Comedian Adam Conover, the creator and star of the hit series Adam Ruins Everything, will be hitting up the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival tomorrow night with a live version of the popular show. Adam chats with The Extra Mile about the live show, his pre-show rituals, and offers advice for performers making their festival debut.
Q: How excited are you to do a live version of Adam Ruins Everything?
A: “Very, very excited. I want to be clear though, it’s not exactly a live version of Adam Ruins Everything. What I’m trying to do is stand-up comedy that integrates the kind of informational comedy that I do on Adam Ruins Everything into a stand-up format. It’s kind of like a biology class. In the show, I’m presenting mind-blowing incredible facts about biological parasites that control the minds of their hosts, and also the cultural parasites that control our minds. I relay mind-blowing information about those things but I’m also doing jokes in a fun stand-up format.”
Q: How do you begin to prepare for a live show like this?
A: “Well, I’ve been working on this for about a year now. It came out of the reading I’ve been doing over the past year, connecting trends between biology, advertising, and social media, and how social media controls us, and connecting those threads together. Then I actually brought on some of the researchers from Adam Ruins Everything to help me curate ideas and come up with new angles that I could talk about in the show. I performed the show over and over again in little venues around L.A., to sharpen it out.”
Q: What advice do you have for performers making their debut at the festival this year?
A: “It’s a great festival, I’ve done it in the past. I think one of the best parts about doing comedy is getting to do the festivals. You get to play brand new crowds, go to a new city, and most importantly, you can expose your brand of comedy and make a connection with other performers. I encourage any performers who are in the festival to go see other shows. Say, ‘hey, I’m going to be a comedian, I love your work, let’s stay in touch.’”
Q: Do you have any weird pre-show rituals before you get on stage?
A: “I try to drink a lot of water but not too much that I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the show. That’s about it. I used to always have a glass of whisky before a show to loosen up a bit. I’ve since realized that I don’t need that at all.”
Q: How do you go The Extra Mile?
A: “I, to a fault, want to top myself every single time I do a show. I want to make sure that people are really getting their money’s worth. I always feel if I’m not doing something bigger and better than I’ve ever done before than I’m wasting everybody’s time and mine too. That’s why I could have just done touring my hour of stand-up comedy that I’ve written in the past, but I said, “no, I want to write a brand new show that is going to be an hour of all new comedy information and I’m going to write it while making new episodes of Adam Ruins Everything. That takes a lot of energy but I’m really proud of the results.”
Q: Any last words for fans going to the show?
A: “There’s really challenging information in there that will really make you question your self-image. I say, please come with an open mind and hear me out before you come to any conclusions. Apart from that, be ready to laugh because there are a lot of great jokes in there as well. Come with an open mind, and let’s laugh and have a good time.”
Get tickets for Adam Ruins Everything at the Great Hall on Friday, March 8, 2019 here
[Interview by Luke Elisio]