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Bill Crawford

October 12, 2011

Bill Crawford – (October 3, 2011):

First off, can you tell readers  how you decided to become a comic –what was that  moment when you realized ” this is it – this is what I am going to do with my life!”

Well, I’m not sure I ever had a single moment when I decided to become a comic; I think it was more of a collection of moments failing to become anything else.  

What’s been the most exciting venue for you to play in so far and what’s been the  funniest experience you’ve had on stage?

DC Improv was an awesome experience. It was the first time people cheered every time the host said I was from Pittsburgh. I’ve been working in Ohio a lot.I had an old woman flash me as soon as I walked on stage recently. I laughed so hard I forgot my material.

Every set should begin like that.    

What about growing up in Pittsburgh has most inspired your comedy and routines?

I started in Pittsburgh, so everything about growing up there inspired my comedy. If you want to get big laughs in Pittsburgh, you learn quickly to have a local spin on your material. You can do other stuff there, but it never gets the same reaction.

Also, my mom fist fought the Pirate Parrot at a picnic in the early 90’s. So that helped.  

It’s not all glamour is it? How hard is it traveling constantly and starting off, trying to  make ends meet?

No. Its very brief moments of glamour on stage followed by a prolonged state of desperation and anxiety off stage. There is nothing funny about trying to do stand-up comedy for a living.    

There are a number of good comedians coming out of Pittsburgh –you, Steve Byrne,  Billy Gardell….do you guy’s get at all competitive? How do you help one another and work together?

Billy Gardell and Steve Byrne have helped me tremendously. There is no way I would be where I am without them. Both have been a mentor of mine and Steve has taken me on tour with him.

I would take a bullet for either of those guys. If someone was shooting at them at the same time, I guess they would have to compete.  Lots of pressure to be a sports fan in Pittsburgh.

How did this influence your comedy?

I never fully understood the magnitude of that pressure or Pittsburgh’s love of sports until I saw a Statue of Franco Harris beside a Statue of George Washington in the main terminal of the Pittsburgh Airport. We consider the Immaculate Reception to be as prestigious as the Revolutionary War. Then it became clear. Being a sports fan in Pittsburgh is as important as being on the frontlines fighting the British for our independence. It writes itself.  

Who are your favorite sports teams and athletes – and what makes them so?  

Steelers are my team. I’ve always loved football the most. I watch them every Sunday with my family. And if I’m on the road, I find a Steeler bar and watch it with my extended family.

Ever perform in front of any Pittsburgh athletes or meet any? If so, what was that like?I got to do a black tie event at the Duquesne Club. Mario Lemieux was there. Meeting him was a dream come true for me. If you’ve ever been to the Duquesne Club, you know I can’t sayanything else about it.

If you were the GM of any Pittsburgh team, which would it be, why, and what would your first big decision as GM be?

Steelers. I would fire Steely McBeam and burn his costume before a division game. Then I would draft 4 offensive linemen in a row.  

Where can fans see you next and can they purchase your material on Cd/print etc.? If so, where?

I will be on the road for rest of the year, but I am headlining the Pittsburgh Improv December 22nd and 23rd. I will have a cd or a dvd available by then hopefully. You can find out where I will be if you check out my Official Site for Comedian Bill Crawford and my twitter account  http://twitter.com/#!/Crawfability and my facebook  page at Bill Crawford

Any last thoughts for readers?

We are living in hard times. I know we are all busy and worrying about our own problems, but its important to remember that we are all on this journey together. Lets take care of each other. If nothing else, lets at least be empathetic towards people struggling. Unless they are from Cleveland.

In that case, F@#K THEM!!

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