Ep. #94: David Heti

David Heti is a very funny comedian who once lived in Toronto and New York City and has just released his very first stand-up special, the intellectually stimulating and wickedly dark, It was ok, which is available now via davidheti.com. Last week David and I met for a chat at Sushi on Bloor in Toronto where we discussed the time he lived in Toronto and avoided sushi, whether he lives in New York, Ottawa, or Montreal, how to live and work, choosing an impassioned low-paying path even when you could’ve taken a well-paying, secure path instead, avoiding all animals, my definition of Passover, David becomes a religious guy here for a few minutes, how his family dynamic colours his impression of Passover festivities, the definition of It was okay, as it pertains to David’s new stand-up special, how he hyper-exaggerates his family life in his stand-up, my history of interviewing and eating with people and then sharing the results with the general public via podcasts, David calls me out on my rudeness/politeness only to have it all thrown back in his face, how David’s podcast I Have a Problem with David Heti works, how/when I eat and our work together on the fake talk show Long Night with Vish Khanna, David’s special someone, our food arrives and I snap a photo of David, how his mother processed his stand-up special, what we can actually learn about David from his comedy, how eating together tends to relax interview subjects, whether or not all of this ‘reality comedy’ by people like Louis CK and Marc Maron that people are raving about is really real or particularly better than someone like Jerry Seinfeld who “keeps his distance” in his act, the glory and recognition that comedians deserve, how David tends to antagonize or belittle his audience, how things get meta, how any buffoon can make someone laugh, the notion of shocking an audience with jokes, David’s history in stand-up and his artistic family and sister Sheila Heti, another pair of smart, comedic siblings I bring up for no apparent reason, David’s love for the work of Woody Allen but how most comedic enterprises fail to entertain him, the stuff he auditions for and whom or what he writes for, writing disposable topical jokes, late night talk shows, his future plans, which include teaching a comedy writing course at McGill and an eastern Canadian tour in support of It was okay, and then we paid the bill and wandered down a frigid Bloor Street during an hour-long blackout.

Related links: davidheti.com vishkhanna.com

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