Interview: Comedian Myq Kaplan

Editor Josh Atlas, Interview, April 19th, 2013

"In conclusion, I am nailing it right now."

comedian myq kaplan

Nailed Magazine conducted a series of interviews with comedians for the 2013 Bridgetown Comedy Fest in Portland, Oregon.

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NAILED: How did “Myq” start? Family name?

MYQ KAPLAN: Exactly. I come from a long line of people who made up names. (As does everyone, what with all names being made up.) Sincerely though, I was a teenager when Prince changed his name to a symbol and I was inspired by his being a weirdo to be a similar kind of one. Then he changed back and left me alone in the weird wilderness (weirlderness?), after which many years passed and I was rewarded with easier google-ability.

NAILED: Your jokes have an intense dedication to wordplay. Do you try and write specific bits off-stage or do are you able to find the puns as you work off notes? … Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?

MYQ KAPLAN: To start with, you’re welcome to check out this article, which covers the topic a bit.

I wouldn’t say that I’m dedicated to wordplay, intensely or otherwise. It’s something that just happens in my head, and if people knew the sheer quantity that I WASN’T sharing with everyone outside of my mind, they’d be grateful. So, I don’t sit down every morning with a pad like “what are we going to do today, brain? the same thing we do every day, pun-ky…” My writing process in general doesn’t involve a lot of sitting down to create for a certain number of hours or pages per day or anything like that. I carry around a digital recorder, and when ideas come, I record them digitally. Then I listen back later, transcribe them into a notebook, and bring the (hopefully) worthwhile ones to the stage. I then record my sets and listen back for any riffs or new ideas that came up in the moment, and put those into the recorder-notebook cycle, which builds on itself forever until I’m dead, probably. So, sometimes things come to me while on stage, and sometimes they come to me while off stage, but it’s almost always the product of the spark of a moment, and not usually conscious motivation.

NAILED: Now that they’ve announced that Fallon is taking over for Leno, is comedy over?

MYQ KAPLAN: This doesn’t seem like a real question. I think you’re making a joke. Which is usually what my role would be. So since you’re being the comedian here, I’ll be the journalist. Let me ask you a question: why did you decide to have us switch roles for this question?

NAILED: I just got sad for 30 seconds. I’m fine now. Whose shows are you looking forward to checking out at the Bridgetown Comedy festival in Portland this year?

MYQ KAPLAN: I always love experiencing Reggie Watts. I’ve never seen Peter Serafinowicz or Megan Amram but I love their tweets and have heard good things about the rest of their beings as well. I’m excited to share a podcast stage with Gallagher, and to have Moshe Kasher and Laura Kightlinger as guests on mine. I always love seeing friends like Zach Sherwin and Baron Vaughn and Chris Fairbanks and Matt Knudsen and David Huntsberger and Todd Glass and Shane Mauss and Ken Reid and Kate Berlant.

NAILED: What do you have coming up in the next few months?

MYQ KAPLAN: Sometime this summer, I’ll have a new Comedy Central Records album out, entitled “Meat Robot.” I also just recorded my first hour special which will be available for looking at (and listening to) at some point later, possibly more than a few months (sorry to get your hopes up too soon and the question wrong). I will also be doing a lot of standup shows in different places (you can look at my schedule at My podcast “Hang Out With Me” is ongoing in any place. And this weekend I’ll be at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Unless you’re reading this after this weekend. Oh, time. Why can’t we perceive you all at once!

NAILED: When was the last time you nailed it?

MYQ KAPLAN: Every moment of every day. Or no moment of no days. Or neither or both. Or neither AND both. In conclusion, I am nailing it right now.

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Myq Kaplan is a comedian named Myq Kaplan (pronounced “Mike”). He is a 2010 Last Comic Standing Finalist and has appeared on the Tonight Show, the Late Show with David Letterman, Comedy Central Presents, Conan, and many other places that you might not care about. His CD, Vegan Mind Meld, was one of iTunes’ top ten best-selling comedy albums in 2010.

The Comedians magazine calls him “a comedy machine, in the best possible way. the way that some machines vend soda or prevent other machines from killing future revolutionaries – that’s how Myq Kaplan does comedy: relentlessly, methodically, unblinkingly.”

This interview was conducted during Portland’s annual Bridgetown Comedy Fest, which takes place on the weekend of April 18 – 21, 2013. Click here for information on shows that feature Myq Kaplan during the 2013 festival. [Photo Via: Serial Optimist]


Josh Atlas

Josh Atlas was born in 1983 and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey. He attended Carnegie Mellon University, where he focused on performance and video art. Since that time, he has focused on integrating comedy and art. Atlas has branched out into sculpture, drawing, and photography to explore the funnier side of desire. He has exhibited at Arte Portugal 10 (Lisbon), HiChristina (Brooklyn), MonkeyTown (Brooklyn), and NTBA Gallery (Los Angeles) and participated in benefit auctions for Equality California and the Red Cross. Josh Atlas lives and works in Los Angeles. Learn more about him at his official website.