Stand-up Still Vos’ Focus
It’s 2:30 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon and Rich Vos just wants to take a nap.
Can you blame him? The New Jersey-based comediankeeps busy, not just performing stand-up shows – like the one he’s headlining this Saturday at The Gravity Inn in Waymart – but also working as a writer, producer, podcaster, and regular guest on The Opie & Anthony Show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. Of Vos’ myriad projects, the most anticipated by far is “Women Aren’t Funny.” A feature-length documentary aiming to both entertain and stimulate conversation about the no-laughing-matter issue of sexism in the comedy business, “Women Aren’t Funny” is collaboration between Vos and his wife, fellow comedian Bonnie McFarlane.
in the midst of negotiating a distribution deal for that. The project’s been going on for five years. Documentaries don’t happen overnight. There’s a lot of research, a lot of people involved, a lot of editing, and a lot of legwork. The end result is something very funny that’s proven itself at a couple festivals. Now it’s all about finally finishing it up and moving onto the next thing.”
And when can the general public expect to finally add the film to their DVD collections?
“I guarantee they’ll see it within 10 years,” he quips dryly.
When Vos talks about “moving onto the next thing,” though, he’s not joking. Comparing the current state of the comedy business to what it was like when he first started, Vos notes that making a name for oneself is more i mportant, and more difficult, than ever. In the age of the Internet, simply getting up on the stage and telling jokes isn’t enough.
One way Vos keeps himself in the mix, aside from the usual social media outlets, is the weekly iTunes podcast “My Wife Hates Me,” yet another collaboration with McFarlane.
“It’s something cool we can do right out of our house. It’s fun and we don’t have to answer to anybody. There’s no restrictions,” Vos says.
Much of the humor on the podcast, and indeed much of the humor in Vos’ live show, comes from casting a self-deprecating eye on his own roles as husband and father.
“Comedy comes from everything in life. You just take different aspects of different situations and twist them and try to look at them from a different point of view. You step outside yourself and see it as someone outside looking in and it suddenly becomes funny,” he says.
It is that process that still holds the greatest thrill for Vos. Collaborations are great, but there’s nothing quite like being alone on stage, all eyes on him, armed with nothing but a microphone and his wits.
“It’s all me. I create everything. I put it out there. It’s my brand. It is me,” Vos says. “Right now, I’m working on my fourth stand-up comedy CD. I just did a pilot for the television networks. But my main thing in life is still stand-up. Everything else is just a bonus. Over the summer, I worked on a major film as a writer, but I still did stand-up almost every weekend. My main goal is still just to do stand-up.”
The words are barely even out of his mouth before he’s already undercutting himself with characteristic deadpan humor.
“Actually, my main goal is to play golf. Stand-up helps me do that.”