Wayne Federman might be the only comedian with credits in a stage production of Snow White and playing hard rock on the ukulele. He also is the “bemused lurker” in the most overplayed commercial ever for the Samsung Galaxy S, currently running nonstop. He’s been hosting free show Midnight at the Improv With Wayne Federman recently, this week with guests Todd Glass and Anthony Jeselnik (and if you’re reading this on Nov. 1, he has Natasha Leggero and Greg Proops).
L.A. WEEKLY: Is comedy different at midnight?
WAYNE FEDERMAN: Well, my show is different than any show at the Improv for a number of reasons. It’s completely free - no cover, no minimum. I’m onstage with the comedians, at the piano, most of the show. And it lasts exactly one hour - to the second. I place a basketball countdown clock onstage and when it hits zero ... lights out and music up.
Aren’t crowds too drunk at that hour?
Drunk? My midnight crowds are dedicated comedy fans, the unemployed and a few trust-fund douchebags.
Are you ever drunk?
I prefer bath salts.
What have been some highlights of the midnight show?
Andy Kindler, Morgan Murphy, Demetri Martin, Jeffrey Ross, Doug Benson, Chris Fairbanks ... and the night John Mayer stopped by.
Your 1988 clip “Electric Ukulele” is genius. That’s not a question.
Well, there’s an ongoing hipster ukulele pandemic, and that YouTube clip has made me a legend in that micro-subcategory of show business. Last year I performed at the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain. It’s crazy.
The election is almost here. Are you nervous?
I’m not too worried. I think Waxman’s got it covered.
You seem like a nice, regular guy. Is there anything odd about you?
Odd about me? The list is crazy long. For example I don’t drink anything hot. No tea, coffee, hot chocolate. I will have hot soup, but I categorize soup as a food and will enjoy it with an ice-cold 7UP.
Can you tell us what’s in store for 2013’s Wayne Federman International Film Festival?
It’s Jan. 10-12 at Cinefamily and already Patton Oswalt and Sacha Baron Cohen want to participate. Comedians choose a movie that inspired them. We screen a 35mm print and then we talk about it.
I’m also doing my Annual Very Federman Christmas Show Dec. 10 at Largo. Past guests have included Jon Hamm, Paul F. Tompkins and Sarah Silverman. This year one of my guests will be Oscar winner Paul Williams. Yes, that Paul Williams. Day after day, I must face a world of strangers where I don’t belong. I’m not that strong ...
Midnight at the Improv With Wayne Federman, 8162 Melrose Ave., Hlywd.; Thurs., Nov. 8, mid.; free. (323) 651-2583.
Thursdays, 11:59 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 27, 11:59 p.m.; Thursdays, 11:59 p.m. Starts: Sept. 20. Continues through Nov. 1, 2012
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