first got onstage as a smart-ass sixteen year old. He takes theFillmore stage
this Friday for theComedians of Chelsea Lately
tour alongside Sarah Colonna, Brad Wollack, and Loni Love. Wolf will go up as someone who has had TV sitcom development deals, a web-series, a regular slot on theChelsea Lately
roundtable, and a script that was purchased by Adam Sandler's production company.
We caught up with Wolf and asked him about his tribulations in the entertainment industry as a single father, the Chelsea roundtable, his little-league bank robbery caper, and flinging snot on Bill Gates.
New Times: You got started in stand-up when you were just sixteen. What drew you to it at such a young age?
Josh: I think it was that my dad had called me a smart-ass enough where I thought, "huh, why don't we give that a try?" I didn't have a drivers license so my parents had to drive me to the show. I got on stage and, the attention whore that I was/am, when I got off the stage I thought "I'm going to have to do this a little more."
You had a one-man show at the HBO workshop about being a young, single father. What was it like getting started in comedy as a single father?
I cut the road out of my life. I had to, no choice really. I just performed in town here. It's one of those things where it's not what you ask for, but it's what you're dealt and you kind of deal with it. And it ended up becoming a part of my comedy. It wasn't the best situation to be in but it was good because it gave me a bunch of jokes.
From that you had a sitcom in development about your life being a single father. How old were you when this all occurred?
I was young, which is why the show didn't work. It wasn't believable even though it was true. And the story was so complicated. The kids weren't mine biologically. And I was too young as a comic. If you look at Seinfeld or Roseanne, they had 15 years of comedy experience when they got a sitcom. And they had a really clear voice when other writers wrote for them. I didn't, I just had an interesting story.
You have a web-series with Fox Sports, The College Experiment, where you take on the world of college football.
It's easily the favorite thing I'm doing right now because it combines two things I love, sports and comedy. And I also love that it's a huge challenge because we only have one topic, college football, and we write it in a day and a half. And there are only two of us. I try to make it where you don't have to be a sports fan to get all the jokes.
How did the opportunity to appear on the Chelsea Lately roundtable come about?
I've known Chelsea for a while. She called me in at the beginning of the show and explained what it was and it just went from there.
What do you do to prep going on the roundtable?
Well, we don't get topics until an hour or two before the show. They may send an article with a topic, and I'll read over that. I don't really plan specific jokes usually. I like to make it more of a conversation. If I think of something that kills, I may keep it in my back packed.
You're in the process of writing a film for Adam Sandler's production company, Happy Madison. How deep into the process are you?
We finished and handed in our first draft and are now just waiting.
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It's based on a true story about a group of kids who play on a traveling baseball all-star team. Their coach used the team as a cover to rob a bank in every city they went to. The lead detective for the LAPD had a son who played shortstop on the team, and stood next to the person he was supposed to arrest every day at practice. Kind of like Catch Me If You Can and Bad News Bears put together.
On your website there's a mention of you spitting on Bill Gates...
I was doing an industrial video for Microsoft. They're the sort of things they show internally at year-end parties to celebrate the company. So I had an interview with Bill Gates and they prepped me and said that I had one take, Bill Gates doesn't do more than one take, he knows the questions, do not vary from the script because he won't.
Lot of pressure, I'm talking to the most powerful man in the world. I'm talking to the guy and sticking to the script and he tells a joke. I wasn't expecting it. I didn't want to laugh out loud because I didn't want to ruin the cut. So I stifled my laugh, which caused me to exhale really hard out of my nose. When I did that snot went out of my nose and landed on his wrist. And I thought "Oh lord, he is going to leave here and erase the history of my family." He's going to go to his computer, find Josh Wolf and click erase. He kept doing his thing. At the end of the interview he grabbed a handkerchief out of his pocket, casually wiped the snot off and walked out of the room. I went to the camera guy and asked if he got it and he said, "you mean the snot that came out of your nose? I got that." Quite intense.