Mitch Fatel, America's favorite playful pervert, comes to the Pittsburgh Improv for five shows Oct. 17 to 19. He gets away with comedy that might get the ordinary comedian incarcerated.
His pained delivery lures the audience in and takes them for a comedic ride through their own dark places. Once famously single and now married, Fatel doesn't remember a time when he didn't love girls.
"I had a girlfriend in kindergarten," Fatel says. "I never went through that phase that I wasn't supposed to like girls." In middle school, when most guys were trying to fit in with the football players, Fatel was trying to fit in with the girls, "They smelled nice; they were verbal."
The 20-year comedy veteran has appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," is a favorite guest on "Late Show with David Letterman" and has one of the highest-rated comedy specials on Comedy Central. Fatel recently released his latest CD, "Public Display of Perversion," the last of his vast collection of single jokes.
Question: Has being married changed you or your act?
Answer: I was scared at first. I thought I might not be funny anymore, but I have a great wife (Jessica). She lets me talk about her. She's a crazy bisexual. She's more perverted than I ever was. I have people tell me after shows that I'm better than I ever was. (My marriage) allows me to be more of an artist and think less about the fame.
Q: Speaking of fame, are you in the business for fame?
A: I got into it because I wanted girls to like me. Then, I became funnier and more women liked me. Truth is, fame equals power in this business. Power allows you make better choices so that you can become a better artist.
Q: Tell me about your creative process.
A: It's a mix of everything. I usually write about a half-hour a day. One or two ideas will come from that. I will bring it to the stage to see if I want to stick with it. I try it the first or second time and then see if I'm comfortable talking about it. I always record it and then go back to the hotel or my house and listen to it, then retype it in the computer and try it again. Recording has changed my life. I do most of my writing after listening to it.
Q: Who makes you laugh?
A: Howard Stern makes me laugh. He's one of my idols. It surprises people because people I like are kind of opposite me. I like Brian Regan. Ray Romano, people forget how funny he was before he had his show. Ray makes me laugh hard. Louis CK.
Q: What's next?
A: I have a reality show called "Mitch hearts Jessica." We just shot it and A&E is editing it. Who knows: maybe if it gets picked up I'll remember you when I'm a big star.
Q: What's on your iPod?
A: It's so eclectic, you might think I'm a serial killer. Here's what I just played, in order: Blink 182, Tim McGraw, Van Morrison, Kiss, Judas Priest, Buddy Jewel ... it's all over the place, like my chaotic mind. I have an appreciation for all types of music.
Q: Speaking of your chaotic mind, does your mind ever slow down or is it a ticker-tape of thoughts all day?
A: Funny you should ask that. I would be committed if I didn't find something to calm my mind. I'm a big fan of fitness. I have ADD and I found that, by exercising, it calmed me. Now I work out 11/2 hours a day listening to my iPod on the elliptical.
Comedian Matt Wohlfarth is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
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