Gary Richardson “Alt-comic” is an overused, empty phrase at this point, signifying only that the person whom it describes doesn’t fit within the usual parameters of easily classifiable comedy (or, basically, someone who doesn’t do standard stand-up). Gary Richardson, by all technicalities, is what you’d call an alt-comic. He’s not a stand-up, per se, although you can certainly see him doing solo work in Brooklyn. His best work, however, is performing improv—which, naturally, is a group effort.
He’s a regular player at UCB and the Annoyance Theatre (he’s a frequent performer in the latter’s madcap Holy Fuck Comedy Hour), and had a scene-stealing turn as a male nurse in Natasha Rothwell’s episode of the Netflix comedy special The Characters. He has the remarkable ability to hone his skill at deadpan humor to make the most absurd character seem like the straight man—and manages to leave an unsettling mark when you realize the depths of his weirdness.
When was the first time you remember making someone laugh? What happened? I think the first laughs I remember getting weren’t truly mine at all. I remember being a kid and just running around my grandma’s house and doing impressions of my favorite parts of The Mask and Coming To America. My family was really eating it up.
What is the toughest part about being on the comedy scene in Brooklyn today? What is the best? Honestly the toughest part that is specific to the Brooklyn scene is just the location. There’s a ton of rad non-comedy things going on all the time that are super worth your time so you have to really be actively choosing to get out and do jokes. The best thing is probably corny, but it’s the fact that the other folks are so cool and down to chill and hangout. I love that shit.
Who do you find funny? The only person I find funny is Julio Torres.
What was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? One day a little while back my buddy, Reynolds, kept trying to get “Damn Nathaniel” (like Damn Daniel) going, but nobody was having it and maybe 4 hours later he said “Damn Daniel, back at it again with……….Nathaniel” and it was so dumb that I couldn’t breathe. I know it sounds trash, it kinda was, but still A+ stuff.
What are your goals for your comedy career? I’d love to get to a place where I’m working with the funniest people in the world and I’m funnier than all of them.
And finally: What is your favorite knock-knock (or otherwise goofy) joke? It’s not exactly a joke, but it cracks me up every time I think about someone eating a piece of pizza cartoonishly fast and then pulling out a fish skeleton. I know it’s not a thing, and maybe most folks don’t know what I mean, but trust me, it’s good-n-goofy.
To see 49 more of Brooklyn’s funniest people, click here.