Todd Glass fans like comics comics. For better or worse, Glass attracts the kind of fan that thinks they know more about comedy than most. Which means they care about comedy more than the casual fan. Glass attracts these type of fans because he’s that type of fan. He’s passionate, on stage, on podcasts and in real life. To some, it’s off putting. Passion sometimes comes off as anger. To others, it comes off as it’s intended.
Talking to Glass over the phone or in person is not much different than seeing him on stage. He’s easy to wind up. To some, it’s off putting. To us, he’s just a guy with a lot of passion.
Todd Glass performs at the DC Improv June 22 and the Kennedy Center at The Bentzen Ball Podcast Studio on June 23. The June 22 show is sold out.
Brightest Young Things: Are you finding more and more people love you every single year, or are you just catering to a very devoted following at this point?
Todd Glass: You know, I am probably on the right side of things, socially, forget about politics, just socially, ‘cause that’s the way my parents were. They never taught us, they never sat us down, I just noticed, they have all types of friends. Economic classes, race, sexuality, and so that’s probably why I am. And it’s also the right thing to do, obviously. But, it does let you build a new audience of younger people. Which, you want.
I have a big new audience coming in, which is good, it’s something you want, and I am glad about it, because I don’t want to be a comedian that as they get older young people don’t like them. And that’s what happens when you talk about how stupid kids are and how great the world used to be 50 years ago. Well young people don’t want to hear that, and nor should they, ‘cause it’s wrong, so, I have a nice swell of young people who come out and see the show, which is a good thing. It’s a good energy to have. I don’t want an audience of 20-year-olds and I wouldn’t want an audience of 30-year-olds, I want a mixture across the board. And that happens.
BYT: What happens when your peers don’t do that? Because most of the peers you do have, do that. Your good friends that are very successful and do appeal to a lot of people, but there has to be some people that you came up with in Philly that just never evolved.
TG: Well, if you’re a gigantic star, and you’re pulling from millions of people, you can get away with it. But, you know, you don’t do that. It’s the same thing if you’re not a comedian. Even if you’re just a person — you know what, I think what we’re talking about is a country-club lifestyle where everyone is pretty much your age, your economical class, and that is so fucking boring to me. And I mean, again, my parents weren’t comedians, but everyone talks about how you should have your white friends, your black friends, your gay friends, of course, but economical class is the one that people forget about. My parents just met people, and they liked them. So we had friends that were not very wealthy, we had friends that were the same as my family — I think its just boring to have that happen to where you just circle yourself with an audience exactly your age, it just seems a little boring to me.
BYT: And your podcast is whatever friends you kind of want to have a party with; but the problem is, a lot of podcasts are just a lot of white dudes. How are you making that party scene even better? Is it even possible, or is that something you just shouldn’t even worry about? I’m a white dude and you’re a white dude, and I feel like maybe there are too many white dudes with podcasts.
TG: I mean, that’s just true in life, you know? All you can do is be a white dude that’s, you know, not boring. The majority of everything is not good; the majority of lawyers aren’t good, but we rely on lawyers for the percentage that are good and help innocent people get away, the good lawyers. The majority of music isn’t good, but we’re in all of it for the 25% of music that is good or whatever the percentage is. The majority of comedians are bad, it’s just the nature of the business. By the way, the majority of podcasts might be bad, I still think it’s good that everybody does one because its an expression and even if it’s not popular, it lets people express themselves. I just think the important thing is that if you’re a white dude, try not to just say dumb things that a white dude would say.
BYT: Are you mellowing with age?
BYT: You sure?
TG: No. I don’t think — no. The type of rage that I have in me, I don’t think is unhealthy because I’m hopefully raging towards the right thing, I think it makes me healthy. If you look at some of my work, I’ve gotten more aggressive with age, but, one thing I always try to do, somebody told me this a long time ago, they said, “You should yell and scream about what you hate, but also yell and scream about what you love.” And I think I do both. People go, “The world is mean, the world sucks, everything sucks.” But are you making it better? So, I also try to scream and yell about what I love, too. And both have gotten more aggressive as I have gotten older.
BYT: You’re not a political comedian, but, you happen to have a book called The Todd Glass Situation and you happen to have a major life change and horrible things have happened recently, and you did tweet out the sort of infamous Mr. Rogers, wonderful, wonderful little speech from the other day, so you want to talk about that stuff at all, the older you get?
— 2ADOX (@NLukings) June 13, 2016
Or are you more likely to think, I am going to stay in my lane, I am going to do my thing, I’m not going to focus on politics.
TG: You know, I always say that, people go, “Are you into politics?” and I go, “More social issues.” But now I feel differently. I feel, the social issues are financial. I have a new thing that I love to say. Everyone is so worried about the deficit, and what we’re going to do with that — we can’t afford to be hateful anymore. Plus, lets make one thing really clear: it’s fucking wrong, let’s just face it. Everybody, every country, we’re all on the planet, and unless you have done something illegal or you’re hurting a someone, a non-consenting person, then we’re all equal. That’s just the fucking way it is. That’s just the fact so going into it with that, we can’t afford to be hateful anymore. If you can’t be kind and loving from your heart, which is obviously the way to go, then do it from your wallet because it costs us so much money. So social issues are financial and political issues.
Obviously in this world we have had a lot of people who are fucked up because of crossing wires, I get it, but a lot of people are just fucked up because we make them fucked up. Telling women they’re not equal, that puts a psyche on somebody. What was done to the Native Americans, or black people, you know that fucks with your psyche, and people take their lives — not because they were born with crossed wires, I get that happens, but because people here are telling them they are sick, you know? How many kids have hung themselves they were told they were going to burn in hell for eternity because they’re gay. That’s totally unnecessary! That would go away, 100%.
I love talking about social issues, I really enjoy it as I get older. And that’s why doing comedy can be very powerful, you can change people’s views. And its fun! That’s why being a comedian that talks about social issues, and you’re on the wrong side of it, it’s fucking dangerous. It is really dangerous especially if you’re funny. If you’re a comedian and your bones are funny, but whenever you talk about social issues you’re on the wrong side of things, you’re fucking dangerous.
I think people are majorly confused on what political correctness is. If I had a P.A. system, and I could address the world, that’s the one thing I would do. I would go, “Okay, listen up,” and I would put so much work into it, and I would go, “Let’s get this clear.” Just because there’s an outcry from the community, which I don’t always agree with, but sometimes I do. When you say, “You can’t say anything anymore,” that’s so disrespectful to people like Lenny Bruce or George Carlin, who really fought for us to say everything. I think that would make a great cartoon, it’s a guy going, “you can’t say anything anymore,” cause he got maybe 3,000 Tweets that disagreed with what he said, I would go, “Awwwww did he take away your podcasts?”
“Ohhhhh, are you not allowed to go on morning radio anymore?”
“Ohhhhh did the comedy club cancel you?”
“Oh, well what do you mean you can’t say anything anymore?”
So there was an outcry from the community, so you want to say whatever you want to say and not have the repercussions of it? Well that’s what’s so great about saying what you want to say. Sometimes I wonder about being angry, somebody once told me, “Don’t be so angry.” They said, “Sometimes I think anger doesn’t help you.” But you know what? I bet if you were transgender, and you turned on a podcast, and there was a podcast and being pro-transgender I bet that feels good. I know how I would feel if someone was defending me, just defending me behind my back. I’m not yelling at these things, I am yelling into the air, in podcasts. Just yelling into the microphone? I think it could be good. Freedom of speech includes other people.
BYT: You could be a shock jock, but for the other side, if there were liberal shock jocks.
We’re giving away a pair of tickets to The Todd Glass Show at the Kennedy Center. In the comments section, let us know what Todd Glass’ morning radio show should be called. The dumber, the better. Winner will be notified by Thursday, June 23 at noon.