Why So Serious, Finesse Mitchell?By John Wenzel | December 1st, 2010 | 2 comments
Welcome to another “Why So Serious?” — a column where we ask stand-up comedians a handful of questions, and don’t expect anything resembling straight answers.
Known for his smooth-as-molasses delivery and occasionally giddy demeanor, the 38-year-old stand-up has appeared in a handful of films (“The Comebacks,” “Mad Money”) and TV shows (“Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time” on Comedy Central) since leaving the seminal New York sketch comedy show that launched him.
We took some time last week to ask Mitchell about touring, his new material and other scintillating topics and received some amusingly self-promotional (and exclamation point-heavy) answers.
I saw you a couple years back at the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival, where people seemed to really respond to you. How would you compare audiences in Colorado to other areas around the country?
Denver audiences are the best because they are so diverse. Racially, politically, age — you name it. My show brings out everybody because my work is not catered to one group of people. Everyone appreciates good comedy and Denver always shows me love. I had four sell-outs at the Improv last time I was there. And people left with little pee stains in the front of their pants from laughing so hard!
Do you have a joke you used to love telling but now can’t stand?
SNL’s “I SAID MY NAME IS STARRKEISHA!!!!!” I don’t her voice and character anymore. But the stuff I talk about now, like drinking, politics, love and sex and pop culture, is classic! I can’t wait to show you guys the new material. I hate when comics tell the same old jokes every year. NOT ME! Anybody who knows me knows my comedy is like the best tasting pizza ever, when you have the munchies!
What are a few things you never travel without, and why?
My laptop for Facebook, Twitter, online bill pay and updating finessemitchell.com. My clippers for grooming and trimming my bald head. My cologne because ladies love it (I tell them it’s a natural birth smell), and my good looks. My Momma told me if I ever forget my jokes, just stand on stage and smile!
How would you descirbe your audience?
Sexy, smart and swaggeriffic! SNL fans meets B.E.T. Comic View, Tyra, Essence Magazine column, Tyler Perry and the movie “Who’s Your Caddy” and “Mad Money.” They are all wrapped up into one show and everyone leaves pleased and ready to buy my bootleg copy of my stand up comedy DVD, “SNAP FAMOUS.”
What do you think of the current cast of “Saturday Night Live”?
I think those guys are extremely talented. I still watch the show on TiVo.
When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried, and why?
One of my girl friends was taking me to the store in L.A. She had her Yorkie on her lap as she drove. The Yorkie was hanging out of the window catching the air. Then she said how Michael Vick is making a great NFL comeback but he should be ashamed of how he treated those dogs. Then we made a sharp right turn and her Yorkie fell out of the window!
Tickets for Finesse Mitchell’s Dec. 2-5 shows at the Denver Improv are $15-$17.
John Wenzel is an executive editor of Reverb and an award-winning A&E reporter for The Denver Post. He is the author of “Mock Stars: Indie Comedy and the Dangerously Funny” (Speck Press/Fulcrum) and maintains a Twitter feed of completely random song titles and band names.