Andrew Frank is former winner of the annual Funny Bone competition, a finalist in the Helium St. Louis Funniest Person contest, a winner of the Hey Guys Comedy contest, and…well…it’s a long list. Suffice it to say, he’s funny.
How long have you been performing stand up?
Who are your comedic influences?
George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Bill Hicks, Andy Kaufman, Dave Chappelle, Louis CK, David Cross, Eddie Pepitone, Stewart Lee, Ted Alexandro, Kurt Metzger, Ryan Singer, Drew Michael, Geoff Tate, Chad Daniels, Patton Oswalt, Kurt Vonnegut, David Foster Wallace, Don Delillo, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Hannah Arendt, Baruch Spinoza, Socrates, Stephen Hawking, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, MF DOOM, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Immortal Technique, Kendrick Lamar, Stanley Kubrick, and Jesus Christ.
Describe your worst moment on stage.
In 2012 I did a show at Blueberry Hill. The first seven minutes went well, but I spent the last three minutes attempting this critique on religion that was far beyond my skill level as a comic. The bit had no knowledge or empathy behind it. It was just naïve, jaded, angst-y, and had no real value both intellectually and comedically. I was booed off the stage. It taught me a lot. I have no problem with facing resistance to my ideas, but experiences like that make you really analyze what your perspective truly is. Shows like that force you to evolve. I grew so much from that one experience, so I can’t actually say it was the “worst.” It helped me out a bunch.
The real worst one was when I was opening for a band at Off Broadway and accidentally kicked over an upright bass doing a dumb, physical bit. I had no idea it was there and it just went flying. The bass player came on stage and said he could fix it, but he would need about a half hour. I had already been onstage for twenty minutes, and now I had to fill another thirty in front of a crowd that hated me for destroying the music they came to see. That was the worst. It was fine though. It showed me that you can really get through anything onstage if you just keep going. The bass was fixed, the bass player gave me a hug, and I learned that even a situation as scary as that ends completely fine if you don’t fold under the fear.
Describe your best moment on stage.
My best experience on stage was this April at a black box theater in Albuquerque called the AUX DOG. The second I walked into the venue I knew it was going to be a special show. My set was 45 minutes, and all the ideas I had been working on relentlessly came together so well. I talked about religion, politics, global warming, the Syrian Refugee Crisis, the Military Industrial Complex, Monsanto, Lockheed Martin, Hell, Heaven, Drone Strikes, the magnitude of the Cosmos, and the inevitable extinction of life on the planet. Ever since I started comedy I have wanted to be able to have a set list like that. So to put together a set like that and have it work as well as it did was really cool. Also, Lockheed Martin is based in Albuquerque, so the crowd really responded to my jokes about weapons and the War on Terror. The conversations I had after the show with various crowd members were beyond encouraging.
What’s your favorite thing about the St. Louis Comedy Scene?
The Westport Funny Bone. I’ve grown up in that place. It’s easily the stage I have been on the most, and I’m happy to call it my home club. I worked the door there for three years and watched three shows every Saturday. I studied every single comic so intently every weekend.
I owe a lot to Matt Behrens for giving me so many opportunities. He gave me my first hosting weekend in 2012 with Anthony Jeselnik, a ton of feature work over the past few years, and even gave me a chance to headline a weekend at both clubs. Doing long sets there on the weekends is when I really feel everything I’ve been working so hard on come to fruition.
Another highlight of the St. Louis scene is the Venice Café on Mondays. Poets and Musicians come out every week, and being a part of a creative community like that has been so essential to my development these past couple years. Sydney, RC, and Kyle Aiko have really challenged me to become a better comic.
Each one has their own poetic style, and it has taught me a lot about being a better writer and performer.
I’m typing these questions in coffee house. Is there anything you want to tell the people here?
If they are on their laptop I would tell them to look up Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Hypothesis. It’s impossible to read that three prong argument and not feel different for the rest of the day.
Rank the following in descending order of coolness. Robot, Zombie, Ninja, Pirate.
Robot, Ninja, Pirate, Zombie.
Cake or Pie
Plug something. It’s why we do this.
I’ll be headlining the Blue Room in Springfield, MO on July 29th and 30th. Both shows are at 8:00. Come laugh and think at the same time. It’s the best.