Let’s start off with the basics – how did you get into standup comedy, and how long have you been doing it?
I’ve been doing standup since 1994. I actually got into it by mistake. There was an agent on one of my flights when I was a flight attendant, and I’d been goofing off on the mic. He pulled me aside and said he could get me some work that would pay much more than I was currently making. I thought, “Hey buddy, you don’t know what I’m making now!”, but then he showed me some figures and I was like holy cow, you’re right! That is a lot more!
Who are your heroes, in comedy and in life?
In life, my Mom and Dad. In comedy, Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen Degeneres, Ralphie May, and Kathleen Madigan.
Speaking of Ralphie, did the season 2 comics know about his father’s passing before you chose him to go up that first night?
No, no. That was taped the night before. We actually went to the producers when we found out and asked them if we could change it. We wanted to change it, you know, and give Ralphie the night off. But they told us this was a contest, and basically our picks were set in stone.
Your Dad hadn’t seen your act until Last Comic Standing. Why not?
My Mom hadn’t either – she still hasn’t seen it live! My dad, well I have a potty mouth. You know, you always want to hide things from your parents. My parents found out that I smoke from watching the show! But when you’re presenting things to your parents you want everything to be perfect. I guess I thought my act wasn’t good enough.
So what do your parents think of your act now?
Oh they love it. My dad says that people come up to him in public now – he feels like a celebrity. And of course everyone seems to think my Dad is very attractive, so I hear that all the time. Even Gary Gulman told me my Dad is a good-looking man!
You tried out for Last Comic 1 and almost made it – if you hadn’t made it to the house for Last Comic 2, would you have kept trying?
Yep! My Mom and Dad always told me that if I really wanted something that I should go after it. A quitter never wins.
What was your reaction when you heard about Last Comic 3? Did you have any reservations about doing it all again?
It’s a chance for me to do standup again, and I love doing it. I had absolutely no reservations whatsoever. The only thing that I was bummed about was that Bonnie wasn’t coming back. That was disappointing, but you know, we picked a new comic and moved on with it.
Who’s funnier – Season 1 or Season 2? Why?
Season 2 of course! They’re my team! All of the comics are extremely funny though, and they all have a different voice. We have male, female, ethnic, gay – everyone has a different voice and they’re all funny in their own right.
America keeps giving Season 2 the $50,000 too, so we must be doing something right!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
God. I had a near-death experience when I was younger, and I battled drugs and alcohol for a while. This is going to sound strange to you, but twice I’ve had the opportunity to meet my creator. Both times He wasn’t ready for me. I was given a voice to show a different side of things. Whether it be for gay people or short people or whatever, I have the chance to use my voice and make a difference.
I’ve had truck drivers approach me, saying that after hearing my act they think they may have misjudged gay people. It’s incredible.
Since you mentioned it…rumour has it that you’re actually gay. Can you confirm or deny?
Oh, I don’t want to perpetuate rumours! No comment, let’s keep them guessing!
Seriously though, I’ve had people come up and ask me if I really am gay. I mean I advertise onstage that I’m looking for a boyfriend, but they still ask. It’s mostly teenage girls, you know, holding out hope or something.
Do you think that it’s more difficult for you to be successful in comedy as a gay man?
Look where I am! I have a message to all the young people: Be Yourself! No one can force you to be someone you’re not. You’re special, unique, and perfect just the way you are. If you’re yourself, only good things will come of it.
If you don’t win LCS 3, who would you like to see take the title?
Kathleen. Kathleen or Tammy – they’re my homegirls.
You’ve done a lot of television work! Do you have any appearances coming up that you’d like to share with us?
Oh tons! I’m doing a new series for VH-1 called ‘Celebrity Fit Club’, I’m an on-air correspondent for Dennis Miller, and I’m doing Balderdash on PAX. I’m also doing a couple of specials for TVLand – in October I’m hosting TV’s Greatest Moments, and then the 100 Scariest Movie Moments.
If you weren’t doing standup, what would you be doing?
Folding sweaters at The Gap. You know employees get 35% off? And they have great stuff!
If someone created a sandwich named after you, what would be in it?
Jelly beans, FlufferNutter, and strawberries.
How has Last Comic Standing affected your everyday life? Are you being recognized more now?
Oh it’s crazy! It’s difficult to go out in public now. I get recognized everywhere. I’m so flattered though, I welcome it. It’s because of people like you that I’m here doing what I’m doing. Seriously, if you see me out in public then come and say hi!
Where does all of your energy come from? You always seem to be so happy and excited to be onstage making people laugh!
Crack. No, I’m kidding – had to get a joke in somewhere! It’s just a basic happiness. Happiness that I get from doing what God put me here to do.
There are still some places that won’t book me, but I’m having so much fun with this. You know, if Alabama doesn’t want a gay comic then it’s not my problem. I’m travelling to Hawaii, Aruba, China, Europe – I’m having a ton of fun!
Finally ANT, tell me about your name! Where did ‘ANT’ come from, and why the all-caps?
Well the caps make my name stand out in a story, you know, if there’s an article with no picture or something. You might not read it, but if you see the name ANT in caps you’ll wonder what’s up.
I chose ANT because an ant can carry 100 times its’ own weight, and onstage I lift myself 100 times my height. Ants are incredibly hard workers too, and they’re tough! After a nuclear holocaust, there will only be 2 things that survive – ants and Cher.
Thanks ANT for taking the time to speak with me today! You wanna mention your new CD?…
Oh yes! My CD comes out December 7th, and it’s called ‘Follow My Ass’. It’s on the Comedy Central label, and it will be available in all the major record stores worldwide. Make sure you buy it the first week it comes out – that’s the most important week!
Thanks again – it’s been a pleasure speaking with you! Best of luck with Last Comic!
Thanks sweetie – don’t forget to vote for me!
You can keep up-to-date with what ANT is doing by visiting his very cool website (which will apparently get an extreme makeover very soon!) at www.gaycomic.com. You’ll find tour dates, pictures, videos, and lots more! It’s a great site for a great comic.
Comments are welcome! Contact me at email@example.com.