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Comedian Ron Funches Sounds Off on Joe Rogan, Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K.

Comedian Ron Funches Sounds Off on Joe Rogan, Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K.

I like you so much, you’re the only interview I’ve done in the last few days where I’m not playing video games at the same time,” Ron Funches tells me on this bonus episode of The Last Laugh podcast, letting out one of his signature belly laughs. 

The exceptional stand-up comedian was our third guest on the podcast all the way back in April of last year when he was promoting his first big hour-long special for Comedy Central called Giggle Fit, in which he talked about how losing 140 pounds transformed both his body and his comedy mind. 

In the first months of the coronavirus lockdown, Funches admits that he was “depressed for a little bit, overeating for a little bit.” But now he’s “buckled down” and has a new hour of material ready to go. Since he can’t pack an audience into a theater, he’s decided to perform his new material, Awakening, as a live-stream YouTube special on the night of Sept. 5.

He hopes the show will be the “best of both worlds” with a small, socially-distanced audience of about 10 fans along with a much larger group of people watching online. “I’ve performed for much less than 10 people before,” he says. “So I feel like it’s probably going to be my biggest show of the year!”  

In addition to the special and some animation voiceover work that has been “saving his life” when he can’t be on the road, this coming Monday marks the premiere of his new comedy game show Nice One! on Quibi. It’s kind of like @midnight meets Roast Battle but where the comedian contestants are only allowed to make positive jokes. 

I get to showcase my friends and do the style of humor I’ve always been doing and then force my friends to do it,” Funches explains. “My entire style is finding the positive in a negative and it was fun to watch my friends try to write that way too.” 

With so many young comedians out of work right now, Funches says he tries to remember how “blessed” he is all the time. “Not that I ever saw this coming, but there was a true hecticness to my work ethic of like, I can’t be on the fringe anymore,” he says. “I know that life. I used to be on food stamps. I used to be on public housing and those are the people who get hurt the most, the quickest.” 

As for the future of stand-up comedy, with packed theaters full of laughing fans, he adds, “I’m hopeful, but I try to stay realistic.”

Below is an edited and condensed excerpt from our conversation and you can listen to the whole thing right now by subscribing to The Last Laugh on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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