Comedy Spotlight Q&A: Jay Black

I chatted with comedian Jay Black about politics and his gaggle of television films

Last time we spoke it was July of 2015. We were babies.

Wow! July one knew what was coming for the country then! Wouldn’t it be funny if we look back at that interview and one of my answers was “Well as long as there’s no pandemic, I’ll be there!”

Or a wannabe dictator ruling the country..

::laughs:: Exactly! Nine years ago. Holy Mackerel.

How has your comedy changed since you became a dad?

I now have three kids. As an observational comic, you watch what they do and incorporate them into the act that way. They’re all super funny and the jokes they make about me, it increases your self awareness. You can see how the younger generations are looking at you and that makes for some good jokes.

Are your kids funny?

All three of them are funny! My son has my goofiness and my two daughters are as cutting as can be. My daughters talk to the world like I talk to a heckler. I FEAR for the male population when they start dating. They do NOT hold back.

So on your social media, you go after conspiracy theorists and MAGA. How do you cope?

I leave social media as a little silo in my life. I don’t carry it into my every day life. I ALWAYS retweet folks who tweet nasty things about me or my act to promote my tour. I don’t think most of those folks are actually that mean in their day to day lives; although I’m sure a few are. When you see the MAGA at the rally..KISS fans don’t dress like KISS when KISS isn’t in town. I think I’m close to who I am online because I don’t belong to a cult. But a lot of those online folks are just normal in real life.

I’m getting a ton of tweets from MAGA on my videos of Kristi Noem. It’s pretty ridiculous to support that situation because she literally killed a puppy in cold blood because it was acting like a dog. They have to come online and support her no matter what because it’s a political game to them.

What is your favorite film of all time and why?

I always go back to “The Empire Strikes Back” because I’m a nerd at heart. It is the best of the nine Skywalker movies. It’s got great action, puppets spouting mysticism..I was born in 1976 and it was one of the first movies I remember’s in my DNA.

Last time we chatted about your film “Meet My Valentine” which had just come out or was coming out. And I have to say it’s one of the least nauseating Hallmark movies I’ve seen.

That’s what I go for. I put a post it up while I’m writing that reads “least nauseating.”

And plus you had Scott Wolf as a lead.

Scott is so GOOD. What a great guy too.

Since then, you’ve done more and you’ve expanded to Lifetime. What inspires you to write these movies?

I have my own company and have been producing these movies for a few years now. It’s one of the places my desire to have my work seen on television and my ability to raise money intersects. The difference between a thriller and writing a joke isn’t dissimilar. A joke is a surprise that delights you, where you don’t know what someone will say, and tension is released. A thriller is the same thing, except laughing, you’re scared. I love the challenge of using the budget of a TV movie to see how you can tell it on screen, without it seeming limited. I’m doing a movie one one thousandth the budget of a big superhero movie basically.

I was looking at your credits and one film caught my eye..”Psycho Storm Chaser.” I thought to myself “Is this about Cary Elwes character from ‘Twister?'”

Kinda sorta. I mean, wouldn’t a person, who is in a hurricane, be the best serial killer? If you use blunt force trauma to kill someone, they would think they was killed by a rock during the hurricane. I worked back from there. A Bill Nye type guy who is a meteorologist for a weather network, finds survivors, and kills them because he’s a serial killer.

I know you insert yourself into your films, via cameo, sort of like Hitchcock. Would you ever be a lead?

I’m 47 now. I wasn’t a lead at 30, so I’m not one at 47.

But the dad gotta market that!

There might be something to that! “Bears in Paradise”

That sounds like a CW dating show hosted by Nikki Glaser

Nikki, if you’re reading, let’s make it happen!

At this point in my life, I’m way more focused on being behind the camera. There are far more beautiful and charismatic people who deserve to be in front of the camera.

Does your wife approve of these films?

When the checks come in. She’s a good partner. She watches them with me and enjoys them, I think. The person probably I spend most going over them with is my daughter. I call it the ‘Annabelle test.’ If she gets through it and doesn’t have a question on plot or motivation, then we’re good. I try to make my family a part of the films. My son was a PA and extra in a film we shot in South Carolina. My youngest daughter got to be on set when we filmed a murder scene. Before anyone flips out, it’s helpful as a child to see a make believe murder happen when you’re young, so you KNOW it’s make believe. She’s never been afraid of a movie since.

Are you excited about your upcoming show in Gaithersburg?

Absolutely! The Give a Hoot comedy club is such a great venue. When they sent the pitch that they partner with a different charity per week, I just loved that idea. I first performed there in 2023. The club is great, the crowds were big. Anytime you can perform, make money, and know that some of that money is going to a good cause, it’s always a pleasure.

Jay headlines Give A Hoot 5/24 AND 5/25 Buy tix

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