Nick Griffin has an impressive comedy resume. With a career spanning more than two decades, he has appeared on Comedy Central, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Conan, and just a few short weeks ago, he made his 10th appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. He's known as a hilarious writer, killer standup comic, and road-tested club veteran. This week, however, he'll be tackling his biggest challenge of the year: babysitting.
"My sister lives in St. Paul, so I'm coming out there to watch her kids for a few days so that her and her husband can get away," he says. "I'm just happy I can squeeze in a couple of shows while I'm there, too."
This Saturday night, Griffin will be at Comedy Corner Underground for two very special, intimate performances, giving fans the chance to see a pretty big name on a very small stage.
Before he arrives for babysitting/comedy duty, we talked with the comedian about Letterman's retirement, putting together a new special, and how to bond with teenagers.
[jump] You're really coming in to town to babysit?
Yeah. I actually have two sisters who live in St. Paul, so I try and come out every year and see them. I watch my sister's kids, and let her and her husband go out, and then I try and sneak in a couple of shows while I'm at it. It's a blast.
You've got to be one of the few comedians whose road stories involve watching kids.
Usually when I'm on the road, I'm sitting in a hotel room drinking bad coffee and questioning my life choices, so it's nice to spend some time with family. Plus, they're teenagers, so it's not like they're super young or anything like that. We hang out, watch horror movies; the stuff you do with kids.
Does it make you want to have any of your own?
I can't imagine having kids. I've got a enough of my own problems, let alone trying to take care of someone else.
Congratulations on your recent Letterman appearance. Having appeared on the show 10 times during your career, what do you think about Dave retiring?
Dave is a guy I've admired for so many years. The reason I even became interested in comedy in the first place was because I watched comedians on the Tonight Show and then Late Night. I remember being in high school, getting drunk at parties, and leaving early because there were no girls, and I'd come home and watch Letterman. Really, you can say that my career was shaped by Late Night. It's funny, because whenever I've been on his show, I always find myself trying really hard to make Dave happy. It always ends up going well when I'm on, but these past few appearances I've been terribly nervous ahead of time.
What do you think about the choice to have Colbert take over Dave's seat?
I've always loved Colbert. He's a hyper-talented guy, and I think it's going to be really fun to see how his personality shapes the show. I really hope I get the chance to perform on Colbert's show, because it's been an honor to perform for Dave, and I think it would be an honor to perform for him as well.
I know you live in New York these days, but you originally got started doing comedy in the Midwest. What's it like coming back this way to perform?
I started in the Midwest with a bunch of road guys, and I've always considered myself one of them. I love doing TV and things like that, but I still love performing for live crowds more than anything.
Any new projects in the works?
I've been working on new material for quite some time, and I'm about ready to put out a new hour special. I'm not sure if I'll do it on my own online, or maybe do something through Comedy Central or someone like that, but I'll definitely have something new out really soon. This is a great period for comedy, because you get guys who are putting out a new hour of material every single year. That has really upped everyone's game, and made everyone realize that you can reach comedy fans a lot easier thanks to the internet. That's why I might do something on my own, but we'll have to wait and see.
IF YOU GO:
8 & 10 p.m. Saturday, April 26
Comedy Corner Underground