I had the honor of interviewing improviser, comedian, and actor, Chris Griggs, please check out his shows-
Me: So my first question is, for those that aren’t familiar with you, tell us about you and your comedy
CG: I’m from Memphis originally, but have been in NY as a standup for about 10 years now, and an improviser/actor for 12-13 years. My comedy has changed through the years, in the beginning, it was all pretty autobiographical with a random, absurd, character piece here and there. These days it’s a mix of my personal story with my own truths about life, it deals with a country boy at heart, but I now bring a NY sophistication to it as well. I talk about religion a lot, my family, never being married – things like that. People tell me my comedy is pretty smart and original, but there’s something absurd about some of my takes as well.
Me: Why the change in comedy?
CG: It was just my natural evolution, I guess. When I started, I wanted to write about me, because you know there will be an emotional connection to the material, important when you have to do the same joke many times over. This also helped me build a foundation of who I was as a comedian. Over time, as I found my voice, I just naturally started using that specific view to look at the world and the people in it.
Me: Awesome!, and you also do improv theater?
CG: I’ve been involved with improv longer than standup. When I first moved to New York, there was an
opportunity to study with Second City at that time. I was into how SNL
came to be, and how improv
had influenced some of the original cast. I really loved it and it stuck.
I went through UCB and found
a home at the Pit. I am on their flagship weekend improv show “Baldwins
and Big Black Car”. It’s a
Timeout NY pick, was an official selection of NY Comedy Week, and part of the NY Improv Festival for
the last few years. I’ve never studied acting really, but through improv,
it’s led to some theater parts
in NY, a couple of TV credits, and exposed me to a fun part of the NY comedy scene.
Me: Sounds like you’ve accomplished alot so far!, what have been your proudest accomplishments?
CG: I have been very fortunate. Of course, comedians are always looking at the next thing usually. My proudest accomplishments so far have been that I started comedy a bit later
in life and had the
courage to start over in New York. After that, I’m very proud to have been
part of the early folks that
jump started the Pit into the theater it has become today. I was also
selected from 250 comics during
a series of live stage auditions to solely represent New York in this show
“World Cup Comedy”, it
was produced by Kelsey Grammar and was only on this small cable station PAX
TV (which is not even
around anymore), however, I still look back on it as a turning point in my
career. I co-hosted a show
on TV Land for a while called “PRIME Movies.” That was a lot of fun really,
just riffing on my favorite
old movies. Finally, to be a founding member of my current comedy group, The Baldwins is pretty cool too.
Me: Sounds like alot of accomplishments and opportunities!, so what are your current/upcoming projects?
CG: Every Saturday at 8pm,(when I’m in town),I am at Baldwins and Big Black Car
show at the Pit
I have a first recording down for a standup comedy album, but I’m working on adding 15-20 new minutes. I’m doing some finishing production stuff on a short independent
film I co-star in called
“Can I Get a Ride?”, Basically, I play a Virginia hillbilly that picks up a
Brooklyn hitchhiker and he does
not know I rob small stores around the country. Finally, I’m part of this
monthly show called “Saved by
the Bell: The Lost Episodes”. We make up new stories as the cast, and I
play Mr. Belding.
Me: Comedy album and short will be finished this fall?, where can we find SBTB: Lost episodes?
CG: The Comedy Album probably won’t be finished until early next year.
SBTB are live, improvised shows, so you would have to be in NYC to check it
Me: Well we definitely look forward to it!, what else can we expect from you in the future?, ever going to be in a feature film?
CG: Ah, from your mouth to God’s ear. I’d love to do a feature film, if it
presents itself. I was a part of a
great indie film called “Twenty Million People” that has been looking for
distribution, but has done
quite well in the festival circuit. So distributors, please find out more
about it at
http://www.twentymillionpeople.com/. You can also find small bits of my
standup on a film called
“The Co-exist Comedy Tour”, it was on Starz and I think you can buy the
DVD on Amazon.com.
In the future, I’ve just started to write my own pilot idea (which will be
a long process I’m sure, but I’m
excited to finally start. I’m also hoping to put together my own live
monthly show that showcases
everything in one show (standup, improv, sketch characters) and have
special guests as well. Mainly,
trying to pull all my material from all different disciplines for an
ongoing comedy show that I can build
Me: You were in the co-exist comedy tour?, I actually interviewed Keith Lowell Jensen
CG: Very cool. Yes, I am in during the NY audition filming. Don’t blink though. Actually, one of the first jokes I ever
wrote made in the film. So, you never know what sticks, I guess.
Me: Awesome!, what religon did you represent?
CG: I would have been in the Christian category, and that’s really where my material comes from. However, in reality, I would be considered a black sheep among my old Southern Baptist folk.
Me: Black sheep?, do you not consider yourself a Christian?
CG: I have what works for me, but is it by the book of the churches I grew up in?, no
Me: I see, so you mentioned working on a TV show?
CG: I have an idea for a pilot I want
to write, however, that is a
long, long journey to becoming something.
Me: I see, well thank you so much for this interview!
CG: Thanks Bryan, and please, everyone that reads this, keep in touch with me.
You can always find me
through my website- http://www.chrisgriggscomedy.com