Comedian, actor and writer, Joe Mande has contributed to some of your favorite comedies. Whether it was his input in the writer’s rooms of shows such as, “Park & Recreation”, “Master of None”, “The Good Place” and “The Kroll Show” or his on-screen contributions on shows such as ABC’s “Modern Family and FOX’s “Brooklyn Nine Nine”. Aside from the TV world, Joe Mande has also spent years earning stripes in the stand-up comedy world. In fact, Joe’s debut one-hour special, “Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Special”, is now on Netflix. Comedy Hype caught up with Joe Mande to chat about his career and his new special.
CH: You just released your debut one-hour special, “Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Special”. Anyone who’s been following your career knows that it’s been a journey leading up to this moment. You’ve done the Comedy Central Half Hour and you’ve released an album. What should Joe Mande fans be expecting from the new special?
JM: Anyone who’s a fan of my comedy should be expecting more of the same kind of content, but better. I’m continuing to stay to true to the person that I am, but I’ve gotten better at the craft of stand up comedy and it’s a bit more refined. I’m always striving to be better, so I’m excited for people to see the growth that I’ve made over the years. Also, I wrote a lot of these jokes while I was on road, so it’s new material and I’m always excited to debut new material.
CH: The tile of your special is “Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Special”. I feel like just the name alone, would make someone say, “Well, I guess we have to give Joe an award now.” What was the inspiration behind the title?
JM: Well, I hope I do win awards for it [Laughs]. But if you watch the special, there’s some sketch elements and an entire narrative behind the name. In the special, I’m actually trying to win the American Humor Award. I just thought it was a fun name and a fun premise.
CH: Nowadays, there’s a mass amount of stand up specials on Netflix. This makes it hard to stand out, if you film a regular special. But your new special seems to do a pretty stellar job at being unique. What was thought process behind the way that you filmed this special?
Before making this special, I watched a lot of stand-up specials, just to get a grasp of what was already out there and what had not been done before. So after watching a few specials, I brainstormed a few things that would help me differentiate myself from the abundance of specials that were already out there. – Joe
CH: Who were some of your biggest stand up influences?
JM: Early on, I watched a lot of Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious”, to the point where I almost wore out the tape [Laughs]. Other influences were people like Chris Rock, Adam Sandler and David Cross. Another huge thing that influenced me, was going on the road with John Mulaney and Mike Birbiglia. Being around those guys helped me a lot. Also, when I moved to New York, I had a great group of friends that consisted of people like, Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman and Chelsea Peretti. Honestly, I’ve just always been a sponge soaking up elements of everything and everyone around me.
CH: Some of the people you just named started in stand up, then ventured off into TV and film projects of their own. At this point in your career, you have a sufficient amount of TV experience. You’ve been on both sides; writing and acting. Are there any plans to take those skills and do a TV project of your own?
JM: Well, I’m always thinking of ideas for shows, but the TV business can be sort of fickle and you never know what’s going to happen. You can have a show one day, then be cancelled the next. Stand-up is like my safety net. With stand-up, I don’t have to wait on anyone, I can just go out and do shows. But don’t get me wrong, TV is always in the mix and I would love to do a show of my own, if the opportunity was right.
CH: We just talked about possible plans for future projects, but are there any solid upcoming projects that your fans should be looking out for?
JM: I just finished writing season 2 of NBC’s, “The Good Place”, I’m counting on appearing in more episodes of ABC’s, “Modern Family” and of course, my new special is out.