Ian Edwards‘ debut album comes out today on Team Coco Records. The stand up veteran, sitcom writer (2 Broke Girls) and podcast host (The Preposterous Sessions) has been going at things half-assed (his words, not ours) yet 100% Half-Assed now exists. We spoke with Edwards about the album, jumping ship on sitcoms and a decent reason to visit TMZ.com.
Ian Edwards: [commercial plays in the background] I’m just trying to shut it… Okay.
Brightest Young Things: I understand completely.
You know when you load something, and it doesn’t work right away, and you forget you loaded it, and then it starts playing?
What were you loading?
Uh, just some dispatcher that took the call when Maya Angelou called. I just read a link that she was complaining about Oprah.
Yeah, so I was like, “I gotta see it on TMZ.”
Ah, I will watch that once we’re done.
Congratulations on the album.
Oh, thanks man. I appreciate it.
It’s gotta be kind of weird to be on the Conan label.
Nah, I think it’s kind of perfect, you know?
How is it kind of perfect?
I was looking to do an album. I think a lot of comics do albums and they’re good albums, but they just sink quietly into the night, and nobody really knows about them. But you know Conan – this gets the attention that I would love it to get.
How is 2 Broke Girls going?
It’s cool, but I think I might do another show this year called Blackish.
How is TV writing versus standup writing?
Some people say that I write in sketch. Like my standup, some of the jokes, they’re sort of in sketch. So that’s where it translates. Cause you know, what’s a sitcom? Just a longer sketch. A 22-minute sketch, with commercials in between. Just a half an hour. So you just have to put that joke out there, you go in on one joke and make it into like an 18 minute story, a 5 minute different story. So I think that’s what helps me with writing on TV.
How long did it take you to craft the album?
It’s just material I’ve been doing for a few years. And then I’ve never done an album, and that’s embarrassing to me. It’s like, well, at least put an album out. Like I’ve never done a comedy sketch on Showtime or Comedy Central, you know? So I was like, at least do an album. Then you can just kind of leave that material behind officially and do newer material.
Why haven’t you put out an album before?
I guess I blame that on myself. I blame that on myself, but that’s why the title of the album is called 100% Half-Assed. Anything that hasn’t happened in my career, whether somebody else has something to do with it or not, I feel like I still have the power to do things myself, so – me taking this long to put out an album is basically my fault.
All right. So when do you want to put out the next one?
Maybe a year and a half?
100% new material in eighteen months.
Yeah, I think I’m gonna get like half an hour.
Because there’s stuff that’s not even on that album.
When did you start?
Uh… let’s just say a long time ago.
Let’s just say, too long ago to only just be putting out an album.
It’s not like you haven’t done stuff. You’ve done a lot of stuff. You just haven’t put out an album.
Right, yeah. But people get disappointed when they figure out that I haven’t done an album. Like, there’s people who think I’ve done that Comedy Central specials just because, like you said, I’ve done a lot. So it’s like, “Wait a minute, you never had a special? I thought you had a special!” Like I get that sometimes.
Yeah, well I actually thought you did as well! I’m sorry.
[laughs] See what I’m saying?
Hold on a second, don’t TV writers get paid more when the show goes to syndication?
Yeah yeah yeah, because you get residual checks and stuff like that.
So why are you leaving 2 Broke Girls?
Uh, because this is the friend’s – I like 2 Broke Girls. I like the people over there. But this is a friend’s show, and I’m qualified, number one, and my friend has a show, and he asked me to be a part of it. And it’s rare, in my life, when a friend has an opportunity to give me a job and I have a chance to work with a friend. So I usually don’t get an opportunity to work with a friend, on a project.
I really hope that this show goes to syndication, then.
I mean, yeah, me too. [laughs] I’ve never been the smartest person when it comes to some career choices, like when it comes to financial choices. Like I have never claimed that I am the smartest person when it comes to financial choices. Cause 2 Broke Girls is going to go to syndication, and it’s going to make money, and I’m taking the chance. Financially, I’m taking the chance.
Are you doing any late-night appearances to support the album?
Yeah, I’m going to do one on June 10th on Conan, and then a few days later I should be on @midnight.
Nice. I wonder if Letterman or Ferguson will put you on.
I don’t know. We could ask, but I didn’t know if it would be a conflict.
Yeah, that’s what I was interested in.
I just know that back in the day, when people did one show and then did another, it rubbed people the wrong way. And it might for this, just being too easy. It’s almost like dating a friend’s ex girlfriend. Like he broke up with her, but you don’t want to go down that road.