Mike Lawrence on Standup, Performing in Canada vs the US and why Marvel is better than DC

You’ve seen Mike Lawrence on television before. He’s done standup on the now defunct John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, Conan, and he’s even had his own half hour on Comedy Central. Lawrence is based in New York where he performs at several clubs from time to time. He released an album, Sandamantium, to positive reviews. Now, the bearded comedian will be touring with Barack Obama’s new best friend, Marc Maron. This is a part of the Maronation Tour. From 6/25 to 6/28, the two will be going around the New York area spreading the comedy fever:

6/25- Port Chester, NY @ The Capitol Theatre
6/26- Brooklyn, NY @ BAM
6/27- Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
6/28- Red Bank, NY @ Count Basie Theatre

I spoke with Lawrence about his career and the things he likes:

I read that your mother was a standup comedian.

Yeah.

Does she still do that today?

No, she quit recently.

Did you learn the tricks and the trade from her?

I learned more that [comedy] was a possible thing. It just seemed like this untouchable thing you see on TV. That definitely helps making it an attainable goal.

You started at a pretty young right? In 1998?

I started doing poetry in 1998 and then I got into comedy in 2005. It’d be ten years in November.

What made you want to start?

I was doing poetry and getting more laughs in the poems. [I started] realizing there was no money or anything in poetry, so I figured I’d get into comedy.

Now you’re hosting a podcast called Nerd of Mouth. What are you guys talking about on that podcast?

You know comic books, movies, sci-fi, video games. That kind of stuff. All the Nerdy stuff.

So you’ve performed at Meltdown Comics and Just for Laughs. What’s the atmosphere like versus each other?

Just for Laughs is a lot of French Canadians you’re trying to win over. They’re cool. And then you have Meltdown. It’s more savvy, L.A. nerds. They’re both different but the same jokes work in most places.

Do you have a preference on which country is better to perform in? Either U.S. or Canada?

[Let’s out a long, high pitched um] I could do all my stuff about not having health care here. That’s more relatable.

You recently opened for Chris Hardwick and you’ve appeared on @midnight nine times, how many times did you win?

Once.

One time?!

Yeah, I’m not very good at winning.

It’s just to get your name out there. Do you like going on @midnight?

Yeah it’s fun.

You released an album in 2013. Your Instagram reveals that you’re a huge comic book fan. Super super passionate. Who do you like better, Marvel or DC?

Marvel.

Why’s that?

More realistic. More consistent. DC has a lot of years from like the 40's to the 70's that aren’t that great. Marvel hit the ground running. I don’t count the time we had with stuff in the 30's and all that. When like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko hit the ground running, they built this cohesive, smaller universe. Just having it set in New York seemed cooler to me than having every hero have their own town.

Who’s your favorite hero then?

The Thing.

From the Fantastic Four. That’s an interesting choice.

Yep.

So are you reading the Secret Wars and Battleworld thing they’re doing right now to restart the universe?

No. Cause it’s $4 an issue and there’s too many of them.

That’s what I was saying the other day. Let’s get on the [Marc] Maron topic. Have you met him before?

Yeah, I’ve worked with him in the past.

So this is going to be super familiar. Are you going to be opening for him?

Yeah.

Where are you going to be performing? In New York?

Yeah at four different  locations. I know Red Bank, New Jersey. Huntington, BAM [Brooklyn] and Port Chester.

Do you like performing in New York vs L.A.?

I like both. I think both are different. In New York the clubs pay. In L.A. they don’t as much and I like making money. But L.A. gives you exposure to make much more money through writing and acting and stuff.

How often do you introduce new material into your act?

I try to as much as possible. Sometimes I’m slower. There’s always something that’s always hard to get rid of but you always try to have new stuff.

Are you aiming for anything on TV or just keep doing low-key standup jobs on TV?

Yeah writing jobs and appearing on @midnight again and late night sets. We’ll see what happens.

Follow Mike on Twitter.