It's a new year with new comedy albums to obsess over, so what better way to start than with "You Were Good Too," the debut from current “Funniest Person in Austin” Ramin Nazer. Featuring over an hour of new material taped live at Austin’s Cap City Comedy, "You Were Good Too" (available exclusively online) showcases Nazer’s well-known high energy absurdity. The combination of whip smart one-liners and off kilter observational humor earned this hometown hero a spot on SXSW Comedy, Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival, a hosting gig at the famed Comedy Bang Bang Live show, and a slot on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson:
This week, we talked to Ramin about his new album, his other online projects, and what he’s got coming up next:
You're almost at the end of your reign as the Funniest Person in Austin; how has the past year been?
It was a great year for me personally. There was a lot of really terrible stuff that happened in the world but as far as just my own "career pursuits" it's been amazing. I'm getting to travel more, do more shows, meet more people, learn new things...
What was the process of planning this recording like?
I had a headlining gig at Cap City Comedy Club and I managed to sell out the room with a really enthusiastic audience thanks to help from Dudley & Bob, the Warriors, Reddit (r/Austin), and my friends. There was a good mix of people who'd never heard of me before, old friends, and other comics in the back by the bar. I really lucked out because I got to do it in one shot. A lot of comedy albums are a bunch of different theater shows Frankenstein-ed together to create the perfect show. My whole taping went really well and was done in one take. It doesn't have the thunderous laughter of a giant theater show but you do get a more intimate comedy club feel from it.
Why release online?
Because that's where we spend all of our time. Also, I don't feel like mailing stuff. If it were a couch or a shirt I'd probably have to. I do have physical copies that I sell at shows, though, so if you see me in real life you can get one!
What exactly is on the album?
The main thing is the audio but there's also the option to download the full HD video of the show. It's nothing fancy, just 3 cameras with a couple of bits not included in the audio. I wasn't planning on having any video at all but we had the resources at the time so I figured, why not. I was debating whether or not to post the video, since it was done as somewhat of an afterthought and since it's on a smaller stage where there's not a lot of motion. But I figured I'd give people the option in case they wanted it.
There are also some outtakes of crowd work and some jokes I left out that I plan on releasing later.
Tell us more about HUMORdy, the comedy collective you work with?
We wanted to make our own channel on the internet, similar to Funny or Die, since Austin has such a great pool of actors, improvisers, directors, stand-ups, etc. It started with just a few of us, but we're always growing and looking for new people that want to make stuff. This year we have more a release schedule rather than just putting up videos sporadically.
What are you up to next?
I just want to keep getting better at stuff, since I don't feel like I've really mastered anything yet. I have been phasing out this hour of material that's on the album and working on the next one. I'd like to record another album in the next year or so. No article about stand-up comedy is complete without referencing Louis CK—I want to be more like Louis CK and George Carlin and Frank Zappa in the work ethic sense that they were always making new stuff. That's why I got into this. When there's money and attention that's amazing too. I looooove attention. But the making stuff part is the best part. I wouldn't do any of this stuff if it wasn't enjoyable to me. If it ever stops being fun I'll do something else.
Download Ramin Nazer’s debut album at youweregoodtoo.com