Stand-Up Comedian

Stand-Up Comedian

Michael Kosta

Los Angeles, CA

Male, 30s

I'm Michael Kosta, stand-up comedian (yes, that's what I write on my tax returns). I've performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan, and Comedy Central, and I tour all over North America and Australia. Ask me anything about life as a stand-up.

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68 Questions

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Last Answer on June 11, 2013

Best Rated

When you're not performing, do the people around you expect you to be funny 24/7 because of what you do for a living?

Asked by Delirious almost 6 years ago

Ha! I hope not! Sometimes I'll run into people who were at my show and I can tell they want me to be funny , or they try to crack a lot of jokes to me, that is so fucking annoying. Lots of times, once I tell someone I am a comedian, they try to tell joke after joke. For whatever reason this happens at a lot of hotel front desks. I have to tell them why I am in town and then they start zinging jokes at me. The people that know me best know that I am not capable or nor do I want to be funny all the time. There is nothing worse than a comedian who is always "on".

Why don't comedy clubs drop the check AFTER the last performer is done?

Asked by That guy over 6 years ago

OMG I wish they would! I work probably 25 clubs a year and I would say only 3-4 drop the checks after the show. I'm not a restaurant manager or club owner (maybe there is one on Jobstr you could ask!), I'm just a comedian so maybe its more complicted that I realize but when I am performing and they drop the tab, I see everyone's face go to the check, chat about it, pay, talk about the tip, how much they owe everyone, blah blah blah, meanwhile I've been doing comedy for 15 minutes and no one has heard a word! Normally I take a drink and chill out and talk to ppl because it can be very distracting.

As a comedian, what is your ultimate endgame? Do you have a goal, like to have your own TV show (e.g. Louis C.K.), become a star (e.g. Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin), or a career stand-up (Carlin)? Or do you just love what you do and will wait and see?

Asked by curious over 6 years ago

I defintely love what I do. Making people laugh is so fun and its a great feeling to see someone's face go from normal to laughing. I think I'll be happy as long as I am doing that, or trying to do that. Stand up is defintely one way to acheive that. The road is long and hard and can be a grind. I will always go on the road because I love to travel and meet new people and perform for new audiences, but I would like to have my own tv show or host a late night type talk show. Hosting is something I have always liked more than acting but I'll take whatever they will give me. You got any good leads?!?!

What’s the typical cut for a comedian's manager?

Asked by ljenkins over 6 years ago

Managers get 10%, Agents 10%, lawyers 5% I dont have a publicist but a lot of comics do and they would need to get paid also.

You're not the first comic I've heard rip on Jeff Dunham -- why don't comics seem to respect him? Is it because he's not a "pure" stand-up?

Asked by gorlock over 6 years ago

Did I rip him? Oh well that's not good. I like to be positive. I believe what I said was "Jeff Dunam was the highest paid comedian a few years ago with $35 million. Yes, a guy who talks out of his side of the mouth with puppets made $35 million one year." Maybe there are comics who respect him, I certainly dont love his comedy, but guess what? I'm sure he sleeps just fine at night. Comics like 'pure" stand up comics. I'm not saying its right or wrong but comics like and respect comedians who don't use sound cues, props, gimmicks, etc. That being said, I have used all of those. Its probably because he made $35 million last year.

Why do stand-up comics complain so much about touring? I mean, isn't that pretty much the job description from the beginning?

Asked by bl0wt0rched almost 6 years ago

Yeah I guess you are right. We do complain a lot about it. Do you ever complain about anything at your job? I can safely say that I have never once complained about being booked or having a booker or comedy club hire me. What I do complain about is the shitty hotel they put me, delayed flights causing you to miss the first show, 5am radio spots, hacky comedians and trying to be vegetarian in Peoria, IL. By far the best part of the job is the 45-50 minutes you are on stage performing. Thats the shit. Thats why we got into it. Like every job, there are other parts that you didn't realize were going to be a part of it. I certainly don't get treated like a A lister when I am on the road but I've experienced it getting better and better each year and I will say that as you become bigger and funnier, the traveling and life on the road gets easier. OK heading to Applebees now.

Which comedian or comedians made you want to get on stage?

Asked by D-Bock over 6 years ago

My mom took me to see Dennis Miller when I was a kid. I loved him. I still only understand 25% of his vocab but his wit, delivery and arrogance always made me laugh. How cool is my mom for taking her 11 year old son to see him? Other comics that I loved and continue to enjoy their work: Brian Regan (a comics favorite), Don Rickles, Gary Shandling (his first Tonight Show still makes me laugh), Steve Martin, Bill Cosby (seen him twice and loved it). Recently I've been getting more into Bill Hicks as well (there is a great documentary out on him right now). Unlike most of my comic friends, George Carlin never really fired me up that much. Maybe I'm a loser, I don't know.