoff #riseandgrind #grindlife #moneyovereverything
What’s the best comedy advice, and then the worst comedy advice, that you’ve ever received, either when you were just starting out or more recently?
The best comedy advice I’ve ever received was to learn to be patient and kind to myself. It’s a tough industry, and it’s easy to get stuck in your head with thoughts that just bring you down: How did they get that? Why don’t I have those opportunities? Why doesn’t this set hit? Where is this set going? i will never succeed, etc. It’s so easy to get caught up in those thoughts! But being gracious and taking a moment to question the validity of such negative statements and letting them slide has been a game changer and lifesaver. Those little devils will always show up, but it’s good to go, Okay, I’m having these shitty thoughts. They are not true. This is not helpful. Time to redirect. We are all worth our talent.
Worst comedy advice I’ve ever been given? That a microphone is a microphone and stage time is stage time, and you should always say yes to a show. While it’s true that practice makes perfect, it’s okay to be selective with your time.