My mom is from Hope, Indiana and there they use the phrase “good ol’ boy” a lot. I think that Nate Bargatze is the best personification of a “good ol’ boy”. Nate Bargatze is a standup comedian from Tennesse that has appeared on Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, in addition to having his own Presents on Comedy Central. When he’s not being a hilarious, clean comic, Nate does lots of USO tours, and all-in-all is a good ol’ boy.
He will be performing tonight, at The Mesa Arts Center.
How are you?
I’m good, how about you?
I’m great, where are you phoning in from?
I’m actually in LA and I’m flying to Denver for the festival.
In one of your bits you talk about a comedy college. Did you actually go to a comedy college?
Yeah, in Chicago. It wasn’t really a college it was more like a few classes.
Well speaking of college, how do you think Vanderbilt will fair this season?
I think they should be alright, pretty stout defense, we go the new coach from Stanford. I hoping for a Bowl Game but we should do pretty alright.
You’ve performed at Bonnaroo, SXSW, you have your own Presents, and have been on Conan, Fallon to list a few. What do you want to do that you haven’t already?
Standup wise? I’m filming my hour special this year. That and hopefully keep doing more specials.
Do you have a name for it?
No not yet, I’m still thinking about it.
Will you be testing any new material at the High Plains Comedy Festival?
I’m debating if I want some stuff in the special so I might be testing that.
You were making a pilot with Fallon, any update on that?
We’re doing it again, retooling it. We’re actually deciding on a writer so we can rewrite the pilot but we should turn it in about December to NBC.
Is your podcast, “It Could Be Better” over or will you guys be bringing that back?I’m pretty sure it ran its course. We’re all doing different stuff, but you never know. Podcasts have been blowing up and we were sort of left behind (laughs)
You’ve performed in Iraq, Kuwait, and Honduras? Would you go back to do USO shows?
I hope to do more; I hope to go to Afghanistan.
You don’t hear that often…
(Laughs) yeah I had to stay in 2010 to do my Comedy Central Presents but I hope to go. But now I have a daughter so its harder to take time off because it’s a fifteen, twenty day commitment.
Your father was a comedian and magician, can you do any illusions?
I stuck with the standup, kind of like Vanderbilt. It’s a lot of work to learn magic, we had stuff around the house but I never really learned them.
Weirdest place you’ve performed/ favorite place?
Oh wow… Well I first started in people houses (in Chicago) like literally a show in their living room. Like they do it in their house, and we did something similar in south by southwest. It’s set up well but its bizarre to be in a living room doing standup. I remember I performed at a garage in Chicago and it had 4 milk crates and a piece of plywood. I was also asked to at 2 of my friends wedding, and that was awful (laughs).
You’re a clean comedian, was that a conscious choice?
I just grew up clean and not wanting my parents to be mad. Plus I watched clean comedy growing up, so it was natural. It’s not a business thing.
Who did you watch growing up?
I first saw Jim Breuer live first at 18. Cosby and Seinfeld were the guys I’d see on TV or the Sinbad special was great too.
Do you prefer the Chicago, LA or New York comedy scene?
For standup, New York is the best. You can get up and get lot of stage time. I do like LA and Chicago though. Chicago is a lot better now. When I was there it was lots of improv but its grown.
Did you do any improv?
Yeah I took a couple classes but I wasn’t a fan of it.
Do you prefer Comedy Festivals or just regular touring?
It is easier to do an hour on the road but festivals are the best in the work. My dad and Magicians would have cons and hang out and its similar for comedians. You get to see your buddies a lot and its weird because you see who you first started with.
Lastly, Red or Green?