Thus far, The Classic Eclectic has mostly covered established artists that have already paid their dues and made their way. But, it’s time to shine some light on the next generation of creators climbing up the show biz ivory tower.
That brings us to our first rising comedian: Samuel J. Comroe.
Hearing the young comedian perform, you would never guess that his urban southern drawl manifested itself in the San Fernando Valley while poorly attempting a Dave Chappelle impression.
But, you could probably guess that this kid is going places.
The twenty-four year old L.A. local started performing stand-up during his junior year of high school and has since gone on to tour the country and even perform on Conan.
Oh, and he has Tourette syndrome, which is where we started our conversation.
TCE: So… Tourette syndrome. Growing up. Kid’s are assholes, huh?
SC: Yes, kids are assholes.
TCE: Was school tough for you growing up?
SC: Elementary was. It’s weird like looking back at the timeline of things. In elementary, they always tried to figure out what it was, and I was trying to figure out what it was. And then in middle school, they’d tease me for it. Then in high school they were pretty accepting. And in college, they study me.
It’s just this uncomfortable evolution where I’m looking for what the next step is.
Now, in Hollywood, they just try to take advantage of it.
TCE: Yeah, I saw you on Real Husbands of Hollywood. You are gonna be the go-to guy for Tourette’s based comedy.
SC: Living the dream!
TCE: So when did the voice start?
SC: Around two years ago, I found myself speaking like Dave Chappelle on stage.
I was at all black show. And, I just realized after that show that it made have been my most fun set ever. I went up there. I had a great time. I danced. I did the typical white guy dance early to get the early laughs, and I was like, “Dang. I gotta go on stage like this all the time.”
But, I fucked it up, though. This is how bad I am at impressions. Everybody thinks I sound like the white Katt Williams.
TCE: Isn’t Katt Williams already kind of the white Katt Williams?
SC: Haha. Yeah so I guess that makes me that black Katt Williams. Yes!
TCE: Yeah, I think that’s how history will reflect it.
SC: But yeah, I was so let down the first time I saw on YouTube like “You’re Katt Williams.” Then like 17 comments of like, “Yeah, he is Katt Williams,” and I’m like “No! I’m Dave Chappelle!”
TCE: So Dave Chappelle is your favorite comedian?
SC: Yeah. He’s the best.
TCE: I remember hearing a few months ago about Chappelle dropping in for a surprise show in NYC with Chris Rock and Kevin Hart at The Comedy Cellar.
I have never been more mortified at the fact that I don’t live in New York in my life.
SC: I know what you mean. I remember he did a show in Hollywood which is only twenty minutes from my house but even then I was like, “Why don’t I live in Hollywood?!”
TCE: Well, with Dave mostly out of the game for now, who are your favorites out there now?
SC: Louis C.K. is the greatest of our generation right now. He’s amazing.
TCE: Agreed. Anybody else?
SC: Chris D’Elia. I think he’s amazing, and he helped me out a lot earlier on when I started too. So, we have a cool bond. Kyle Kinane is another. I envy people that do stuff that I am striving to do. Like Kyle Kinane’s storytelling is something that I wish that I could do and I try to do sometimes, but it’s still amazing to me.
Jerrod Carmichael is another good one. He’s one of my favorites to watch right now. I think he’s going to be one of the greats. In like ten to twenty years or whatever, you’re going to be interviewing someone else like, “Who do you look up to?” They’re gonna be like “Oh the greatest of our generation, Jerrod Carmichael.”
TCE: Wow. High praise.
SC: I think he’s brilliant. And he’s totally devoted to comedy.
TCE: Yeah, he’s a really funny guy. He just started segueing into film and TV. Do you have greater goals for yourself besides making it to Louis level stand-up success?
SC: I’m not one of those comedians who looks at acting like, “Fuck that. I’m a comedian.” But, I love comedy first and foremost so that’s what’s so cool about this. I can do stand-up for the rest of my life. Like, stand-up comedians can do it till they fuckin’ die. A lot of them don’t retire. They just die.
My main goal is to do what I’m doing. It’s to do comedy and never have to get a real job.
TCE: Now, that’s the dream. Never get a real job and die doing comedy.
Just stay away from speedballs and you should have a long career. R.I.P. Hedberg and Giraldo.
SC: Is that how Giraldo died too?
TCE: Yeah. I don’t really understand speedballs. It’s cocaine and heroin at the same time. If you wanted to go slow and fast at the same time, couldn’t you just take nothing an already be middling.
SC: Dude, I’m so middle right now.
So, you’re about to perform here at The Irvine Improv. Should be a good show, though, it’s always kind of a weird crowd. When I’ve performed here, it’s always been a strange audience. They love race jokes and they love gross jokes, which was a little surprising because I figured conservative Orange County might be a little stiff. Nope.
SC: Yeah, you’d think that but not really, and you never can really tell.
I just did Utah — the whole week in Utah. I did four schools (colleges), and I thought they’d be super conservative; the most conservative I’ve done.
They were so open. A guy at the school did comedy and he opened the first show for me., and I was just studying the crowd to see how it went. He closed on a baby rape joke. And, they went nuts. I was like,”Utah?! You guys are crazy!” So you never know.
TCE: Yeah, they go big in the middle of the country. The hardest partiers I have ever seen in my life were in Omaha, Nebraska.
SC: Omaha! Watch out!
TCE: So… man! Things are really going pretty well for you so far. You just did Conan a few months back. How was that?
SC: Unbelievable. It was crazy. There was a competition for the Just Saying app. It’s Ricky Gervais’ app that he created, and it’s basically Twitter but for your voice. So in ten seconds you’re like, “I’m going grocery shopping,” and then people know.
And, it’s pretty cool, but I had no idea about the competition. Apparently Conan said it on an episode a couple months before, and Ricky was on and announced the competition. I had no clue about it. My friend Jillian who works in the office with my manager sent in my three-minute video. And there were like hundreds and hundreds of submissions. Ricky Gervais was going to hand pick the winner and you’d get to do a set on Conan.
I didn’t even find out I was in the competition until Ricky tweeted the top five. Then later they announced me as the winner and he tweeted me a message, and I was just like “What the fuck?” It was one of those moments where you have to take a picture of the tweet to prove it to your friends.
It was insane though. He was like, “Hey you’re the winner. “
He announced it on his Twitter. I got a bunch of new followers and he was like, “You’re gonna be on Conan in six days.” And, again, I was like, “What the fuck?!” I was excited for like the first ten minutes and then I was like, “I’m going on in six days. Holy shit.”
TCE: But you went on and you nailed it. And, here you are today, coming up in the world.
SC: Haha. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just trying to be the best. I’m just trying to make people laugh; bring cheer to the world!
TCE: Well you’re doing a hell of a job.
TCE: So what else do you do with your days besides comedy-related stuff?
SC: It’s funny. I’ll think to myself, “You don’t do anything but think of stuff to write, but you can’t write anything because you don’t do anything.”
I can only tweet, “I’m on my couch” so many times.
“My puppy’s biting her new toy. This is crazy.”
TCE: So comedy takes up most of your attention?
SC: Yeah, I am such a… comedy snob isn’t the right word, but comedy enthusiast maybe.
I’ll go to open mics all the time. And I’ll watch open mics, from beginners to pros to everything. I just really like studying it. But, I also watch a lot of comedy documentaries and specials. Anything about stand-up comedy, I’m watching.
TCE: Wow, you really love comedy.
SC: Yeah, I really do. I have gotten so ridiculous that I get frustrated because I’ve seen so many and I’m running out.
The Louis C.K. one just came out recently and I have seen it three times, and I’m just like so demanding, even as a comedian. I have been working the same material for ten years and I’m still like, “Louis. When’s the new special? It’s been two weeks!”
TCE: Have you ever seen Jamie Kennedy’s documentary, Heckler?
SC: Yeah, that’s a good one.
TCE: It’s funny because it’s about heckling in general but particularly all the heckling he has dealt with. And, I was pretty torn watching it because, as a comedian, I hate heckling. But, as a human, I find Jamie Kennedy’s act to be terrible.
SC: Yeah, it’s tough.
TCE: Well it seems like you’re dedicated to your craft and in for the long hall. Honestly, I think you are hilarious and I am looking forward to riding your coattails to the top. THanks for talking with us.
SC: Sounds good. And thanks for having me. Looking forward to reading it.
It was at this point that I shut off the recorder and we just hung out for a little longer as friends.
Most of it was off the record (literally and figuratively), but if you want one racey tidbit… his experience tubing at Big Bear after eating his first pot brownie was “the most magical” he’s ever felt.
All in all, this charming and charismatic (I sound like a Republican carefully describing Obama) comedian is well on his way to stardom and, if you get the chance, I highly recommend checking out one of his shows. His funny and original material will flip your idea of what it’s like to have Tourette’s and crack you up in the process.
He is now performing all over Southern California and will soon go back to hitting clubs and colleges all over the country this summer.