Caro Meets Comedy Interview

Al Lubel: Still Al Lubel

By | Published on Wednesday 17 September 2014


We first came across US comedian Al Lubel when he made his acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe debut with ‘Al Lubel Is Mentally Al’ in 2013, and became a joint winner of the Amused Moose Laughter Award. He returned to the Festival in 2014 with a new show, ‘I’m Still Al Lubel’, and this week heads to the Leicester Square theatre to perform it for a London audience.

Lubel is a seasoned stand up, with multiple appearances on ‘Letterman’ and ‘The Tonight Show’ under his belt, as well as being a fully qualified lawyer… I sent some questions over, to find out more about the new show, why he abandoned the law, and why he talks so much about his mother.

CM: Can you tell us what we can expect from ‘I’m Still Al Lubel’? Does it cover any particular themes or topics?
AL: I can tell you what it covers but I’m afraid to give too much away. People might come to the show and think, well he already told us this! But then I think, what if I don’t tell you what it is about, what if people come to the show and sit there thinking, what the hell is this all about?! Actually I’ve just told you what the show is about, a fearful guy who thinks too much. And the themes are narcissism, my mother and death.

CM: We first witnessed your work at the Edinburgh Fringe back in 2013, when you won an award for your show ‘Al Lubel Is Mentally Al’. What made you return for a second time in 2014, and how did it go?
AL: This year’s show went fine although I did not win an award this time. My agent told me there was a lot of buzz that I was going to get nominated for the Fosters Award. It’s a shame there isn’t an award for that. And now… the winner of… there was lots of buzz that be might get nominated for the Fosters Award Award. Although what if I didn’t even get nominated for that?

CM: It seems as though you perform quite a lot of material about your mother. Why is she such an influence on your comedy?
AL: I think it is because she never cut the umbilical cord with me, she so smothered and spoiled me that I never really emotionally separated from her.

CM: It sounds as though you often deal with very personal material. Why talk about yourself so much? And is it hard to reveal yourself like that?
AL: I think one of the big truths in comedy is to be true to yourself. To bring to the stage who you are in life. And in life, I love to talk about myself! And that includes dark personal stuff. I like the attention, but I also like to try and get people to help me work my problems out. You know, to make everyone I meet into my mother.

CM: You trained as a lawyer, didn’t you? Why did you end up pursuing comedy as a career instead?
AL: In college I didn’t have enough self confidence to think for myself about what I really wanted to do. But when I became a lawyer I realized wow, this is something I really don’t want to do! As I said, I like talking about myself, but as a lawyer you have to talk about your client, which I found quite irritating.

CM: Does comedy and lawyering have anything in common? Does your experience of the law inform your comedy at all? And do you miss being a lawyer ever?
AL: Yes, but as a comic I just defend myself. Sometimes I miss being a lawyer but only because I was younger then. I think what I really miss is being young. Also, being a lawyer has helped me with my comedy, because you are trained to look at all sides of an issue, which helps with joke writing.

CM: You have made lots of appearances on ‘The Late Show’ with David Letterman and ‘The Tonight Show’. Were they nerve-wracking, and if so, did it get easier with each appearance?
AL: Yes they were, because you only have five minutes up there, and it usually takes me ten minutes to loosen up! And yes, like anything in life, it gets easier the more you do it.

CM: What plans do you have for this show now? Will you continue to tour with it?
AL: Yes, I’m going to do it next in Brussels.

CM: Do you have any other future projects planned?
AL: I’m thinking of doing another Edinburgh. I can relate to Scotland, I’m thinking of separating from my mother!

‘I’m Still Al Lubel’ is on at Leicester Square Theatre on 20 Sep, see the venue website, this page here in fact, for more info and tickets.