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Comedian Todd Glass Loves DC Improv, Wants To Know If The President Eats Sandwiches In The Middle Of The Night

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TODD GLASS
Todd Glass headlines his favorite comedy club this weekend | Courtesy of DC Improv

WASHINGTON -- Todd Glass knows a thing or two about comedy. Touring since he was a teenager, Glass has been a stand-up comedian people who love stand-up love. In the last year, a brighter spotlight has shone on the comic, who appears this weekend at one of his favorite clubs, DC Improv.

Glass' 2012 was newsworthy. He started the year famously coming out on Marc Maron's "WTF" podcast. Appearances on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," "Tosh.0" and "The Burn" exposed him to larger television audiences. A majority of the year was spent opening for Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, Daniel Tosh and Jim Gaffigan in large theaters.

Last fall, Glass, 48, released a stand-up special on Netflix. He continues to explore being silly with his own podcast, "The Todd Glass Show", available weekly on the Nerdist Network.

HuffPost spoke with the Philadelphia-bred, L.A.-based performer about his life as a comic and why he likes performing in the nation's capital.

The Huffington Post: A lot of people have found you through podcasting. Do you find that your audience is comprised of fans of yours or is the crowd made up of people that just want to go to a comedy show?

Todd Glass: Hopefully as you grow in your career, it changes and becomes the audience that has come to see you because of the podcast or Letterman. The audience that comes out because of the podcast, they're unbelievable. They have a silly sense of humor. They're kind people. They make for a great audience.

HuffPost: How is opening for Louis C.K. and Sarah Silverman?

Glass: Those audiences are always really nice, whether it's Louis' or Sarah's or Jim Gaffigan's. This year there's definitely a difference. Some of the audience knows me from Tosh.0 or "The Burn" or "Comedy Bang Bang." Social media, there was a period where people wondering how much Twitter was doing, there's no doubt what it's doing. To do Conan or Letterman or Kimmel is great, but the podcast audience is very specific, they're the type of audience that will come out for the show. It makes you feel good. In a perfect world, if I was a centered person, I wouldn't need it, but I need it.

HuffPost: Your role in the film "I Am Comic" seemed to take over the film. You talked a lot about how comedy clubs should be set up. Why do you like the DC Improv?

Glass: It amazes me how simple it is and how many people just don't f***ing get it. I bring up places like the DC Improv because it's not a fancy, lavish place, so why do all the comedians love it? I was talking to another comedy club owner and he asked me what clubs I like. I said, 'your club.' He said, 'no, give me your favorite club.' I said, 'the DC Improv.' He said it affectionately but said, 'I'm tired about hearing about the f***ing DC Improv.' I went inward and I thought, 'you f***ing idiot. You have a club that is grandiose, probably a $5 million dollar club and you're tired of hearing about the DC Improv. It's obviously not about their grandiose theme or the leather couches in the lobby or the plasma screens. Why, instead of telling me you're tired of hearing it, aren't you on a f***ing plane?' Why wouldn't you do that? I don't know.

HuffPost: You enjoy it as a performer. Why is it better for the audience?

Glass: If it's good for the comedians, it's always going to be good for the audience. They have their reputation because it's good for both parties.

On a daily basis, you're going to have to make decisions. Let's say somebody is sitting in the front row and it's five minutes until showtime. Creative decision: Do we serve them dinner? Salad, an appetizer, then soup and then the thing and then the big tray comes out. DC Improv is the type of club that will say, 'You know, I'm so sorry, we're about five minutes from showtime, can we move you back three rows?' Now, they may lose $78 on food, but at the end of the year, they make money. They constantly do little things like that.

HuffPost: What about rooms that aren't comedy clubs? What should they be doing if they're not going to have comedy seven days a week?

Glass: You can always make a shabby room cool. You can buy two clamp-on lights and an extension cord with built-in dimmer switches. Dark room, stage lit, it doesn't get simpler than that.

People, for some reason, put up with so much at a comedy club that they wouldn't put up with in a movie theater. If a side door opened and light came in 13 times in a two-hour movie, there's no doubt you'd be talking to a manager. That's a common occurrence at most comedy clubs. I always want to say to people that are running a club, it doesn't have to be fancy, but the simple things, dark room, light stage, as little interference as possible.

HuffPost: Will you alter your material for D.C. crowds?

Glass: I don't really do political comedy, but I was able to go to the White House and I'll talk about that.

HuffPost: Which administration?

Glass: A long time ago.

HuffPost: Bush? Clinton?

Glass: It was probably Clinton.

HuffPost: Do you not remember or are you playing coy?

Glass: No, no, I don't actually remember.

HuffPost: That means you're living an exciting life, when you visit the White House and don't remember the president. When was it?

Glass: It was 20 years ago.

HuffPost: So that was Clinton.

Glass: OK, yeah. That's embarrassing. Well, I wasn't really interested in politics. There was a stoner sound man that worked at the Improv and somebody with him got us in. The sound guy asked a bunch of questions and people thought they were stupid questions, but I was loving it. They were great questions. 'Does the president ever wake up in the middle of the night and want a sandwich?'

HuffPost: That's a good question.

Glass: That's a great question! They answered him. There was a good answer. When everyone was trying to shush him up, I was shushing them up. I think that's a good question and he does.

HuffPost: So he has a private kitchen.

Glass: He does. So he doesn't have to get the staff or something.

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