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I really believe he does. No joke. Duncan is a writer, actor, and stand-up comedian who really does seem genuinely sweet, and spacey in a good way. Living in his own world that I wouldn’t want to live in, but would like to visit often. You might recognize him from Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO’s Funny or Die, Drunk History, FUEL TV’s Stupidface, or from a variety of sketches he has acted in and written, but you probably don’t know his name. Remember his name. Become familiar. Go to his shows. Follow him on Twitter. I say this because he really should be better known, his name should be familiar. A sweet, nutty, smart, spaced out stand up who also loves you. Spread the word.

Serial Optimist: Hi Duncan, how are you? Without getting into detail about your career, which we will touch on later, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself?

Duncan Trussell: I’m distracted man! Every electronic device that I own keeps bleeping. It’s a twilight zone style nightmare over here. I’ve got a cute dog, an x-box, and a girlfriend. I’M FUCKED. Actually, outside of occasionally getting swept into an emotional vortex of pure anxiety and teeth grinding horror I’m pretty happy.

SO: Would you say you are more of a stand-up, or a sketch writer? How different is the process of writing/coming up with jokes for your stand up, compared to creating and writing an idea for actors to perform?

Duncan: To answer the first part- it’s all mixed up in there like when crayons melt together.

Now the second part of the question is easier to answer because I write stand-up alone, and sketches with other people. Writer’s rooms are great because they are like comedy echo chambers, and you can watch your little idea bounce around the room and grow into a monster, or die a horrible death. Stand-up is a mostly solitary endeavor that involves a flickering candle and a window overlooking mud and beggars. You just sit and stare at the candle, then the beggars, and never write. That’s the difference.

SO: At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer/comedian, and at what point did you actually decide to make that your living?

Duncan: Being funny is often a personality mutation that comes from not being good at sports or being attractive as a kid. I was clumsy and fat growing up and I quickly realized that if I could make people laugh the whole clumsy fat thing became irrelevant. Being funny was a survival skill, but there was never a moment in my formative years where I thought I could do it professionally. I moved to Los Angeles because I thought it would be an interesting place to live, and ended up working at The Comedy Store, and that’s where I tried comedy for the first time. I now have no choice but to be a comedian and writer as it is my only skill set- which is also why I carry a noose in my pocket at all times.

SO: How would you describe your comedy? There are so many different forms and genres of comedy, that when someone says, “I’m a comedian” I always think, “what kind, or what’s your style,” just like if someone said they were a musician, I would wonder the same thing. Does this question make sense?

Duncan: Fuck You.

SO: So it doesn’t make sense, I guess.

SO: What current shows, comedies and dramas, are you watching?

Duncan: I just watched Boardwalk Empire for the first time and loved it. Most of my TV consumption is via Netflix on the X-Box so I don’t watch a lot of TV shows. Though recently I did watch an episode of 2 and a Half Men. Oh and Holy Shit I love Dexter. Also, why are people so pissed at The Event? Everyone has been making fun of it. It’s really hurting my feelings.

SO: What is the best thing about being a comedian, and what is the worst thing about being a comedian?

Duncan: Being a comedian.

SO: Deep!

SO: Tell me about your taste in music, what bands you’re into, and a song you just can’t stop listening to right now.

Duncan: I love the Holy Sons, and I’m getting into The Talking Heads again. Also a big fan of Daniel Johnston. Currently ‘So Bored’ by Wavves is stuck in my head and has been for a week. I can’t stop listening to my downstairs neighbors shitty music because he is too self absorbed to understand that you shouldn’t play drums in a fucking apartment building.

SO: I interviewed Natasha (Leggero), and she described ‘The Lavender Hour’ as “an old style French salon, but a podcast!” I think an old style French salon sounds charming, sure, but can you give me a better description of what ‘The Lavender Hour’ is about and why you do a podcast?

Duncan: The Lavender Hour is a free-form conversation that usually gets spiritual and philosophical.  We generally don’t ask our guests questions about their careers or what projects they are working on etc, but let the thing evolve into whatever it wants to evolve into.  We also get great responses from our listeners and try to assimilate their ideas into our beings so that we can become a mouthpiece for the gestalt represented by all of our listeners, our guests, and the universe. In short- it’s a cult.

SO: Honestly amazing answer. Thank you for that.

SO: What current projects are you working on, what do you have coming up in the next couple of months?

Duncan: I have a few shows that are in varying stages of being pitched or developed and I have several dates coming up with Natasha in Vegas, Atlanta, Denver, and Philadelphia. I hope you’ll come to one.

SO: What would the title of a mega blockbuster action movie starring Duncan Trussell be called?

Duncan: Honey, I shrunk my id.

SO: Love it. Thanks Duncan!


SO Note: (Follow Duncan on Twitter @duncantrussell, check out his seriously awesome website www.duncantrussell.com, watch his super funny videos on Funny or Die here, and listen to his podcast he does with Natasha Leggero, ‘The Lavender Hour‘)