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LAist Interview: Comedian Hal Sparks - Appearing Tonight at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills

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You know Hal Sparks from hosting "Talk Soup" on E!, or as Michael from "Queer as Folk", or even from VH1's "I Love the..." series. Sparks has a local appearance before heading back out on national tour. He's also got a TV show and a couple feature films in the works, not to mention voicing Tak in Nikelodeon's "Tak & the Power of Juju" - LAist was pleased to be able to ask the busy Sparks a few questions before his appearance tonight at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills with fellow "Talk Soup" alum, Aisha Tyler.

Listen to the entire interview here:

LAist: Who inspired you to get into comedy?

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Hal Sparks: I'm definitely influenced by George Carlin and Steve Martin. I appreciate the all the work that went into the writing of George Carlin's comedy, and the esoteric silliness of Steve Martin. In a lot of ways, comedy is the last pure art form for performers, it's just you and your ideas, that's why I love it so much.

LAist: It's just about you and the audience.

Hal Sparks: It's especially about connectedness, shared experience, agreement, and a low tolerance for BS. I think that's ultimately the stand-up credo: let's not BS ourselves. It's about breaking stuff down that we take for granted, whether it's colloquialisms or mass marketing and applying a perspective is a centerpoint of my stand-up. The one thing that keeps us all from present-minded living is assumptive behavior. We know how we're supposed to react to things and we go through our lives by rote, it becomes a mechanical way of living that we get stuck in - a lot of that is based on horseshit. A lot of that is based on wildly false assumptions and silly automatic behaviors. Comedy has more of an opportunity than anything to break that down and allow you a moment to break that, realize it's hilarious, and pay attention to your own life.