When it comes to @Midnight guests, stand-up comedian and Undateable star Ron Funches is the reigning champion of making host Chris Hardwick nearly suffocate from laughter. He’s won 14 out of 18 appearances, though this ratio will likely change during his 19th appearance on Wednesday to promote his debut comedy album, The Funches of Us.
An avid gamer, Funches named the album after the video game The Last of Us. Between bouts of surviving the apocalypse in Fallout 4 (which Funches literally started playing as soon as our phone call was over), Funches took the time to chat about his first album, the Comedy Works in Denver and his famous giggle.
Most stand-up comedians put out an album or two before ever working in television, yet you’ve done the opposite. Was there a specific reason you waited until now to release The Funches of Us?
I wanted to wait until I felt it would be really good. There’s a standard of albums I really enjoy. People like John Mulaney, Matt Braunger, and Kyle Kinane. Their albums were such complete works, and so funny. I didn’t want to put something out until I was ready to move on and do new things, and it just kind of happened naturally in my life. I got divorced and moved to Los Angeles with my son, just a single dad who started seeing things and writing jokes about them from a different perspective, which didn’t match up with the older jokes.
I didn’t want to burn those old jokes, which I’d told on Conan and elsewhere, though those were shorter versions. A lot of my comedy has to do with flow, so I wanted people to get the full picture. The beginning, middle and end. That’s basically why I waited. And I’m a big procrastinator.
You told a few of these jokes on The Tonight Show, too. They were shorter, but you’re right — they sound that much better on the album since you had more control over the timing.
It gives you a sense of context of jokes told before and after. You get a full picture, a full range of my personality. Some of my jokes are weird, and some of my jokes are about family and simple. It’s weird to mix and match those in a five-minute span. So, to have the full hour to just relax and show it how I want is something that I really wanted to do. I wanted to collect those, then move on to do an hour television special. I didn’t want to have any old material on that at all.
Why did you choose to record the album at the Comedy Works in Denver?
Denver’s kind of a second home for me. It was a choice between doing it there or Portland. In Portland, I would have been doing old jokes that most of the people there, a bunch of my friends, had already heard a thousand times. The audience doesn’t lie. You can hear it when people have heard the jokes before. So, I wanted to go somewhere similar.