Dan St Germain On "Bad At The Good Times," Standup As A Career, And Writing Jokes

Dan St Germain is one of the funniest up and coming comedians. His sense of purpose is fulfilled and evidenced by his strength of character on stage. Having already appeared on numerous proects including The Electric Company, Conan, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon WTF Podcast with Marc Maron among other things, Germain is already a staple in the standup community. His first stand up album Bad At The Good Times released this past Tuesday.

I recently caught up with him to talk about the album and his style of comedy:

How’s it going with comedy and whatnot?

It’s pretty good. I got the album coming out tomorrow and I’m on the road a little bit coming up. And I’m working on a few other projects so things are good.

I read that you’re working on a TV show with Jake Johnson and Max Winknler.

Yeah. Right now we’re kind of developing some stuff over there so nothing is set in stone. I’m pretty excited with what we’re developing.

I’ve been watching you ever since I saw your Half Hour on Comedy Central.

Oh yeah.

And that was one of the funniest ones I’ve ever seen. That Evan Williams Whiskey joke was very creative.

Thank you so much! I appreciate it.

How did you come up with that?

I guess when I used to drink in college all the time. I was just thinking about what I used to mine for in college and just how cheap that whiskey was. It all kind of came together from that.

Do you have any comedy influences? To write your jokes?

Sure. You know like Patton Oswalt, Dana Gould, Maria Bamford. Those are probably the three big ones. Obviously, no one can get away from Louis or Burr or Chappelle. But those are the three that my act is heavily influenced by.

Did you start early with comedy?

No, I started right after college so I’ve probably been doing it eight years in September.

I also saw that you had a couple of web series. “In Security” and “Kicking Out Dan.”

Yeah. “Kicking Dan Out.”

Those are actually pretty funny. Are those your products?

Yeah. I created them and starred in them. Adam Wirtz directed one and David Powell directed the other one.

Do you like working with other people or do you like working by yourself on stand up and comedy?

I think one compliments the other, you know? The whole point of the whole artistic field is to escape so as long as you’re not in the same place for too long they are their own kind of fun thing to do.

Have you thought about more longform comedy like that?

You mean like with stand up?

Like with writing and everything.

Well yeah. I’ve been writing. I’ve sold about two or three shows and that’s more lof a longer form. And I’ve written a movie and stuff like that. Yeah it’s harder to…I think I still have a little time to go before I do that.

That’s understandable. I read Tina Fey’s book and it’s full of wisdom.

Yeah. I just think with a book, the first one… it kind of has to have to have a beginning, middle and end right now. And I’m still waiting for the end. The ending has to be a significant milestone in your life in some way you know. But hopefully that will be coming together soon.

I want to get into your album a little bit here. Your intro with Whoopi Goldbot. That was genius.

Oh thank you. That was super fun. Joe De Rosa was the one who helped me out on that. We recorded a couple times and that was the amalgamation of a few recordings. I was excited about it.

Do you usually do as much crowd work as you did in the album?

I usually do more but we cut it down a lot. I was debating whether to leave any of the crowdwork in but I wanted to give it more of a live feel so we put in basically the first track with the skit and the crowd. And then we kind of kept going with it.

My favorite track was the “I’m Disgusting” track.

That’s all the eating shit right?

Yeah.

I’m very profound with how I label all of my tracks. Yeah it’s crazy to air that album. It’s like “there’s seven years of material,” you know, “hope people like it.” If not, my life was misdirected.

It took you seven years to write all of that?

I mean basically, yeah.

That was you going around to different open mics?

It was more like two years of stuff you never use. It’s mostly the stuff in between years four and seven. That’s really the stuff you come up with.

Ding Dashes though. That was some sick stuff.

Which one was ding dashes?

Ding dongs with ranch dressing.

Oh yeah! That was one I came up with two years ago or something yeah.

Did writing help you with your rehab and your sobriety and all that stuff?

Sure I think it’s any major change [that helps] with anything. Most standup is just writing about the moments…writing about you not feeling a part of something and being on the outside of it. So whenever something’s new and you’re still uncomfortable with it, that’s where a lot of the best stuff comes from. Comfortability isn’t really great. So I find that whenever somebody starts or ends a particular point in their life, that’s when the best material comes in.

Exactly. I read an interview with Michael Che and he was talking about comfortability. How he doesn’t want his comedy to be comfortable. And I think you guys relate on that kind of level.

Right, right.

How was filming at Nerdmelt for the album?

It was cool. It was fun. It’s a great venue so we had a fun time. We got some free beer for peole who stopped by the show. I was very excited about it. People came out so we could make it sound like people were there, which they were. It was great working with those guys that were there. And working with Ryan from Special Thing. It was really fun.

What do you want to happen in the future with your comedy career?

It’s funny because before you start comedy, you’re like I want to be the next Ben Stiller; the next Will Ferrell; the next Louis CK. And then, once you’re in comedy, you’re like I kind of just want to keep working. That’s the number one thing. And I want to be able to working on something I’m passionate about and not just feel like I’m at a day job. Right now I’m kind of achieving that. And I hope [to keep that going]. I want to keep growing and everything else. It’s been very lucky.

You’re doing a wonderful job at getting yourself out there. Especially with that special and this album a few months later.

I’m excited to be doing what I love. It’s great!

What’s your writing process for writing jokes and stuff?

I’ll live my life, get a couple of ideas and flesh them out. That’s usually what happens. It’s not like a script where you sit down and write. Some comics do that. Seinfeld and Carlin sat down and write but for me it’s like let me get a couple of ideas and every two days or so then I flesh them out.

You can purchase Bat At The Good Times here. Follow Dan St. Germain on Twitter!