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.

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +


Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

75 Questions


Last Answer on June 11, 2013

Best Rated

Did family and friends try to talk you out of becoming a comedian?

Asked by Marston almost 12 years ago

When you tell people that you want to be a comedian they think its really cool. Then when you tell them that you are a coemdian, especially before you've had any "success" they kind of look at you like you are sick or dying. People don't know what to think, its just not NORMAL. My family has always been supportive of me from day one (my sister was at my first show ever and fake laughed her way all the way through it). I think my parents were a little more skeptical that it could actually be a "career". When I had my first TV appearance, Comedy Centrals "Live at Gotham" I invited my parents out. My mom saw all the TV stuff, the lights, whatever, and I think it made her realize that it was a cool thing and that I wasn't leaving it anytime soon. Your question would have different answers from different comedians. I know some who's parents are doctors and what not and they really tried hard to get their son/daughter out of show business. It never works.

Have you ever just blanked on stage? Did you walk off, or just improvise something?

Asked by ginny almost 12 years ago

Yes. Its the worst. Happened to me more when I was starting, you panic and your body starts sweating and you think "oh my god, they konw that I suck as this". It happens less and less now, and when it does happen you just have to try and relax and regroup. Take a sip of water, or go into the audience for a second and see if you an get some of your material back. Its weird when it happens and I don't like it! Sometimes I'll have a joke that I don't plan on doing that night, but I keep it on the side, kind of like a crutch in case I lose my place or I get heckled and forget what is going on. Other times I literally ask the audience "what the hell was I talking about?" Someone usually yells bacl "your parents" or "Los Angeles" or "Your dick". Then I am back on track!

What's your worst bombing story?

Asked by **crickets** almost 12 years ago

Oh man, how much time do you have? - Beer to the face in Champaign, Il? - Drunk guy trying to punch me on stage in Baton Rouge? - Bar manager shutting off the mic in Michigan? Bombing is such an inevitable part of comedy that every comic has plenty of those stories. Its never easy, always takes a little bit out of you but as you get more experienced you learn how to handle it, adjust to it and not cry yourself to sleep for 3 weeks in a row afterwards.

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 12 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.

Did your career trajectory improve dramatically after you did the Tonight Show and Conan?

Asked by macattack almost 12 years ago

It defintely helped a lot. I don't think anything was as powerful as the Johnny Carson Tonight Show but after my first Tonight Show, things sped up quite a bit. I started getting paid more and clubs were asking about me. Maybe I had a good set, maybe the right people were watching, maybe I got lucky, I don't know. As a comic, performing on a late night show is such a game changer. It takes you from an open mic working at bars to being seen as a real comic in the eyes of most people. My first Tonight Show was one of my greatest experiences as a comic and something that I'm very proud of.

Do you get a lot of hecklers? How do you fend them off?

Asked by jsb77 almost 12 years ago

I tend to not get that many hecklers because Im pretty high energy and I talk pretty loud up there, that usually gets people to shut up and keeps hecklers quiet. That being said I rarely go one full weekend of shows without someone yelling something. Its usually a drunk guy who yells something dumb like "thats what she said" or a drunk women who yells "Tammy's getting married!". Normally I tell them to shut the fuck up and people laugh and then its over. The crowd wants the comedian to do his/her thing. Hecklers are annoying and take away from the show, 99% of audience members would tell you that... so when it happens, you just have to take a deep breath and remember that everyone is routing for you. A well run comedy club will send security over right away and warn the person and eventually throw them out. The best is when a club throws out a heckler. I fucking LOVE that. Get out, you don't deserve to enjoy comedy. Its more fun when the club does it then when we do it because then we don't look like such assholes.

Do you think Daniel Tosh owed an apology after that recent incident with the rape jokes? (In case anyone missed it,

Asked by fall down go boom almost 12 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?