Being viciously straightforward, devastatingly hilarious and cursing whenever possible is what we all know and love comedian Robert Kelly for. Oh, and for his excessive use of the word “dude” too. On Tuesday, June 17, he’s taping his first special at the Village Underground and while it’s sold out, not to worry because you can always get your “Bobby fix” through his wildly popular “You Know What Dude” podcast on The RiotCast Network. Before his big event goes down this Tuesday, we talked to this insanely funny guy to find out what else he’s got going on and as it would turn out, we opened a Pandora’s Box.
See also: Hannibal Buress: “Bombing Can Be Good”
The teenage story you told on Inside Amy was so funny and during it you had mentioned that you hadn’t even had a finger in your ass at that point. At what age did you get a finger in your ass exactly?
[Laughs.] That is the fucking greatest question I’ve ever been asked! What a nice way to start off an interview too. Let me think. God dammit that’s a great question! Ummm…it had to be after I got sober. It was after I was 19 I think. It was when I first started comedy and I dated some freaky chicks and they would do that. I didn’t like it in though, just around.
You might’ve liked it more if you weren’t sober.
Yeah, but then I would have probably just ended up banging a dude. [Laughs.] I remember I used to date this girl who would just get in the car and take all of her clothes off. We’d just drive around her neighborhood at night and she’d blow me and put her finger near my butt. It was one of the weirdest and coolest relationships I’ve ever had. I remember she used to smell like moth balls so I had to get over that smell. I used to keep the windows cracked in the car a little. [Laughs.] She was cool but she was a really socially awkward girl. Like, she was always quiet in public but then we’d get in the car, she’d get naked, we’d drive around, and she’d just blow me and play with my ass.
OK I don’t even know if I’m happy or sad that I asked you that. On a side note, covering your live taping during the NY Comedy Festival last year for Village Voice was one of the most uncomfortably funny moments of my life.
I remember that and your review was great! That show was great because it was the moment I realized that Luis J. Gomez had sucked dick before. I mean, when he told me to put my leg up on that chair I was like, yeah, you’ve done this before. He knew it was the best position to be in because you can’t have two planted feet when you are getting a blow job! You need one leg up to get it right.
Speaking of podcasts, there are a lot of fantastic ones on RiotCast. Other than your own, do you have a favorite?
It’s hard for me to say because I kind of run the network. Rob Sprance and I handpick every show and we make sure these people can do it themselves so they don’t need us. Like “Hammerfisting.” Rob and I love the show and Luis really loves MMA and doing his podcast, so that’s why we chose it. The passion was behind it. Then you have “The Jersey Jerks,” which is one of the original shows and they do it every week. It’s a fucking awesome show and they’re self-deprecating, they trash people, and they don’t give a fuck. “Why You Suck in Bed” has been around for a while and these two broads have professional jobs, they’re sexy as hell, and they talk about sex from a girl’s point of view. They do it so a guy will also want to listen because there’s no bullshit involved. They’re not trying to placate to women as a whole. We’ve got [Rich] Vos and Bonnie [McFarlane] and I went to them and was like, you guys should do something together. Their show “My Wife Hates Me” was this collaboration and now it’s a hot live show that’s just killing it. So long story not short, I don’t have a favorite because every show is uniquely different. I listen to them all and I really like them all.
Good answer. Long, but good. When did you get so hooked on the word “dude”?
It’s just me. I’ve been using it forever. I don’t know, I’m from Boston and it’s kind of a Boston thing. If you listen to Boston guys it’s all, “Dude! Fucking dude!” I say “fucking dude” all of the time. That’s why I don’t do late night TV because what am I going to do? I developed this shake or something that I get when I can’t say “fuck” or say what I want to say. On late night, I’d have to do my act in a certain way so that Middle America won’t be offended. Suck my fucking dick, dude! [Laughs.]
Well you’re in luck because we’re OK with your mouth over here. Wait. Are you doing a FX show? Did I hear that?
We’re waiting to hear back, but I did a pilot called “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” with Denis Leary, John Ales, Elizabeth Gillies, and John Corbett for FX. It’s about a rocker that used to be the shit 25 years ago and we were like the mother fuckers of the rock scene in the world but then, everything fell apart because of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. I was the drummer so I had to learn the drums to be in this thing. I mean, I can play them but I look like I can play them more than I really can. [Laughs.] I’m just lucky to be involved with it because it’s such a great cast. I’m hoping they pick it up because it’s fun, it films in New York, and I get to be a fucking drummer!
That sounds incredible. Tell me about your special “Live From the Village Underground.” Is that going to be the name of it?
That’s another great question, although, I still like the finger in the butt question better because no one’s ever asked me that. [Laughs.] We don’t have a name for the special yet but that is one of the top runners. I should’ve done this a year or two ago but I’m glad I waited because I think I’m better than I was a year or two ago. I have a lot of material but with this, I’m going to do the best hour I’ve got. My theory behind it was to do it in a small venue because I’m not a theatre guy. I think comedy is 200 people at a club with low ceilings and right in your face. I want to just roll in and keep it simple like you’d see me on any Saturday night. I’m going to step on the gas, kill it, and we’re going to film it. I’m lucky enough to have Jim Serpico producing it and then I have Bobcat Goldthwait directing it. I have the best management in the world right now and everything just came to fruition at the right time.
I’m glad you’re doing it at the Village Underground, I know you love that club.
I really do. Manny Dworman and the booker Estee Adoran really cater to us comedians and gave us the comedy table, food, and money. When Manny passed away, the club really could’ve fell by the wayside but his son Noam picked the ball up and ran with it. Then he opened up the Village Underground, which is something that his father always wanted to do. It’s like a bigger Comedy Cellar which is fucking awesome because he took a risk and did it. He’s got the Comedy Cellar, which is the greatest club in the world, and now he has this other beautiful and bigger version of it right around the corner. To be able to be the first person to film a one hour special at the Village Underground is not only awesome for me, but it’s an honor. It will also hopefully change the way shit is done because you don’t have to do it in a theatre. It’s like a dream because this is my club and it’s where it all started for me. It’s great. Fuck it, I’m very sentimental.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 16, 2014