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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Last Answer on June 11, 2013

Best Rated

If the real comedic talent is in the delivery of a joke, why is it looked down upon when a comic hires writers to write his material?

Asked by smobro almost 12 years ago

Hmm I'm not sure. I don't think I look down on comics that do that. I choose to write all my own material but if I were under a lot of pressure to deliver a new hour each year I would certainly hire some poeple to help. I think what you have to realize is that writers HELP but they don't do the work for you. They submit ideas and concepts and help you work it out but ultimately it needs to be delivered the right way and in your own voice. I'll answer more after I hire some writers :)

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

Asked by D-Bock almost 12 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.

Hey, I've done a few open mics and am a big fan of stand-up, and I feel like a disproportionate # of comics are single (and miserable about being single). Do you think that's true? And if so, why do you think there's a correlation?

Asked by gorlock almost 12 years ago

Comics can be bitter. They can be angry people. Lots of times comedy comes from pain and people that experience pain, when they can access it, can be very funny. That being said I know plenty of comics who have lived great lives, had loving families, wives, husbands, etc. The single part probably has to do with traveling the road, partying too much. But there may be more to it, maybe someone who analyzes society and relationships for a living (afterall that is a what comic does) maybe they become disenchanted with it all, maybe they realize its full of shit, I don't know. My advice to you is try and find comics that are positive, optimisitc, excited about the craft. Those comics are more fun to hang with, become friends with and ultimately keep you in the comedy game and liking it. There is also the obvious "Sad Clown" theory. People who make people laugh for a living truly become sad and don't find it funny at all.

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 over 11 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.

When comics say they are on the road "all the time" is that literal? Or is it every weekend? How often are comics home with their families?

Asked by Trob about 11 years ago

For me, it is just weekends.  But I know some comics that will go on a 6-8 week tour where they are gone every single day.  The last couple of years I have gone to Australia for 4 weeks in a row.  It can get long, very long.  We are not with our bandmates or tour manager.  We are by ourselves.  And allthough that is nice for some of the time, it definitely can get lonely and boring.  Hence why you see a lot of comics rely on drinking and drugs to help pass the time.

Ultimately a comic is in charge or how often he/she gets booked.  My agent sends me the gigs and I can decide if I want them or not.  That being said, if I keep saying no, my agent may stop working for me.  They get paid, when I get paid.

In general, clubs work anywhere from Fri-Sat to Tues-Sunday.  The rest of the time you could be home with your family, minus the evenings when you would probably do some spots in your town.

This March I was out of town for 6 days.  In April, I will be out of town for 11 days.  Not bad really. 

Are comedians as cutthroat with one another as it seems? Or have there been any who really helped you get a few breaks?

Asked by Ramon O. almost 12 years ago

I have defintely had some comics help me along the way. Comics are competeitive by nature and we can get easily jealous of one another, which is common in every industry, but in general comics are fun and helpful and generous. Numerous comics have told club bookers that they like my act and that they should book me. Thats a really nice way to help one another. I have done the same for friends of mine that I know are funny, nice and will respect the club and craft. Also, I've had comics recommend me for TV spots or hosting gigs and that is such a nice thing and I try to do the same when I am in position to.

Let's get down to it - what's your groupie situation? At this point in your carreer, could you bed a different chick every night you perform, or is it tamer than we might think?

Asked by C-Moz72 almost 12 years ago

Comis groupies are waaaay different than music groupies. I have had very little and the ones that I have had, you wouldn't want to sleep with. Partying after a show is fun, common and usually a great way to unwind. But to be honest it usually happens with the club workers, waitresses, other comics. Groupies tend to be annoying and expect you to make them laugh all night which I always think "I already did this, now I want a break"