Interview with Steve Gerben

Helium:  What made you decide to start performing stand-up?
Steve Gerben:  I was a narcissist and convinced that I was funny.

H:  When did you start taking interest in comedy?  Was it just stand-up?
SG:  I always loved watching stand-up when I was young. I used to do Lewis Black bits at the cafeteria table in high school; it felt great getting laughs.

H:  Where do you get ideas for your material?
SG:  It’s a combination of personal experiences and observations.

H: Who are you favorite comedians?  Do you ever get inspiration from them?
SG: I think every comic has multiple favorite comedians for different reasons. As a story-teller, the headliner this week– Christopher Titus had a huge influence on me. Cosby as well.

H: What is your favorite show that you’ve ever done?  Why?
SG: I did one show when I was hosting the Philly’s Phunniest Person Competition in which I actually did decent crowd work. It was the first and last time. My friend who was taping the show was laughing in astonishment that I was able to produce a witty retort and accidentally dropped the camera ruining the footage. I’m not saying he did it, but ask Dave Walk.

H: Do you have any advice for people that want to be comedians?
SG: You’ve just got to keep doing it and doing it. I think being a good comedian is about the right combination of resolve, professionalism, and talent. 

H: Has there been any point in time that you have thought about stopping?
SG: Yes.

H: What makes you continue?
SG: I stabilized myself financially and all my friends are comics.

H:  What is the writing process like for you; going from having a funny idea, to telling an actual joke?
SG:  Because I’m more of a story-teller I usually test the story out on some close friends and then go through the unbridled terror of trying it on stage.

H: What is your ultimate goal in comedy?
SG: I don’t know my ultimate goal, but my short term goal is to put a solid thirty minutes together so I can travel and perform.