Todd Glass never stops. The gay comedian, with his newly-released book under his arm, returns to Atlanta to dish his funny quips, hand out grilled cheese sandwiches and otherwise entertain comedy fans.
Ahead of his performances at Laughing Skull this weekend, and a late-night appearance at Smith's Old Bar, gay Atlanta comedian and retro TV game show host Ian Aber chatted with Glass about his first book, “The Todd Glass Situation,” his coming out story and how dirty dishes can ruin his night.
You are back at the Laughing Skull this weekend. What keeps you coming back to Laughing Skull and Atlanta?
What I love about Laughing Skull is they have really cultivated this really cool audience that reveres comedy. They treat stand-up comedy like the opera or theater and understand what comedy needs. It leads to a very creative atmosphere. Most of the time, I judge a city by the club I am performing at and I never really get to go out and do anything, but based on the club and the audiences, I love Atlanta.
After your last show in Atlanta, you made and gave away grilled cheese sandwiches to people on the street. Is that just a regular night for Todd Glass?
You know, I wish I could take credit for that but it was one of the employees at Laughing Skull. A comedian by the name of Andrew George set all that up and it was kind and so much something I like to do. I love doing that sort of thing with an audience and it was a lot of fun.
'The Todd Glass Situation' was released this week. How was the process of the writing the book and looking back at your life from your current worldview?
I was just joking about this with someone recently. If you sit down with a therapist and try to clean things up, as some people do, you may get a lot out of the process as some do or you may not, but you are aware of the process, of the act of self-review. The process of the book was something I did not think would bring clarity to my life. I was just writing the book, and indirectly I found myself discovering why I am the way that I am to a degree. Not all negative either, a lot of it was reaffirming. I think I know myself better as a result of writing the book and my family knows me better because there is so much in the book that I have never vocalized to them.
I bet the same would go for them if they wrote a book, I would learn things about people I have known all my life. In a way, I think everybody should write a book and have the people in their life read it.
Any regrets about the book?
No, not at all. I don’t take on a lot of challenges in life. I love doing stand-up comedy, but that comes easily. I am not the kind of guy who is going to run a marathon or anything. But writing the book was probably the hardest thing I ever did and i am glad that I did it. Now I wait to see if it is received well.
Have you heard feedback from people you mention in the book?
My brother, sister-in-law, mother and a few of my comedian friends have read the book and I was very pleased with the text messages I received from them. I don’t say anything negative about anybody in the book really but you still wonder what their feedback is going to be.
Part of the book discusses your struggle with coming out. Did you think it would unfold differently?
Coming up, I was really lucky about that I was surrounded by very progressive people in my family and friends. What kept me in the closet is not what I so lazily refer to as the “Fuck Faggots” mentality, it was the use of terms for gay as a pejorative to mean “less than” or inferior that kept me silent. That still goes on today, of course but we have made so much progress over the years. When the church speaks out against gay people, the reality is that most people know someone who is gay so it isn’t this faceless thing anymore. When parents tell their kids that being gay is wrong, they devalue all the actual valuable things they could teach their children because those kids will write you off.
Have you heard from any other gay comedians since coming out?
I did get a lot of emails from younger comedians that are going through the coming out process or thinking about it.
If Lifetime turned your book into a miniseries, who would play you?
That’s such a good good question, I don’t think you could answer it without really thinking about it. I could answer by just saying the name of a very good looking person but I would hope I would put more thought and depth into it.
What about Ty Burrell, the dad from 'Modern Family'?
I have heard from people that we look alike, so that could be a good one.
What's your favorite way to waste a day?
I don’t smoke pot during the day 99 percent of the time, maybe once or twice a year. So on occasion, I find myself spending the day smoking and hanging out with friends, enjoying each other's company and maybe a fire pit at the end of the day. I’d order a lot of Thai delivery, too, even the worst Thai food is fucking amazing.
Who is your favorite comedian right now?
Only one? There a lot of people who make me laugh, but a select few that will literally make me punch the wall they are so funny. A few of my favorites are Eddie Pepitone, Paul F. Tompkins and Chelsea Peretti.
What keeps you up at night?
I like when everything is going good with my family, which it usually is but if there is something with my family it will weigh on me. Any disorganization or if something in the house needs to be fixed or dishes in the sick. One time at a party at my place, I wondered how much pot I would have to smoke to let dishes pile up in the sink during the party. Turns out, there is no amount of pot that will stop me from washing those dishes.
If your 13-year-old self could see you now, what would he say?
I have enough moments of insecurity in my life that I don’t think there is any crime in a few moments of security. With that said, I think 13-year-old Todd would be proud of me that I have managed to stay silly and giggle with my friends when I was 13 and most recently being honest about my sexuality.
What’s next for Todd Glass?
Well, the shows this weekend, which should not be missed. We are still working on “The Todd Glass Situation” as a television show. I am filming a pilot in July called “Camping with Todd” that will be comedians or actors around a camp fire, away from phones, TVs and computers. That kind of intimacy leads to great conversations and maybe their will be musical guest.