Like a frat house overrun by drunk guys, various bodily functions and the perpetual stench of urine, comedian Rob Riggle's stand-up act is short on class and long on laughs. It is, in short, the American middle-class male's gift to the world of comedy. Riggle, best known for his work as a correspondent on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," returns to the network for "Comedy Central Presents Rob Riggle," which airs tonight.
Drawing his material largely from his own first-hand experiences, Riggle leaves behind the subject of politics -- which marked much of his tenure on the "Daily Show" -- for more universal targets. During his 30-minute act, he manages to cover awkward airline moments, familiar marriage woes and self-indulgent celebrities.
What emerges is a funny stand-up routine entirely without pretense or cultural one-upmanship. Carlin-esque at times, Riggle is at his best when he's delivering obscenity-packed missives about the s--- that annoys us all. His riff, for example, on the "unmistakable, incoherent blather that is Long Island-speak" is decisive and dead on. Riggle's unapologetic observations and his penchant for the occasional flatulence joke may be low-brow, but it certainly makes for great stand-up.
We caught up with the comedian for a brief chat about humor, humanity, and hummers:
Me: First, my brother wanted me to ask, 'Why are you so awesome?'
Rob: Crest White Strips and a vigorous regime of simulated crunches.
Me: He's a Guy's Guy; would you say that's your typical fan/audience?
Rob: Guy's guys are of course welcome! But my audience runs the spectrum of humanity. There's something for everyone!
Me: Tell me about developing your routine and landing this special.
Rob: Well, its stories that have happened to me in my life. It took about a year to develop. And I had been on the road doing it. Someone from Comedy Central came to see the act, I think when I was in New York, at Comics Comedy Club, and they generously offered me the gig.
Me: I noticed the special avoids politics as fodder, was that an intentional move away from politics and why?
Rob: No, I wouldn't say it was intentional... I just prefer real stories about my life. Also, politics makes me angry... the opposite of comedy.
Me: whose stand-up act do you like?
Rob: I remember watching Eddie Murphy's stand-up act when I was little, and just being mesmerized.
Me: You were a Marine-- how do you think your stand-up act would go over with the troops? Would you consider performing the act overseas?
Rob: I have performed for the troops... in Iraq! They loved it! I loved it... It's all good!
Me: So, as a stand up-comic how do you feel about using a laugh track on "Gary Unmarried"?
Rob: (Laughs) When I was there, it was always a live studio audience. Anything else they added in post-production, I don't know about.
Me: Speaking of shows, are you still in touch with your "Daily Show" cohorts?
Rob: Of course. Love those guys. Myself, John Oliver, Rory Albanese and bunch of other guys from the show performed at Bonnaroo this summer. We're talking about getting a big group together again.
Me: Finally, does the end of the Hummer brand mark the final pussifcation of America?
Rob: No more Hummers? What's next... they gonna take steroids out of baseball???
"Comedy Central Presents: Rob Riggle" premieres tonight at 11pm on Comedy Central.