Comedy Foot Soldier – Alex Goldberg

by Dustin D'Addato on April 1, 2009

This week’s Comedy Foot Soldier is a comedy machine.  Honestly, I believe he must be at least a cyborg to write and do as much as he does.  Or maybe he has an infinite number of monkeys typing on typewriters where his organs should be.  Tiny tiny monkeys with even tinier typewriters.  Point is Alex Goldberg is working non stop bringing comedy to the masses.  He’s written three full length plays, including I’m In Love With Your Wife which won a whole butt load of awards.  He co-wrote the Feature Film Fade to White which is in post production.  He’s a member of the amazing sketch group Fearsome.  And if all that is not enough he’s one of the producers of ECNY awards here in the city and on the SketchFestNYC production team.  The dude gets around.  Here’s what he had to say when we sat him down to answer our Comedy Foot Soldier questions:

 

What’s the most important thing you learned since you started doing comedy?
Comedy evolves quickly, so keep evolving. There are exceptions, of course, but generally what was funny yesterday will not be funny tomorrow. I read a play written by a guy who never watched any new comedy after “The Simpsons,” and it really showed in his writing.Alex In Car


How did you know you were meant to be a comedian?
I was the last guy to hit puberty in high school. It was either comedy or the towel boy for the j.v. basketball team.


What’s been your brightest moment as a comedian?
At the time it was a strange and frustrating experience, but in retrospect, when Lewis Black opened for my sketch group FEARSOME. Either that or performing live in front of 10,000 people.


What’s been your darkest moment as a comedian?
Being sternly lectured for going blue in an improv show at Six Flags Great Adventure. By a ten-year-old.


What is your favorite thing going on in comedy right now?
The blending of comedy. Improv, standup, video, sketch, monologists, etc. can all come together in one show and all art forms are accepted with relative equality. Sketch and standup are becoming like plays, musical acts are turning themselves into opera. Video is seamlessly screened during live shows. It’s a happy mash up.


What is the scariest thing going on in comedy right now?
That live sketch comedy is fading as short videos are far more cost effective and reach a greater audience. Short videos are great, of course, but I hope both video and live can coexist.


Who do you think is today’s most underappreciated comedian/comedy actor?
Just recently discovered the sketch group Murderfist. I’ve seen them twice and couldn’t stop laughing. To me they are like a smart version of NASCAR, extremely quick and seemingly out of control, with potential for imminent massive pileups, and I mean that as a compliment.


What’s the best advice you ever received as a comedian?
Keep doing it. You’re good at it.”


What’s the worst advice you ever received as a comedian?
Do what you do well, don’t worry about the business end, and people will discover your greatness and your fan base will grow organically until you are famous.”

award show

photo by Keith Huang


What is your craziest show experience?
Doing an improv show at a bar near the Hudson River during Fleet Week. Every suggestion from the audience was “take it off.” I think that was directed at the female group members, but I can’t be positive about that. Our two 45-minute sets quickly became one 20-minute set. Then we got drunk with the sailors.


What is the biggest source of your comedy?
Current events, definitely. Almost all of my plays stem from something in the news, very much like taking a word as a suggestion in improv and using it as a launching point toward something else, instead of just writing a parody of something. Current events push me off the diving board; how I choose to make a splash evolves on my way down. That’s deep.


How would you describe your comedy?
Quick. Surprising. Dark. Often verbose.


Quick Hitters

I would like to be known for…
writing dark, funny and smart plays, movies, sketch and television.

Shoot me if I ever…

quit.

I think most comedians are…
simultaneously overextended and underutilized.

The one thing I have never seen a comedian do, but would love to is…
hire me as a writer…once they get a project where they need a bunch of writers. I’m great in a room…or so I’m told.


My favorite comedy bit that I was not involved in is…
the majority of the Mr. Show and The State catalog. And let me take this time to say that “The Ten” is an amazingly hilarious movie.


My favorite comedy bit that I was involved in is…
any musical number performed by FEARSOME. But don’t ask me to make a Sophie’s Choice between Abby Go Dabby, Gun Grease, or Polyamory.


People often say they are attracted to a sense of humor. I think that is…
absolutely true. After all, I’m very funny and I have an extremely hot girlfriend. Conversely, my girlfriend is very funny and I am also ridiculously hot.


I would like to plug…

My playwriting: www.alexgoldberg.net

My sketch comedy: www.fearsomecomedy.com

My producing projects: www.ecnyawards.com and www.sketchfestnyc.com

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