By Sean Joyce
This Friday Jared Logan and Max Silvestri are co-headlining the mainstage at the Black Cat. I have been given the honor of hosting the show as well as interviewing Jared and Max. If you don’t know them, Jared has his own Comedy Central special, is a cast member on Best Week Ever, and has appeared on The Pete Holmes Show, @Midnight, and The Meltdown. Max has been seen on VH1, the History Channel, and Fuse and will host the forthcoming FYI network series The Feed, with Top Chef’s Gail Simmons and Marcus Samuelsson. I got them on a conference call and here is what happened.
Sean Joyce: Hey, Max. I have Jared on the line.
Max Silvestri: Hi, Jared. It’s Max Silvestri.
Jared Logan: Max! Hey! Good to hear from you.
MS: Good to hear from you as well. Good to hear your voice.
JL: [Laughs] That’s always a nice thing to hear.
MS: [Laughs] It’s been too long.
JL: That’s such a lovely old lady thing to say.
MS: [Laughs] Just sitting around in a quiet assisted living home. So overjoyed to hear the phone ring.
JL: It’s nice to hear your voice. It’s nice to hear voices. It’s nice for anyone to talk to me.
MS: [Laughs] Except orderlies. It’s nice to hear your non-orderly voice.
JL: So, what’s up, Sean?
SJ: Oh not much. So you guys both live in New York?
MS: We do. Though I live Brooklyn and Jared lives in Manhattan. And that is a huge cultural divide that separates us.
JL: That’s why we’re such an odd couple.
MS: So it will be a little something for everybody at this show.
JL: Max’s blue collar ramblings and my cosmopolitan punchlines.
SJ: [Laughs] Is this the first time you guys are co-headlining a show?
JL: We do a lot of shows together in town, but this is the first one we’re co-headline out of town.
MS: This is something Jared and I had wanted to do for a while. We are friends and peers. And I admire him in comedy a lot, and we get along so well, we thought it would be fun.
JL: I ditto Max’s words and then double my respect and admiration.
MS: Now I come off like the jerk.
JL: The lede of this interview is going to be like, Jared likes Max twice as much as Max likes him. We’re going to break down the math on the Max and Jared relationship.
MS: We’re not doing individual sets. We’ll have two mics up there and just indulge each other for an hour and half. And talk through what we love about one another and why we think we’re great.
JL: I have seen worse shows. I would watch that.
SJ: [Laughs] Jared, you often go on the road with your fiancee, Kara Klenk, who is also a comedian. How will it be different with Max?
JL: Well I like to call Max my male fiancee.
MS: [Laughs] We’re going to sleep head to toe on top of one another. A lot of people say it’s like a sixty-nine, but it’s not – cause we’re just sleeping.
JL: You know, Kara loves to go on the road with me. But she also likes to get rid of me sometimes.
SJ: That’s understandable.
JL: Just for a day or two. It’s hard to be without me for longer than a day or two.
SJ: [Laughs] You guys both recorded albums recently. Max, yours is out and is called King Piglet. But you seem very fit and put together. You don’t seem pig-like at all.
MS: I appreciate that. Make sure to print that I appreciate what you just said. I’ve been 30 pounds heavier. It’s a constant struggle. My ideal life is to just gorge and be lazy. I fight against those impulses. I’m unhappy and filled with shame all the time. And the album title refers to that ideal state that I have fight against.
JL: And he is going to bring that hilarity to you DC! All the shame and unhappiness.
MS: I’m actually happy all time, but things are very shame-based.
SJ: [Laughs] And, Jared, when is your album coming out?
JL: Our tentative release date is October 14th.
MS: I’m excited.
SJ: Does it have a title yet?
JL: It’s called My Brave Battle. It’s sarcastic. I hope people get that. It’s based on a Larry King autobiography called My Remarkable Journey. I thought that’s a way to name your own fucking story.
SJ: Max, you are going to be hosting a show called The Feed on the FYI Network.
MS: Yeah, it premieres in late August.
SJ: Does being on a show about food make sense for a comedian?
MS: I don’t know if it normally would, but for this show it certainly did. It’s kind of like Top Gear, that car show, but about food. In the sense that they have three hosts with very different perspectives on food. And mine is just kind of an amateur enthusiast, outsider, voice of the people – there for comic relief. Like I have no special skills with food other than being really good at digesting it. But I just try to be myself and make fun of the other two people for taking it so seriously. I think it’s really funny, and I can’t wait for people to see it.
JL: I want to get in on this topic too. And that’s just to say, comedy makes everything better.
MS: Yeah, I think luckily with this show I think they realized that food does not have to be precious or taken very seriously.
JL: Everything needs a little comedy.
MS: Except music. Music should always be taken seriously.
JL: No, you’re right. It’s sacred. Especially pop.
SJ: [Laughs] Jared, you have a great webseries called Don’t You Think?
JL: Yeah I have a webseries. Max has a TV show.
MS: [Laughs] I’d like to be on the record that I twice as much admire Jared’s webseries as he admires my TV show. And you’re in total control of your webseries.
JL: And, Max, that’s why I decided to do it on the web. It’s for total creative control.
MS: You had the paperwork in front of you.
JL: [Laughs] They were like, “sign away your future.” And I was like, “no way, man. I’m doing this my way.”
MS: Your production company is called Old Blue Eyes.
JL: It’s got a little cartoon of Sinatra.
SJ: [Laughs] I will say this, it is honestly one of my favorite things on the internet. I recommend it to people all the time.
JL: Thank you.
MS: It’s so funny.
SJ: Are you planning on doing more of those?
JL: Yeah. I’m shooting something this weekend that is different that I don’t want to talk about yet. But we’re going to do more of the Don’t You Think’s as well. I want to do them in LA with a different group of guests.
SJ: You guys both run shows in New York. Well, Jared, would you say you run If You Build It or help run it?
JL: Kara would say that I am helpful in certain ways. [Laughs] Kara is so smart and organized, in addition to being really funny. But I host a lot and I’m on it a lot. So yeah.
SJ: And, Max, you have a weekly show in New York called Big Terrific?
MS: Yeah I’ve done it for about six years. I started it with Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman. But they moved to LA, so now it’s just me. But I have guest hosts all the time. Jared hosted two weeks ago.
JL: Max’s show is the best show in the city. And I’ve only said that about two or three other shows.
MS: I appreciate that. And I’ll say, the crowds are what they are in New York, but they’re nothing compared to what I’ve heard of the crowds in DC. Just so excited to get in front of them.
JL: Good-looking I’ve heard, the crowds in DC.
MS: I’m going to make sure the house lights are on during my entire set, so I can just stare everybody down.
JL: Give them some nice long looks.
SJ: [Laughs] Well, I think it’s going to be a great show. I’m looking forward to performing with both of you. Thanks for taking the time to talk.
JL: Thanks, Sean.
MS: Thank you.