Coming to us live while visiting his parents place, Neon Entertainment comedian Blake Wexler took a minute to give us a little glimpse behind the scenes. This of course is the 3rd edition of our new Neon Spotlight Series, which we will post 1 on 1 interviews with some of our entertainers to help you get to know them a little bit better. You can listen to the entire podcast right at the bottom of this page to get the full interview. Here is a little bit of what we talked about with comedian Blake Wexler!
After telling us he was coming live from the lower bunk of a bunkbed while visiting his parents in Charleston, South Carolina, and talking about his feelings on dumb people, Blake told us about his home life and what it’s like doing college sets. He said he loves going to small schools and seeing how different people from different places live differently. Residing in Los Angeles, his typical day consists of writing, getting some work done, “hopefully” going on a hike, and then hitting the town to do some sets in downtown LA at various comedy clubs.
Do you Change Your Set for Colleges?
Blake got into how booking shows at colleges does present an interesting challenge, as he bases a lot of his comedy on his life experiences and/or frustrations. For example, a group of college students might not find his lack of health insurance to be that funny because they’re still on their parents health insurance.
He talked about how he swears a lot in regular life, not only on stage, and how it presents a challenge to not over swear at college shows. The college shows are good practice for when he has to do TV sets, as even comedy central won’t let you swear. He quoted comedian Louis CK’s approach to swearing in comedy, which was “If you’re swearing, make sure it’s necessary, and adds to the emotion of the joke. Make sure its helping, not useless.” He laughed as he told us, “I just swear uselessly.”
When he was in grade school, it was either a zoologist or baseball player. When he was 15, he joked he needed to do something and laughed as he said, “I was fat.” His mother started looking for something for him to do. Baseball practice was on Monday nights, and that’s when 24 was on, so that was out. She also asked about tap dancing. That was also out. So when she asked if he wanted to join a comedy class, he already loved comedy and gave it a shot.
“I started when I was 15, with no life experience. My material was trash. It was terrible. I think I did the same set for like 6 years. Now that I’m older and have more life experience, I’m seeing more things so I can write faster.”
Wexler credits Mrs. Wexler with a lot of his success and facing the fears that many people never choose to face, let alone at 15. She drove him around to open mic’s all over Philadelphia, and these sets didn’t always go great, but gave him a backbone to walk into any club and do a set. He told us about how being 15 on stage in downtown Philly at 2am brings out some real animals, heckling and yelling insults. This clears any nerves he faces when going on stage nowadays.
“I was totally broken in early. I’m never nervous, because these people aren’t throwing beer bottles, and I’m not 16.”
Being a comedian in LA sounds like a dream life, but it’s not the chase for fame that keeps Wexler up on stage. He genuinely loves comedy. You can hear it in his voice, and despite all the successes and downfalls, from being Keegan Peele’s assistant on Key & Peele to working at a liquor store in LA, comedy makes Blake Wexler happy.
Im not even close to anywhere I want to be in this business, but, this business is so hard, you’re always like AHH, I want that next thing I want that next thing. Dude just be happy. Be happy at all. I see so many people that do things [they don’t want to], that I grew up with. There’s nothing wrong with having a 9-5, but find something you love….Have an outlet. You dont have to be famous to do what you want to do for a living.
This is just a glimpse into the awesome time we had when we talked to Blake. See the full interview below to hear more about his time spent on the set of Key & Peele on Comedy Central, his take on “tucking it up,” living in LA, and whether he’d rather die by drowning or falling off a bunkbed. Stay tuned for more editions of the Neon Spotlight!