Q&A: Gary Vider
Before New York-based comedian Gary Vider landed on the hit television competition show America’s Got Talent, he didn’t have a manager, an agent and wasn’t able to get headlining work on the road. Vider maximized his appearances in season 10 of AGT, becoming one of a just a few stand-up comics to reach the finals. Now, not only does he have those things he didn’t have before the show, but he’s also recording his first album at Rio’s Comedy Cellar from Sept. 2-8. Las Vegas Magazine’s Jason Harris caught up with Vider in anticipation of the recording.
What’s your history of working Las Vegas?
I’ve done The Comedy Cellar in Vegas before. This will be my third time. I had a great time the previous times I’ve done The Cellar in Vegas. The shows were great. The crowds were great.
It was a natural fit to record your album.
I thought it would be cool. Plus, a lot of other comics haven’t recorded an album in Vegas for a long time. Some of the bigger names, old-school people had. I thought it would be a cool vibe, plus The Comedy Cellar is the best club in the world.
So it’s more than just the clever album title, Vider Las Vegas?
Yeah, but the name helped in selling it. I liked the whole idea of doing it there and I have a subtle, dry delivery. It’s a modern delivery, but it’s joke-telling. So it’s old-timey, too. So I feel like it’s a good fit.
Do you consider your style more old-school? It feels like there is a renaissance for that for people who just want to laugh.
Yeah. With all the political stuff that’s been going on, especially when Trump got elected, like I don’t do anything political. When that went on, I wondered if that was going to be a turn where people only wanted to hear about politics. But what happened was—people now just want to laugh. Most audiences don’t even want to hear the name Trump. They want to go to a comedy club, they just want to hear funny, silly. A joke is the best thing at this time.
Did you have any issues with AGT since your humor often has a dark edge to it?
There were some jokes where I had to modify it in a short time. Instead of doing that joke, I would just do another joke. Instead of having to find another punchline, I would just find stuff that would be suitable and, in some cases, I would have to write a new joke all together just so it would fit into the set.
What are your goals after the album comes out?
I’m going to release some clips for Instagram from the album. I’ll hopefully be doing some late night appearances to promote the album. Ideally, my goal, along with doing stand-up, is to write a TV show. I’ve been doing stand-up for a while and haven’t had an album. It will be a relief to get some of this material out there.
Your style seems made for late night.
Yeah. For sure. I haven’t done one in a year, but I have a few five-minute sets from the album that I think would be good for late night. My style is tailored for that. The important thing in late night is getting quick laughs. If you can get laughs in under 20 seconds, you’re in a good space.