As part of We Own The Laughs.com’s Comedian of the Day, have a few laughs and get to know comedian Demi York. The Tipp City, OH native shares some of their favorite moments in stand-up comedy and lets us know how they always own the laughs.
Name: Demi York
Hometown: Tipp City, OH/Los Angeles, CA
Instagram/Twitter: @thatbrodemi @demiyork
Years in Comedy: 4
Comedic Influences: Robin Williams, George Carlin, & Sarah Silverman
Favorite Comedy Album: Robin Williams “Throbbing Python of Love”
Favorite Comedy Special: I obsess over different specials randomly, but the one I really love right now is Louis C.K. “Sorry.”
Favorite Comedy Movie: Dracula Dead & Loving It
Favorite Comedy TV Show: This also rotates all the time but right now: What We Do in the Shadows, Our Flag Means Death, and Abbott Elementary
Favorite Comedic Character: Bill Hader’s Stefon, Chris Farley’s Cindy from The Gap Girls
Favorite City to Perform In: New York City
Favorite Topics to Joke About: Politics, and the tragedy that is my life.
Favorite Type of Audience for a Comedy Show: I like all kinds of crowds, but it’s always the ones that had no idea there was even a show going on that I love. They might not want you to be there, and they can be the best or worst rooms.
Favorite Comedy Club: I don’t think I have a true favorite, but when I do, I’ll let you know.
How did you discover your passion for comedy:
My mom will tell you that I have always loved to make jokes, considering the first time I really got into actual “big” trouble was when I was in grade school. I had stood on top of the group of desks and started making jokes about my teacher, while she was out of the room. She then walked in and was extremely unhappy, but luckily, my mother didn’t like her either and found it to be hilarious. Take that, bitch.
What do you remember most about your first time performing stand-up comedy:
Oh god, it was… an experience? It was fun, and I realized I loved it. It was at this little mic, and everyone was really just there for the free food. So I guess I mainly remember drowning myself in pizza after. I definitely have become a completely different comic, thankfully.
How would you describe your comedic style:
High energy stream of consciousness.
Describe your process for comedic writing:
I am not a comic that does the whole “I’m going to write ten jokes a day” thing. I have notepads everywhere that are full of random thoughts and scribbles, and of course 18,000 notes in my phone that vary in length and quality. I also love to live dangerously, so I have a post it pad and a pen taped to the dash of my car, so when I get stuck in traffic and think of something I can scribble it down before losing it. I find the concept of the joke that I’m thinking of, and then I decide how I want it to come across and go from there. A lot of the time though, I just work out my jokes in real time at a mic or a show.
Describe the comedy scene in your area:
LA is wild, you have some of the best comics in the world performing around you all the time. Personally I’ve found the comics in LA to be really wonderful people, and some of the hardest working individuals I’ve ever had the privilege to meet.
How do you judge success in the world of comedy:
I think every time you get booked, that’s a little victory. I like to celebrate the little wins. I don’t judge others’ success, at least not intentionally, but I’m very hard on myself. I think being successful in comedy is really just being able to do this, and having people want you around.
Who are some of your comedic peers that you enjoy watching perform or inspire you personally and professionally:
A great friend of mine, Bee Gutierrez, is one of the most fantastic people I have had the pleasure to meet. She is hilarious, and works so hard. She is always putting forth other women in comedy, which is so important. Another comic that I love and admire is Jay Washington, the man is absolutely fantastic, he has an ability to turn a room around that I find awe inspiring. He’s also one of the biggest teddy bears you’ll ever meet, he’s the first person to give a compliment after a good set, or buy you a drink after a bad one. I feel really fortunate everytime I share a stage with him, or just see him in general. Chris Cope is another person that I find inspiring, he’s hilarious as fuck, and his life story is insane, seriously if you ever get a chance to talk to him about it, take it. He has this ability to make a crowd feel like they have known him their whole life, and has this trashy Florida charm you can’t describe until you see it. Go watch his special on Dry Bar.
What’s been your most memorable moment in comedy:
I did a show recently where I followed Caroline Rhea, and she was absolutely killer. I mean besides the fact that the crowd was starstruck by her, because who wouldn’t be, she murdered them. Before she had gone up we were shooting the shit on the side of the stage and having an absolute blast. She went up and then I followed her and it made me really push myself that evening. I had a killer set, and I had followed her on instagram. We were messaging and she apologized for bumping me, she then proceeded to say “You may bump me once in your lifetime”. That was a really sweet and wonderful message and warmed my heart. She didn’t have to say that, or shit, even take the time to message me back. Moral of the story is not only is she hilarious, she is wonderful and kind. Sometimes it pays to meet your heroes, kids.
What have you learned most from your failures in comedy:
Get comfortable with bombing, revel in it when it happens. Sometimes when I’ve been on a hot streak, and then I have a terrible bomb, it’s the most freeing thing, Like “Phew, that happened, back to work.” Remember you don’t have to rush off the stage, the audience is stuck with you, pivot and try to bring them back. If you don’t? Laugh about it and move on, it happens to everyone.
How do people react towards you when they realize that you can make people laugh:
I think that it depends, some people say the classic “Tell me a joke” when they find out I’m a comic, which of course comics love. Then some people say it makes sense. I am the same person off-stage as I am when I’m on.
Describe what it’s been like building a career in stand-up comedy:
It’s like having sex with someone who can’t stay hard. There are moments that everything is great and it feels good, and then boom it just drops off randomly, and then it comes back. Being successful is the long awaited orgasm.
If you could change one thing in the world of comedy, what would it be:
I think that a lot of people get caught up in club politics, and talk shit about other comics. Cut that shit out.
Best advice you’ve ever received from a comedian:
Everyone bombs, even the people you’ve admired forever. Don’t take it too personally. Oh and also not comedy specifically but Mike Falzone once told me to “Get out of LA as much as possible” and that’s the best advice I’ve ever received.
If you were releasing a comedy special this week, what would it be called:
“Anal, Cocaine, and Politics, Oh My!”
Funniest encounter you’ve ever had with a celebrity:
Joe Keery once yelled “Don’t you know who I am?” at me when he was wasted and had been rude to my friend. I then yelled back “Yeah, go get me a pizza, you asshole!”. He was in those Dominoes commercials at the time, and was unhappy with the remark. I hope he’s doing well, I never did get my pizza.
Weirdest place you’ve ever performed any form of comedy:
I can’t say I have ever performed anywhere super weird, but I don’t find many things weird?
A Demi York Fun Fact:
I once told my mom I wanted to be a zoologist when I was a kid, and then a mouse scurried across the floor of our garage and I picked up a bat, screamed and swung at it. Kids are filthy liars, and I have always been a walking contradiction.
Where would you like your laughs to take you:
I want to end up working, as a stand-up but also as a showrunner, and a writer. Voice over is also a big goal of mine, and I have a sexy voice. Hire me.
What would you tell a potential comedian if they ask you how they can own the laughs:
Be yourself, whatever that means to you, audiences see right through people who are pretending to be someone they aren’t. Unless you’re an amazing actor, in which case go do that.
What are your thoughts on the future of comedy:
I think that we have to stop getting offended at everything. We have to respect the hard lines, but I think the best comedy is found skirting the edge. Comedy is how we originally were able to talk about off-limit topics, and I don’t think that should 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:
It would be for Taxi (If you haven’t seen it you absolutely need to, one of the best shows ever made). Latka would be on tinder, and using it as a way to improve his english. Bobby and Latka match with the same girl, a competition ensues.
If you could choose 1 comedy club and 3 comedians to perform with on your perfect comedy show, how would it go:
The Comedy Cellar in NYC. Eliot Chang would open, Bee Gutierrez bats second, Jay Washington, and then myself.
What’s next for you:
I am working on gathering the funding for my short film presently, and I am doing shows all over LA. Follow me on instagram to find out where to watch me.
Why should a person always laugh at life:
Because life is fucked up, and it’s best to take it with a smile and a cheeky comment.