Interview: Comedian Baron Vaughn

Editor Josh Atlas, Interview, April 15th, 2013

I said, "well, in the mid 1800s there was this BIG war..."

Comedian Baron Vaughn

Nailed Magazine conducted a series of interviews with comedians for the 2013 Bridgetown Comedy Fest in Portland, Oregon.

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NAILED: Where did you do your first open mic and what made you decide to get up on stage?

BARON VAUGHN: Dick Doherty’s Comedy Vault in Boston, MA. I had wanted to try stand up since I was 14. Was already writing bits and doing routines, but I didn’t know that’s what I was doing. I was just coming up with ideas to entertain my friends in school. In Boston, I finally got pushed by a few friends to go actually do it and found a mic that corresponded to my only night off from school, which was Sunday.

NAILED: Could you tell us, in great detail, about one terrible gig that you wish you could erase from your memory?

VAUGHN: I was asked to do a one-nighter in Jersey after I killed at a club in NYC. I was supposed to MC and do 15. The crowd was SO disinterested in me that I somehow lost track of time and managed to ramble for 30 minutes just trying to get ONE laugh. I felt bad not only because I bombed miserably, but because I stole so much time from the comedians that actually GOT laughs. Luckily I received countless dirty looks from the audience as they left. That’s what keeps me in the game.

NAILED: Who’s shows are you looking forward to check out while you’re working the Bridgetown Comedy Fest?

VAUGHN: I’m really really interested and excited to see Peter Serafinowicz live. Besides that, my favorite thing about the festival is getting to see all the different and new material my friends have right now. Seeing pros be pros. Also looking forward to seeing comedians I’ve never heard of do their thing.

NAILED: After Bridgetown, when can look forward to seeing and hearing from you?

VAUGHN: I have a Half Hour premiering on Comedy Central June 21st at midnight. And people should check out my podcast Deep Shit on the ATC Podcast Network. Available on iTunes and Soundcloud.

NAILED: When was the last time you nailed it?

VAUGHN: I nail it all the time. It’s a blessing and a curse. That’s why my grandma used to say I was “hard headed.” I think she meant to say my head was like a hammer, right? The last time I REALLY REALLY nailed it was when I was working the Sacramento Punchline. After a GREAT show filled with unexpected amounts of crowd work, a 50-something year-old Latina in the front asked, “Why can’t I buy you?” She meant that she was enjoying the show and didn’t understand why I didn’t have a CD to sell. But all that came out was, “Why can’t I buy you?” I said, “well, in the mid 1800s there was this BIG war…” Everyone was on board. One of the biggest laughs I’ve ever gotten. TOO BAD IT’LL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

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Baron Vaughn recently released his first comedy recording, Raised By Cable, produced by AST Records, available at Amazon (mp3 and CD), and iTunes. Baron’s performed stand-up on Conan (twice), Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and has had numerous appearances on Comedy Central most recently in the form of his own “Half Hour” comedy special. He’s performed in the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival (Aspen), The Just for Laughs Comedy Festival (Montreal), The South Beach Comedy Festival (Miami), Moontower Comedy Festival (Austin), San Francisco Sketchfest, Bridgetown Comedy Festival (Portland), Vancouver Comedy Festival, All Points West Music Festival (New Jersey), FYF Music Festival (Los Angeles), Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (TN), and Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival (Seattle). He has also appeared in many shows on VH1, MTV, FUSE as well as the films Black Dynamite, Cloverfield, The Other Guys (Deleted Scenes), and was a series regular on USA’s recently canceled Fairly Legal.

This interview was conducted during Portland’s annual Bridgetown Comedy Fest, which takes place on the weekend of April 18 – 21, 2013. Click here for information on shows that feature Baron Vaughn during the 2013 festival. [Photo Via: 25.Media.Tumblr : *Photo by Liezl Estipona]

Josh Atlas

Josh Atlas was born in 1983 and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey. He attended Carnegie Mellon University, where he focused on performance and video art. Since that time, he has focused on integrating comedy and art. Atlas has branched out into sculpture, drawing, and photography to explore the funnier side of desire. He has exhibited at Arte Portugal 10 (Lisbon), HiChristina (Brooklyn), MonkeyTown (Brooklyn), and NTBA Gallery (Los Angeles) and participated in benefit auctions for Equality California and the Red Cross. Josh Atlas lives and works in Los Angeles. Learn more about him at his official website.