Cornell Reid: Straight Out Of No Hum

He assumes that you already know he is funny. In his e-mail signature he opts out of including the title of Comedian and instead goes for a much more titillating job description: President of the Cathy Fan Club. I greatly enjoy Cathy Guisewhite’s take on what it means to be a modern woman, so I asked Reid if I could join the club. I was given a very presidential brush-off. This guy means business. We talked to Reid about taking his comedy worldwide, his part in the documentary The Comedy Garage, and, of course, cartoons. swim in board pants.

IsaAc KozeLl: Cornell, you’re known by most for your  work in comedy. But what some people may not know is those swimsuits that you’re the acting President of The Cathy Fan Club. What privilege does such a position bring?

Cornell Reid: You know it’s funny, there aren’t too many privileges that come along with being the President of the Cathy Fan Club. I became the president a few years ago in the hopes it would help me score chicks ’cause babes love Cathy. But then once I really started reading the comic, I totally related to her. I guess it just helps me deal with stress…especially since we’re in the middle of swimsuit season.

IK: I’m glad you’re bringing some awareness to male body image issues. It’s like, where’s our Dove ad campaign with a multicultural parade of average dudes proudly flaunting their odd lumps and crevices? What are you wearing this swimsuit season? If I had to guess I would say one of those fancy old-fashioned strongman onesies. Am I close?

CR: No one wears  those swimsuits anymore, that’s fucking stupid. No, I  swim in board pants. They’re like long baggy board shorts, basically water resistant JNCOs. They’re great to swim in and I look hella tight. The wallet chain is starting to get rusty though.

IK: Point taken. But for the record, you totally have the body for a onesie, bro. What’s your favorite summer movie? As in, a film that best captures what summer means to you.

CR: Ski school ’cause I love doing tons of blow in the summer! Just kidding, kids.

IK: Speaking of kids, this is Savage Henry’s cartoon issue. What animated shows did you watch growing up?

CR: Looney Tunes all day baby!!! I had a tape full of Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons. I also had a tape full of six hours of cartoons that I would watch at my dad’s house when he went out to bars and stuff. Also, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Rocky & Bullwinkle…I remember there was an Ace Ventura cartoon, a The Mask cartoon and a Dumb & Dumber cartoon on at the same time. That was the happiest time of my life.

IK: Man, those were the good old days. It’s a sad situation now. Saturday morning has become an empty, barren desert in terms of good cartoons. All that’s on now are poorly produced educational shows and local news. Where did we go wrong?

CR: You forgot Yu-Gi-Oh, which is a cartoon based on a card game. Which is way better than the cartoon we had back in my day, Spades. Also a lot less racist. I think animation all went downhill once we stopped letting those Vietnamese children draw them. It takes a child to capture the imagination of a child. So, once we went for “safe” environments for our cartoon animatics, all our cartoons went to shit.

IK: This is seriously bumming me out. Let’s talk about something more upbeat, like The Comedy Garage. The documentary was really entertaining. It seems like a lot of people feel that way, as it currently holds a 7.7 on IMDb. For a point of reference, Grown Ups 2 (in theaters now) has a rating of 5. While our readers figure out the mathematical implications of those ratings, let’s talk about what the film, and the actual Comedy Garage live show has meant to you as a comedian.

CR: Oh man, for real?! Better than the all-star cast of Grown- Ups 2? Wow! What makes The Comedy Garage so special is that we all have completely different styles, yet we all mesh so well. Paul, Sean, and Matt were some of my first friends in comedy and still are big influences on me today, which is really pretty incredible, I think. I still meet random people who have seen the doc, which is always a surprise. By the way, it’s on Hulu still. GO WATCH IT!

IK: The people have spoken and they say, “The Comedy Garage is 2.7 points better than Grown Ups 2.” You win! Democracy is a beautiful thing. We talked to your pal Paul Danke a couple of months ago and he said that there may be a revival of your YouTube series The Compatish. Any updates on that project?

CR: No, not really. We’re talking about getting the band back together. I’m up for it as long as Paul has nothing to do with the project anymore.

IK: How many years have you been doing comedy?

CR: Ten freakin’ years. I started when I was 18. The college I went to was so boring that going to an open mic and waiting for 3 hours to bomb in front of a bunch of psychos with skin rashes seemed like fun.

IK: Open mics haven’t changed much over the years. What has been the high point of your stand up career so far?

CR: Well, I performed in Tokyo and London. That was pretty sweet! I also met my wife through comedy. I also divorced my wife while on stage at the Laugh Factory. I met my husband and his sister wives at the Comedy Store. So probably those things.

IK: That’s beautiful. And just think, if you continue your streak, you’ll be landing yourself a child bride in no time. Who on the current comedy scene makes you jealous? I mean that in a good way. Like, someone you admire because they are creating something that you wish you were doing/could be doing.

CR: Man…there’s a lot. TJ Miller is doing movies. Like, starring in movies. That’s crazy. Eric Andre has an awesome show on Adult Swim. Kyle Kinane has been killing it. Also Nick Kroll. They’re all doing great stuff that I wish I was.

IK: What is a career goal of yours that you haven’t achieved yet but is almost within your reach?

CR: Doing standup on TV/Having sex with Kathy Ireland.

IK: Is stand-up your full-time job, or do you have some other irons in the fire?

CR: I make most of my money writing for Savage Henry. They don’t pay you $300,000.00 per word?

IK: Nope. I pay them to let me write. It’s the only way I can get published. Do you have any projects or appearances coming up that we should be on the lookout for?

CR: A little thing called the SHITS & GIGGLES COMEDY FESTIVAL! Also I’m gonna be releasing the first ever comedy mixtape soon! So, come to the festival then DOWNLOAD MY MIXTAPE.

Follow Cornell on Twitter @CornellReid

About Isaac Kozell

Isaac Kozell is a New Orleans based Writer and Standup Comedian. He spends his spare time skateboarding, gardening, and reminiscing about that one time back in '99 when he was invited onstage to perform with the band Sugar Ray.

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