Looking for oodles of laughs instead of pumpkin patches and spiced lattes? The world’s most epic comedy tour, The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival, returns to the Bay Area for the third consecutive year on Tuesday, October 13. The festival takes places at Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheater, headlined by stand-up heavyweights Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and Jeff Ross.
The tour, presented by comedy video website and production company Funny Or Die and entertainment conglomerate Live Nation, kicked off in late August and will eventually hit 18 cities in total before it wraps up later this month. The talent lineup for each city has been unique, but in addition to Schumer, Ansari and Ross, other comedians scheduled to perform in Mountain View include Anthony Jeselnik, Bridget Everett, Donnell Rawlings, John Mulaney, Sebastian Maniscalco, and T.J. Miller. Tickets are still available for purchase through Live Nation. For more information, visit the festival’s website.
Festival organizers have teamed up once again with REDD’S Apple Ale, who this year have upped their involvement by sponsoring a second stage hosted by Big Jay Oakerson to highlight local and emerging comedic talent in each city, including the Bay Area. Also, for the first time, Southern Comfort has joined Oddball and will be offering VIP contest experiences, an engaging interactive lounge and a signature Oddball cocktail at each festival stop.
Live Nation’s Comedy President Geof Wills pumped up the event, proclaiming, “Oddball 2015 is going to go down as one of the most incredible slate of comedy talent ever amassed for a national concert tour. We are thrilled that Aziz and Amy have agreed to anchor what is going to be an amazing night of entertainment for comedy fans.”
To preview the festival, we interviewed roast master Jeff Ross to ask about his comedic approach, his involvement with Oddball Comedy, and his advice for aspiring comedians.
Which comedians did you grow up admiring?
I loved the rock star comics…The Blues Brothers, Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, Cheech and Chong…I didn’t even realize they were comics…I listed to their albums along with Kiss and Zeppelin. That’s why I love the Oddball Tour shows…we are outside in giant venues rocking out for thousands of people at once like comedic rock stars. It’s too fun. I don’t want it to end.
Are there any topics that are off-limits for you in terms of comedy?
Nothing is off limits. The world is in flux and life is tough for so many people. Laughter gets us through even our darkest days.
What is your preferred medium for delivering jokes: stand-up, movies or television?
How did you get involved with the Oddball Comedy Festival?
They reached out to me to host the first summer…when Flight of The Conchords and Dave Chappelle were headlining. I’ve hosted all three years. I love it because I love being on the road with other comics. So often comics are out there in strange cities by themselves…but in unity there is strength, companionship and lots of alcohol.
What has been the most memorable reaction to one of your jokes?
I roasted Crusty The Clown on The Simpsons once. He was not a good sport. He almost committed suicide afterwards.
When was the last time you visited San Francisco?
I love SF. I try to make it up to Cobb’s Comedy Club at least once a year. I also performed at Outside Lands a couple summers ago. It’s an epic city that never runs out of energy and stuff to see. It’s a great people watching town – which helps me keep my speed-roasting skills sharp.
If you could roast anyone, who would it be and why?
Hitler would have been a good roast… finally a Jew roasting a German for once.
Where has been the strangest or most unique place you’ve been able to make people laugh?
I’m always funny in hospital rooms for some reason. The sicker the person the funnier I am.
What advice do you have for up-and-coming comedians?
Get on stage every night even if it’s only two people in the crowd and one of them is sleeping and the other is drunk. Enjoy the process!