What's Your Weekend: Orny Adams

Photo courtesy Orny Adams

It's not hard to find Orny Adams, the longtime stand up comedian. He's been a staple on the stand up circuit for more than ten years, and he landed a role in Jerry Seinfeld's 2002 documentary Comedian, where he played the hungry up-and-comer to Jerry's established performer. Since then, Adams has continued to work just about any room that will book him, from road gigs to club engagements and plenty of alternative shows around Los Angeles. Now he can be seen as Coach Finstock on MTV's Teen Wolf, and his new podcast My Crappy Week details the small things in life that drive him crazy.

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KCET caught up with Adams to talk about what it's like to devote yourself to comedy, and what it means to start your own podcast. Plus, Adams lets us all know who his true friends are.

KCET: First of all, what's it like to be a working comedian with more than a decade in the stand up comedy racket?

Orny Adams: Decade? This dream has been dragging for more than 18 years. My advice is to have a dream with an expiration date. Like Olympic athletes. That way you know by a young age whether to move on or not. I'm partially kidding. I'm very fortunate to have been working my entire adult life in a field I love and have passion for.

KCET: You're probably best known as the non-Jerry Seinfeld half of the documentary Comedian. That's a big break, although I'm sure you're still working just as hard as ever.

Orny Adams: It's nice to be recognized for hard work. I would say nothing has changed. I love working. Maybe too much. My life and my comedy would benefit from more balance though. And it would certainly make my mom happier. But I've never been overly social. I'm down to three friends. Two I don't even like. One I'm keeping just in case I need a kidney some day. I have a friend for parts. However, I do feel more connected to people these days because of technology. Although many of them are crazy. If the internet has taught us anything it's that half this planet should be medicated. And by that I mean euthanized. We need to weed some of these people out. And I feel bad for all the kids growing up. I suspected I was a loser in high school-- now-a-days it would be digitally confirmed. What was the question again? Something about hard work...

KCET: What's it like to transition from the road to playing Coach Bobby Finstock on MTV's name-only remake of Teen Wolf?

Orny Adams: Again I am very fortunate to have the duality of my career right now. And I love both of them. It's a transition worth making. I fly from hot weather to cold weather all the time. If I can handle that transition... that makes no sense. Acting on this level is new to me. And I find it very gratifying. It's just stretching another muscle. Am I talking in too many cliches? If I am, just stop me. The cast and everyone associated with Teen Wolf are so caring and supportive. It's a fun show to work on. We get together and watch all episodes together. And now I have 13 year old fans! But stand-up is my first love. When I'm done shooting, which are very constricted conditions for a stand up, I try and get up on stage ASAP as a cleansing.

KCET: And now you've jumped into the podcast arena with My Crappy Week. What made you decide to transition into podcasting?

Orny Adams: I guess there is no end to my need to be heard. What happened, I started going on different podcasts and really enjoyed how I could move within this space. It was interesting. No commercials. No rules. Long form conversations. And then I hooked up with Hahajk and they had what I wanted. A studio, staff, and an outlet. My Crappy Week is supposed to mirror all the phone conversations I have daily with my friends. There is NO end to the "crappiness" (Is that a word? It is now.) Last week my HP printer broke and the first question customer service asked me, "May I ask what you're using your printer for?" "I use it to make pancakes. Is that the problem. The pancakes aren't cooking fast enough. Sometimes I use it to iron. I put my shirt under the flatbed and hit scan. Still wrinkled. Am I not using it right?" This is everyday for me. This is what My Crappy Week is about... all the little things that go wrong in life everyday.

KCET: So what's coming up for you this weekend, and where can we see you around L.A. soon?

Orny Adams: I'll be headlining at The Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, CA Thursday December 27th. Fresh of Christmas. Bring me your Christmas tree and I'll give you a free Orny Adams DVD or T-shirt. But not both. And when I'm not in L.A. you can hear my Podcast on HAHAJK.

For more weekly events visit kcet.org/events.

About the Author

Farley Elliott is a freelance food writer and comedian. He currently writes for KCET.org, SeriousEats.com, LAist.com, and L.A. Weekly. You can catch Farley doing comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood.
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