A conversation with Brooks McBeth
September 2, 2008 · Updated 10:29 AM
Brooks McBeth’s dad Bob is a retired judge and his mom Kathy a retired teacher. Brooks is neither. He’s a comedian.
“Being the son of a judge and a teacher, I found that comedy was a good way to go,” McBeth said during a recent phone conversation.
McBeth, 35, graduated from Lindbergh High School in 1991 and then “University of Green River Community College.” He soon headed to Hollywood, where he has lived for about 10 years.
McBeth returns to Renton Saturday night for a comedy show at DC’s Bar and Grill.
McBeth has headlined Seattle Comedy Underground, but Saturday will be his first Renton gig.
“I am so excited to come up to Renton and kick some ass and have fun,” McBeth says. “You know when you’re a young child and you make a list of things you hope to accomplish? This has got to be right up there.”
Below, Brooks shares his greatest hopes and fears, and some other stuff.
What has he done since leaving Renton?
McBeth has written material for “Mad TV,” “Almost Live,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn,” the Comedy Central shows “Con” and “Trigger Happy TV,” and the Cartoon Network shows “Hi Hi Puffy AmiUmi” and “Cartoon Fridays.”
For Mad TV he wrote Snoop Dogg and Suge Knight sketches and created the Special olympian character Patrick, inspired by his wife Debbie’s work with the Special Olympics.
McBeth also does voice and commercial work. He’s the voice of a few characters in Jack Black’s new video game “Brutal Legend,” starring a hair-band-fighting roadie.
Commercials help pay the bills, and McBeth has done his fair share. He recently spent 10 hours with a guinea pig as the new Sear’s repair man. He’s also the nose-hair guy for Norelco. (He sports fake nose hair). He’s also done spots for Bud Light, Hewlett Packard, Progressive Auto Insurance and Tostitos, plus voices for McDonald’s, Redhook and Wal-Mart.
McBeth has also been nominated for a couple Writer’s Guild awards along the way.
Most famous person he’s rubbed shoulders with?
“Snoop Dogg. If I ever get shot by a gangster rapper, that’s who I want to get shot by. He’s one of the nicest guys.”
His biggest influence?
Joe McHale, who he worked with on “Almost Live” and who is now host of “The Soup” on E! Entertainment Television. And Pat Cashman.
How he got his start
“Probably in high school. I found out (performing) is the only usable skill I have, if it’s even usable. I love performing.
“Very briefly I did drama, and very briefly rap music. I was just a loud, strange fella. My mom and dad are very supportive of me now, but it’s got to be tough being the parents of a wild child.”
Are his parents coming to his show?
“They are not. They have a tough time with some of the material.”
But he is trying to convince his mom and dad to be his show’s opening act.
What’s the material?
“Politically incorrect. It’s slacker guy meets trying to mature and just not trying to mature all that much.
“I talk about drinking, I talk about sex, I talk about marriage, I talk about financial situations, physical appearance, anything you want to talk about.
“I say a lot of words that are very offensive at times, so small children are very welcome.”
Other possible subjects: His wife, Debbie, who he met during a traveling beer festival, married life, the term “prostrate massages,” losing the Sonics and “the big city of Enumclaw” (the hometown of his mom’s side of the family).
“I’m just going to be riffing most of the night, which I think is the most fun. A lot of shows they say, ‘Be quiet, don’t talk back to the comedian.’ I want people to yell back whatever they want to talk about.”
Are you happy?
“I am very happy with where I am. The area to improve on in my career is vast and huge, and I am looking forward to it, but I am really happy with my life. I’m sitting out here on the patio with my two rescue dogs, Buddy and Buster, terriers of some sort.
“I will never need to be a Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler, or something like that. As long as I can be creative and make a decent living, I’m absolutely thrilled.”
“I would like to be in a sitcom in the next few years, and just keep doing independent comedy. And I’m trying to lose weight.”
Advice for aspiring comics?
“If I could go back I would have gone to a performing school of some sort ... In places like Hollywood, there aren’t a lot of skillful people, there’s just a lot of people. Definitely go out there, but also, hey, you might not be Tom Cruise, you may not be a leading man, but you there are still fantastic places you can be to still really be the class clown.
“People always, ‘yeah you’re no Jim Carrey, but keep working.’ You don’t have to be Jim Carrey. I need to make a good living, be creative and pay my mortgage — and feed my dogs.”
Brooks McBeth performs with special guest Adam Norwest at DC’s Bar and Grill Sept. 6 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $8. The show is expected to sell out. Call 425-255-2511 to reserve a ticket. DC’s is at 907 S. Third St. in Renton. McBeth will also open for Joe McHale Nov. 28 at The Moore Theatre in Seattle.
Also check out McBeth at www.myspace.com/brooksthecomedian. Many of his commercials are also on YouTube.