Comedian Bobby Lee makes his Maui appearance this Thursday (7:30pm) at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center’s Castle Theatre. He will be serving up his spicy Asian humor straight from Hollywood, so we took a moment to chat with him to see if he’s Korean enough for bulgogi.
MAUITIME: Do you think you have to be dark to be a good comedian? You have done comedy fucked up and sober. Was the transition hell or an opportunity for more material for your show?
BOBBY LEE: You don’t have to be dark to be a good comedian, you have to be funny. Most comics I know are actually healthy, well adjusted people. I’m a little crazy because I’m a recovering drug addict and I’m Korean. Koreans are nuts….and so are Filipinos. I guess all Asians are a little crazy. My sobriety hasn’t affected my act in a negative or positive way. I guess I show up to gigs more often when I’m sober so it’s a good thing.
MT: My eight-year-old daughter wants to take a stand up comedy class this semester. Am I a horrible mom for enrolling her? Should I encourage her potty humor?
BL: If your daughter is brave enough to do stand-up, you should support her. When I was eight, I ate boogers and my parents thought I had Down’s Syndrome so your daughter is way ahead of me.
MT: What was going through your mind when you heard Robin Williams killed himself?
BL: I am still in shock that Robin is gone. I’ve only talked to him a couple of times and he was a sweet dude. It’s a huge loss to the comedy community and he will not be easily forgotten. I went to his memorial at the Comedy Store [in Los Angeles] the other day and all these comedy icons and juggernauts attended. He affected so many people and it was awesome just to be there.
MT: Which comedians do you admire?
BL: The comics I admire working today are Billy Burr and Sebastian Maniscalco. They have different styles but I will never get tired of watching them work. Bill is extremely personal and honest on stage and Sebastian’s observations are relevant and yet classic.
MT: I would like to thank you for introducing me to the term “chuckle fuckers” via the podcast DVDASA. Are there any other terms you think it would be good for us islanders to know?
BL: I don’t use chuckle fuckers anymore, I say Road Gash, but it’s kinda sexist?
MT: Is this your first trip to Maui? What are your plans?
BL: This my fourth trip to Maui and I can’t wait! I’m gonna eat at Mama’s Fish House and then I’m gonna sleep while my brother spends my money. It’s gonna be wonderful. I’m kidding, but I seriously love the islands. The last time I did a show in Maui was about 10 years ago with Steve Byrne and Ken Jeung and we sold four tickets so I’m really looking forward to it.
MT: We found out you hooked up on Tinder with your hottie Filipina girlfriend. The pics she posts of you in your underwear on Twitter are hilarious. Was that a requirement to date you?
BL: Yes, my girlfriend and I met on Tinder. Her name is Khalyla and she is half Filipino and half Egyptian. I just tell everyone she’s Mexican, it’s easier that way. She is really hot and everyone loves her. I’m hot too if you are into super short Asian dudes that have bodies shaped like a scallop. She will be with me in Hawaii.
MT: Can you make good kim chee?
BL: I do not know how to make Kim Chi but I do know how to write it in English.
MT: You’ve said you hate authority, and that’s why you took a different route in life. What do you have to say about the shit going down in Ferguson?
BL: What’s happening in Ferguson is a nightmare. ISIS in Iraq, the Ukraine situation and Ebola is also unsettling. The world is in chaos. Therefore, everyone should come to my show to watch a naked Korean man dance for an hour. It will help you forget, I think.
Check out Bobby Lee at Facebook.com/
Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/bobbyleelive