Daniel Reskin, long-time underground Miami comic and host of Casa de Ha Ha, recently announced on his blog that he was going rogue. After ten years as a waiter, which was the source of some of his jokes, he's finally been able to move on and perform stand up as a full time job, which amounts to a whole bunch of poverty and satisfaction.
Those who haven't made it to Sweat Records for Reskin's weekly hosting duties or standup have missed one of Miami's most talented comics. He's graced the pages of our own Miami New Times both as subject and writer, has performed countless local comedy shows, and now announces his biggest project to date: Casa De Ha Ha Tonight.
As if Miami was lacking in entertainment delights, Reskin ambitiously put together Miami's only late-night talk show event. Whether born from his Casa de Haha hosting duties or spurred by the antics that can be found on his podcast of the same name, the show fills a void and promises to be something special.
This one-off show comes to the Miami Light Project's Light Box Theater in Wynwood Monday, March 31. Guest stars, from documentarian Billy Corben of Cocaine Cowboys fame to a panel of local comics, will be on hand to discuss issues in the vein of Chelsea Handler, along with an editorial from author J. J. Colagrande, who authored the novels Headz the Novel and Deco. Plus, Reskin has his own musical accompaniment of Telekinetic Walrus' Time Keeper, who'll play the Paul Shaffer to his David Letterman.
This inaugural show reeks of promise and possibility. The idea of a regular talk show that focuses on Miami artists, comedians, musicians, and writers is tantalizing. Comics and promoters have promised a Miami talk show for years, but it either to never happens or falls incredibly short of expectations - but those never had the young Reskin at helm. We think his will and experience can pull some magic.
Cultist reached out to Daniel to ask about the upcoming show, how he'll host, and if he's already written his first joke.
Cultist: You've been pretty industrious; first stand-up, then hosting Casa de Ha-Ha at Sweat Records, and now your own talk show. What's the drive behind the constant evolution?
Daniel Reskin: It's a mix of getting better and getting bored. I love diving into new projects. Getting a grasp on stand-up fed into starting a podcast, writing, and acting. I just have to remember to hone everything, not just the new hotness. Stand-up comedy and showbiz are always evolving, so it fits. My next evolution would be to grow wings. They could be feathery or leathery, I'm not picky.
Which late night hosts are you going to model your style after?
I'm going to model my style after me, dammit. Though, I've always loved late night talk shows so if - when - something goes wrong, I might default into a Jewish Conan O'Brien. The show is inspired by talk shows, but also topical comedy shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Real Time with Bill Maher. The original code name for the show was The Dale Show.
Are you doing anything to incorporate the city's unique "Miaminess," other than focusing on local personalities and happenings?
The show is a love letter and defense for Miami. Our guests are all Miami people with something to say about the city. The comedians are local and will discuss current topics like legalizing pot and the controversial Midtown Wal-Mart. The show will be dripping with Miami while still keeping an eye on the rest of the world. We know our reputation. People need to know the deeper story - before we become "Atlantis 2: Aquatic Boogaloo."
How long has it taken to write the first joke of your monologue? Are you struggling trying to make sure it's just right?
I'm in the middle of it now. I didn't want to write the jokes too early and have them feel stale. I've been testing out material at shows and open mics. I'll probably mix in a few of my Miami bits because they fit too well and I already remember them. Do we have cue cards?
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Do you already have a vision for where the show will go? Is there a grand plan yet, or is it just to have fun, make some jokes, and do some cool things on stage?
The basic version is to have a Miami-centric live theater show that is hilarious and thought-provoking. We are filming it to put clips online. Since the powers that be no longer hire potential funny, quality online content is a modern resume. We'll also cut it into a standard show to wildly entice the local networks. This is a one-off. We'd like to do more but don't know when. So come experience this rare beautiful thing, bro!
Casa De Ha ha Tonight. Fri, March 31. Miami Light Project's Light Box Theater. 404 NW 26th St., Miami. $8 pre-sale, $10 at the door. Free Flat Tire Beer with each entry. Visit casadehaha.com.