He’s a barstool prophet whose ready to spread his message to the masses through laughter. As part of We Own The Laughs.com’s Comedian of the Day, have a few laughs and get to know comedian Andrew Boydston. The Taft, CA native shares with us some of his favorite moments in stand-up comedy and lets us know how he owns the laughs.
Name: Andrew Boydston
Hometown: Taft, CA
Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Snapchat/Tik-Tok: @thefunnyboydston @funnyboydston
Years in Comedy: 12 Rotations around the Sun
Haven’t we seen you somewhere before: You have most likely seen me around Bakersfield, CA doing jokes on and off the stage. I have two comedy albums “Barstool Prophet” and “More Coal for the Shame Train” available on Bandcamp.com I also appear for a hot second in the “Into the Summer” Incubus video.
Comedic Influences: I’ll do my best to keep this brief…
Richard Pryor and George Carlin for the comedy snobs
In modern practice: Patton Oswalt, Bill Burr, Dave Chapelle, Mitch Hedberg, Maria Bamford, Kyle Kinane, Daniel Tosh, and Chris Hardwick.
Favorite Comedy Album: Patton Oswalt “Werewolves & Lollipops,” Mitch Hedberg “Strategic Grill Locations,” & Kyle Kinane “Loose in Chicago”
Favorite Comedy Special: This is going to sound weird, but Jeremiah Watkins “Family Reunion” is something I can’t stop laughing at. It’s absurd and pure. That’s all I can say.
Favorite Comedy Movie: Tommy Boy, Happy Gilmore also Deadpool…nothing touches the Merc with a Mouth.
Favorite Comedy TV Show: South Park stands alone. It’s incredible that I can watch episodes still and laugh at things I either didn’t get the context of or that I missed on my 15th rewatch…
Favorite Comedic Character: Butters, Randy Marsh, Archer, & Deadpool
Favorite City to Perform In: Aside from Bakersfield, I am partial to the Coast Scene so anywhere like SLO or Atascadero. I have a bunch of comedy buds out there and the crowd is always on the ball with my reference-heavy style.
Favorite Topics to Joke About: It’s a mixed bag over the time I’ve done stand up but I gotta say I enjoy Self Deprecation as my bread and butter as well as making fun of things I just find absolutely perplexing. Like how Taco Bell has a resort but it’s cutting menu items like it’s Dr. Dre’s kid. Anything I can attach a reference to is also fair game.
Favorite Type of Audience for a Comedy Show: If I can get a crowd that is on board with the niche parts of my humor that’s always a plus. I’m not picky at all though. My goal has always been to be the funniest person in the room. I don’t care who you are or how many of you there are…I will make you laugh! (And yes, that’s a threat).
Favorite Comedy Club: The Comedy Store is hallowed ground. You can just feel it when you walk past the threshold of the patio. The names, the lights, the marquee…every bit of that place has some majesty to it. It never feels like an away game in there.
How did you discover your passion for comedy:
It started with me being able to name every football team by being shown their helmet and my parents showcasing me like a show and tell project. I never feared a crowd or public speaking so I came by it honestly and I embraced it. Blue Collar comedy was the first time I really thought about stand-up…My mom and dad were laughing and wheezing so hard at those guys that my dad had to pull over to the side of the road. I remember having a silly thought of “If I ever wanted to impress Don and Diane (my parents), this is something I can see myself doing.” I binged comedy from that moment forward. The tipping point of getting me on stage was when my cousin Shaye died in a car crash my Junior Year of College. I spent two weeks in an absolute haze and had no direction or idea of what to do. I even missed my classes at Fresno State leading to her funeral. The day we laid her to rest I had a dream that night where I got to talk to her one last time. Her words were: “Do what you love and what people love about you!” The next day I bought a notebook and wrote in it for hours in the student union at Fresno State. I never looked back after that.
What do you remember most about your first time performing stand-up comedy:
That it was vulgar as all get out and I did way better than I expected. By that I mean I got second place by 1 point in a comedy competition that was judged by a Christian improv group and made jokes about pedophilia, being a freelance gynecologist, and some one-liners that were half-baked.
I can recall every bit of that night. I went to Taco Bell and bought an extra-large Pepsi so I had a mixer for the booze I would be pouring in it (Captain Morgan for those curious). I just wanted to feel loose before I went on stage. This backfired because as I was about to hit the bathroom I had to turn on a dime and march up on stage because I heard “Coming to the stage, Andrew Boydston!” as I grabbed the bathroom handle…I also learned that night that my friends genuinely thought I was funny. That was a huge boost to my confidence. Your friends want you to succeed but they don’t mind letting you know when you haven’t.
How would you describe your comedic style:
It’s a mix of things. If you asked me when I started in 09 I’d cite Daniel Tosh. I was gunning for witty and offensive. I wanted to stir the pot just like any young comic with acerbic humor and dick jokes…
Since 2010 I have stuck to a style of self-deprecation, silly observations, stories from my life, and of course references upon references. Someone told me “I tagged my jokes so much I should have a spray paint can on stage.” I wear that quote like a medal of honor.
Describe your process for comedic writing:
If I could tell you the people I have bothered in public with my rough drafts at a barstool it would make people understand why the first album is called “Barstool Prophet.” It all comes from rapid action. By that I mean if anything comes to me I have to write it immediately…somehow, someway I have to get it down because if I don’t it’s gone into the ether until I can hang out with the same person, in the same place and everything just has to align again. It’s a rare case when I can get back to it naturally. Bottom line: “I think it, I write it!” It’s me “Set it and Forget it.”
Describe the comedy scene in your area:
I have witnessed the Bakersfield comedy scene grow a ton in the time I’ve been here. When I say that I mean in the volume of opportunity to work the stage and in talent!
The best part of this scene is that it feels tight-knit. The people I go to bat for would go to bat for me. I have seen a changing of the guard time and time again, but the one thing that has stuck out is that people are willing to hash out differences and find a peaceful resolution should they have beef with one another.
There are some different groups and cliques out there but I feel we are all copacetic. There’s not really animosity for one another. Don’t get me wrong, there has been…(just like any scene) but overall we do a pretty good job of working things out in that realm.
The comedians have a lot of different styles and opinions as far as their bits. Bakersfield has such a great blend of comics and not just that….they are fucking good! Every so often a new crop of comics rolls through and I have to pick up the pen more often to keep up with the writing of some of them. It’s a fun and motivating environment. The keyword is “culture.” If you can buy into it and have others do the same the sky is the limit.
How do you judge success in the world of comedy:
Are you having fun? That’s a success. Are you finding the elements of good gigs, good pay, or a good hang? That’s a success. If you have two out of the three on those, then you’re having success in my opinion.
I think it all differs from person to person but to me, success is when you know in your heart of hearts that you can go anywhere, anytime, and anyplace and win the room.
Sure, you can have a Netflix special. And sure, you can be on all kinds of mediums with millions of followers on social media but when push comes to shove are you the “Headliner” in the room?
My point is there are masters in every craft that no one has heard of but when they enter their wheelhouse and show you what they’ve got you’ll never forget their name again.
Who are some of your comedic peers that you enjoy watching perform or inspire you personally and professionally:
First and foremost, Joe Alaniz was always the guy I looked at as far as a presence on a stage. He’s been at this a year longer than me but his stage presence is unfettered by anyone at any time. The material is top-notch as well.
Chris Flail is a master of the craft. His material and writing are second to none. He always finds a way to make the most out of a bit and it comes across as conversational which I think so many strive for but it comes by him honestly.
Greg G Williams inspires me because he is the total package of professional and hilarious comic. He works harder than anyone I know when it comes to “the grind” and does any and everything to take new strides in his career.
What’s been your most memorable moment in comedy:
My most memorable moment in comedy isn’t a gig or performing alongside a comedian. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this person since my performance but it had to have been back in 2012 or 2013. I was doing my first show in Bakersfield at On The Rocks. When I got off stage, I walked over to the bar to get the celebratory drink after a great set.
As I was waiting to get my order in, a drop-dead gorgeous woman in a red dress approached me asking if she could buy me a drink. I obliged after cracking a joke to her, saying: “I think I’m the one who’s suppose to be buying drinks for you.”
She looked at me after letting out a small laugh. She went on to explain that this was the first time she had been outside in three months. The reason being, her husband was killed in action overseas and this was the first time she felt ok to go outside and pursue a night out.
At those words, I instantly put down my whiskey and gave her a hug. I could feel everything this woman was feeling at that moment. The hurt of loss, the triumph of returning to the outside world, and the laughter that let her know things will get better with time.
It was an incredible moment that I will cherish forever. I’ve had a standing ovation or two, I’ve crushed it in rooms that are etched in the lore of comedy, but it doesn’t hold a candle to seeing that you made an actual difference in someone’s life that night. It is a moment I cherish and I always have a tear or two sheds when I discuss “The lady in the red dress.”
What have you learned most from your failures in comedy:
You are NEVER too good for Open Mics. The failures I’ve had in comedy came when I wasn’t willing to work hard enough. Whether that was writing enough, performing enough, grinding it out not being ambitious enough. It’s because I didn’t put enough work into the things leading up to the set so the set itself would just be half-assed….Sure I wrote things, performed them over and over but if I didn’t try anything new my thoughts became stagnant instead of saying “how can I tweak this? What can I add? Is this a lazy point I’m making or will it further the actual bit?”
The questions are endless but that’s what helps me sharpen my ax.
How do people react towards you when they realize that you can make people laugh:
The best way I could ever sum this all up is a quote from my best friend.
“Boydston could walk into a room full of strangers and leave with wedding invitations.” – Tony
I think that encapsulates my energy as a human. I’m easygoing, love chatting, and making others laugh. Entertaining has been in my DNA for better or worse.
Describe what it’s been like building a career in stand-up comedy:
I would say you can definitely get what you give. It’s all predicated on what YOU do. Every interaction you have, good or bad is a part of it. Always take lessons from your experience and use that to help guide your direction in a comedy. There are really so many ways to go about this industry and it always has to start with you.
If you could change one thing in the world of comedy, what would it be:
I’m probably in the minority here but I hate the concept of “burning material.” Once you record it in an album it’s forbidden to do those jokes anymore and I think that is such a shit take.
Tell me why guys who are on ventilators that had hits from before 1970 get to go trot out for encores with songs that are almost twice my age, but I can’t go out and do an absolute banger of a bit just because I came up with it a year ago and then recorded it?
People can say what they want but that is such a dumb standard. Obviously, if the comedian has divorced themselves from that material or it just isn’t their style anymore, I get it. But when you have a great set and they want you to keep going or you get too it’s always fun to dust off the classics and let’s rip!
Best advice you’ve ever received from a comedian:
“You’re Andrew fucking Boydston, who cares?!” – multiple friends
It always reminds me to have faith in myself. It always helps me get back on track. I don’t hold the same sentiments, but when others do it adds purpose to my cause.
If you were releasing a comedy special this week, what would it be called:
“Fragrant Vagrant”…my first album was called “Barstool Prophet” so I think it’s fun to have some play off that. My second one is “More Coal for the Shame Train.” That one is a little hard to make a playoff of.
Funniest encounter you’ve ever had with a celebrity:
Funniest encounters were Mike Lawrence and Dan St Germain. Both these dudes are juggernauts on stage in their own right. Mike and I nerded out and it was surreal. To just be tossing allusions and metaphors using the Marvel Universe at one another is something I’ll cherish.
With Dan it was funny because he recognized me as an audience member from years back while we talked in the green room. It was crazy to see that he remembered me. The funny thing is I sat in the front, by myself and he roasted me. I mean let me fucking have it. I was wearing a graphic t-shirt (as I always do) with Iceman’s helmet from Top Gun. And he said “Iceman huh? Is that your favorite character or a reference to what you do to pussy.” It was vulgar, hilarious, and perfect.
Weirdest place you’ve ever performed any form of comedy:
Funeral home…I mean how do you kill in a place that’s dead? I dunno, but I had a blast with that crowd always!
Where would you like your laughs to take you:
A special with video would be awesome. I feel like I’m there now. I have aspirations of voice acting and I’m writing some stuff other than comedy. Ultimately I would like to just make a difference in people’s lives through laughter. That’s always been the goal and it always will be the goal.
Make em laugh!
What would you tell a potential comedian if they ask you how they can own the laughs:
Go out there and learn. Start with what makes YOU laugh. Run it by friends, family, and people who will be honest with you. Have them tell you “You suck,” “This could be better,” and “Maybe comedy isn’t your thing.” Use that as motivation. Take the good with the bad. I believe in quality starts and the only way to get there is to find the quality in what humor you are trying to convey.
Anyone can get knocked down in this industry. It’s the willingness to wipe the blood from your chin as your knees are buckled and get to your feet and try again.
Make it tough on people to deny you and what you bring to the table.
Also, if someone gets mad at you because as the feature, you did better than the headliner? Congratulations! You’re on the right track.
What are your thoughts on the future of comedy:
It’s competitive and there’s so much talent out there. The saturation is real, but that makes you better. You can try to be better or you can bitch about how the world is changing and progressing beyond yourself.
It’s ok to have some reservations here and there but ultimately when it comes to comedy, why is it so bad that others can succeed while you do?
If you have to knock someone down to appear passable at comedy? I got nothing for you. You’re what’s wrong with this industry.
If you could write one episode for one classic TV sitcom which show would it be and give a brief detailed sentence on the episode:
I would say I would rather make a subtle nod to an old tv show episode in something I’ve written than try to write for something that is finished. I love references and allusions to material in my stand-up.
I’d prefer to give credit to those who inspire me as oppose to write something for a show that has gone out as a classic.
If you could choose 1 comedy club and 3 comedians to perform with on your perfect comedy show, how would it go:
Hmmm… there are two ways to approach this. Do I name big names I’d like to share the stage with or do I have the ones who I rode with the whole time?
Honestly, I would choose to rise up with those that have been with me but we perform in a pristine club.
These guys have been my dogs! Too many road trips shared stories, and rounds of beer to count. I like the phrase “We all go up!” And there’s no one I’d rather go up with than these guys!
I really don’t care what club it is, we are going to wreck that room together!
Why should a person always laugh at life:
What do you have to lose? Why do people take life so seriously that they have to turn off the joy in the little things?
Just find the joy where you can. Go forth and seek out comedy in your local comedy scene.
Big or small, comedy scenes exist in more places than you know and I guarantee you have some absolute gems in your own backyard.
Bask in their riches!