the arts

It's All About Surprise

Brendon Walsh, now officially the Funniest Person in Austin, talks comedy

Fri., May 14, 2004

It's All About Surprise

Brendon Walsh is a well-adjusted carpenter from Philadelphia who also happens to do stand-up. He won't live hard and die young. He doesn't mask a miserable core with cocaine and/or fart jokes. He's even tall and comely, sans physical deformity.

I was initially disappointed with Walsh. But then he gave me the finger, and everything was cool. The 30-year-old's future in stand-up now gleams with promise. He took top honors in Cap City Comedy Club's 19th annual Funniest Person in Austin contest (runners-up were Jimmie Roulette and Joe Joe), winning himself a crown and cape (with sticky lore), $1,000 that he's putting toward a Geo Metro, and his first I-35 tour. But before Walsh hits the road for Tulsa, Okla., he bares his matter-of-fact soul about the fundamentals of funny.

Austin Chronicle: So, there's a formula for funny, like subverting expectation?

Brendon Walsh: I don't know big words. But I think it's all about surprise, about not seeing what's coming. Shock humor.

AC: That's subverting expectation.

BW: Oh, is that what that meant? There you go. I'm also a smart-ass with a heart of gold. And sometimes I think I come off as being dirtier than I am.

AC: What filthy jokes did you tell during the contest?

BW: The one about my girlfriend being really experimental – but that she drew the line when I tried to put it in her sister. They expect me to say something else, but I say "sister."

AC: In your act, you said you were fired. Were you really fired?

BW: No, everything's completely fabricated – just so I could say I got fired because my boss caught me looking at my butt hole in the bathroom mirror.

AC: Do you feel bad about lying to people?

BW: No. I love lying to people. I steal from the crowds sometimes, like if someone gets up and leaves tip money on the table, I swipe it. Fuck 'em.

AC: Are you sure you don't have any addictions or anything?

BW: I'm a workaholic.

AC: What do you do during the day?

BW: I'm addicted to workahol.

AC: You collect unemployment?

BW: No, I'm a hustler. I manage to get by. I'm lazy. I could do more. I feel like I waste a lot of time. But I do answer phones and deliver people their nachos.

AC: So why'd you win?

BW: I don't know. I guess I did better than everyone else.

AC: Well, I guess we're done.

BW: That was boring wasn't it? I'm the most boringest guy in Austin. You thought I'd be squirting you with flowers and I'd have a buzzer, didn't you? end story

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