Florida is an easy punch line. Thanks to the, ahem, colorful characters that populate the Sunshine State, whether it’s a man robbing a Taco Bell after paying for his meal or a woman hiding her weed in her niece’s lunchbox, this place gives everyone the giggles. But although comedian Josh Wolf has toured South Florida extensively, he says he's thankful to have never come across any zombie face-eaters or toddler-chomping alligators himself.
“The news that comes out of South Florida is funny and wacky enough," Wolf says. "Lucky for me, I don’t need to be involved in any of those stories. I do follow something on Twitter called Florida News just because I know I’m gonna get something funny at least once a week.
"Recently, there was a guy cooking meth, naked, on the beach. He couldn’t quite understand why he was being arrested since it was a public beach and nobody has ownership of the beach. But he had forgotten he was cooking meth, which is the problem.”
Also, there was the naked thing.
“Yeah, but cooking meth is probably something they really frown upon.”
Wolf spoke with New Times ahead of his Friday gig with fellow Chelsea Lately alum Heather McDonald at the Casino at Dania Beach, the latest in a career spanning decades. Wolf got started in comedy as a teenager, testing his parents' patience immediately.
“I was 15 years old. I had seen it on TV and just wanted to try it. Lucky for me, my parents were with me, you know, because they had to drive me. I just got to make fun of them, which was plenty funny.”
Since those early days, the now-41-year-old has become one of those people he once idolized on television, and busies himself with his own family, including children who might one day show him the meaning of karma. Now he's plotting his next move. He’s already written a bestselling book, It Takes Balls: Dating Single Moms and Other Confessions From an Unprepared Single Dad, and starred in several podcasts and sitcoms.
He also recently experienced something of a breakup: Wolf's face is still splashed across the CMT website advertising his late-night talk show, The Josh Wolf Show, which debuted in June 2015, but like an ex who has yet to take down those vacation photos from four years ago, things are not as they seem.
“The talk show is officially canceled. After you get done licking your wounds, you realize you got to live out one of your dreams, which is to have a show called The Josh Wolf Show. Even though it was short-lived, there aren’t too many people that get to say they lived their dreams.”
As for what’s next, Wolf replies with “touring, touring, touring” and perhaps even revamping the show so that he can film it from his house in Los Angeles via YouTube. He says no matter what, one person he knows to keep happy in any situation, at home or on the road, is his wife. In one of his best bits, Wolf shared with the world how he knew she was the one on their very first date: her calm and cool reaction to Wolf shitting his pants in a restaurant. There are, however, jokes or stories she's asked him not to tell.
“Oh, yeah, like a thousand of them. I just don’t tell them. I have to respect her and what she wants. I just have to then kind of balance it out a bit. Sometimes I’ll substitute names; if it’s a story I really want to tell, I’ll just tweak it.”
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She’s not the only important woman in his life with valuable advice. Wolf, a longtime talking head on Chelsea Handler’s late-night comedy talk show Chelsea Lately, once received guidance from Handler that he hasn’t forgotten and plans to fully follow come what may:
“No one does you better than you. You’re the best you there is. Make TV like nobody’s watching.”
With Heather McDonald. 8 p.m. Friday, September 23, at the Casino at Dania Beach, 301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., Dania Beach. Tickets start at $25. Visit casinodaniabeach.com.