Mike Carrozza [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! And welcome back to Trainwreck’d Society for yet another incredible interview for your beloved eyeholes. Today we have one of my downright favorite comedians of the modern era. It’s Mike Carrozza, Everyone! I have to be straight up honest here, and let you know that I have only become acutely aware of Mike’s comedy over the last 6ish months. As most of you know, I listen to a LOT of podcasts. And many times, especially when a comedian is promoting a new album, I tend to hear the same guest on many of the podcasts I love. And this was definitely the case in regards to Mike for about a month stretch this last summer when he was promoting his debut comedy album, Cherubic. He appeared on 4 of my absolute favorites in just a months time, and then again on another a couple of months later. Specifically, I heard him on Who’s Your God?, Stand By Your Band, Dumb People Town, Doug Loves Movies, and Never Seen It. Now if, these sound familiar to you regular readers, that makes sense. These shows feature folks like Amy Miller, Steve Hernandez, Tom Thakkar, Tommy McNamara, Daniel Van Kirk, and Kyle Ayers….all past guests! And now, we are so excited to have Mike join the TWS family amongst some lovely company!

One amazing characteristic about Mike Carrozza, that we will definitely get into in the words below, is that he is just..so…fucking…NICE. It sort of hurts to say that a person’s general way of being is just to be nice is such a revelation, but sadly it is true. Mike has made a name for himself for simply being a kind human being. Which is a quality that sadly isn’t found that often in the world, let alone the world of stand up comedy. But to be fair, along with the names mentioned above, there is a solid group of very nice people. But, I would bet dollars to donuts (as another nice boy comedian and past guest, Sean Jordan, would say) that Mike Carrozza is the NICEST GUY IN COMEDY! There I said it, all caps. This dude is the best.

Mike also has two wonderful podcasts, xBummerxBoysx & We Didn’t Get A Rose, that he will mention below, and they have become a part of my regular rotation, and I highly recommend you all do the same. I would say that I demand you do it, but I don’t believe Mike would want me saying such a thing. See? He is rubbing off on me. Hopefully he does the same for the world.

So Folks, thank you all for dropping by, and please enjoy some incredible words from the brilliant and hilarious Mike Carrozza!

 

******

 

What inspired you to get into the world of comedy? Was it something you have strived to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I’d always been interested in jokes and making people laugh at a young age. I grew up watching some cartoons which mostly always had comedy in them and stuff like Whose Line is it Anyway? or Friends. I think most importantly, Just For Laughs tapings would air on The Comedy Network (Canadian Comedy Central basically) and I would watch those with my dad. So I was in it early. Pair that with the fact that I’m from Montreal and grew up there, where the Just For Laughs festival happens, I just gravitated to it strongly. My dad would always tell me street jokes or jokes he’d read online or whatever. I’d memorize them and tell them at school. I got a reputation for being a jokester and leaned in. Before I knew it, I was doing jokes at my elementary school recorder concerts between the grades. I hosted my elementary school graduation, lots of high school events, sketch and whatnot in college and university before doing stand up when I was 19. Honestly, I was doomed from the start, bud!

 

What was your first paid gig in the world of comedy? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affect your work to date?

I really couldn’t tell you what my first paid gig was. I had won money from like little competition shows or open mics where the host would have the audience vote for their favourite and I’d won a few times. But honestly, the first time I got paid for comedy and booked with the understanding of being paid was when I started getting booked to host open mic night at The Comedy Nest and then weekends hosting or guest spots. David Acer’s really been good to me and The Comedy Nest is my home club. I hope they’ll be alright after all this. I love that place and the people there. Shout out to Sheila and Dougie and Ellie and Theo and Peter and Ocean and Justin and…

 

Back when the world was “normal”, what were some of your favorite unconventional spots to do comedy? Were there any cities and/or venues that you worked in that the average comedy fan would never have thought to be a great place for comedy?

I think what [Kyle] Kinane does by doing shows at punk venues is the coolest and the best. I love that. I think in the spirit of that, my favourite unconventional venue I’ve performed in would be a house show for bands I really like. I got to go up between bands whose work I was already a huge fan of like Gulfer, Secret Stuff, and I Love Your Lifestyle. Some of them were online friends because the emo revival/math rock community is relatively small. It was just so cool to not only see them, but to be on the lineup and watch the audience and my new friends laugh at my dumb jokes. I’d known the Gulfer guys for a while and shout out to them and their incredible new record. They’re so good, please check them out. Shout out to Jessica too, always.

 

You have one of the absolutely positive vibes when it comes to your social media presence, especially in the sometimes virtual hellscape that is Twitter. Yet, you work in a field that is often littered (sometimes even in a hilarious way) with negativity. So I simply have to ask…how do you do it? I can only imagine from what I have heard that your delightfully positive attitude is not simply a social media thing, but is just your nature. So, how the shit do you keep it together, Sir?

I think it has something with being sheltered and naive if I’m being completely transparent. I haven’t struggled with things too hard besides you know the emotional stuff. I’ve always had some support of some kind and people who believe in me. It’s also so much nicer to look on the bright side. I’m certainly capable of being critical and blunt and whatever, but I prefer it to be in service of bettering people’s lives. I don’t believe at this moment in altruism, but there are still so many stories that challenge that. From a personal perspective, I love being a nice guy and to give to others, to make them feel good, etc. However, it’s not entirely selfless because I know it makes me feel good. But there are stories of people out there just doing the right thing and sacrificing for others. I will also say that my online presence isn’t necessarily always positive, like i’ve had my share of tweeting about anti-maskers being absolute fucking morons or earnestly believing people who believe/follow Trump deserve to be punished severely for it. It’s not all positive, but I can say it is in service of making things more positive for everybody.

 

 

Can you tell us a bit about your podcast xBummerxBoysx? Besides the fact that it is practically a requirement these days to have a podcast, where did this premise come from? And how did you know that this was something that you could do really, really, well?

“Really really well”? Thank you, that’s so nice! xBummerxBoysx! We have the Xs there to make it look like a dumb hardcore band! We started it literally right before the pandemic. Alex Kolanko (my co-host) and I had been talking about music for a long time and one day hanging out we both said it’d be cool to just talk about tunes on a podcast where we can have friends on or even people we haven’t met but admire. We were thinking like “Oh, man! Spanish Love Songs are gonna be in town in April and I have a connection to them, maybe we can get them on the podcast!” But then we ended up reaching out to Dylan (SLS’ singer) deeper into the pandemic, because why not! And he did it and it ruled and I can’t believe it sometimes! I love his band and to just hang out and be funny with someone you admire and appreciate, what a feeling!

The premise is that we talk about songs that made us sad that week and also talk about one nice thing from the same week. When we have a guest, we get to know them and their relationship with music before talking about our selections and why they made us sad.

I did however start a new podcast at the beginning of 2021 called We Didn’t Get a Rose with me and Chris Mejia. It’s a Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise recap show and maybe if Are You The One? comes back, we’ll cover that, too. It’s been really fun and honestly having two podcasts to focus on has been very good for me. This has absolutely been the roughest time of my life as I’m sure plenty of people can relate. I essentially built my life and self-worth into how I can help and impact people. Comedy makes me feel great because laughter is my favourite feeling and I assume those who seek it out feel similarly. That’s the quickest validation that what I do has a positive impact on people. Now that that’s gone (and Zoom shows, while they can be fun, they caaaaaan’t replicate the feeling), having two chunks of time a week where I can hang out with friends and cool people I’m meeting, make some laughs happen, talk about stuff I like, man it’s a good feeling.

 

 

If you were handed the opportunity, with an unlimited budget, to write/direct/star, whatever you would like basically, in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

This is a good question and I have no idea how to answer it. The Canadian in me wants to say “hmmm why American huh?! They already get to dominate our sitcom slots to the point that our country doesn’t invest into its own art or identity or star system! Why should it be an American!” but also realizes “The reach!”

That said though, the first person to come to mind was Chris Farley. I have a fondness for how well loved he was and his legacy, but those final years definitely have some room for a truly dramatic turn that I am eager to sink my teeth into. I have a degree in Theatre with a specialization in Performance and what can I say, I miss it! But I think if I was to take a day on this question, I’d pick another person, but then keep changing every 15 minutes. Either way, agents out there if you’re reading this, first of all thank you, second of all, I’m money on the table. Get me in the rooms and I’ll bake us some bread, baby!

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I have an album out called Cherubic available wherever you get your music (Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, etc). I’m really proud of it. It was included in the 2020 comedy roundup The Comedy Bureau put out and Jake wrote some really nice things that made me smile. Please check it out!

My podcasts xBummerxBoysx and We Didn’t Get a Rose are weekly podcasts so subscribe to those please.

I’m sure I’ll be doing more Zoom shows here and there so follow me on Twitter or Instagram @mikecarrozza I’m way more active on Twitter.

I’ve gotten to do some pretty cool stuff last year despite everything. I worked with my favourite comedian, appeared on some of my favourite podcasts (Doug Loves Movies and Dumb People Town, I couldn’t believe it when I got those emails), I got to play Magic: The Gathering with friends all over the world, I got to play Magic DnD with Rachel Weeks, Dan Sheehan and Sheldon Menery (one of the guys who came up with the Magic format I play! Isn’t that nuts!). Hopefully, 2021 will lead to more cool stuff. But I learned that I’m just going to have to ask for things I want. So follow me on Twitter and keep up :).

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I was going to be cheesy and say this question because it did lead me to reflect on a bunch of cool stuff that I ultimately mentioned in the last question.

But truthfully, the last thing that made me smile was just earlier today I started laughing because as a joke to myself I started learning Danish on DuoLingo. It’s a wild language, it’s so strange and funny sounding to me. But it’s so cool. I did it because I got a screener to see Druk starring Mads Mikkelsen (good movie!) and I thought it might be helpful. But now I’m on my third day of Danish and I was doing a few levels on DuoLingo before getting to this questionnaire and I had a hard laugh at the fact that I’m now invested. Like I’m actually learning Danish. WHAT?! Hahaha isn’t that the silliest turn? I was so amused by it.

But if you had asked me right before then I’d have probably said a tweet or something. It’s a nightmare hellscape of a site, but it has made me laugh.

Anyway bud hope this was good enough for ya! Fart city, baby!

Thanks for asking me 🙂 love and appreciation

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: