Some standup comedians talk a good game about the crazy things they've seen in their lives. Some of the stories are true, while some are embellished for the sake of the joke.
Gabe Noah doesn't embellish.
This week, City Pages sat down with one of the Twin Cities' funniest up-and-coming comics to talk about his wild--and very real--trip through the world of standup.
[jump] Who the F is Gabe Noah?
Originally from Detroit Lakes, Noah wanted to do standup from an early age. "I remember I would see comics on TV and I was like, 'Wow, those guys must be important since everyone is looking at them.' But they were so far away; it never seemed real."
Finally, in the early 2000s (he can't quite remember the year), he got up the courage (albeit slightly chemically induced) and took the stage for himself.
"I was at the Acme for open mic night and I just got really, really drunk. I had really bad anxiety so there was no way I could do it without being drunk. Then I took a bunch of Xenadrine (the weight-loss drug currently being pushed by Ronnie from Jersey Shore) and essentially vomited out three minutes of what I thought were jokes. Nobody laughed at all that night, and I didn't try it again for like six years after that."
Despite a lack of experience, Noah decided to move out to Los Angeles, where he was confident his standup career would miraculously take off. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.
"I was a complete megalomaniac. I really believed that I was funny, and that just by being in L.A. that my non-act would somehow make me a huge star. Instead, I ended up dabbling in drugs and the next thing I knew, I was a hooked on smack for three years. Finally, I hit rock bottom--like all smack-heads eventually do--and moved back home to my parents with my tail between my legs."
While clearly not ideal circumstances, it was that feeling of hitting rock bottom that finally gave him the motivation to really make a run at comedy.
"I think I needed to back myself into a corner, and to be honest I think that subconsciously I did it on purpose. Fortunately, it got me to get back onstage and get some experience."
Who the F cares about Gabe Noah?
Despite his early setbacks, Noah quickly managed to turn things around and over the past few months he has grabbed the attention of many of comedy's coolest and most well-known personalities.
"I got to open for Doug Stanhope, which was huge because he's one of my favorite comics ever. I also got to open for Marc Maron and I just got done opening for Kyle Kinane, who is going to be the next huge breakout star."
For a guy who had such bad anxiety that he wasn't able to actually stand up onstage for his first six months (he sat on a stool), the ability to open for such iconic alt-comics with such raucous crowds is pretty remarkable.
"I was really nervous before I opened for Stanhope because his audience is known for being kind of brutal to openers since they don't care about anyone who isn't him. We were sitting backstage and he was trying to talk to me before I went on, and I just thought to myself, 'This is awesome but seriously dude, stop talking to me. I need to think about what I'm about to say.'" The set went well, and gave Noah another shot confidence to help take his career to the next level.
Where the F is Gabe Noah going?
Just like many other local comics, Noah is looking to take his act to the national stage in the near future, both with his standup and his sketch comedy talents.
"One really cool thing is that I got to do a sketch with a director named Matt Olson, who's starting to do some really big things these days. It should be on FunnyOrDie.com sometime in the next few weeks."
Where the F can you see Gabe Noah next?
Noah will be headlining a show this Saturday night, March 26, at the Comedy Corner Underground, located in the basement of the Corner Bar at Seven Corners in Minneapolis. For more info, check out www.comedycornerunderground.com. For more Gabe Noah comedy action in your face, visit his Rooftop Comedy site at www.rooftopcomedy.com/comics/GabeNoah.