Not long ago, Patrick Susmilch was flossing when he felt something pop loose.
It was half a tooth, which then fell from Susmilch's mouth. He later went to a dentist in Los Angeles, where the Twin Cities native now lives, who repaired the half-tooth "well enough."
When Susmilch returned to his home state for one of his regular visits to see friends and family, he saw his usual dentist, the one he'd had when he lived here. Susmilch admitted to her he'd stopped flossing out of fear something traumatic like this tooth-breaking was going to happen again.
Keep flossing, she told him. If part of a tooth flies out of your mouth under the pressure of a thin string, it wasn't a good tooth to begin with. (He took her advice.)
Susmilch is back in town as of today, and has two shows booked at Sisyphus Brewing (Friday and Saturday night; 8 p.m. both nights; hosted by Shelly Paul with appearances by Rana May; buy tickets here!) The two nights will be recorded for a comedy album Susmilch will then take back to LA. in an attempt to make money.
Here's what it looks like when Patrick does comedy.
City Pages spoke with Susmilch about a bunch of mundane topics, such as the end of the world. His answers are below.
City Pages: Why'd you wanna record the album in Minneapolis? Don't they have stages in Los Angeles?
Susmilch: Oh man, where to start with that one. The real answer is depressing. Out here in L.A. I'm not super well known. I can only get like 10 people to show.
CP: But it's a consistent 10?
Susmilch: It's a consistent 10. My roommate will come. And people I've taken comedy classes with. Really though, this is a great excuse to visit home. Sisyphus wasn't charging any money to record there, so financially it made sense. Minneapolis audiences are smart and good, I've always had a lot of fun. There are smart audiences [in L.A.] too, but you've just got so many options. "Should we go see a guy I've never heard of ... or Maria Bamford doing a free show?" Like: "Me, pelase."
CP: You talk some onstage about how you look. Do you have some sense of how the way you look influenced either your personality, or how people perceive you?
Susmilch: I just recently, the past couple years, figured out my natural facial expressions look nervous. Like I'll be hanging out, having a great time, and people will be like, "Hey what's wrong?" And I'll be like, "What, nothing?" And if you tell me I look nervous it's, "Well, now I am nervous. I was originally not nervous." I've always had the look and body of a computer progrrammer. Been leaning into that recently.
CP: What is your least favorite thing about Brett Kavanaugh? [Note: Patrick made that simulator! And this one too. We don't know how.]
Susmilch: Jesus. Dude, probably my least favorite thing is all his sexual assaults. That's probably up there. God, that is just a dude that, on every conceivable metric is just a piece of trash.
CP: Do you have a favorite drug?
Susmilch: Weed? I'm not in a job interview, I can say weed. It's great that it's legal here, because every 10 feet is, like, an Apple store for weed. They have basically sommeliers, who have a detailed history of every strain. Then I go back home to Minnesota, and it's such a shock. The only thing I can buy is just "whatever Cory has."
CP: How's your therapist doing?
Susmilch: I think she's doing well. I got a new therapist I've been seeing a couple months. The one before was terrible, and kept trying to get me to quit comedy. She wasn't wrong, but that was not what I'm paying her for.
CP: What's L.A. like?
Susmilch: I more or less made money from doing comedy and doing temp jobs in Minnesota. Coming here was like, playing on "hard mode" now. Rent is three imes what you would've been paying and the wages are lower. I got laid off via text message from my last job. Then I got a job at Target.
CP: You had to go out to California get a job at Target.
Susmilch: The guy interviewing me was like, "You're overqualified for this job." I said: "Thank you, that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me."
CP: Minnesotans use the weather as a way to make small talk when they don't know what else to say. Is it possible to be interesting (or funny, even) when discussing the weather?
Susmilch: The interesting thing is weather out here is roughly same day to day, so you kinda lose track of time. My old roommate was much older than me, and he practiced guitar and thought he was gonna make it in a band. He's in his late 50s though. Like, you gotta tap out at some time. But he probably doesn't realize how much time has passed, and every time he sees a mirror he just punches. Overall, there's no way to be interesting about the weather, but in fall and winter all of L.A. starts on fire. So that's a nice thing to talk about.
CP: Wow, hell of a segue into the last question, which is: What kind of apocalypse would you prefer? Fire or water?
Susmilch: If climate models are correct, we're gonna get both, it just depends where we are. The problem with fire apocalypse -- besides the fact burning to death sucks -- is even though these fires are 20 miles away from me now, smoke fills your air and chokes you. Water, at least that's not a problem. You're fine until you're not. But then there's Waterworld, and that was a terrible movie.
CP: You sound ambiguous. Is there another apocalypse, one you would like?
Susmilch: How about a Godzilla-type scenario? That'd be kind of fun. That'd be a fun, unique thing. The real thing is way less interesting than the movies made it out to be. It's more like a slow strangulation.