Some of the biggest names in stand-up and internet comedy were out Sunday night (May 19) for YouTube’s Big Live Comedy Show. The event, produced by JASH, kicks off Comedy Week for the website, which will see the release of new sketches and music videos from Sarah Silverman, Ricky Gervais, the Upright Citizens Brigade and many more.
YouTube Comedy Week runs through May 25, with all of the new comedy videos being posted on the site’s official page. As the theme of the night was comedy, Zap2it took the opportunity to ask many of the stars of the show about their first comedic inspirations.
Jeff Ross: I used to love Cheech & Chong and Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin, all the rock star comics. I didn’t even know they were comedians, I just thought they were rock stars.
Epic Rap Battles of History:
Nice Peter: Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy for sure.
Adam DeVine: Sinbad?
Blake: Yeah, in “Houseguest.”
Adam: Just those pants got me, I didn’t even understand the words. I was like, “Those pants are fun and exciting.” Jim Carrey was the first one where I was like, “How does he move his face like that? I gotta practice.” And it turns out I physically can’t do any of the things he can do.
Anthony Padilla: I think, probably, between Barats and Beretta and The Lonely Island.
Ian Hecox: I think The Lonely Island is what made us want to start making music videos.
Rhett & Link:
Rhett: I’m going to give the classic one-word answer and say my dad. We weren’t really students of comedy…
Link: Your dad’s a lawyer.
Rhett: Yeah, but he’s really funny and I saw how he could get the attention of a room by being funny. And I was like, “I see how this works.”
Link: Rob Schneider on “SNL,” the copy machine guy, you remember that guy? I love that guy. “Hey, makin copies!”
Hannibal Buress: I wasn’t really into comedy trying to become a performer. “The Cosby Show” was awesome, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Animaniacs,” those were the things that made me laugh growing up.
Riki Lindhome: I know yours…
Riki: Mine was “The State.” You know that show on MTV? That was my favorite thing, it just made me want to do comedy. I’d really only seen TGIF – that kind of comedy before that.
Kate: For me too, I was really into Gilda Radner when I was young. She had dirty songs that I was kinda allowed to sing, so that was cool.
Greg Benson: When I was a kid I absolutely adored Steve Martin and Richard Pryor in he 70s, and George Carlin. But I think it was the goofiness of Steve Martin’s stand-up that just got me. His stuff blew me away, because he showed it was okay to just be goofy, and to be an adult who is completely goofy. That’s been completely inspirational to me.
Tom Green: My first comedy inspiration every in my life, very first, probably as a kid watching Johnny Carson with my parents and laughing whenever I heard the audience laugh, even though I didn’t know what he was talking about. You know, sitting there, six years old on the floor going, “I like this.” Later I got into David Letterman, “Saturday Night Live,” “SCTV” and stuff like that.
Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein: Well, you know, I’m Canadian and I remember in grade nine doing all sorts of stupid antics and now seeing Tom Green here and just remembering Tom Green made it okay to act like an idiot everywhere, and to put your fingers inside of dead animals. I mean I kind of do that now on “Epic Meal Time,” except we never f*** them.