How has the Mayhem Fest been going for you so far?
It’s been going great. This is week two and everyone’s been laughing, which is all I could ask for in what I’m doing. (laughs) But yes…
Is there anything that is difficult about being a part of this fest?
Finding a place to take a shower sucks. But no, other than that, I thought the comedy was going to be a little harder, but I mean, I’m like yelling filthy jokes to them and they seem to be laughing.
So there hasn’t really been any rough crowds for you?
I mean, there’s always people that are yelling out negative stuff, and if I feel like deviating off of the jokes I want to tell, like I’ll point them out. I think in Boise, [Idaho], I made somebody upset definitely, by calling them out. He was yelling that I was terrible, but in 20,000 people, no one hears him, but I pointed him out! I was like, “What’d you say?” So, I let him sing so I could deconstruct him head-to-toe and make him feel stupid for talking. (laughs)
Do you ever get butterflies before you go out and perform?
No, you know why? I’ve been working 12 years in comedy, so the worst that could happen is, it goes bad and then it’s over. You know what I mean? Like, it’s over, and then you go backstage and fall back into being anonymous if I want to, no one cares. But I do good, for the sake of me. But I think what I’m doing out there, I think it reads that I’m like a funny person, so I think they’re not like– even if their crowd is rough, there’s enough people that are listening and laughing. And people also have respect for the fact that getting up and doing comedy, you know, I know like some of the tours like Bongo Room and places like that have comedy tents that they do now.
But like, I think some of the people in the audience actually respect that I’m just getting up and jumping right into the main stage or the small stage and just doing– you know, it’s like, a band ends, then I jump up and start yelling dick jokes to people. I think that somebody’s actually going to respect it, it’s got to be pretty fucking hard, and it is. Like in the sense of going out there in front of 20,000 people. But butterflies, no, because if literally 20,000 people started booing me, I would just laugh. I mean, I’d laugh that off, that’s hilarious– what could I have said that makes 20,000 people boo me? Who knows. Maybe I’m just taking too long to get to a punch line and they start booing me. Either way, it’d make me laugh.
I’ve done well enough I guess, my batting average I’d say on stage, is enough that like, if a show goes bad, a show goes bad, what are you going to do? It happens. I’m certain that one of these days that I’m going to be like, “ahh, that sucked.” But so far it’s been good; no bombs. With the Jager[meister] tour with Korn before this, everything went great there and so far it’s been great here. Some crowds listening more than others, but ultimately the reaction has been big.
How has the Denver crowd been today so far?
The Denver crowd? Oh, we did the one show so far, but they’ve been great. I went up at 2:40 and I bought the Jager girls on stage and made fun of them for a little bit, and then there was some girl with almost asinine breast implants, I would say. I mean they were obnoxious! And I bought her on stage and made fun of her a little bit and everyone was laughing and having a good time… Not her! She was awkward and uncomfortable, but everybody else, WAY into it!
Do you come up with new material for every show or do you try to stick to a guideline?
No, I have the jokes that I do–that I have in my arsenal, I mean like, I have hours of material to do generally. But in this atmosphere with what I want to try to get them with, I know like I have over the course of the day, eight to ten things that I have. But I will try every show to go to the audience, talk to somebody in the audience, get a reaction to see if I can go to a different place. Someone will yell out something absurd in response to something I said and I’ll ask them a question. So, I try to make it so that something new will happen every– like already with that girl coming out. I didn’t do– like, one of the three jokes I will intend to do on the first set of the day and I did one ’cause I had the girl coming out with the tits, so it was still funny. I mean like, as long as they laugh, if I don’t do any jokes, it’s fine with me.
What do you think the main benefits are of having a comedian like you on a festival like this?
I think on both, especially on a main stage here, because on a small stage is just kind of rapid fire, but on the main stage, it’s something to break the monotony, you know, people have said something before, I’ve actually had the same heckle twice and I’ve answered the same way both times, is when I’m in the middle of saying something, they start yelling out the next band’s name, somebody will, a couple people. And it always goes like, yeah, it’s like, I’m not holding them up! (laughs) They’re not backstage holding their guitars, like, “c’mon Jay!” It’s me and people holding ladders and shit for the show.
So, it’s cool to– the benefit of it, is that it keeps people entertained in between. You know, they’re not fading or some people might leave or just maul around and do whatever; it keeps people entertained, it keeps them happy. It goes right to the next band and they’re all in good spirits, hyped up; I’m the Flavor Flav!
How does the feeling differ from playing at comedy clubs versus playing in front of thousands of people at the Mayhem Fest?
Comedy clubs are intimate, it’s how comedy is genuinely supposed to be. My complaint about doing these tours and it’s not even a complaint, is that it’s not real comedy, like, I’m going to do the time tested jokes that I know will ultimately work. On a comedy club, I will go on a 20 minute tangent on whatever is happening because it’s intimate and people are gathered around; I talk to the crowd a lot more, I do less jokes ultimately, if I can. The feeling of 20,000 people laughing versus 300 is pretty crazy, it definitely is a pretty cool feeling. I started doing CD’s yesterday and they started selling good. So, I can’t complain at all.
Are you going to have a comedy club tour after the Mayhem Fest?
Yeah, I mean, I’ve always done headlining gigs of comedy clubs around the country, but it’s hard when the clubs want you to put people in the seats, so that was why I thought this was a good idea because my comedy kind of taps this market anyway. If I hit them all while doing this, when I come back and do comedy clubs, they will come out. So, I’m trying to hit– we did a lot of small cities on the Jager tour and the major ones on this tour, so I’m trying to get it booked so I can come back in the next year and a half to try and hit all of these cities again. I think that would be good for, especially the small cities, will be cool for the fans who were very supportive of me in the shows, and hopefully they’ll show up, I guess I could post it to you know, I’ve met all of these great press people like you guys, that when we come back to town, you’ll be willing to make it a thing for people to come and check out. I’m looking forward to it.
I think comedy clubs, people will get to experience what it is that I do, whereas like here, it’s commercial, but it’s still fun. Seven minutes I go up there, seven minutes I yell the filthiest shit I can think of. (laughs) I got one hate mail from someone saying, “there’s a time and a place for that humor and this is not the time or place.” When is it? A heavy metal festival? Like, really? This isn’t the time or place? Where’s the time or place? This isn’t a time or place for children, maybe not a time or a place for church. What? Dick jokes? Where’s a better place?!
What do you do when you receive hate mail, do you reply back or just ignore it?
I reply back and I post it as my Facebook status. I love it. You can hate me all you’d like; hate me or love me, don’t ever walk out and be like, “good job”. You could hate my guts, if you hate my guts you’ll probably tell more people about me than the people that love me. If you hate me, you’d be like, “this son-of-a-bitch makes my stomach sick!” But, it’s so hilarious, this hate mail asking: should I be ashamed to walk around in public if those were the kind of perverted things that are on my mind? I wrote back, “not only are they on my mind, these are fuckin’ true stories!” I don’t make up one story I tell on stage, not one. I don’t make any of them up, I wish I had the ability to just make stuff up. Weird stuff happens to me and I just tell it to people.
I’m excited, the story that I close out on on the 8:00 set I do, when we do Holmdel, New Jersey, which is the New York show, basically, my buddies who I’m running this TV show with, are coming out and two or three of them are the stars of the story that I tell at the end. So I’ll bring them on stage, so that I’ll tell the story and follow who, like get their comments from it, so that should be fun.
People ask me all the time, they go– they’ll come up all the time and go, “oh, that one joke, about blah-blah.” And I’m like, “oh yeah, that was weird.” They go, “that was a true story?” And I forget and go “oh yeah, I guess a lot of comics make stuff up,” I go, “No, everything I say is pretty much like 95% true.” Like, maybe I add some stuff in it for it to be funny, but like the bulk of the craziness of any story I tell is 100% true.
Have you told any stories about any of the artists on this tour yet?
No, there hasn’t really been anything, everything– it’s been pretty quiet as kept in this (inaudible), I’m on a production bus.
What about on the last tour?
On the last tour? I would mess around with the opening band a lot, 2 Cents, have you heard of them?
Really good band. Really great guys.
Yeah, I was researching your past interviews and I noticed that you mentioned them a lot.
Oh, I was anxiety ridden leaving for this tour because I thought, this might not work; doing comedy. It wasn’t a fear of like, bombing, that’s what everybody thought. I was just going nuts before the tour. I go, “bombing? I could bomb for three hours, I don’t care, I’ll just keep talking, it doesn’t bother me.” I didn’t want to fail the job. I don’t want to be the guy who’s like, we tried doing the comedian and it sucked.
I remember when I watched those shows like, Ozzfest back in the day, they told me about Crazytown, they were so bad on Ozzfest that they got kicked off. Like, kicked off, I was like, “man, I’d hate that to be my legacy, to get booted off the tour because it wasn’t going that good.” Someone goes, “nah, they won’t do that, they won’t kick you off the tour.” I was like, “so I am going to do terrible the entire time?! That’s going to suck too!” But, it’s been great, and the Korn guys were just like– they were a dream to work with, they’ve been great to me on this tour too, and really genuine guys.
So, it’s been really good. And, I’m such a huge fan of them too. A funny honest moment with Jonathan Davis on the Jager tour, it was like 3 in the morning, he comes out of his bus to bum a cigarette from me, and I was like, “where’ve you been all night?” He goes, “oh, I was making some new music on my bus.” He has a recording thing in there, he goes, “you want to hear?” He brings me on, he plays it, he was singing along with it, and jamming; and I�m sitting there with a bottle of water in my hand and I wasn’t bobbing my head, and he turns it off, and goes, “you didn’t like it?” I go, “no, no, I like it a lot, I’m just going to be honest with you, like I’ve paid $100 a ticket to see you before and now we’re like, shooting the shit on your bus at 4 in the morning in fucking Boise, Idaho, wherever the fuck we are.
It’s kind of surreal. (laughs) I’m being honest, we could totally be dudes again and hang out like two regular guys, but there’s a part of me that’s always going to be like, “wow, I’ve bought your CD’s since high school,” it’s fucking crazy! —-What happened to your knee?
Yeah, I’ve been training at Bobby Lashley’s gym, American Top Team Altitude, if you’ve heard of him.
Yeah! He was a wrestler then started doing Strikeforce now.
Yeah, I’m a big fan of all that shit!
Really? You’re a fan of wrestling?
I’m a fan of the UFC and I watched wrestling growing up as a kid a lot.
Yeah, I actually want to be a pro wrestler.
Yeah, that’s why I’m doing MMA, to get me used to the hard bumps.
Yeah, what are you doing, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu?
Yeah, pretty much!
That’s awesome! My daughter, she wants to do it and she’s 8, she wants to do it.
That’s awesome, I love it.
So, what happened? Someone put you in a knee bar?
I was trying to put someone in my guard and all at once my knee just tweaked. We were also practicing take downs too that day.
Really? So weird! Are you a big fan of the UFC stuff too?
I watch it here and there–
So you don’t watch it, but you train it? (laughs)
I know, I did see [Brock] Lesnar vs. [Shane] Carwin though.
That was awesome.
Yeah, I love Brock Lesnar.
Is he from Denver– no he’s from Minnesota.
Shane Carwin is from Denver.
Shane Carwin Denver, Lesnar Minnesota– so weird, he lives out in the woods, with like, nothing and a Playboy model wife with him, which I’m sure she’s miserable. There’s no way she’s happy living out in the woods.
Well, Lesnar has tons of money though…
Yeah, he’s awesome. I see you’re like a big pro wrestling fan?
Do you hate when they go to UFC?
No, I think it’s pretty cool.
You know who I’m buddies with? I’m sure you’ve probably interviewed him before if he’s come around town before… Jericho?
No! You know Jericho?!
Yeah, he was on my show Z-Rock, I was on for a couple years.
He’s my favorite wrestler! (laughs)
Is he really? He’s a good dude, he’s a really good guy.
Yeah, I met him a couple years ago after a WWE house show and he was really cool, one of the nicest wrestlers I’ve ever met.
Yeah, he was really funny on our show, he would make fun of himself, which was cool.
Do you have a cool story about him you could share?
Umm, no. He’s never been, he’s always been pretty mellow and cool about everything… He had a black eye one time we saw him, I’m trying to remember what that was from… (pauses) Oh yeah, they had that thing– I saw him, they had a Fozzy album release party.
Was that the one in New York?
Yeah, the one in New York. It was a little shit bar too, it was a little dive, so weird. He had a black eye, but it was from– did you hear what happened when he got arrested or something? Him and another wrestler.
Oh! Him with Shane Helms, I think.
And he told us the story about how he got in like a fucking fist fight in a car or something. It was something like that, I don’t know. It was like a crazy story! I was like, “Jesus! Why are you here?!” … Oh, it was the guy, The Hurricane or something.
Yeah, (laughs) Shane Helms.
(laughs) What? You get into an argument with The Hurricane at a gas station?
Yeah, I heard Matt Hardy was also involved, but he ran away before the cops came, or something. (laughs)
I can’t believe Chris Kanyon killed himself.
Oh, I know!
That was– I read about Stern, like he was on Stern, he seemed like such a happy-go-lucky guy. He came out of the closet and was all fuckin’ excited about it. Why kill himself after coming out of the closet?
A lot of drugs do kill wrestlers, which is so sad.
Chris Benoit, you have to admit though that, that was one of the saddest– sad situations, but one of the funniest things wrestling had to do. I remember— do you remember before they had– before they knew all of the facts of the case, they did a whole thing on Monday Night RAW about it. They said, “he’s a genius, Chris was an amazing man, a loving, beautiful father.” And then the next day, it was like, he murdered himself and his family, “hey, we didn’t know he murdered his whole family, he’s a piece of shit, he’s a scumbag, never liked him.”
Yeah, then they pretty much erased him from WWE history too.
Yeah, I mean… Yeah, you have to understand that though. That’s pretty heinous what he did. They tried to blame steroids too. I watched a documentary; he was on anti-depressants, he was on anti-depressants and stuff.
Yeah, but with steroids, they said he wasn’t even on enough to have “roid rage.”
But even roid rage wouldn’t make you premeditatedly murder your wife and kid. It just doesn’t happen like that. It’s a good documentary called Bigger, Stronger, Faster. You should check it out, you can find it online. But, it’s really good, it’s how they villain-ize/demonize steroids. My step-father was a competitive weight lifter like my whole life growing up. He didn’t use them anymore than he did when he was younger, he’s very like— that and human growth hormone (HGH), are like the fountain of youth; if they would just legalize them and regulate them– but the whole thing is that people abuse them, but everything they’ve ever attributed to steroids like doing something bad to you– I remember like when I was 8, I was a football player, back in the day, they had a guy who had brain cancer, and they used to say it was all steroids. But it was like, steroids didn’t cause brain cancer, it’s never been proven to cause brain cancer, like ever. So, they were already trying to make it seem like steroids drove Chris Benoit to kill. I’m like, the guy had a mountain full of anti-depressants, he was going through a lot, it had nothing to do with steroids.
Yeah, they said his brain was the equivalent to an 80-year-old’s with Alzheimer’s or something like that.
Just getting knocked around so much.
Yeah, because of one of his finishing moves, the flying headbutt.
You better be careful then because you have to– they have the girl wrestlers doing fuckin’ pretty serious wrestling right now.
Eh, not so much anymore…
Nah, they’re still doing that stuff like crazy, like flying around stuff.
Maybe with TNA, but I haven’t seen that in a while in WWE…
Would you want to do TNA wrestling? Or WWE?
I want to be in WWE.
Chris Jericho is like a gazillionaire off of it, he’s been doing it for so long.
Yeah, he also has so many other projects too.
He’s doing Fozzy, he’s got that show like on My Network.
Our interview ended abruptly because we ran out of time… With that said, check out Big Jay’s facebook: Facebook.com/BigJayOakerson