“Keep it crispy!”
My first real introduction into the comedy world was through Pete Holmes. I had watched other more well-known comics’ specials online (who I will talk about in later posts), but it was really Pete whose responsible for introducing me to comedy. I remember it clear as day the first time I heard his voice and laugh. Oh God the laugh… It was louder and more boisterous than even mine was, and that’s a pretty big feat! The first time I heard it was on his podcast You Made It Weird in 2012, which I had no prior knowledge of as I was not yet aware of the podcasting sphere. But I recall coming upon it as a result of my search to find interviews with Zach Galifianakis, who I found incredibly funny and intriguing, and yearned to find out more about after watching his standup. Zach typically does not do alot of press as he is a very private person, so I was super excited to see that there was an interview with him that was actually over an hour. I was not intending to become invested in Pete himself, his podcast, or the comedy scene in general; I was merely looking for something to give me more to go off of than a 10 minute late night interview, which typically does not delve too deep into a persons actual personality or mental state. And boy, little did I know how much I was going to discover something that gave me everything I ever wanted in a show, interview, podcast, or any piece of media in general: genuine honesty, insight, and reflection (with a whole bunch of weirdness and laughs).
It’s been years since I listened to that episode for the first time, but one of the things I remember most was how open and candid they were about everything. They conversed in such a colloquially truthful way that it was honestly shocking. I had never heard people talk that way; about life, themselves, their feelings, their places in the world. Early on in the podcast, in almost no time at all, Pete said something that resonated with me so deeply, which was along the lines of, “People like putting on the uniform of a certain group. It makes them feel more comfortable…because people want to belong, people are lonely.” That little nugget comes literally within 10 minutes…and it only gets deeper from there. Now, for people who don’t like listening to that sort of thing, where shit can get very real, real quick, and can produce heavy, sometimes uncomfortably intimate moments, the podcast is most definitely not for them. It is called You Made It Weird for a reason, after all. But for me it was like being able to hear a part of my own mind through someone elses voice. It didn’t make me feel uncomfortable and intrusive, it made me feel at home. And even though I barely knew who this Pete person was, I felt like I had known him a long time, and weirdly enough, related to him in a way I had never really related to anybody. Still do. He’s become my favorite comedians not just because of his tremendous wit and likeable goofiness, but because of his constant awareness, unflinching honesty, and his ability to voice the sincere need to be heard and understood, while also being amazingly funny about it.
“It’s nice to be seen.”
I’ve listened to nearly every podcast of his, and I still look forward to it every week. YMIW episodes come out every Wednesday on iTunes and Nerdist.com, which I will link below if any of you want to check it out! (I’ll always post links to people’s social media and things at the end of these, as I want other people to enjoy these comedians as much as I do!) He interviews comedians (and many more types of people from writers, actors, musicians, scientists, and even pastors) on topics like religion, love, relationships, comedy, and pretty much everything else. But alot of the time it’s usually just him and a friend having a laugh.
He also had his own talk show that ran after Conan called The Pete Holmes Show, which I was so goddamn proud of him for doing. It is no longer running, but it was an incredibly good show that really showcased who Pete is as a person and as a comedian. He’s just recorded a new album, and is currently working on his new show Crashing with Judd Apatow, which will air on HBO sometime in 2017, which will star him playing himself as he crashes (get it!) at a different comedians house every week after his divorce. I can’t articulate how stoked I am for this, and again, so proud I could shit.
His comedy style is conversational, silly, playful, yet sincere and unafraid to tackle the hard stuff. One of my favorite bits he’s ever done was on that show, which was about body positivity, and how people should love their body type no matter what it looks like. It was incredibly cool to see someone I love talk about something that is so close to my heart, and that I feel should be talked about more often. I also love his bit about being a child, which cracks me up every time because of how relatable it is. It’s available on YouTube if you want to see it, but I’ll link it here as well for all of you lovely weirdos.
To wrap this all up (which took a very long time, I promise these won’t always be this long, but this first comedian is incredibly special to me and I wanted to do him justice), Pete Holmes changed my life. Not only did he give me place I could go to hear hilarious, meaningful conversations that have helped me and changed me for the better, but he opened me up to a whole new world of comedy, and I’ve discovered so many amazing people because of him and his podcast. I don’t know if I would have ever discovered my love for comedy and its community without him, and for that, I’m incredibly grateful. So thanks Pete, you really are my homeboy.
Here’s Pete’s Stuff!
Specials: Impregnated With Wonder! https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/impregnated-with-wonder/id477609597
Nice Try, The Devil https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nice-try-the-devil/id642223445
Dat bit I mentioned earlier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ycn-V2oZOEg
Thank you all for reading, all the 2 of you, and feel free to comment, I would love to talk to you!