Anthony Jeselnik Will Offend You. And You'll Like It.
Anthony Jeselnik carried a confident air about him long before he became a favorite for his hilarious appearances on the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump and Charlie Sheen. He has a gift of dishing out jabs that are cute with a devilish grin that lets you know, it's OK to laugh at anything; no matter how awful you are for doing it. This Thursday through Sunday, Anthony is headlining at the Irvine Improv so leave your uptight friends at home because nothing is off limits. Nothing. OK, you've been warned.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I love the dry delivery you have with your jokes. Is that something you were born with?
Anthony Jeselnik: It's a little of both. You know my whole family actually talks like this a little bit, kind of with weird pauses where you shouldn't really have them. I always enjoyed it. I love the way Christopher Walken talks and he was an influence too. I just thought it was a cool way to do things and sounded cool. When I am on stage it helps to hide the punchline of the joke a little more. Instead of having to say things in straight sentences, I can break it up more. I think the more I do it the more natural my delivery gets.
Did you always know that you would be entertaining the masses?
It never occurred to me to be a comedian or be in entertainment because it didn't seem feasible. I was never into acting but my teachers would always tell me, "oh you're gonna be a comedian" because I couldn't keep my mouth shut in class. I wasn't always funny but I was always trying to say something without getting in trouble. It seemed like if I was being disruptive and then made someone laugh, then they couldn't really yell at me. After I got out of college and then I got into stand-up looking back it was like, of course I was going to be a comedian. I think I just lucked out by being able to do it.
Can you breakdown your comedy style in three words?
Dark is usually one of the words. Smart would be another. Iconoclastic would be the last one.
OK, please explain "iconoclastic" because I don't know that word...but I think I like it!
Basically, I go after kinda sacred targets. When people say you can't talk about this or that, I do that. And I am pretty sure that word means what I think it means. [Laughs.]