Graham Elwood [Interview]


We’ve got a legend in our midst today, my dear readers! Today we are talking with the legendary comedian, filmmaker, creator of the L.A. Podfest, and all around brilliant human being known as Graham Elwood. I will be perfectly blunt and state that I first became aware of Graham’s work through his brilliant guest spots on the wildly popular podcast Doug Loves Movies (which we will discuss further), but I have since learned that this man is a talented comedic monster in his own right, and I was actually enjoying his work long before I knew the man by name.

Besides being a hilarious comedian, Graham has given us two amazing documentaries: Laffghanistan, about comedians performing for the troops that is as hilarious as it is heartwarming. And Ear Buds: The Podcasting Documentary. Both films are fantastic, and the latter is an absolute must watch for anyone who obsessively listens to podcasts (such as myself). And one of those podcasts that hits by queue constantly is Graham’s own podcast, Comedy Film Nerds, that is an absolute delight for fans of comedy, films, comedy films, anything! I simply can not say enough nice things about the great Graham Elwood. Therefore, I shall let him tell us a bit more about himself. So please enjoy some great words with the legend himself, Mr. Graham Elwood!

What made you decide to join the world of stand up comedy, especially at a very young age? What were some of your inspirations to join a world like  stand up comedy?

I grew up watching and listening to comics like Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, and others. I knew at a young age that I couldn’t hold a real job so telling dick jokes to drunks seemed more realistic.

There have obviously been some pretty major changes in the world of stand up since you started 30 years ago. But, I am interested to know what you believe is still the same. Are there elements about stand up that existed in the late 80’s that still hold true today?

Well, the art of writing and telling jokes is still very similar but it’s the technology or delivery to public that has changed. When I started you only had Johnny Carson and The Tonight Show. Now you can have, Netflix, YouTube, Twitter, etc.

Continuing with that theme….what have been some topics that have always seemed to work for you throughout your career? What are the fail safes basically?

I like talking about people and things I’ve seen in all my travels. Telling a true story about a crazy event will always work for me. Lenny Bruce said all good comes have a built in bullshit detector.

You have had a down right captivating movie based podcast in Comedy Film Nerds. Just so good. For our readers who may not be aware of it, can you give us a bit of insight about CFN? How did it manage to come about? And what is it that you personally believe sets your movie podcast apart from

all of the others?

CFN started as a website with movie reviews written by stand-up comics. It then grew to a podcast that has become the focus or our entire business. I think that we stand apart because Chris Mancini and I are both filmmakers and comedians. We went to film school and got heckled at dive bars. So we feel this gives us a unique insight as to what makes a good film and what is an excuse for doing honest work.

You have also been the driving force behind the finest Podcast Festival the world has ever known, the L.A. Pod Fest. What should attendees be looking forward to in 2017? Is it already shaping up to be a pretty amazing event yet again?

This year the LA Podfest have moved to the historic Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA. It’s our 6th year and now we have an iconic venue with a lot of showbiz history. Also getting some big name first timers, like Bill Burr, Bobby Lee, Laurie Kilmartin and Bert Kreischer is nice.

And just to add to your amazing versatility, you have created two amazing documentaries about equally amazing experiences with Laffghanistan and Ear Buds. What drove you to enter the world of filmmaking?

My parents took me to the movies as a child and that impacted me. I always wanted to make films and talk about them. The two docs I’ve directed were just being in a unique place at the right time and wanting to tell a larger audience.

As the person I am currently dubbing ‘The Godfather of Podcasting”, I feel like you are the most appropriate person to ask this: What is something you believe to be absolutely crucial to have when starting a podcast that the common person may not know is essential to the process?

Passion and good equipment helps. Also, now you’ve forced me to put a horse’s head in Chris Hardwicks bed.

I have to confess that I became aware of your work because of a podcast that was not yours, but featured you and had me laughing hysterically. It was Doug Loves Movies. You are always a delight to hear on that show. Frankly I become disappointed when I DON’T see your name on the bill. It sounds like you have a lot of fun doing it. So is it fun? What is it that you enjoy about doing the show, and what keeps you coming back besides the advertisement side of things?

DLM is like a cocktail party with a bunch of funny friends where you play movie trivia just to make each other laugh. I’ve had so much fun on that show over the years. I’ve also met some great comics, actors and filmmakers from DLM. It’s a great place to get guests for CFN.

So what is next for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Since the election I’ve been more involved with what’s going on in the world. I started a YouTube show, “The Political Vigilante.” I’m a progressive who is done with the two parties and corporate media.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

The Thor: Ragnarok trailer.

Find everything you need to know about Graham and how to watch his films and how to listen/see him at the Comedy Film Nerds website.


For a quick example of what Comedy Film Nerds has to offer, check out this video of our heroes talking about one of our favorite things in the world, screenwriting!:

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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