Serious Comedy Talk
March 2, 2021

Episode 61: Corey Ryan Forrester

Episode 61: Corey Ryan Forrester

Corey Ryan Forrester’s love for comedy started when he was a toddler watching Carson (and then Leno) from a blanket on the floor next to his daddy Dale. By 2nd grade, he had already informed his teachers that he was going to be a comedian and didn’t...

Corey Ryan Forrester’s love for comedy started when he was a toddler watching Carson (and then Leno) from a blanket on the floor next to his daddy Dale. By 2nd grade, he had already informed his teachers that he was going to be a comedian and didn’t ever consider another profession. At age 16, he worked up the nerve to do his first open mic (lying about his age to be admitted into the club).
Corey spent the next decade hawking jokes in dingy bars and comedy clubs at night then waking up to do random jobs to supplement his income. A house painter, retail associate, motorcycle salesman, urine sample collector, flower delivery boy, hotel maid, college textbook reseller and hay bailer. At one point in his career, he ran a family bakery with his mother where he was considered the “Head Quiche Chef”.
Corey’s stand up blends humor and common sense into a high energy act that is as full of as many silly faces and goofy jokes as it is emotionally driven tangents. Under his PBR hat is a giant head, and under that are surprisingly thought-provoking rants on society, culture, and politics.
Corey & I talked about stand-up comedy which made him very happy. The journey he started when he was 16 writing bits on MySpace and has taken him to an international audience has been quite a ride.
I talked about Live From Detroit The Jeff Dwoskin Show. Make sure you check it out.
I talked to Robert G Lee about is upcoming comedy class. I’m taking the class and am very excited to learn from Robert. Shoot him and email to if you would like more info

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Cody Ryan Forrester Full

[00:00:00] Scott Curtis: [00:00:00] I want to talk about the John I'm bringing up. It's Corey, Ryan Forrester, and he's been featured on HBAO ABC, BBC, CBC Esquire for his magazine, and he's a contributor for the huffing Huffington post and the bitter southerner. He's also got a popular podcast called through the screen door that I want to talk about a little bit.

It is Corey Ryan Forester. Corey, let's bring it up. What's up, Scott, how are you, Corey? I'm really glad to have you on. As I said, I'm a big fan. I've been following the, your video exploits for quite awhile and it's it's been really cool.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:00:36] Thank you. I'm glad to be on this show. And I actually talking about standup comedy in a while because you can probably imagine there's a lot of people that.

They found me and don't even still know that I'm a standup comedian. Yeah. Because they felt they saw my videos and we've been there in a pandemic. So it's not like I've been posting. Hey, I'm about to be in Portland. I'm about to be in [00:01:00] Seattle. So it's real. This is really nice to be talking about the thing I actually love.

Yeah. And

Scott Curtis: [00:01:05] in reading your bio, it looks like you were from a very young age, just smitten by standup comedy. Can you tell me a little bit about

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:01:12] that? Yeah. That, to me, I'm one of the very few people that is doing what they said they were going to do when they were five years old. Like I am and I used to be the type of person that, you know, because I was able to find success in my dream job that I was always like, Oh, you got to do it.

You got to go for it, man. Now I've since learned that I got very lucky and that most people can't do that. Cause most people at five want to be Superman and that job doesn't actually exist. But when I was a kid I'm old enough to remember the, like I'm talking about very early memories when I don't even know if I can walk yet watching Johnny Carson with my dad.

And then of course, that moved into Leno. Which I've actually found in recent years that I think my dad liked Letterman more as a person, but he was so loyal to the [00:02:00] tonight show because of Johnny that he always just watched. It's really weird that my dad's like that, but he's no, I think Letterman's funnier, it was the tonight show.

I would watch the tonight show and stuff with my dad. And I was like, I always had a bedtime, but for my dad knew how much I liked the comedians. So if there was a comedian on, I could stay up a little bit later and watch the comedian. And I saw how the comedian made my dad laugh. And I thought, man, I really want to do that.

But I also thought this, I guess this is just how kids think I was like, yeah, but. Those guys, they're all from New York and California. I can't do that. And then one day when I was a young kid, I was sitting criss-cross applesauce. As I'm told I say, now on my grandmother's floor. And on comes the television, this man by the name of Jeff Foxworthy.

And I hear him and I see what he's, and I'll never forget this in my life. The joke that he told was if you're I'm butchering his boys, if your new TV is sitting on top of your old tape, a redneck. And I heard that [00:03:00] joke at my grandmother's house while her new TV was sitting on top of her old TV. And I was like, Oh my God.

This guy sounds like me. And he's saying things like from my experience and that's when I knew I could do it. And so just for it's the only thing I've ever wanted to do. And I started doing it when I was 16 and I'll be 34 this year. So I've literally been doing it most of my life. Yeah.

Scott Curtis: [00:03:19] Wow. Now it's funny.

You mentioned Jack Jeff Foxworthy. I know the guy that he originally pitched. If you might be a redneck too. It was another comedian and they were working together, I think in Wisconsin or Chicago. And he pitched it to my friend and my friend said that will never work. They'll never work. Isn't that great.

And that's another reason why you never, ever listened to other comedians when they give you advice. You got to do your own thing.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:03:48] No, absolutely not. Like comedians are the worst for advice I had to learn. It took me a long time to learn that the comedy club owner had taught me the most was micro Alfano in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

[00:04:00] And. Hate the best advice he gave me. It took me so long to realize that I would come off stage and he would be like, you're playing in the back of the room. He's you're absolutely killing those guys back there. But those guys are never going to buy tickets to see your show. Like you, you can't think like he goes, there's so much stuff that I've heard you do that when you.

When you see the other comedians not respond to it, you stopped doing it, but the audience loves it. And you have to understand that you're up there for the audience, for the comedians. It's if you're good enough, those guys will like you. And realistically, when those guys hate you, it probably means you're doing really good.

And that took a long time to realize that comedians don't necessarily give you the best advice. A lot of times I'd say that person it's very possible that they really did like that you might be a redneck and they were upset that they didn't think about that. Yeah.

Scott Curtis: [00:04:46] That's funny now, obviously you're smitten by comedy at five, but when you became like a teenager and you were really getting into studying and who were the people that you really thought were the best ones out there?

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:04:59] I [00:05:00] still to this day, the guy who sticks with me more than anything, God rest his soul is Tim Wilson.

Scott Curtis: [00:05:05] Oh, I love him. Yeah. I loved

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:05:06] him. Yeah. Tim was the best when I was when I was 15 years old, I, again, I'd said my whole life, which up until this point had only been 10 years for my whole life.

I wanted to be a standup comedian. So me and my buddy Robbie, he was a couple years older than me. So he had a driver's license. I was 15 years old and we went and we snuck into the comedy catch one night to see this guy, Tim Wilson now. Backstory a little bit further on my relationship with Tim Wilson was that when I was a kid.

My dad he still is in marketing, but when I was a kid and radio was a lot bigger than it is now, dad would do all the advertisements for the radio stations and he would get to meet all these dudes who came in to do radio. Like all the comedians always did radio. He, he has so many stories about hanging out with James Gregory and dudes like Tam and killer bays and all these guys.

And he loved Tim Wilson and they had they had, they got along and Tim would always give him CDs of his just for free, and I remember one time. When I was a young kid, my dad [00:06:00] lost both of his parents very early. And like within a year and a half of each other, and he was the only child and he didn't have any other family.

So my dad just, went from family to no family really quick. And he was like he went through a huge depression where my dad's always been the most fun love and gab, but he didn't smile. He didn't laugh for years. And then one time w my mom just decided, Hey, we gotta get out of town.

We got to go on a trip to, to change your attitude or something. Cause then we go to Florida or driving down the road, Ashley, remember they're not arguing, but there's just the silence is deafening. As they say, my dad is super upset. And my mom got tired of the car not having any noisiness. And she put in a Tim Wilson speedy, and my dad laughed for, for an hour for the whole CD.

And I just remember thinking like even more, I was like, I got to do that. Look what this guy on a CD just did. He just changed my dad's life in this moment. We're going to have a good trip because of this guy. And so then I got older and I was like, Oh my God, this tent, that Tim Wilson guy, he's at the comedy cash.

Me and my buddy, we sneak in. [00:07:00] So the comedy kit and we sit in the back and we're watching Tim Wilson. And as there's nothing like live comedy, like as funny as he was on the seat, ADA teammate laugh. Oh my God, this guy's amazing. Never remember my buddy, we were walking out and he just goes, man.

You're never going to be that good. And I was just like, I don't think I am, like, it changed my life. Like actually seeing the art form done. I realized how much work I had ahead of me. I realized that That I used to think Oh, when, whenever I get my driver's license, I'm going to go to the club.

And I, as soon as I start, I'm going to be like Adam Sandler, I'm going to be famous by 18. It's no problem. Then I saw Tim Wilson. I'm not even close to that, but I made it my goal to get as good as Tim Wilson. I've never achieved that, but it's still my goal. And I was 16 when I started. And then at 22 I got to open for Tim.

It was craziest. It was awesome. I was able to get comp tickets. I brought my dad out, like it was a big deal. And then the next time Tim was in town, the [00:08:00] club owner called me and was like, Hey, Tim asked specifically for you to open for him. And I'm losing my mind. And then Tim comes up to me the first night and I go tight.

Why are you going to have an M shape? We're going to have a two man show that way you can do 35. And I'm like, this is great. And then I always, from then on, whenever Tim was at the comedy catch, I opened for him pretty much in his later years, Tim Tim diabetic, he wouldn't sell merge after the show. He wouldn't even talk to anybody.

So I, but I was selling Mark. And Tim Lee. So I would say I would make 800 bucks a night because people wanted to buy something in Tim and Tim wasn't out there. And I learned so much from that guy, both good and bad. I'm not going to speak ill of the dead. I love Tim, but let's face it. He got in his own way a lot.

But I was, I would emulate him for so long until finally, Michael Alfano was one of the guys that was like, Hey. Tim was better at dealing with hecklers than you are. You should just shut up. Let Tim do that. You're going to get your [00:09:00] ass kicked. Yeah.

Scott Curtis: [00:09:01] What was funny about Tim was he did play to the back of the room.

He was really not, he was really not in anybody's court. He said whatever he wanted to say. And it just turned out to be good with the audience too.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:09:13] He was just so brilliant that it just and there are, there are comics who also get mainstream appeal, regardless of how people feel about him now, Louis CK fit that mold where like comics loved him as much as audiences loved him.

But Brian, Regan's one of those guys, but usually if someone's really loved by. The masses comedians are like, okay, whatever, which is so stupid, which is so dumb. I'm so over that now, like I can't tell you how many times I've had to look at someone and go, you couldn't follow Dane cook on your best day, on your best day.

You couldn't follow we're talking shit.

Scott Curtis: [00:09:49] So thinking about that first time you got on stage of 16, obviously you weren't really old enough to be in the comedy club. What was it like an open mic or what was

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:09:58] it. It was an open [00:10:00] mic, but any actual Canadians listening, this is going to blow your mind.

I actually, the first time I ever performed paid VA, I got paid a hundred dollars. I know for the record. Before I get ahead of myself, I didn't make another dollar for another five years. I, this was during the time of speaking of Dane cook the time of my space. Yeah. And like there wasn't really a YouTube, there wasn't Facebook, there wasn't anything, but there was my space and own my space, the only kind of creative outlet, there was the sad from that post and videos wasn't a thing yet.

But there was a blog section and I had a blog where I would write my funny jokes and stories and yada, and this dude from Chattanooga. Followed me on there and he messaged me one day and he goes, Hey man, are you a standup comedian? I said, no, but I sure would like to be, once I'm able to drive and get to the club and stuff, I'm going to do that, but I'm just working up the material now and he goes if you can get to a Migos Mexican restaurant on this Friday, whenever it was, I don't remember.

And if you can host this open [00:11:00] mic, I will give a hundred dollars. And as soon as he said a hundred dollars, I'll figure something out because this was a, this would have, I I was 16 years old. So this was like 2004. A hundred bucks was more than it is now. It was basically cause gas was like 80 cents.

I was like, okay man, but I don't really know. I don't have much material. And he goes all this stuff that you write, man, that's material. Just say that, just say all that stuff. So I was like, all so I tell you what I think is 15 minutes. It turns out it's seven, you know how that goes?

Of course. Yeah. And I go there, but that was enough to open the show and then introduce all these other acts. And I really, my buddy filmed it on tape, like an actual tape, I really wish that I still had that. There's part of me. That's glad that I don't know that I it'd be hard to watch, but I just remember, I remember being up there and my leg shaking so bad that.

There was no way people weren't noticing. Like my knees literal knees were knocking and I'm just kinda getting through it and it, look it didn't go that well, but when [00:12:00] I was there, one of the guys that was doing the open mic was this guy named Wade Cardwell, who turns out, booked the Bay room at the comedy catch.

And I got to be buddies with him. And he was like, I told him it's my first time. And he's just man, The Bay room, if you want to come any time, come on. And we ended up developing a friendship and I was just at the bedroom every day in the grill, the giggles grill it was called. And I didn't miss one opportunity.

This is what I wanted to do. So it wasn't like once I started doing it, I'm so glad. I'm so fortunate that I didn't go, Oh, that was way harder than I thought. And I wasn't as good as I thought I was just like I know I can, I know I can do this. So I just tap that ate shit. For a long time.

And then finally, one day it's not one day, Oh, I was this great Comey, but one day the moves clicked, and I was like, okay, I know my jokes might not be the funniest, but I know how to ride them. And I know how to tell them. And the thing is, this, like when you're, I don't even count really the years from [00:13:00] 16 to like almost 24, because.

Who the what? 16 to 24 year old knows anything to talk about right now, we'll take you this. And those eight years was a master at talking about my ding dong, I still, but the good thing is like, in those eight years, even though I didn't have anything to talk about, that's still eight years of stage presence that I got.

So by the time I found out what I wanted to talk about, I knew better than anyone at my level of how to do it. Yeah.

Scott Curtis: [00:13:29] It's funny. You talk about that. The young kids, because, one thing I don't miss during the pandemic is open mics because it was before I go up, it'd be eating ass dicks.

It was just, it was just all of that. And it's okay. If you can make it funny, if you can make anything funny, that's okay. But most of it wasn't absolutely.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:13:48] I don't believe. There are like, obviously hack premises is such a thing, but. Every I don't know in a couple specials ago, Brian Regan did an airplane joke and it's [00:14:00] most people would tell you, Oh, you can't do airplane jokes anymore.

It's but when you think of a good one, you still

Scott Curtis: [00:14:04] try. Yeah, no doubt. And I think it's a Rite of passage. You gotta do that shitty stuff for a while in order to know what's good. And a lot of. The first years you're on stage is just getting to know the stage and the microphone and how to breathe and look at the audience and stuff like that.

That's the first year is that's actually more important than the words without

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:14:27] a doubt. That's why I'm like so glad I started when I did and I've always thought, man, maybe if you didn't start so early and maybe if you went to college, then when you started, you would have had more to talk about.

And I think that's undeniably true, but like you can't replace those, again, by the time I'm 24 years old, I have eight years in, and again, like I said, even though I don't know what I'm talking about, that I had the stage presence, right? If you do stand up, I was the house MC at the comedy catch.

So I'm doing all the shows in the main room and giggles grill and the open market across town. I'm doing like at least eight [00:15:00] sets a week, not in New York, so if you can get on stage eight times a week for seven, eight years, you're gonna. If the audio is stripped, either will look like a standup comedian.

You know what I mean? If you just look you're like this fucking guy looks like he knows what he's doing

Scott Curtis: [00:15:12] and that's half the battle, you're your subject matter? I went through and watched a lot of stuff, a lot of the old stuff, and it's funny, a lot of it was in Huntsville and my son was down in Huntsville.

I said, he's the best man. And we're My wife and I are planning an escape route to Huntsville right now I'm in Indiana. But we love that city. Yeah. All the breweries are just worth it. Those are

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:15:37] fantastic. And next time you're down there and go to GS and get you some soul food. Okay.

Okay. Yeah. It's the best. I'm two hours away and I have made the drive just to get.

Scott Curtis: [00:15:44] Wow. Yeah. That's cool. So thinking about your subject matter, you've got a pretty. I guess it's a pretty it's a point, it's a point of view. You've got a point of view and it's basically, okay, I'm the Southern guy, but guess what?

Not all [00:16:00] Southern people think this way. We're not all red state people and you do it. I think you do it in a way that you can make. Everybody laughed because you're getting the right-wingers to laugh at themselves a little bit and they do. I know they do. And then you're getting smart, liberal guys to laugh along with you.

Is that something that you went into intentionally or did Trump help that the,

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:16:30] Trump put it on steroids, I'll put it that way. I've always been this way. Like to me, like comedy is always going against the grain and being contrarian. Like when I was living in New York, I remember I was living in New York pre-Trump he had just announced that he was going to run.

I've still got the New York post that, that has, Donald Trump announced his candidacy. And I remember picking it up fuck it, RI but. Up there. I remember in New York, which is like, people think of as coastal elites [00:17:00] liberal, safe Haven. The thing that those comics were doing was like going against liberalism black.

That was their contrarian thing. But me up there, it was, to me, it was like what do people mostly expect of me as being a southerner? They'd expect me to be super conservative. I go against the grain. Now again, I didn't just decide I'm going to be this way because it'll be funny. I just was that way.

And then I was like, that's a really nobody's doing that, like everyone. And that's why I became really good friends with Trey and drew because independently of me, they were doing that too. We all have this collective idea of Mo there were two types of Southern Canadians. And then there has been forever pretty much.

You've got either lane into it real hard and go full cable guy, which there's nothing wrong with that. Absolutely. Nothing wrong with that. I love those guys. And I would like to state for the record, anytime someone says, Oh, you're locked the opposite of the blue collar comedy tour. I'm not trying to do that.

I love those guys, but yes, I do have a different point of view. I look up to those guys is what I'm saying. But there was it. You was either go full cable guy and beat the blue [00:18:00] collar comedy tour. Or if you're a comedian from the South, you'd drop your accent completely like David Cross. And otherwise nobody would even know you were from the South and that's how you, cause you're like I want to talk about smarter and more liberal things.

And if I have this accent, nobody will pay attention to me. And we all had the mind of like, Why not do both, just be proud of both things like don't drop the accent, be as loud as everybody else is. And say the thing that's on your mind and who cares if that's different hell in this industry being different is so rare and a great thing.

So just do it. And at the beginning, same guy was talking about Michael Alfano as much great advice as he gave me, he also was like, Hey. This, ain't never going to he's you need to be clean. You need to clean everything up. You need to quit being so divisive. And now granted. I can't argue that like my early I, my earlier years in comedy wouldn't have been better to me if I had done all those things.

But I stayed the course and it now is paying off. And I'm so happy that I did [00:19:00] that because now I get to the uniquely me, instead of being a guy who like, there's a lot of people that like finally this year, we're just like, okay, I've got to draw a line in the sand. Fuck Donald Trump.

I was like, I've been here the whole time.

Scott Curtis: [00:19:16] Welcome to the club.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:19:17] Yeah. Welcome to the club,

Scott Curtis: [00:19:21] knowing that obviously you, you had a period of where you're trying to learn how to do that on stage. Did you run into any times where that just really backfired on you a

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:19:32] couple of times, but I wouldn't say severely, and I think it's a credit to, so I'm from Chattanooga, Tennessee, or close I'm from Chickamauga, Georgia, but the biggest club was in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Chattanooga, Tennessee is a liberal city. For Tennessee. And if in any other, if you put Chattanooga, Tennessee up North, they'd be like, this is a conservative paradise, but here, they have an art district. What I'm saying is at that club, it was a fairly conservative crowd.

Cause there's was a lot of older people, [00:20:00] the young hip liberal tops. They weren't going to the comedy club on Bryan or drought. So I had a fairly conservative. Audience who I was having to get these messages across to. Therefore I had to learn how to say it without getting the shit beat out of me every week.

And so I found a way to give my opinion. I remember the first, like really super divisive, a political joke that I did was about. And this'll date me a little bit, how long I've been doing stand up. Don't ask don't tell was still the policy in the military. That's not been a thing for a while, but it was a thing then.

And I had a joke that ended up going from a bit to a chunk, to a 20 minute whole thing about how ridiculous it is that gay people couldn't be in the military. And I did this whole act out. Of these two guys in a Fox hole and like bombs are blast and down on them and they're both scared for their life.

And the [00:21:00] other one just looks over and goes. That's true. I'd like to blow you right now. And I'm like, did that ever happen? That's never, that was pretty much the, that was the whole idea of the bit was like, why would you worry about that? Like when is that opportunity going to present itself?

And so many times I've never once believed that I could change someone's mind completely. I don't think anyone can. But you never know who's on the fence and just hasn't thought about it some way. And I had so many people that would come up to me that I know are conservatives. They would go, dude.

That is ridiculous like that. They're like, I'm not like I'm not like saying I'm for gays. I'm just saying you're right. That is a little bit ridiculous. And I was able to. The only way that it would go over is if I was talking to a conservative crowd. Cause if I was just doing that in front of my crowd, now it's we know they're just, yeah, they're just

Scott Curtis: [00:21:45] nodding their heads.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:21:46] Yeah, exactly. And that happens a lot on this current tour because it's our crowd and that's what every comedian will always want is you always want to find your crowd and then sell tickets to your people, but you do find you're going like it's just [00:22:00] confirmation bias and they're applauding more than they're laughing.

So now I've got to find a way. To be even goofy or about this, or make them think about something different. Maybe I'll even say something for five seconds that I don't even believe in just to see what they say. And then you get to be like, I'm fucking with it, but yeah, I had to learn how to set, how to basically make common sense out of these things, to where people who maybe didn't agree with me at least could understand my point and not want to kick the shit out of me.

Scott Curtis: [00:22:25] How do you come up with. Your bits because you hit on something the about the don't ask don't tell jokes that it was just a short bit, and then it became more like a 20 minute thing. How do you work those out?

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:22:41] For me, that's one of the pandemics been so difficult and why, because I've done a bunch of lab they'll resume shows or whatever.

And I have to prepare for them so much differently because I have to write everything fully out because I'm not able to just like riff, to, in order to read if I need like the art Oh, that worked, let me I'll keep going on that. Yeah. I have no idea on the zone, [00:23:00] but in life, like basically, usually what happens to me is the punchline comes to me first.

So I'll watch something on TV or somebody will say something and I'll have a comeback or something, and I'll be like, Oh man, that's a great line. But obviously you can't just walk on stage and say a line, so I'll go, all right, let's build up to that line. And then it's like, why would I say that line?

Okay. Now we have the premise. So I know where I need to start and I know where I need to finish. So my first night of working on a joke, we'll be like, all I'm going to start with this and I'm going to get to here. I don't know what else. I don't know what the middle is, but I'm going to basically just go and riff on this topic and bleed it for everything it's worth until I started to get tired of it or the crowd starts to get tired of it and then I'll hit them with the punchline and then that jokes over.

And then after I feel like after I do that about 50 times with But then the next night I'll be like, okay, last night you did it this way. That part, [00:24:00] that didn't work. I like live, edit in my head while I'm going and I'll add something else. Oh, that works. Keep that. And I never really wrote it down too much.

I record myself on my phone sometimes way less than I should for the record. I should do it way more. Yeah. But I just do it a bunch until I've done it so many times that I've basically. I've basically done it wrong. So many times that what was it? Was it Michelangelo that said I think w by the way, not compare myself to Michelangelo, I'm just saying they were like the way to make a statue as you take a piece of marble and you take away everything that, isn't the statute that's kinda what I do with a joke.

Like I, I say a bunch of shit and then I take away everything that wasn't good. And then after that, it's you. 50 other audience has have approved all of these words. And then if I think of something funny I'll add a tag of course. And that's how a five minute joke for me. If I come up with a five minute joke in January, I guarantee you it's going to be bare minimum.

12 to 13 minutes in December. Yeah. Yeah, no doubt. And [00:25:00] then probably back to eight, if I'm, then when I shoot it. Yeah. Yeah.

Scott Curtis: [00:25:03] That's great. You can do that on the fly like that. It's hard for some people like me. It's really hard for me to think that through. And I have to record myself every single set because, and I'm, even though I'm an old man, I'm a much newer comic and it's very It's very telling on.

What's funny and what's not funny. Cause when you're up there, you're just in the moment. You don't know you, you get an idea, but you don't know why exactly. This has been okay. Political arguments I can get into. And it doesn't even phase me because I know where I stand, but comedy arguments really piss me off sometimes.

So there's this argument going on and I shouldn't have even watched it. I didn't comment. And I shouldn't have washed it. It was on social media about American comedy, not being a meritocracy. How do you feel about American comedy? Do you think that you, if you're funny enough, you can do well, or do you think that you have to know [00:26:00] people.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:26:00] Look, there's examples of both. What I think is that the crane ultimately does rise to the top and that if you just because somebody, you still have to bring it. Like the reason that Taylor Swift was able to get seen so early is because yes, her dad. Had some money and he was able to put some of that money into distribution of a record.

But the reason that Taylor Swift's still sells out Madison garden right now is because she was good the whole time. You know what I'm saying? Like Nick Crow, for example, Nick Kroll's, dad's like a billionaire. So yes, it was easier for Nick Kroll to hang out with the upright citizens brigade. He didn't have to go to work.

He can do all obviously there's privilege involved, but if Nick Kroll sucked. People wouldn't let him just ruin their shows all the time. You don't, you know what I'm saying? It's I get both. I get both like for instance, I grew up white and my dad made a pretty good [00:27:00] living. Things have been easier for me than they are for some black comedians.

I know that are from the same area. Some of them. However, I still am funnier than them and I've worked harder, but again, I was able to work harder. Sometimes somebody has to go take care of their family and I didn't have to do that. But again, like that whole like, Oh they're only there because of this.

It's I think that'll get you like one shot, I think that'll get you one shot. And then if you suck. Then you won't. Okay. For instance, like Chet Hanks, do you know her chat? Hank says, I don't know that name. Okay. It's Tom Hanks, his son, and he really wants to be a rapper and he's okay. Yeah.

Yeah. Okay. But the thing is you've never heard, like he's got every opportunity in the world. He's not that good of a rapper and therefore he's not number one on the billboard chart. So Tom Hanks being his dad didn't know. You know what I mean? Yeah. If he was really good, then max being his dad means everything, but they'll get, that'll get you the opportunity for sure.

But if you [00:28:00] suck Kevin Hart said one time and Comedians in cars, getting coffee. Hollywood is undefeated. You can't beat Hollywood. If you're good, you can make it for a while. And then Hollywood's done with you. If you're not good, they're not just going to let you not be good. Like poly shores, a guy who maybe kept getting the opportunities.

Cause his mom was Mitsy. And I don't know, but it's not like he's selling out arenas. Those comedy clubs and stuff, and I'm not going to shit on poly. I'm just saying I don't know, man. I just, I think that you do definitely have to have the talent. Yeah.

Scott Curtis: [00:28:32] I agree. Thinking about your, when you were in the thick of it and touring, did you see anybody, obviously you get different features and stuff like that.

Did you see anybody that you thought was better than where their station was right now?

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:28:49] I know plenty. That's what I'm saying. It's not always this way. Cause to me, Dale Jones is one of the funniest people I've ever lived. He's so funny. And he's a nationally touring headliner, but to me, [00:29:00] he should be a household name and I can't figure it out.

I don't know why. Like you do have to have luck on your side. It's just sometimes you just, shit, man. I'm just now. This is my ego talking. I'm just now getting the recognition. I think I deserve, 17 years into the game, but Dale has been doing it for 25 years. And I think he's he's the guy I've probably learned the most from as a Canadian.

And he should be farther along and again, like it's not that he don't work his ass off and it's not that he's super funny. I don't know what it is sometimes. It's if you'd have been born five years earlier or five years later, and you just never can. Who knows I don't know, man, but yeah, I see those dudes a lot that, and that's my, it's hard for me to just say, Oh if you're funny and you bust your ass, then you will make it because, but you also have to like, what is making it pays.

He pays all his bills by being a standup comedian to most comedians. 90, I'd say 95% of people who ever try to do comedy would love to be where he's at. But to me, he should be [00:30:00] way up there. That's the thing. Dude, I can look at a I follow Nashville stand up on Instagram and I loved it.

I love Xannies. I love Nashville. It's a great place. They'll post like a a list of like open MiChart going up on a specific night and you'll be like a 40 deep list. And I won't know, one person on that list. And this is a stand-up comedy scene, two hours from my house. There's lot of people try and stand up comedy and there's a good chance.

I'll never see any of those people's names again, that's just how it goes. It again, it's just really hard for me to say if you work hard enough, you'll make it when like a million people are trying to do what you're trying to do.

Scott Curtis: [00:30:34] At what point did you. Find out that you needed to have some business sense about you and not just the art of comedy in order to first of all, not get screwed on on money and stuff like that.

When did that occur to you?

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:30:50] Honestly, like maybe three years ago. And like I already had a manager and agent when it occurred to me dude, I can't tell you like, wait. [00:31:00] When we started the well-read comedy tour, like I didn't really in my mind it was like a good ride on, I should get this. I should be able to just go on this tour with this guy and still out these theaters.

And now I don't have to worry that my manager takes care of this. My agent takes care of this. The club's full when I get there. And I was just getting drunk and writing my stupid little jokes and perform and getting better. And I was like, Hey man, if I'm the best, then the money will follow.

That's how that works. Which I think, that's always been my attitude when my friends are like, don't, you want to be rich? And I'm like, I want to one day have the best television show on TV. And if you do that, you will be rich. So yes, I want to be rich. But without that first part, no, I don't just want to be rich.

Like I wouldn't just give up every if someone comes to me right now and they were like, Hey man, I'll get you a job at this big firm and you'll be making $500,000 a year. Just I'd be like, that's not how I want to do that. I want the $500,000, but not doing that. No thank you. But really just in the past three years, and definitely this [00:32:00] past year, I've started being a lot more business savvy and a lot more like.

Hey, you don't have to say yes to everything or, Hey, don't do this or that's maybe not good. Like I hate even saying your brand, but it's eh, that might not be your thing. Don't do that. It's a hard thing to do, but at the end of the day, I'm like, now I'm looking for okay, I want I've got, let's say I've got this idea for a short film.

If I play the game a little bit, And are more business savvy than I'll be able to make enough money that in a couple of years, if I want to take a whole year off the road and make this short film, I can do that. So be smart about it. Like I used to think that like you, weren't a true comedian and less, if you gave a shit about the business part, then you weren't really an artist.

You know what I mean? And I've slowly just been like, no dude, you need if you really want to get a lot of stuff done, you need to care about the money. Cause To me. It's not about I want to have so much money that I can get a boat, it's I want to be able to do exactly what it is that I want to do all the time and money.

Lets you [00:33:00] do that period. It just does. If I if I had a couple million dollars in the bank. The screenplay I have right now, I just go make the fucking pilot. I just go make it. It wouldn't matter. I'll just go do it.

Scott Curtis: [00:33:12] Yeah. And it's funny having management, sometimes it puts you in an uncomfortable position because they're taking care of stuff, but they don't always see the same opportunities as you do.

And they don't. Have the same long range goals. So you sometimes, saying no to stuff is important and also understanding what you want to accomplish, because they're making money. If you get booked and you want to do something else, you want to do the short film and get into that sometimes is Contrary to what management wants you.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:33:46] Absolutely. And it's not just, having the good business sense. It's just being professional and like unlike all aspects used to, I think people like romanticized the drunk disheveled artists and re and really at the end of the day, it's you [00:34:00] know what, no matter what you're doing, no matter how good you think you are, you need to treat people the way that they need to be treated.

And you need to respect people's time. If you tell Scott you're going to do his podcast. At four log on a little bit before four. And if you can't do it, tell him a couple days before, just be on top of your shit. And it's not, I don't, I haven't I actually am sober right now. And haven't drank in this year.

Which I know we're just in February, but it's been no surprise to me that I've, these have been like the most successful four months of my career. Like I've just gotten on top of everything and it's talent doesn't mean anything. If you don't know where to put it or you aren't putting it somewhere.

You know what I'm saying? So I didn't really, I'd never was the video guy. I was never a guy that was going to make videos and put them on the internet. And then we had the pandemic and I was just like, dude, You can't go on stage right now, but you've got this innate desire to create and make people laugh.

You're going to have to figure something out. And then I did this thing called the buttercream dream. [00:35:00] And ever since then, I've paid literally all my bills with that character, because I just decided, Hey, you got to you're not on the road. You've got to figure this out. You got to be a big boy. And man, if I'd have figured that out, like when I was 24, Dude, I think I'd own the world.

I really do. And like now it's Oh, I've got to make up for all this lost time of being an

Scott Curtis: [00:35:23] idiot. Yeah. Let's talk about that pivot. You had to do the video because you weren't. You're playing to your fans a little bit, but you were playing to a whole new audience. The was the end of the whole video thing.

How did you, and you got pretty successful pretty quickly. How do you think that happened,

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:35:43] man? I think it's just one of those things where, they say, Oh, there's nothing new under the sun, but every now and then something happens and they're like, you know what. I've never seen a shirtless hillbilly with a wrestling belt, cut and wrestling promos on politicians.

Dammit. That's actually [00:36:00] pretty new and it wasn't like, I thought to myself, no one's ever done this before. I will be successful. But that is the reality of it. I'm a huge wrestling fan have been my whole life. When I was a kid, like I always wanted to be a wrestler and then I got older and realized like, Oh, they really get their ass whipped.

And I'm like, I ain't doing, I'll just do the entertainment apart, and so you're in a pandemic. It was like, Hey, the cool thing about the internet is there ain't no rules or, whatever you want. If you want to be a wrestler, fucking go be a wrestler. And so I think the reason I've been so successful with it is a mixture of two things.

Number one what I just said, it's new. Nobody's really seen that. Not that people have done fake wrestler characters, but like politically I don't think. And I feel like at this point, someone would have told me about another one we'd have been introduced. So I'd like to think I'm the only one doing that, but also.

I think because I'm literally having some of the most fun of my life doing it. I think that comes through, like it comes through is very off. I say authentic clearly. It's a [00:37:00] put on I don't really, Southern accent, but it ain't really, this it's a little bit of a put on, but I think people can I'm having a lot of fun with it and when I'm having a lot of fun.

I write better and I write more creatively and it just like I'm. So I can't wait to put one of those out and it's never been forced. Like I've never once been like, ah, I gotta do a buttercream dream. It's just, I'll be watching CNN and something will piss me off. And my inner monologue, I didn't realize has always been that guy, but me screaming, I say me screaming.

Isn't good. But actually the last two videos I had go viral was just me screaming. Maybe to me, it was like, all right, I can be this guy who just screams his opinions but it's that's going to come off as more mean, but if I have a wrestling belt and I make some joke, then it's like, It's funny.

And it's one of those ways where I can get people that don't agree with me to listen to my point of view, because it's so ridiculous.

Scott Curtis: [00:37:54] And and I'm not, I'm not dissing it at all, but it gets to the point where [00:38:00] it's on the edge of cartoonish. And that is good because the cartoons can get the stuff across and not get in trouble for it.

And yeah.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:38:09] No bones about it. Bugs bunny was one of my biggest inspirations comedy, not top three inspirations in comedy are Jerry Seinfeld, Mel Brooks and bugs bunny. As a compliment.

Scott Curtis: [00:38:21] Now, thinking about you did another pivot and just recently you're doing the Biden press secretary thing. How's that coming across candy

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:38:31] dude, honestly, the first I'll say this now, obviously I've got a way bigger following now. So you have to take that in consideration, but the first two, Kenny Ray videos did better than I remember the first two buttercream dream videos do. And I think that's another one of those things where the reason that, that the pivot, I did the pivot there, I've been doing a little less buttercream now do butter.

I do a lot of buttercream dream on cameo. He's paying the bills because I was talking with my wife and I was like, for four years I've been on. [00:39:00] The offensive, cause I've really hated Donald Trump and Donald Trump has been in the white house. I said, you know what, if I go on the defensive, I've never really come at it from that position.

And there's no more defensive person in the world. Then I press secretary for somebody. Their literal job is to defend the president on what he did and spend things. And I thought, what are they like. My uncle was that if he had that job, like what would he be saying? And basically that got, if the buttercream dream is my inner monologue, whenever Ted Cruz says something stupid, Kenny Ray is my inner monologue.

Whenever I read something that somebody I went to high school with said, They only commented. That was just so stupid. Did you see Joe button's stutter and that monologue talk. It is hard. You can make it up there and try to do it. That's my inner monologue. And so that comes out in those videos and I love doing them.

They're fun to ride. And I, again, I get to come from [00:40:00] a more defensive place instead of screaming. Yeah.

Scott Curtis: [00:40:02] Yeah. I really enjoyed it. And obviously my my former guest, Brent Tarun was a guest on it. He played the Alex Jones

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:40:11] character. He did, and I love that he reached out to me and he was like, we got to do a candy ride or something.

And brand's a blast to work with, man. He's such a, he's just such a sweet guy

Scott Curtis: [00:40:22] now. I don't like to talk about myself, but in, because you've done these videos, I've got you. Wouldn't

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:40:29] you're not really a comedian then, are

Scott Curtis: [00:40:31] you? No. Yeah not on this podcast. I don't like on somebody else's I will for hours, but.

I've got this character that I was doing zoom comedy too. And I got really tired of doing my act. And so I just started coming up with characters and I got this guy it's Eugene from Smyrna and he's a conspiracy theorist. And, but he calls himself a conspiracy provost. And I want to tag you in some of these and have you critique them because [00:41:00] I think I'm onto something, but I don't know if it's enough to even.

Even try to go any further, but basically I've got two kids. I got baby kid rock and baby Miranda Lambert. They always get in my guns and shoot each other and I ground them and stuff. And it's a whole thing.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:41:16] I'd be happy to critique, but I will tell you if you're having fun doing them, then you are on to something.


Scott Curtis: [00:41:21] I have really enjoyed it. The thing that backfired on me is I took over my podcast. I said that I hacked him to the behind the belts. Podcasts Twitch or not Twitch Tik TOK. And that just didn't go over because it wasn't my brand. And everybody was like, what the fuck are you doing?

And so I, I've got to, I've got to make my own channel, and do it that way. But yeah, I just

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:41:43] grand thing, man. It's so wild. When people, when you do something that is just a little bit different than you normally do, people really lose their mind on that really wild. Like I've got a buddy and I posted a video one time and I'll admit that it wasn't funny.

I wasn't really trying to be funny. I was [00:42:00] just like upset with how ridiculous the current situation was. And he messaged me and he showed me that video and he was like, Hey man, I don't get it. And I was like, what do you not get? And he's are you not a Canadian? And I was like, yeah. And he's this sit funny.

And I'm like I'm also Corey, the person I'm sorry, but I think that I'm allowed. Moments of lucidity like that. But if you have you start doing stuff like I'll sometimes I'll post stuff about wrestling and I'll have some fans that have, I guess just signed on to me for my, and I'm putting this in quotes, scathing political satire.

And those be like, I don't understand. Why are you talking about wrestling? I'm like, cause I fucking, I'm going to do that sometimes if you don't like it, that's fine. But don't think, I hope that I entertain you, but sometimes what I like is going to be reflected on my page

Scott Curtis: [00:42:46] shit. Yeah. And it gets you a wider audience.

You don't have to wash out if you don't like it. If you don't like the rest one, then just don't watch it. Thinking about things opening back up and stuff like that. Do you have a plan for [00:43:00] getting back out there and going in and performing? Nope.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:43:04] So here's how it's worked out.

I travel I tour with two other dudes, Trae Crowder, Andrew Morgan, and. If we all toured solo, I think we would all three already be back on the road doing some half open venues. But basically if we're all three split and money, anyways, then we start looking at these clubs, like, all right, I've got to get a flight to here.

Yeah. They live in California and I live here. So no matter where we play, one of us is going to have to do a lot of traveling and we start running the numbers. It's honestly, it makes more sense to just sit at home. Okay. And do another online show and then we can make money doing that, but we're not gonna make any money doing a half-filled place if it's required to be half field.

So our whole thing is we're just gonna wait it out until we can go back to doing it exactly the way that we did it before now. I think that might be a lot of wishful thinking. Eventually we might have to just be like, all right, man, look, the world is just going to be different from now on, this is what we got do.

The vaccines are starting to roll out and we've all kind of just been like, [00:44:00] all right, let's just. We've got, we've all got enough projects this year. Just, I've been very fortunate that you even taking my tour salary away from me. I was able to do well this year because of.

New podcasts and this buttercream dream character, I created that dude, I'm making enough money on cameo to live, which is the crazy, I can't believe that people pay money for me to give a shout out on cameo, but they do. And it's, and it pays the bills. So I'm fine right now. And, luckily I live in I live in East bumfuck Georgia.

And so my mortgage, ain't nothing I can survive, but I think. Come August, if things aren't like starting to, if we're not starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we're going to have a big conversation,

Scott Curtis: [00:44:42] no doubt. Before we wrap up here, can you talk a little bit about the podcast?

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:44:47] Yeah. So I just started through the screen door, a podcast with my co-host Matt Kuhn and. It's my, obviously we get political just because a lot of stuff is going on. That's too hard to ignore. I live in Marjorie Taylor Green's [00:45:00] district for Christ's sake. But the way the elevator pitch.

No, it's okay. It's rough. The elevator pitch for that show is basically it's a pop culture podcast with a Southern twist. It's my love letter to variety shows and like Johnny Carson and stuff like it all, it usually always starts out with me doing a monologue that is very often intentionally corny, like intentionally like late sixties, early seventies, Johnny Carson monologue.

And then we usually do like a sketch. And then we'll talk about. Movies, the Marvel universe, we'll do we have this segment called bread or wine where we watch a classic movie and decide how it's held up over time? I usually do this segment, which I call a redneck movie monologue or a hillbilly soliloquy, whichever you prefer.

And it's where I pick a certain type of redneck and I perform a famous movie monologue as them such as I've done. I think I did the Oh shit, which was it? I did Glengarry, I did the famous speech from Glen [00:46:00] Gary, Glen Ross, as the the Southern Baptist preacher's wife. Who's always about to cry.

Scott Curtis: [00:46:06] I got that one.

That's one of my favorite movies.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:46:10] Listen, Scott, I need y'all to hear me right now. That's the Southern that's her. And so she did that you call for is for closer So we have a lot of fun on it. That's my passion project. I'd always wanted a side podcast project from it cause I do the well-read podcast for the guys and we always recorded that on the road.

That podcast became like our audio journal of being on the road and always want to do something different, but I was like, God, dang, it's hard enough just to get this one out when we're traveling and doing all this stuff. And then when the pandemic happened, I think for the first two weeks of the pandemic, I was like, ah, this ain't going to be no big deal.

And then when I realized it was going to be a big deal, I let myself have a couple of break. Cause I was like, Hey man, you've been traveling for four and a half years straight you're allowed to decompress. And then after that it was like, okay, dude. All this stuff that you've been saying I'd do it.

If I wasn't on the road, you got to do it [00:47:00] because if you don't, then you have to admit that you're full of shit and you weren't going to do it. Obviously, the first thing I decided to go with was watching the wire. So once I got that out of the way, then I started a

Scott Curtis: [00:47:11] podcast. One of the best shows I've ever, man I've watched that three times.

Yeah, I've done twice. Now. I've done that in the X-Files three times. Those are my babies.

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:47:20] X-Files only two days ago.

Scott Curtis: [00:47:22] Yeah. You're gonna, you're going to love it. Yeah. The last few seasons were got weird, but yeah, it was a great show. So where can people find you if they want to see your videos and

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:47:32] stuff?

You can go to watch your That's watch Y a That'll take you to my YouTube. You can also just go to Corey, Ron or is that tell everybody just Google, may I come up all sorts of stuff, all my Twitters and stuff like that.

Scott Curtis: [00:47:49] Yeah, I really enjoyed the outtake that you did of a buttercream, because cause I used some promo stuff and I've done, I've recorded some Eugene stuff [00:48:00] and sometimes it's 20 takes to get it right.

And there's just a whole bunch

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:48:04] of fuck. Fuck. Yeah. Yeah. I had somebody asked me yesterday, they were like, why don't you post more buttercream, dream outtakes? And I say, there's only one reason because the buttercream dream is usually fall. This is one in a million son.

Scott Curtis: [00:48:16] That's great. Corey, you've been a great guest and I'm really glad we got to talk.

I I've learned a lot and I just wish you the best because when I moved down to Huntsville I know that maybe we'll run into each other and you can see what a shitty comic I am. And that would be

Corey Ryan Forrester: [00:48:31] great. Thanks for having me, Scott and I'm being serious. It was really awesome to sit here and talk about pretty much nothing but comedy for an hour.

I haven't got to do that in a long time. I don't know how long it's been. Yeah.

Scott Curtis: [00:48:44] Great. That's what this show is all about. So you fit the bill really good. Thank you. Thanks a lot, Corey.