A GoPride Interview

Casey Ley

Comedian Casey Ley jumps aboard The Rainbow Connections Comedy Tour

Mon. August 25, 2014  by Adam Guerino

Comedy in Chicago has been so top notch for so long that audience members trust it.
Casey Ley
The Rainbow Connection Comedy Tour is a new, full-spectrum standup comedy tour from the creator of Stand Out: The National Queer Comedy Search, which was presented by The Advocate and Absolut Vodka. By combining the comedic talents of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans comedians, we showcase the rainbow of queer comedy. We believe this inclusion reflects the diversity of our community and in turn welcomes the diversity of our audience members. Touring multiple cities including Chicago, Madison and St. Paul, the shows will be headlined by Los Angeles-based comedian Casey Ley, hosted by Adam Guerino, and featuring Marla Depew, Dina Nina Martinez and Rachel McCartney. For the Chicago debut, we welcome straight ally Krista Atkinson. To talk about the tour, Casey Ley did a second interview with GoPride.com with the host and creator of The Rainbow Connection Comedy Tour, Adam Guerino.

Casey Ley's comedy is silly. And smart. And dirty. And dark. And handsome. It's a lot like him, actually. So it is also self-centered and flakey and relatively promiscuous.

He is the creator and host of the popular San Francisco comedy game show "Tonic Trivia" and comedy variety show "Some People Like Us." He and his shows have appeared in comedy festivals like SF Sketchfest, the Moontower Comedy and Arts Festival in Austin, TX, Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, OR, and on the radio on the relatively popular NPR station. He has shared the stage with comics you know like Hannibal Buress, Doug Benson, Laura Kightlinger and some other people you've heard of if you like comedy. The readers of SF Weekly voted him best comic in San Francisco in 2012 (which had nothing to do with his homosexuality). In 2013 he was runner-up in The Advocate's Next Great Queer Comedy competition (which was wholly the result of his homosexuality). Apparently he just wasn't quite gay enough. Last year, at least.

AG: (Adam Guerino) If, at 16, you went to a fortune teller and they told you about your career in comedy, what would you think?

CL: (Casey Ley) I would have said "you're a no-good fraud you filthy street urchin" and then she would have put a hex on me. This actually did happen and the hex was that I would have a career in comedy.

AG: You recently moved from San Francisco to LA, how do the comedy scenes differ?

CL: San Francisco is where you go to experiment and be funny and do whatever you want and do drugs in the park and wander around beautiful streets and get accosted by multiple personality disorder on the bus. Los Angeles is where you go to use any skill set that came out of that weird, wonderful time in San Francisco and make that money.

AG: Are you a comedian full time?

CL: Yes. Though it's probably more accurate to say unemployed and not looking for work.

AG: What was your last and what was your worst day job?

CL: You know that saying "there are no small parts, just small actors." I feel that way about all my jobs. They were all fine, I am just kind of a shitty worker. My last job was in a cafe and I got a yelp review that said "his demeanor was as cold as his latte." I think my favorite day job was in college where I worked in the library stacks, re-shelving books. I could go in at any hour and didn't have to talk to anyone.

AG: What do you enjoy about doing shows in Chicago?

CL: Comedy in Chicago has been so top notch for so long that audience members trust it. I don't think you find that in most cities, especially when it comes to taking a chance on comics that they don't know. I've done so many great shows out here with great audiences. It's also a super fun city and you can drink til 4.

AG: Have you ever done shows in Madison or the Twin Cities?

CL: No. I'm excited to be in Madison because I've always wanted to see what it's like to live a socialist paradise and I'm both fascinated and disoriented by twins.

AG: Do you ever dream about doing standup? How do your sets go?

CL: No not really. I'm not sure my sleep patterns are healthy enough for solid dream retention so maybe I do and I just don't remember them. I still have dreams about forgetting my lines during high school plays, which I think is an indicator of my fraud anxieties.

AG: From first to last, what are your greatest inspirations for new jokes?

CL: Life, man. Life. And penises and vaginas.

AG: In one word, how would you describe your material?

CL: Adorable

AG: In one word, how would you describe this interview?

CL: Oprahian

Casey Ley will be headlining The Rainbow Connection Comedy Tour this week across the Midwest. Chicago: August 26th, 9:30pm at Zanies Comedy Club, 1548 N Wells. Tickets are $15 with a two drink minimum, advanced tickets available here. Audience members must be 21 or over. Madison: August 29th, 7:30pm at Plan B 924 Williamson St. No cover. Audience members must be 21 or over. St. Paul: August 30th, 8:00pm at Camp Bar 490 Robert St N. Tickets are $10 and available here. Audience members must be 21 or over.

Interviewed by Adam Guerino