Apparently it’s interview month! In March I reached out to a fellow Second City student to interview him about his web-series Brandon’s Apartment. And, he was super keen on the interview. But then, he got hit by a car. For real. And since he needed to nurse himself back to health and he was on brain altering drugs, our interview was put on hold. But now that his thoughts are clear again (well, mostly clear), Brandon has sent me his responses.
Brandon’s Apartment. What’s that all about? Well to steal the description directly from their facebook page ‘Out of his apartment, dazed and confused comedian Brandon Sobel and shameless co-host Jay Oh produce and host their own late night “mock” Talk-Show.‘ The concept of the show is quite great, there’s an opening monologue, a guest comedian, Q&A, a DJ, and a musical guest. All in under 4 minutes and 20 seconds. Get it?
With that, here’s the interview:
JTTM: Ok Brandon, here’s the deal. I’m going to ask you and your colleagues a series of questions and you need to answer without swearing. I know this is going to be tough, but I think you can do it.
Without incriminating yourself too much, how did Brandon’s apartment come to be? Where’d the idea come from?
BA: I have always been a huge fan of late night television but never understood why the best parts (the comedian and band) were always the last segment. With the separation of music and comedy from episode to episode, it was also apparent that the interviews with the comedians were rarely out of character and unrehearsed. So I upgraded the format.
And, when I started stand-up comedy in January of 2012, I noticed that over time my apartment slowly became the headquarters for all the local entertainers pre and post show. One night, after discussing this observation with fellow comedians, (Mayce Galoni and Jordan Scherer) I revealed my idea. Luckily, Mayce informed me that our other comedian friend/film maker Craig F. Watkins was just finished the release of his movie, the store. Well, the rest… The rest is history!
JTTM: When did Brandon’s apartment first air?
BA: Some promos were released before but episode one, kids featuring Partick Coppolino and Martin Gerber, debuted August 1, 2013.
JTTM: Who was your favourite guest and why?
BA: Truthfully, I got to work with my friends and personally, I love each episode for what it was. To see your vision come to life is truly an amazing experience. Every episode is unique and caters to the individual guest’s personality. It would be like asking a parent who their favorite child was.
JTTM: Why haven’t you asked me to be a guest yet?
JTTM: Seriously, why?
BA: Seriously?! Oh, well you don’t do stand-up comedy or make music and the show was originally created to highlight emerging comedians and musicians. However, season two introduces a special guest studio audience. The guest(s) are asked to come watch the stand-up portion of the show, take place with the interview and have their own, “commercial break.” The idea behind this is to promote themselves and their products. I am almost certain you are supposed to be making an appearance at the end of season 2. Well, depending on if you are still interested.
JTTM: Just kidding.
BA: Oh, lol.
JTTM: Where do you want Brandon’s Apartment to go?
BA: It’s all about small obtainable goals. Short term, I am working with a marketing consultant to establish potential partners to absorb some of the costs and expenses. Producing new segments would also be pretty cool as well.
Long term and in a perfect world, I would love to work with more of Canada’s biggest and brightest stars. Mark Breslin’s Yuk Yuk’s signed comedians, Absolute signed comedians and other Canadian internet celebrities. I am a big fan of the Trailer Park Boys innovated web channel, swearnet.com, and tune in regularly to Epic Meal Time, Tom Green Live, etc. Working with Canadian icons would be amazing!
JTTM: I’ve taken class with you, I know you’re a funny guy. What is it about you that you think people find you funny?
BA: Thank you but honestly, I assume it’s my awkwardly confident ability to be myself in almost every situation.
JTTM: Where’d you meet your partners?
BA: The first “gig” I got, was a new comic competition, where both Jay Oh and Angelo Nasso were on the bill. Angelo has always been hilarious and Jay Oh reminds me of my friends outside of comedy.
BA: Funny story about our director, Craig and I met at the age of 10. We both went to the same school and were in the same class. I knew he was a talented artist then but forgot until I saw him perform. Craig’s movies are what really allowed me to see Craig’s talents.
JTTM: Out of all the comedians in the world, who is your favourite?
BA: Right now I am really into Doug Benson, Joey Diaz and Mike Brigbiglia but Patrice O’Neil and Bernie Mac still and probably always will inspire me.
JTTM: Could you describe the format of your show to my readers who haven’t yet discovered Brandon’s Apartment?
BA: Brandon’s apartment was originally created on a budget for the internet as a late night ‘mock’ talk show series. Thirteen episodes, 12 in a 4 minute and twenty second format. Each episode includes:
• Banter with Co-Host
• “Commercial” Break I
• Live Comedy
• “Commercial” Break II
• Interview with Comedian
• Live Music
JTTM: Why Hamilton? Do you frequent Hess Village? Or have you grown out of that?
BA: Hamilton has been and still is the home to some of Canada’s most promising up-and-coming entertainers. I truly believe that if you can make them laugh here, you can make them laugh anywhere. I don’t drink but there is an open mic every Monday at Ceili House hosted by Isi Commisso.
JTTM: What’s your favourite part of your broadcast? Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
BA: They say 72% of all great things start on a couch…
I used to sit on my couch – feeling low, eating take-out, and watching late night talk shows. Now, I’m living the high life, eating take-out and making my own late night show. Sure, those guys are legends …but I’m Brandon, and this is my apartment. Every day I feel blessed making something I am proud of with people I care for.
JTTM: Lastly, what is your favourite food to eat after an episode of Brandon’s Apartment?
BA: You are making me wish, my apartment had a Barbeque.
And just like that, another person is working tirelessly at their dream. Inspiring. You can find Brandon’s Apartment here:
And Brandon’s comedy group Sons of Comedy: Steel City can be found here: http://sonsofcomedysteelcity.com/