20 Questions Tuesday: 173 - Dave Anthony


Here we go again with a brand spanking new 20 Questions Tuesday.  This time it is an interview with LA Based stand-up comedian and co-host of the Walking the Room podcast, Dave Anthony.  Last week I interviewed Greg Behrendt the other co-host of the Walking the Room.  Oddly I started the interviews at the same time.  Greg finished his interview a week earlier than Dave… Does that mean that Greg has more time on his hands than Dave? Does that mean that Dave is not as “into” his fanbase as Greg? Would the outcome have been different if the two knew it was a race? The world may never know, but Greg won the race.

 Dave has an acerbic wit and a fairly twisted view of comedy. The podcast that he co-hosts with his good friend is quite possibly one of the funniest things on the Interwebs. It is not for the faint of heart though and tends to take dark paths and disturbing highways to get to the funny.  A lesser known talent of his is his twitter feed.  It is enjoyable for many reasons, but I love watching him interact with people as they unfollow him.  So without further adieu…
Onto the Questions:

 One of the reasons that I dig listening to you and started watching for you was your interview on WTF with Marc Maron.  I believe it was during that interview that I learned that your wife is a therapist.  My wife was a therapist for many years, and being married to a therapist can be an interesting ordeal to say the least.  Question 1:  Do you see anything in your life now that you can think of that is significantly different since you are married to a therapist?

 I’d like to say yes but not at all.  She’s very good at keeping her therapy out of our relationship and I am a stubborn asshole, so it’s a perfect match.  She doesn’t analyze me or talk about why I am doing what I am doing, etc.  Very occasionally she will ask me why I feel that way, or the other day she asked me, “What makes you happy?” and I just laughed at her and mocked her until the moment was crushed and any hope of a meaningful conversation was destroyed.

 And, yes, she thinks I should be in therapy.

 That is pretty awesome that you are able to keep the work/life stuff separated that well.  It is not often that I get the chance to ask another spouse of a therapist that question, so I typically do…

 I have no good transition for this, but Question 2: Why Manchester United? (who seem to be utterly unstoppable this season so far, and Rooney is playing out of his mind)

 Fantastic question.  When the Premier League began showing on American televisions I really didn’t have a team to follow.  I tried with a few but nothing stuck. Manchester United was the team that was on tv the most.  So, I became familiar with them but I still have reservations about following them because they are basically the Yankees of English football.  Then the Arsenal “invincables” came along. I have never watched a more horrendous group of arrogant, whining dicks in my life.  The only team that had a chance to knock them down was Manchester United, so I started following them.

 I should add that the English Premier League is really two leagues. There’s the teams that can win it all, which currently number 3.  Some teams bob back and forth. In total, it’s a league of about 6 teams.  I follow United, who are in the league this league of 6.  Then there are the rest of the teams, who will never, ever win the title and are just playing for survival.  In that league, I follow Fulham.

 I mentioned in an email to you previously that I had the opportunity to go to the Bobby Charlton School of Football way back in the day, and there is a high probability that I lined up against Beckham (I was, 10 so the memory of who I tackled that night is too foggy), so I have a soft spot for Man U in the top 4 slot, but in regards for the rest of the pack, I also follow Fulham, first because of McBride and now because of Dempsey.  Any team that gives that many Yanks a shot should be rewarded with my interest.

 Question 3: Did you play soccer, or is this an interest that you came to as an adult?

 Yes, I played soccer as a kid.  I was pretty good, actually.  We didn’t have coaches, so who knows how good I could have been.  When I say we didn’t have coaches, I literally mean my friend’s dad was the coach of our high school team and he was a complete moron.  It was extremely frustrating.  I eventually stopped playing and started smoking pot, as God intended.

 I never really got into the illegal substances… it is clearly my loss.  So one thing that I have noticed with the insane amounts of comedy podcasts I listen to is the preponderance of substance abuse within the “comedy scene”

 Question 4: It seems that many of the comedians I enjoy are starting to have kids and still perform. I don’t remember comedians of 10 years ago having kids or if they did, actually trying to be involved in their kids’ lives.  Is this a newer thing or was I just not aware of the father/mother comedians of the 80’s and 90’s?

There were comedians with kids but I just think they weren’t as popular as those without.  Kid comedy isn’t really something the masses love.  It seems to be very repetitive and everyone is telling the same joke.  Louis CK kind of found a way to be different but I bet if someone went back they’d find someone doing similar material years ago.

But you also have to understand you are now far more aware of our lives than you were of comedians in the 80s and 90s.  Back then, you just knew about the comedian because of his material or through the press.  Now you have the internet, which not only gives you access to more material but other aspects of a comic’s life.  Podcasts are a huge thing, but so it Twitter, etc.

My personal belief is if you want to have kids you have to cut down on the amount of time you go on the road.  A lot of comics get caught in the nightmare of having to go out on the road more to deal with the costs of having kids.  That sort of cancels out the reason you have kids.  It also creates more strippers and comedians.

Fair point, I think my frame of reference may be tainting my memories as well.  I am pretty sure when I was kidless, I did not notice as much stuff that was kidfull.

Question 5: So were you aware that Hobotang, a word created by your podcast, is in the Urban Dictionary right now?

It’s a little weird and a little cool.  I think it’s more an indication that we had a word void that had to be filled.  Above ground domesticated hobos have existed for years and it’s time someone gave them a name.

It is also proof of the insanity of our listeners.

It does seem that some of the listeners are a bit off, to say the least.  Not saying that I am not quite bent as well, just that some of the cuddlahs are a bit scary.

Question 6: Any of the cuddlahs honestly scare you?  Any interactions that made you want to avoid eye contact and back away slowly?

Ha.  No one has scared me yet.  But I’m sure that moment is coming.  Anytime you venture into something like this you get someone who is waaay to into it.  It’s inevitable.  That’s why I carry a sawed off shotgun under my trench coast at all times.

It can be a little weird because people know so much about me and seem to assume I know a lot about them but I don’t.  So, it’s a one way familiarity situation.  I’m not really good at that kind of stuff anyway.  I’ve always been the comic who doesn’t go out to meet the crowd after the show.  I’m pretty happy being anonymous offstage.

That over-familiarity of your listeners is actually something that I am fighting in this 20 questions.  Since most of the people who read this blog don’t listen to your podcast, I feel like I cannot really ask some fo the “inside baseball” questions for Walking the Room.  Crickets, Hobotangs, etc…  I feel like I do have a pretty good “History of Dave” kind of knowledge going on here as well.  I listened to you tell your story to Maron, and I have over 70 hours of WTR to call on about your life and likes/dislikes.  Trying to stay away from the typical questions and keep the questions interesting to me is, frankly, kind of difficult.

I am a fairly liberal thinker and tend to be left leaning.  That being said, I made the conscious decision when I started this blog, not to be political in this forum. Question 7: You used to write a pretty political blog "Stop All Monsters,"  did you find being political on the web to be an enjoyable experience or did it just make your blood boil?

Well, I started writing politics on the internet for Suicide Girls.  I was their political editor.  Then I branched out onto my own blog.  At SG it was pretty annoying because the people who go to that site are, ironically, very limited in their thinking.  Not all, but the people leaving comments were largely douchebags.

My own site was better.  I had a few trolls that would post but for the most part it was people who actually like my writing and my point of view who read.  Mostly, I just got fed up with politics and, in particular, Obama.  In my opinion, a very obvious game is being played by Democrats, Republicans and Obama to get the corporations everything they need while fucking over the common man.  And even when we reached the breaking point, they continued on.  I think Obama will end up being one of the worst things that ever happened to the Democratic Party.  So, that’s why I left my blog.  I just couldn’t take what was happening anymore.

That makes sense.  I am clearly more forgiving of Obama than you are, but I am really starting to tire on his administration and their policies continuing the status quo.

So, recently, you got a writing gig for the AMC aftershow, The Talking Dead, associated with their mega-hit The Walking Dead Question 8: Were you a fan of the whole zombie genre beforehand, or of the tWD comic book or show prior to getting the gig?

I am a huge zombie lover but I didn’t read the comic book until I started on the show.  I did get the job because of my zombie expertise and my love of the television show.

I don’t read many comics and those I do read tend to be more like Optic Nerve.   I don’t care for the comic very much.  I think his story development is okay but the characters are weak and the dialogue is not good.

Okay, I got my M.A. in geography and, if I remember correctly, your undergrad is in geography (jealous much?), so I hope this question seems interesting. That being said, this is one of my favorite questions, and I try to use it as often as I can.  I was born in Oklahoma City, OK.  I moved to Montgomery, AL, and then grew up in Birmingham, AL.  I went to undergrad in Kent, OH, and then settled in Columbus, OH.

Question 9: What is your geographic history?  

It’s nothing as grand as moving around the Oklahoma, Alabama, Ohio triangle.

I grew up in Marin County, California.  Specifically, Fairfax, home of that American Taliban guy.  I lived in the same house until I was 18, when I moved to San Luis Obispo for 1 year to go to college at Cuesta. (Hold on, I was in college forever)  I then went home and went to College of Marin for 1 year, then I went back to San Luis Obispo for 2 years.  Then I went to UC Santa Barbara for 3 years.  If you have any grasp of math, you will see that I stretched my college career out to 7 years.  That’s fucking impressive.

After college, I moved to San Francisco for 5 years, then moved to New York for 4 years, then to Los Angeles, where I have lived eve since.

During my stand up career I have visited every state in the continental US, which is pretty cool.  Still haven’t been to Alaska but plan to at some point.

Question  10: So which of these places do you consider “Home” with a capital “H?” For example, I lived in the Birmingham area for 15 years where I grew up, but I consider Columbus home, because Birmingham may have been where I spent my formative years, but Columbus, is where I built/am building my life.

I considered Fairfax home for a long time but once I got married and had a kid, LA became my home.  It’s weird because we are trained in Northern California to grow up hating LA, yet here I am.

I’ve liked everyplace I’ve lived except New York.  I think it’s a dehumanizing shithole.  I can’t understand how people love it so much but I think that might be a west coast thing.  Growing up here it’s all open and spread out.  Could never adjust to the compacted existence of NY.  And the heat.  And the subway.  Seriously, fuck that place.

It is amazing how getting married, having a kid, and raising the youngun will almost immediately change where you consider home.  Sadly my Birmingham, AL home stopped being my home when my childhood cat died during my super-senior year at Kent State, Columbus became home for me soon after being married.

Question 11: So, speaking of kids, how old is your little boy and are there any of his shows that he relentlessly wants to watch on TV (making an assumption that he relentlessly wants to watch something on TV, because he is a kid and that is what they do) that you secretly enjoy?

He’s 2 1/2.  His name is Dangerous Top Anthony.  He enjoys Curious George, anything with garbage trucks and Sons of Anarchy.

I do not really like any of his programs.  They are rather juvenile.

Seriously, I don’t like anything he watches.  Franklin can go fuck itself a million times.

I hear that.  Franklin is a whiny bitch of a turtle, and don’t get me started with that wuss Caillou.  What the hell is the that name to start with?  Really with kids programming it really is choosing the lesser of the evils presented, and, yes, it is all evil.  I knew I was watching too much kid’s TV when I started finding Mrs. Foil from The Upside Down Show to be a hotty.  Yep, I started doing other things right then and there.

Question 12: So, when the wee one is partaking his Curious George, and Franklin, and whatever other crap, does he ask you infuriating questions about what is going on in the insipid show you are trying not to watch, just to try and make you watch the eyesore moving pictures on the TV, when he knows that you are trying your damned best to not have to watch?… ummm. Yes, that question is for you… actually, what does the wee one allow you to get away with whilst he is viewing his shows?  For me, it is stuff I can do on my phone.

He lets me do whatever when he’s watching TV.  But he doesn’t watch very much tv right now. Mostly playing with cars and trains and for that I have to just sit there and do what he says.

He’s a Nazi.

Oh, god, I remember the trains, oh do I remember the trains.  My boy fell in love with trains at the age of -1 and played with them near relentlessly until he was 6.  It got so bad that he made us by DVD’s of trains made by creepy train lovers who hang out at crossing gates with video cameras.  Those guys are one panel van away from touching kids.  Anyway…he started with the wooden trains like the Thomas ones, but didn’t like Thomas, because Thomas is a whiny bitch, and he wanted to play with trains that he could see in real life that didn’t talk.  When he turned 5 we got him into the Tomica Wolrd battery operated trains and he loved those.  At 6 he moved on to planes and now is firmly ensconced in LEGOs.  So it does get better. I should start a video campaign for dad’s stuck with shitty kid’s TV shows and horrible play times….

Question 13: Since this is 13 it is time to ask about superstitions.  Do you have any superstitions.  As an example, the closest thing I had to one was a very ritualistic way of getting ready for soccer games… a specific way of putting on the socks and shin guards, etc… anything like that.  Could be associated with going on stage, or a pre-writing ritual, or maybe you need to circle the bed three times before lying down? Anything you can think of that is at all superstitious?

Well, that’s weird.  I was just murdering my nightly goat in order to get a good nights sleep.

No, actually.  I have no superstitions.  Probably weirder to not have them.

That is not particularly surprising.  You seem to be a pretty much “no fuss, no muss” kinda guy, and superstition and ritual don’t really seem to be in your bag.  Honestly, for you, I would have been surprised if you did have a superstition.

Question 14: Other than hang out with your kid, or podcast with Greg, what do you enjoy doing with your downtime?… do you have downtime?  I have no idea how things work out there in the entertainment business.

I’m so busy right now I have zero free time.  That’s part of the entertainment business.

It always seems to be all or nothing.

When I’m not working I like to lay around and do nothing.  I excel at doing nothing.  I used to play a lot of video games before my kid was born.  Now I pretty much watch movies and stare at the Internet.  Occasionally, I enjoy going for a bike ride.  But I haven’t had any free time in ages.

Now I’m sad.

I live to serve… I have finally gotten you sad, soon I will have you crying.  I am the Barbara Walters of teh Internets!

Question 15: Tell me about your mother…
Cry!  Why won’t you cry!

Okay, real Question 15: Speaking of sadness, this is a question I also asked Greg Behrendt, your co-host of Walking the Room.  How close to your day to day interactions with Greg are the Walking the Room podcasts?  I assume they are just polarized versions of your friendship where you both consciously exaggerate your typical behaviors to create teh comedies, but it would crack me up is that is just you 2 recording a typical conversation.

It’s pretty close.  Whenever we talk we’re fucking around and trying to make each other laugh.  Obviously, there’s the understanding that we are talking in front of an audience, so we want the podcast to be entertaining but we’ve always fucked around like this with each other, always tried to make each other laugh.

We do exaggerate our behaviors a bit but that’s what you do.  We are both pretty much being as honest as possible, though.

I am impressed at how similar yours and Greg’s answers were to this question.  I honestly find this to be absolutely beautiful.  That is an amazing friendship that you have and I hope that you cherish it greatly, because it is super fun to listen in on.

Question 16: Do you find yourself editing your happenstance conversations with Greg because you think a particular topic would be great for the podcast and you don’t want to “waste” it just with an everyday un-recorded conversation?

Yes.  There are certain things that will happen and one of us will say to the other, “I’ve got something to tell you but I’m saving it for the podcast.”  Certain things are just too perfect.  I usually write them in my phone and am trying to push dumb ass to do the same but he likes to wander around and stare at palm trees and not actually make notes.

A lot of our off air conversations are now business conversations because off all the stuff going on around the podcast.  Shows, merch, etc.

I hope that this does not mean that your typical conversation will become tiresome and too businessy.  It would be tragic if you were only having conversations that are equivalent to spreadsheets, and not the faux vitriol laden insult fests that we get to peak into through the magic of podcasting.  

Question 17: Since we are winding down to question 20, and since I am not above letting you turn the tables on me.  During the course of this set of questions, have you thought of any questions you want to ask me?

Our fans seem to be more active and interested in the show than other podcast fans. Why do you think this is?

Greg asked a similar question of me, and I can honestly only speak for myself and guess at the rest of the cuddlahs addiction to the podcast.  For me, I have always tried following comedy, which is pretty difficult in central Ohio.  Podcasts really became a revelation for me.  Some of the comedians I loved seeing on Comedy Central or on hour long specials started making podcasts.  Through listening to other podcasts I followed a breadcrumb trail to Walking the Room and I started listening to you guys I think on Ep 2, so going back through the back catalog was fairly simple.

I think your questioning of what the hell is going on in your professional career drew me in.  Your incredulity of who has become successful in spite of their lack of ability resonates with many people.  I identify with your looking back at where you are and wondering how the fuck you got there and where you can go from here.  Your overall themes are very identifiable and relatable. We, the listeners, are basically listening into a private conversation between friends, who are just being who they are.  We get a very candid look into your lives.  Coupled with that content is the intimacy of the delivery method.  Your content is consumed individually via earphones or solitarily in a car.  It is a very private and intimate experience wrapped in failure and the smell of sadness.

It is that combination of candidness and intimacy that creates a bond between the cuddlahs and you and Greg.  Does any of that make any damn sense?

The clever turns of phrase keep me coming back though.  Seriously, Hobotang?  That is fucking brilliant.

Question 18: Any questions you can think of that I did not ask you, that I should have?

Q: Where do you think the podcast will go?

A:I think we will end with an actual army and invade a small country - perhaps San Marino - then we rename it Old Corndog and start breeding.  After that it’s anyone’s guess.

I am afraid of what the flag for Old Corndog would be… Very scared.

Question 19: Is there anything that you are not amazingly cynical about? Seriously, you take sarcasm to a different level.

Yeah, I’m not actually that cynical when it comes down to it.  i think it’s mostly just show business that I’m cynical about.  I’m also not too thrilled about the course of our country but that’s a pretty common belief at this point.

I think eventually teddy bears will rule the world.

I love that your delivery of this cynicism takes the form of a pretty biting satire.  I think that your kind of satire is a dying art and I love being able to follow your diatribes against Trump and the Kardashians on your Twitter feed.  You, sir, are the wrong kind of funny, and should be way more famous than you are. In fact, your lack of fame angers me.

Question 20: is there anything that surprised you in these 20 questions and answers? Is there anything you take away from this that you did not have before this interview?

That’s a tough one because it was so spread out.  Do I have to now go back and read my own blathering nonsense?  I guess so.

Now I have done that an my answer is “no.”  Apparently I have taken nothing from this interview.  I hope that makes you feel good.

You cut me to the quick, Dave Anthony, you cut me.  This pain is immeasurable and unyeilding.  How will I make it through the rest of my life, much less the night, knowing I have affected you so little?

Thank you so much for putting up with this interview and its long drawn out tiresome process.  I really feel honored that you took this time with me, and I have really enjoyed your answers.  Seriously, you spent an ungodly amount of time answering these questions, and I didn’t pay you shit and I can’t monetize my Tumblr since only 13 people look at the site.  You should be very happy to know that any other emails you get from me will primarily be notes about how I think you can make Walking the Room better (two words: penguin shit…. and two more words: Greg’s closet.  So, in total, four words: penguin shit Greg’s closet.  Add the word “in” for your own benefit, if you want, but I think it is implied)

To Recap:
Next week a normal 20 Questions Tuesday
Then an interview with Khoi Pham
Comic Book Artist par excellence
He is a badass
Halloween happened last night
The kids loved it
The sugar coma will last for a week
The girl loves her some chocolate
I need some sleep
Tonight I am going to bed in the early times
If you want to be interviewed or want to ask me questions…
Drop me a line with your email on it
Have a great weekend, everyone!