How to Interview a Comedian About Comedy

This was written as a guest column for Flip the Media. You can see the original post here.

When Drew Keller challenged our CommLead storytelling intensive class last year to create a 2-3 minute documentary, Dartanion Londonimmediately came to mind. Dart is incredibly hard-working and super funny (which is important for a comedian). Above all, he takes risks to pursue his passion.

Dartanion London

We collaborated on a few videos before, so I thought this would be easy. I was wrong. When we talked in his living room/studio, he stubbornly avoided honest answers. Instead he fictionalized stories about becoming a cult leader. Between questions, he opined that there is nothing more boring than comedians talking seriously about themselves. This frustrated me. I knew Dart had a powerful story because he told me about it before.

Dart was laid off from his part-time job. This job supported him while he did comedy on the side. Shortly after being laid off, his video “How Guys Will Use Google Glass” went viral. He took this as a good sign. It helped motivate Dart to pursue comedy whole-heartedly, without the safety net of a part-time job. I wanted to tell this story through the documentary, but I couldn’t pull it out of Dart. When the camera was rolling, he needed to be funny.

So I proposed a deal. I told him I’d shoot his comedy about his cult, only if he gave a genuine interview for this class project. This documentary would be screened to the class, and that if he disapproved of the final product, I’d refrain from publishing it online. Dart agreed.

We did the interview. Then we filmed his cult comedy video. It was a tricky challenge, and a valuable learning experience. I think it’s a fun little video, and hope you enjoy watching!