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

Do you think Daniel Tosh owed an apology after that recent incident with the rape jokes? (In case anyone missed it, http://huff.to/NmndCT)

Asked by fall down go boom almost 5 years ago

Wow, you are REALLY trying to get me in trouble huh? When that "incident" happened, I immediately tweeted that the heckler (that was the woman) should have just gotten up and left the comedy club, if she was that offended. People got really pissed at me for tweeting that. Look, it works like this, being on stage is difficult. Its personal and challenging and one is dealing with a lot of emotions and stress. When someone heckles, you feel attacked. So you attack back, thats the way its always been and thats the way it will continue to be. If someone punches me, I am going to punch them. It doesn't matter what the topic is, if is was sarcastic or not. Comedians are allowed to say whatever they want when they are heckled. If you are so offended at the joke, then leave. What makes me laugh the most was that Tosh has been ruffling people's feathers for over 20 years of comedy. Go watch any of his specials. I mean, now that he is rich and famous, people are going to get offended?!? I support any comics right to respond to a heckler any way that they want to, as long as its with words and not fists. NOW, if the heckler throws a real punch, then I support kicking the shit out of them as well. When is Jobstr going to take down my account?

Dane Cook: love 'em or hate 'em? It seems like comedians used to all hate him, now many seem to be defending him. Is this sudden "softening" toward him a load of crap?

Asked by One Guy, One Mic almost 5 years ago

I'm not sure. I know that when I am scheduled to so a show at 1130pm and Dane shows up, pushes me towards the back and does 70 minutes on stage (without a hello, or friendly convo) and then I go up at 1245pm, I don't usually have the nicest things to say about him. Like everything, it has more to do with ones personal experiences with that person, mine have been few and not very positive.

Are there topics that are just too raw or recent for comedy?

Asked by Kelly almost 5 years ago

Good question. There are topics that a difficult to tackle for sure, but usually the better the comic the more they can get away with. They have the skills to make it work. I have a friend who describes jokes by "level of difficulty", like a diver in the Olympics. A joke about 9/11 a few weeks after the event would obviously have a massive level of difficulty compared to a joke about getting pulled over by a cop and making fun of the police officer (who doesn't clap or laugh when a comic makes that joke?!) Men talking about rape has a high level of difficulty. I once told a Tsunami joke a few weeks after the big one that killed hundreds of thousands of people and it did not go over well. That was a mistake on my part. But I learned and thats how you get better. My apologies to those people affected.

What types of crowds are the worst to perform for?

Asked by Jobstr Frank about 5 years ago

Any crowd that doesn't know, or didn't know that comedy was going to happen. Sounds obvious but you'd be amazed at how many shows comics do (especially when starting out) where you're at a sports bar during game 7 of the Stanley Cup and its comedy night! Those people are shitty audiences as you'd expect. Texters are the worst because they aren't paying attention and are also distracting others. (see this video of how I handled one texting situation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPtkNuZUBlc). Lastly, and this happens a lot in LA, a crowd filled with agents and talent managers is a nightmare. They don't laugh, they only drink water, and they are always checking their blackberrys (they still have blackberrys). Plus they are wearing suits... arg.

Is it harder to developer a unique comedic voice now because so much has already been done that you're more likely now than in the past to just be seen as derivative of someone who came before you?

Asked by abcdefg almost 5 years ago

Maybe. More comedians are seen now, and on youtube, maybe it does seem harder to stand out per se. That being said, every joke has been told, every story has been told, everything has been done BEFORE, I guess its just if there is a new take or wrinkle. I yell a lot of stage, so am I the same as Sam Kinnison? Most certainly not. But we both use volume as one of many tools. I think its natural that everyone will draw a comparison, especially at the begining of their career before anyone is famous, well known, etc. And I think most comedians are derivative of those that came before them, just not the same. The same way that an athlete derives from the athletes before them. Thats something that sports commentators talk about a lot, I think its the same for comedy.

Are the internet and Youtube revolutionizing comedy, or will there always be room for a good stand-up comic?

Asked by amyslayton about 5 years ago

I think thanks to youtube there is even more BAD comedy than ever! That being said, its a great way to showcase one's talents to people that haven't seen it. I really hope live stand up always exists because I think its important. My guess is that it will. I mean, did youtube keep people from going to musical concerts or poetry readings? I hope not. Im so glad I started before youtube was totally crazy because I would have felt pressure to put my stand up online before it was ready. Comics are putting there first, second and third set up online and I always think "don't do that! get better first". One of the most annoying things about the web is when audience members record your set and post online. A good club wont let that happen but it still sometimes does. Putting a comics set online without their permission is reay frustrating. Was that too negative?!?!?!

Comedians often claim to be miserable people. I'm sure that's not always the case, but why do you think there's such a high correlation between sadness and comedians?

Asked by Jenny Bruce almost 5 years ago

See above. I also rememeber something I heard Chris Rock say "If ignorance is bliss, whats the opposite?". Comics analyze life. They are very aware and observe a lot. What happens when you see it all for what it is? What happens if you become fully aware? Its kind red pill blue pill theory. I'm not saying comics are jedis or anything but people that truly observe the world, and think to challenge it and question is, often can become frustrated, sad and upset that it is how it is. I know very few religious comics (worked with 2-3 in 12 years of this). Why is that? In my opinion its because comics naturally question things, thats why they are comics. Once you question religion (again, in my opinion) it starts to really fall apart. You can't find as much comfort in it, if any at all. No I am sounding like a sad clown :(