For more than a decade, this former DMV resident has been living in the city of angels chasing his dream as a writer and a stand-up comedian. As part of We Own The Laughs.com’s Comedian of the Day, have a few laughs and get to know comedian Drew Landry. The Baltimore, MD native shares some of his favorite moments in stand-up comedy and lets us know how he always owns the laughs.
Name: Drew Landry
Hometown: Baltimore, MD/Los Angeles, CA
Years in Comedy: 15 years
Haven’t we seen you somewhere before: Toured with Iliza Shlesinger and Carlos Mencia, writer for DJBooth & Total Sorority Move, author of “I Have A Theory That Donald Glover & Childish Gambino Are Secretly The Same Person” article which received millions of views and went viral.
Comedic Influences: Chris Farley, Andrew Dice Clay, Katt Williams, & Patton Oswalt
Favorite Comedy Album: Andrew Dice Clay’s “The Day The Laughter Died”
Favorite Comedy Special: Katt Williams “The Pimp Chronicles”
Favorite Comedy Movie: This Is The End
Favorite Comedy TV Show: Community
Favorite Comedic Character: Butters from South Park
Favorite City to Perform In: The entire state of Maryland
Favorite Topics to Joke About: Music, pop culture, drinking, & my parents
Favorite Type of Audience for a Comedy Show: Drunk but not too drunk, just drunk enough
Favorite Comedy Club: The DC Improv
How did you discover your passion for comedy:
When I was a kid I was obsessed with comedy. I was always renting the old SNL “Best Of…” DVDs from Blockbuster. I was super into Chris Farley, I loved his intensity and his stage presence, he was like a wrecking ball, as the comedic version of a heavyweight boxer who just immediately comes out swinging. After a while, I could quote his “Van Down By The River” sketch verbatim. When I was little my dad got me into a lot of great comedies that I watched a million times. Dumb and Dumber, Austin Powers, Wayne’s World, Tommy Boy, a bunch of others. Then in middle school, I saw Dane Cook: Vicious Circle on HBO. I know comics always shit on Dane Cook but I don’t care. I was blown away that someone could get on stage and just tell jokes for an hour and keep a crowd of 20,000 people in the palm of their hand. That was the coolest thing in the world to me. So I watched a lot of Dane as a kid and I really loved his energy and his confidence. Then I got also got huge into Chappelle, Dice, Patton, Katt Williams, Chris Rock, old Hedberg albums, Eddie, Pryor, Carlin, etc etc.
What do you remember most about your first time performing stand-up comedy:
I remember being absolutely terrified. I was 13 and was doing stand-up at the middle school talent show. It was a middle school auditorium with 200 people in it. Luckily it was the most supportive crowd possible. It was basically just my friends and their parents. I honestly could have said ANYTHING and they would have laughed. Just an unbelievably friendly, warm crowd. I was very lucky.
How would you describe your comedic style:
I like being goofy and stupid. I wish I had a deeper, cooler response but that’s the most accurate answer I got.
Describe your process for comedic writing:
Typically I get a joke idea and text it to myself, and then throughout the day I’ll write the joke in my head, and once the joke feels like a decent first draft I try it on stage. If it sucks, sometimes I’ll try to fix it, or sometimes I’ll realize there’s nothing there and just scrap it. I can’t physically write jokes down, my brain just doesn’t work that way, it’s easier for me to just write them in my head.
Describe the comedy scene in your area:
The LA scene has a quadrillion comics. If you crash your car into any cafe in the valley you’re gonna inevitably kill at least 7 aspiring comedians.
How do you judge success in the world of comedy:
Whether or not the venue is giving you free shots.
Who are some of your comedic peers that you enjoy watching perform or inspire you personally and professionally:
Ooh, there’s too many to name. In terms of local LA comics, I could go on forever. Kari Assad. Kyle Rehl. Savannah Manhattan. Valerie Tosi. A zillion others, I could go on all day.
What’s been your most memorable moment in comedy:
A few years ago, I performed at the Tropicana in Atlantic City for about 5000 people. I was so nervous and excited, I thought I was gonna crap my pants. It was just a really fun experience. Hopefully, I’ll top that number one day.
What have you learned most from your failures in comedy:
Failure is where the good stuff is at. That’s where you learn. I love failing. That’s where the lessons are.
How do people react towards you when they realize that you can make people laugh:
They always say “Ohh you’re a comedian? Tell me a joke!” I never know what to say. But that happens to every comedian I know, it’s not unique to me, that’s just the go-to line for people.
Describe what it’s been like building a career in stand-up comedy:
I try not to look at it like that. Any time I’ve gotten a cool accolade it’s because I wasn’t chasing it. When I overthink how I’m gonna build my career it’s not fun anymore and I end up getting in my own way because I start writing my act to appeal to specific people.
If you could change one thing in the world of comedy, what would it be:
I hate that comics can be exposed as sexual predators and get a pass to just come back to comedy as nothing happened. Like, Chris D’Elia is fully back, I fucking hate that guy. I see him on line-ups all over town. F*ck Chris D’Elia! He shouldn’t be at clubs, he should be at home helping his girlfriend with her homework.
Best advice you’ve ever received from a comedian:
“Don’t take advice from someone you don’t wanna be.” So if you’re a new comedian, and another comic is giving you unsolicited or condescending advice, if you don’t find them funny or don’t envy their career, don’t listen. Be polite, but just yes ‘em to death and do what you want.
If you were releasing a comedy special this week, what would it be called:
I think it’d be funny to just blatantly steal the title of another comedian iconic special and not acknowledge it. Like “Drew Landry: Delirious.” People would be like “Is this the joke? Or does he somehow not know Eddie Murphy: Delirious exists? Or does he think WE don’t know Eddie: Murphy Delirious exists?! What the fuck is wrong with this dude?”
Funniest encounter you’ve ever had with a celebrity:
I saw Floyd Mayweather in the Nike store at the promenade in Santa Monica. I’m a huge boxing fan and a huge Mayweather stan and I had just moved to LA so celebrity encounters were mostly new to me. So I was kind of staring, and he had security guards stationed all around the store like he was the president. Like over 10 security guards patrolling every area of the Nike store like someone was gonna try to assassinate Floyd Mayweather or some shit. One security guard snapped at me told me it was rude to look in Floyd’s direction. It was the greatest day of my life.
Weirdest place you’ve ever performed any form of comedy:
Ooh, there’s a lot. I did comedy at strip clubs a few times. I did 20 minutes at a hostel for a crowd that didn’t speak English and bombed my ass off. The WEIRDEST one was when I was in high school I spent a month in the mental hospital for my bipolar disorder. I mentioned in group therapy that I did stand-up, and afterward one of the counselors was like “we need some laughter around here, I want you to do a set in group therapy tomorrow.” So I did. It was interesting. I got up in a room of mentally unstable, suicidal teenagers and told some jokes, and by the end of my performance, all of them were somehow even more suicidal.
A Drew Landry Fun Fact:
I’m a full-blooded Italian but I’m also a convert to Judaism. I could easily use that for atrocious, hacky jokes onstage, like “I’m Italian and Jewish… so I’m a Jewtalian! I eat my spaghetti with matzo balls!!!” But that joke would basically be a 2nd 9/11.
Where would you like your laughs to take you:
As I said, I’ve learned that it’s stressful to overthink my career and obsess over results.
What would you tell a potential comedian if they ask you how they can own the laughs:
Just do it. And don’t take advice from me because all I’d be doing is giving you advice on how to do it the way I would do it. Find out what works for you. Also, make sure you remember to have fun with it. Otherwise, there’s no point.
What are your thoughts on the future of comedy:
Comedy is great and will remain great. There are so many hilarious comics out there. Everyone loves to laugh, that’ll never change.
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:
Definitely, I Love Lucy. Maybe Lucy comes with Ricky to a gig in Vegas and there’s some misunderstanding where she thinks Ricky is cheating with a backup dancer or something. There are a few Lucy episodes where she blows up at Ricky because she thinks he’s cheating and those are some of my favorite episodes.
If you could choose 1 comedy club and 3 comedians to perform with on your perfect comedy show, how would it go:
If we’re talking ANYONE, and we can get magical, then the DC Improv, with the ghosts of Paul Mooney, Mitch Hedberg, and Sam Kinison.
What’s next for you:
Why should a person always laugh at life:
You got no other choice.
*Don’t miss Drew Landry’s monthly show Salty AF with co-host Holly Anabel Brown at The Hollywood Improv. Also, check out The Drunk Tank comedy show with co-host Kat Aegesen featuring Dana Gould sponsored monthly by Warbringer Whiskey.