Just for Laughs’ The Nasty Show is a fucked up free-for-all. At this year’s run of festival shows, no topic was off the table — its six comedians dug deep to cultivate the most repugnant subject matter possible for their sets.
Unequivocally, Andrew Schulz, who performed at this year’s Nasty Show as well as the Anthony Jeselnik Gala, was the filthiest of the litter. The comic’s approach echoes the essence of a younger and even somehow less politically correct Dave Chappelle. His acute observational abilities make it difficult for his onstage essence to be duplicated.
Unlike many others in the field, the 35-year-old comedian has seldom ventured into the realm of film and television, opting to hone in on the live market almost exclusively. His aspirations have succeeded — Schulz was YouTube’s most viewed comic of 2018.
Off-stage, Schulz is best known for his podcast The Brilliant Idiots, which he hosts alongside hip hop radio heavyweight Charlamagne tha God. The series finds the two conversing loosely about current affairs of all kinds. The pair complement each other with their unapologetic lack of discretion, no matter how controversial the topic.
Ahead of one of his Nasty Show performances, I caught up with the show-stealer for an all-encompassing conversation:
Mr. Wavvy: This is your third time playing Just for Laughs. What have you learned in your past experiences here that are going to help you this time around?
Andrew Schulz: Don’t give a fuck about it, just have fun. Comics get so concerned that this is going to make or break them. It’s not the ’80s — all this is going to do is provide you with an amazing time and you can take advantage of that. If you do, I think you have the most fun. If you don’t, then every set, you’re wondering if you killed it or not. You’re going to have good sets, you’re going to have bad sets, that’s what it is.
MW: You’re big in the podcast game. Someone I had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with was one of your OGs, the late Reggie “Combat Jack” Ossé. What are some of your memories with him?
AS: Oh, Reggie man. We used to have great debates on the podcast back in the day, on Brilliant Idiots and even outside of that. RIP Reggie. He’s definitely a guy who inspired a lot of people to do podcasting and pushed the hip hop demographic into podcasting.
MW: He was so interesting because unlike so many of his peers, he wasn’t someone who kept up with the day-to-day happenings within hip hop; he found a strong following in creating his own truth.
AS: For sure.
MW: As a white person within hip hop culture, what do you feel is important in terms of navigating as an outsider of the culture?
AS: I don’t really consider like that at all. I don’t operate as like a “white male.” My name is Andrew Schulz and I operate like that. Like, if you know me, you know that I will probably get in trouble for not doing that. But I refuse to, I think it’s stupid because it shows a lack of respect for the people you’re talking to. If I talk to you differently because of the way you look, it means I don’t respect you. If I respect you, I’ll talk to you the same way I talk to anyone else.
MW: I feel like that’s what works about you and Charlemagne tha God’s dynamic, you’re both very straight-forward.
AS: We’re friends. To anyone that doesn’t know us, it’s two friends that just argue about shit.
MW: What are some of your favourite albums of the year?
AS: I don’t even care about music like that, I’ll be honest with you. That’s the thing — I’m “hip-hop adjacent.” People say I’m in [the culture] because they see me do the show with Charlamagne, but we barely talk about hip hop. I’m the last person to tell you I’m a hip hop head. I listen to Top 40, Ed Sheeran, Lil Nas X, all that!
MW: What’s next for you?
AS: I’m on the Matador Tour, hitting Russia, Australia. Imma keep it running, man.
MW: Last question: what is the meaning of life?
AS: That’s a heavy one, dog! You’re basically going to distract yourself until you die. And it’s the type of distraction you choose that determines how happy or sad you are. So the meaning of life is choosing a distraction that makes you happy. ■