Greg Hahn Destroys The Funny Bone’s Stage… Again
By J.T. Ryder
Talking to Greg Hahn is like talking to an auctioneer suffering from ADHD and coming off a three-day crack binge. I actually had to slow down the tape at times just to be able to transcribe the interview. Onstage or off, Greg Hahn is one of the most maniacal, riotous comedians whose off-kilter humor is like a roller coaster ride through a Three Stooges movie: A theater of the absurd played in fast-forward. Our interviews have meandered through his stint in the Marines, through his various road stories and even a point where he set down the phone and played me a drum solo on the kit that resides in his dining room. With Greg Hahn, there are no descriptions I can offer and no advice I can give … other than strap in and enjoy the ride!
In dealing with comedians, most seem to feel like there’s a finite pool of laughter and another comedian getting laughs is using it up …
I like it if the emcee or the middle act gets laughs, actually, because the audience should enjoy themselves from the second they start watching. Not that every joke has to be knocked out of the park, but I like walking up to a happy audience. Yeah, I like a guy that rocks the house. Then again, I’m a one-man circus act, so I don’t care what he does. I feel I can follow it. [Greg Hahn]
Having been featured on the Bob and Tom Show innumerable times, do you think that this has exposed you to an audience that may have never heard of you otherwise?
Well, I think the Bob and Tom Show, for me, has made my career. It has totally given it a kick in the you-know-what. It’s really interesting because I was playing in a club in Indianapolis called One Liners, and they were like, “Hey, you’re going to do the Bob and Tom Show tomorrow!” I had heard that Bob and Tom was big and good, but I’d done a lot of radio and you don’t get overly excited. So, you do the Bob and Tom Show once and the next thing you know, you show up at a place you’ve never been before, like Wichita, Kansas, and the place is packed! That’s when I first learned the power of Bob and Tom, playing Wichita … that place was slammed and I’m like, “Holy Smokes!” [GH]
It’s also made you a staple of the Bob and Tom Comedy All-Stars Tour … what’s that like?
Yeah, the Bob and Tom Tour is like a total party. You know, I can just come out and go completely nuts. I don’t have to pace myself or anything … just total nuts, you know? That’s the thing … I come out, explode, then go have a Diet Coke backstage. It is truly the world of Jäger-bombs and body shots. It’s just a Bob and Tom party, because you’ve got all these headliners who normally don’t see each other on the club circuit, because we all headline. Our egos are too big. We wouldn’t dare want to open for each other, you know what I mean? But, on the Bob and Tom Tour, it’s all headliners, so … man! The green room is a riot. Honestly, I’ve never had so much fun doing comedy in all my life.[GH]
I wish they would release a DVD of just what goes on in the green room.
Yeah, but it’s like triple X-rated, so it’s hard to put it out to the public. [GH]
Well, since you’re one of the veterans of the tour, do different line-ups give a different feel to the show?
Not really. I mean, it’s different personnel, so you’ve got someone new to goof off with in the green room. But as far as the show itself, I don’t really sit out there and watch it. We sit in the green room totally goofing off talking about, again, because it’s a meeting of people who don’t normally see each other, so we can talk about challenges on the road, which comedy club has the most horrific condo, which guy tried to rip us off the most, and compare notes. Then, when they’re like, “Hey! You’re up next!” I just go out there, sprinting onto the stage, freak out, then race back to the green room. So, I don’t know what’s going on out there. I just know that I go out there and give the audience their money’s worth and make sure that they’re happy that they showed up. [GH]
Between the radio show and the Bob and Tom tours, it is like the perfect showcase for you, since you do so many corporate gigs.
Right! Yeah! No! Yeah! It really worked to my advantage. But still, there’s a huge difference with the corporate shows than the Bob and Tom tours. Yeah, the corporate shows are really squeaky clean and after I’m done with that I’ve got a horrible rash around my neck from the necktie, versus the Bob and Tom tours when you’re in your jeans and buzzed from whatever you were drinking in the green room. Yeah, with the Bob and Tom tours, the audience knows half of your jokes, so it’s like going out and singing your greatest hits. You know, it’s a good time. Like everyone is yelling, “High Five! Myself! No friends!” [GH]
My son loves that! He does that all the time. Now he’s got my dad doing it. Hopefully there’re not eight million fans in line and we can meet up with you after the show …
Just come storming in. Whoever it is, just step up and say, “Hey! We just did an interview!” and I’ll switch right over to you. I’ll get out of whoever I was talking to … unless it’s a chick with really huge boobs … [GH]
You can catch Greg Hahn live at the Dayton Funny Bone, June 16 at 7:30 p.m., June 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and June 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $17 and, since these are special engagements, no passes or special offers will be accepted. For more information, call (937) 429-5233 or go to www.daytonfunnybone.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer J.T. Ryder at JTRyder@DaytonCityPaper.com.