by Andrew Wantuck
This week I spoke with comedian Quinn Dahle. A comic that got his start at Arizona State University and quickly left Tempe to continue his career in Los Angeles. He headlines all across the country and brings his unique observations and great comic timing to The Comedy & Magic Club. In this interview we spoke about 'current events' in 1998, his writing style, and hanging out with 20 comics backstage.
Andrew: How would you characterize your style of comedy?
Quinn: I like to talk about current events. Like this whole Monica Lewinsky scandal. Did you hear about this?
Quinn: I would say I am a very jokey comic. Lots of jokes rather than bits, stories or characters. That kind of thing.
Andrew: Are you one of those comedians that starts by pen and papering your jokes or do you go on stage with a premise and work it out?
Quinn: I actually write it out on stage. Which is ackword sometimes.
Andrew: [laughs] Interesting I have never heard of that. That is a unique style you have carved out for yourself.
Quinn: It takes patience from the crowd.
Andrew: [laughs] Do you remember the first joke you ever wrote?
Quinn: Yes, and it wasn’t even a joke.
Andrew: Would you mind telling me the story?
Quinn: I actually wrote out and recorded some stuff that I thought was funny with my friends in college and then did it at open mic. I don’t remember what it was, but there were no jokes and it was stupid. That is all that I remember.
Andrew: But you knew you had something, so what was it that attracted you to the stage?
Quinn: Like many comics, ever since I was a kid I was the class clown. People had told me I was funny and should do stand up, and it wasn’t until I was twenty-one that I got the balls to do it.
Andrew: How long did it take you before you were able to pay the rent via joke telling?
Quinn: I'm not willing to assume that that will happen.
Quinn: I’ll put it to you this way. I’m full time and I’m still not paying the rent. So, it’s pretty tough.
Andrew: In your opinion what takes a comedian from going from good to great?
Quinn: Well, I’ve seen guys like Bill Burr or Nick Griffin go from good to amazing, and I think they just found their voice. They seem to start talking about things they really care about. Not just what might get a laugh.
Andrew: What is it like hanging out with twenty comedians back stage?
Quinn: It can be fun or it can suck because there’s a lot of ego’s in it. There are a lot of different comics. Comics can be really fun to hang out with or they can be really annoying because of their ego’s. A comic is very competitive.
Andrew: What are your thoughts on Los Angeles?
Quinn: What I do like about LA is the weather. What I don’t like about LA is living here. If that makes any sense?
Andrew: [laughs] Can you discuss The Comedy & Magic club for me? Good, bad, ugly, glorious?
Quinn: I love the crowds, the staff, the food. The only thing I dislike about it, is there’s only one. That would be my only complaint.
Quinn Dahle will be part of the 20 Comedians a Night Show on Friday, September 4th & Saturday, September 5th 2009. Reservations Required. (310) 372-1193 or comedyandmagicclub.com. ER.