Comedian Jay Reid Interview by Chris Hearn
Jay Reid is making a name for himself in the American comedy scene. LTW’s Chris Hearn got a chance to do a short email interview to find out about the Las Vegas native and what he has been up to.
If there is one thing I love, its comedy. One day, we get this email from a lady named Amy Sisoyev representing American comic, Jay Reid, saying, “Hey check this guy out! Want to do an interview?” My answer was, “Yes, of course.” Why wouldn’t I?
So, I looked into Jay Reid, a man who I admit I hadn’t heard of before this. But in my defence, I’ve been more focused on Canadian and UK comedy over the years. There are a lot of American comics I don’t know about. But that’s okay with me. I was just glad to get an opportunity to interview Jay.
His style is definitely on the “urban” side. He’s a stylish, dynamic, physical comic who has some interesting ideas. He brings some race issues into his comedy, along with a dab of politics here and there, but mostly his comedy is a nice, light-hearted observational escape. He’s brought some musical elements into his performance as well, adding to his versatile nature.
I’m always interested in how people got into comedy of course. And, according to Jay, “I started doing comedy 10 years ago in Las Vegas and my first time onstage was horrific. I went up on the stage and bombed for about 7 minutes straight. You know you did a horrible job when no one even acknowledges the fact that you are alive after you get off stage. But it made me stronger and I never gave up.” Fair enough. He didn’t give up, and he still hasn’t given up. And it’s been paying off. Jay eventually auditioned for a major comedy competition, a show called ‘Who’s Got Jokes’…and he WON. Good job, Jay!
Now, Jay was born in Las Vegas. Wait, what, really? No one is born in Las Vegas. Everyone goes to Las Vegas. Well, not this guy! No, he was actually born in Las Vegas. “Vegas has truly inspired me to want to have my name in bright lights like some of the greats that have been on the strip.” Well, he’s on his way there. His successes keep piling up with the aforementioned comedy competition, television appearances including his own 30 minute comedy special, gigs in top venues with top comics and a role in the movie “21” with Kevin Spacey.
He’s been on tour with the very talented and funny Bill Bellamy who he met through the ‘Who’s Got Jokes’ show. “Bill saw something that was different in me and decided to take me on tour with him. It has been great being on the road with him. I’m learning so much about the industry and I feel blessed to be apart this movement that we have created.”
That tour has spawned the ‘Ladies Night Out’ comedy special that has already aired in the US in February. “This new comedy special that’s airing is so much different from any other comedy specials that you have seen. Its four funny, and sexy comedians that have geared a show towards the ladies. We are trying to uplift the ladies but at the same time we don’t exclude the fellas. We like to say that we are saving relationships one joke at a time.”
And, speaking of sexy, Jay does seem to have a way of attracting swoons and cheers from adoring, mostly female fans based on videos I have seen. This is the kind of thing that can really be the downfall of an artists, whether a musician OR a comedian (but very rarely does this happen to mimes and tuba players) – losing sense of who you are, letting the adoration go to your head. But, Jay seems to say pretty down to earth. “You stay humble by knowing why you got in this business. I got in it to spread laughter around the world, not for the money or fame. If you keep that mentality and have the right people around you, staying humble won’t be a problem.”
Jay has also had the opportunity to go to Iraq to entertain American troops. “I was asked to go perform overseas with the MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program for the US Army) tour and because I use to be in the military before comedy, I couldn’t turn that down. It was an experience I will never forget. Talking to the soldiers and seeing how thankful they were for us coming to entertain them is a feeling I will never forget.” I would imagine it would be unforgettable. If you forget that you went to a war zone, you might have to consult a doctor.
And, because we are mainly a music site, I had to ask Jay about what he has on his stereo these days. “I’m listening to Chris Brown, Ace Hood, and Justin Beiber. I really can’t believe I’m saying that as an adult. LOL.” Well, as a Canadian I guess I should thank him for supporting Canadian content in his musical choices. And I do thank him for taking the time to answer a few questions and letting me, and you, know a bit more about him. Best of luck, Jay Reid! Stay humble.
Interview by Chris Hearn. More writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.