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


Last Answer on June 11, 2013

Best Rated

I've been a musician since birth and am branching into acting. I know the market is saturated though, so I'm also looking at entrepreneurship. I know that you need to work hard. How did you know to choose comedy? Were the odds against you?

Asked by Hunter over 6 years ago

Your going from music to acting? WOw almost as risky as going from professional tennis to stand up comedy! I hate to sound negative but if you are "deciding" if you should do comedy or not, it probably isn't for you. Go with what is burried deep in your heart (cue soft music). Think back to your kindergarden class when the teacher asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up. I remember I said "Pro athlete or comedian". The odds are always against you but if you are really doing what you want to do, and what you are made to do, it doesn't matter if you make it big, little, rich or poor. Hopefully that helps but I guess it doesnt ;(

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.

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".

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.

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?!?!

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.

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 about 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.