#9 - Andrew Stanley on how his upbringing shaped his comedy career
Watch the Conversation
Andrew Stanley (00:02):
Yeah, I definitely learned a lot. And I, you know, Anna and I worked together for really three years before we got engaged. And so I thought, oh, we already know it all. We've been together. But then living together, that's a whole nother thing. Once you get married and start living together, you're like, oh yeah, we gotta be really intentional with our time. I definitely have been having to unwire myself from some selfishness that I didn't know was there that just kind of can naturally live when you, it's just you, it doesn't bump up against anything, so it's not a problem. But once you're married and you know you're together all the time, you're like, oh, I can feel this selfishness that I didn't know was down there.
Joey Odom (00:37):
Welcome back to The Aro Podcast. This is your good friend Joey Odom. And I had a really fun conversation with Andrew Stanley. You might recognize that name. Andrew is a standup comedian. He's super, super funny. We had a great time talking about a bunch of things from being a comedian, being a clean comedian, which was fun and interesting to how you constructed joke to what's the life of a comedian, to living in the shadow of a couple great communicators. His father and his grandfather are very well known pastors and what that was like for him entering the comedy world with that. And he had a couple funny stories related to it. And then we talk about being a husband and we talk about living a life of intentionality. So it was really fun. It covered a bunch of topics. So I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Andrew Stanley. All right, Aro podcast listeners, you are about to be delighted now, especially if you live in the south. You are already very familiar with this gentleman's work as a beach attendant at Watercolor Inn and Spa in the summer of 2013. Now, if you're not, this'll be a real treat for you. Ladies and gentlemen, retired budget analyst and current standup comedian and most hilarious person I've ever met, Andrew Stanley. Andrew, welcome to our podcast, my friend.
Andrew Stanley (01:55):
Thank you so much. I get introduced a lot and that was one of my favorites ever because no one knows I was a beach attendant in Watercolor, Florida.
Joey Odom (02:04):
<laugh>. Well, it looks like they've not been to your LinkedIn page buddy, because, uh, because it's up there.
Andrew Stanley (02:08):
Oh, yeah, I gotta clean that up. That's, uh, probably still got my high school GPA on it.
Joey Odom (02:14):
<laugh>, I've never seen a GPA that high. I'd never seen one in the sixes. Um, that is, that is really impressive.
Andrew Stanley (02:21):
Turns out LinkedIn does not check. You can just put whatever <laugh>, you just type it in and they don't have any kind of filter system, so
Joey Odom (02:29):
<laugh>, they, they just accept it. I like that. No, that's good.
Andrew Stanley (02:32):
You know, we a beach attendant in Panama City, not watercolor, but,
Joey Odom (02:36):
Oh, it wasn't even watercolor,
Andrew Stanley (02:37):
I wanted to lie. No, it was, I was just saying you could also lie about nicer resorts you've worked at.
Joey Odom (02:43):
What do you think, like if you as looking back on that summer, like what was like, when did you really get into flow state? Like, did you bring out like a <laugh>, like an extra side of fries or something and you're like, I just, I nailed it. Like just knowing that you had done something, done something good.
Andrew Stanley (02:55):
They did not trust me with any of the food, so I, I was more of a get there at 5:00 AM and set up all the chairs and umbrellas and then got it.
People would have reserved their seats ahead of time. So you had a whole list of the people that would be coming down and then they would come down and say, I'm we're the Smith family. And then you'd be like, right this way. And they'd be like, we don't like these seats. And I'd be like, I don't, I I have a walkie-talkie. That's it. I don't, they'd give me the list and you just fight with all these rich families about where they're sitting on the beach <laugh>. And, uh, and every now and then there would be like a name on the list that be like a famous person's name. And I remember one time there was like a David Matthews and all me, all my friends were like, Hey, Dave Matthews is coming, coming down, get ready <laugh>. And we were so disappointed when the real David Matthews came down, he did not sing at all.
Joey Odom (03:49):
Well, that'd be quite a move by Dave Matthews just to go like, you know what, I'll throw him off my scent. Like, I'm gonna put David on there. You
Andrew Stanley (03:56):
Joey Odom (03:57):
That's my pseudonym is David Matthews.
Andrew Stanley (04:00):
Yeah, yeah. David
Joey Odom (04:02):
Matthew. That's a great, what would, what would, what would be an, what would be an example of of why someone wouldn't like their position looking on the vastly, nearly infinite ocean?
Andrew Stanley (04:14):
Yeah, it's a gulf actually as I,
Joey Odom (04:17):
The Gulf, excuse me. Correct. Corrected
Andrew Stanley (04:18):
Joey Odom (04:20):
Andrew Stanley (04:22):
The ocean looks great today. It's actually the Gulf
Joey Odom (04:24):
<laugh>. It's just
Andrew Stanley (04:25):
What everybody wants to hear on their vacation
Joey Odom (04:28):
<laugh>. Just how would, how would you know how it looks?
Andrew Stanley (04:31):
<laugh> Pete, there are many reasons people would be dissatisfied by their, their seats. One is some days there would be three rows of seats, and so people that were not on the front row, you don't even really see the ocean. You just see the people in front of you
Joey Odom (04:44):
<laugh>, which, well, you wouldn't see the ocean anyway, as I recently learned.
Andrew Stanley (04:49):
Yeah, <laugh> true. See, I still, I still get, get caught sometimes, but also there's three boardwalks and if you have to walk a long way to get back to the boardwalk, people didn't like that. So there's a lot of, uh, a lot of learning how to do, uh, crowd work, basically. Wow.
Joey Odom (05:06):
Andrew Stanley (05:06):
Kidding on stage, but a lot of just dealing with dissatisfied people.
Joey Odom (05:10):
Do you, um, when, when you, like, do you feel like that really, like that experience? Like have you derived any comedy out of that? I mean, out of that summer waiting on, and you just did a little bit, little bit there, but, but if you'd taken anything from that, it seems like you got some gold there, especially if you're talking like people in the, in the south, like in the southeast, they understand when you start referring to, you start referring to like the lifestyle down there on 38. Like John Chris has done a great job of kind of talking about all that stuff. Have you, have you done any bits off that <laugh>?
Andrew Stanley (05:37):
Um, you know, I haven't done any bits. I, I should. It's um, you know, a lot of comedians, they work in the, like the service injury industry and they'll work at restaurants and stuff and uh, and you always hear people say, Hey, you gotta work in the service industry at least for a little while in your life, or you'll be a terrible person <laugh>. And that's the closest I got to in the service industry was living in my friend's beach house and going to the beach for sunrise and being there for sunset every day for a whole summer. And so it was, it's pretty tough to make people feel bad for you when you're like, yeah, I was a beach attendant and watercolor stayed at a beach house for free. But, uh, no, I probably should mind that for, for stories because there was definitely some, some strange things that happened while we were there.
Joey Odom (06:26):
I can imagine That sounds, that sounds, that sounds pretty, uh, pretty amazing. All right, so you, I I mentioned that you were a budget analyst and I want to, and I know, I know you've gone over this many, many times, uh, will you tell us about the transition from budget an the, the age old story of a, of a budget analyst turned comedian. Will you tell us how in the world that happened?
Andrew Stanley (06:48):
Yeah, well, I was just seeing all the other budget analysts become comedians and I was like, I guess this is the trajectory <laugh>.
Everybody, everybody I worked with was like 60 years old and so they were not, they were not doing, doing a lot of bits <laugh>. Um, but it got to where I was, you know, graduated from college with a finance degree and got a job at a, a good company kind of entry level finance position. And about a year into that I was like, gosh, I think that, you know, I don't see anything promotion wise where I'd be like, that's where I want to, I could see myself thriving. So even when I would be like, what should my goals be here? It was like, none of those make me excited. So I was kinda like, well, I should probably try to figure out if I can do something else then, because I don't wanna just clock any clock out if I'm not enjoying it or not feeling like I'm getting a lot personally from it.
So I, I always kind of thought I was funny and I always thought, you know, writing for TV shows would probably be the coolest job in the world. I, my favorite show growing up was the American office. And um, I just always thought the people that are writing this stuff, that must be the most fun job because, you know, I love it so much and I bet that the people that get to just come up with the ideas, that's probably the coolest, coolest job in the world. So I kind of told that to my dad and he was like, well, why don't you talk to Jeff about it? And I was like, Jeff Foxworthy, cuz he and my dad have been friends for a long time and he was like, yeah, why don't you just go talk to Jeff Fox really about it? I was just like, ah, because that's crazy. But he was like, no, Jeff would
Joey Odom (08:23):
Love to talk to you. <laugh>.
Andrew Stanley (08:24):
Exactly. So I did know him a little bit and so I, I asked him and he was like, yes, absolutely, I'd love to talk to you about comedy stuff. And so we went to dinner or lunch and um, and he kind of told me about, about how there are people out there that write for TV and not just TV shows but also like reality shows. Cuz he would say like, when he was on, like, are you funnier than a fifth grader or are you, are you funnier than a fifth grader? Are you smarter than fifth grader,
Joey Odom (08:52):
<laugh> fifth grader? No
Andrew Stanley (08:53):
One's funnier. No one's funnier than a fifth,
Joey Odom (08:55):
No one find me one.
Andrew Stanley (08:57):
But he said, when you're on a show like that, there's writers and you're saying, no, we need a bunch of jokes about this, so who can come up with the best joke? And so he said, I know some people like that, that I can connect you with. So he connected me with this guy in Nashville who writes for comedic projects that people have. And, and that guy said, I would love to help you and I, first thing I want you to do is write five minutes of jokes and go do them at a standup comedy open mic. And I was like, oh, that's not what I wanna do at all. And he was like, you can either do that or you can do like a, I think he said, or you can write a, a funny blog or you can do a funny sketch. And for whatever reason I was like, I guess I'll try standup, uh, even though I never really wanted to. And so that's how I started. I was writing five minutes of jokes and sending them to him and he would kinda gimme his feedback and notes and um, and I, every time I would go on stage, I would be like, oh, I could, I could have done better than that. And um, so I just kind of kept getting up until it was something that people were asking me to go do places. And a few years later I was able to, to quit my budget analyst job and do this full-time.
Joey Odom (10:07):
So, okay, so what, and I missed it. Who was the guy you were reporting to who gave you that you got to do one of these three things? That wasn't foxworthy, was it?
Andrew Stanley (10:14):
No, that was the guy that Jeff connected me with. His name is Scott, Scott Dunn in Nashville. And, uh, I would tell him every, every time something cool happens for me in comedy, I text him, I'd be like, Hey man, thanks for
Joey Odom (10:26):
Andrew Stanley (10:27):
Challenging a complete stranger to do something insane because it changed my life.
Joey Odom (10:32):
Andrew Stanley (10:32):
Amazing. So very, very grateful to to him for sure. And Jeff,
Joey Odom (10:36):
All right. So tell what, what was your, do you remember the, I mean, literally the first joke you did on stage at the, the very first time you stood on stage? Do you remember the first joke?
Andrew Stanley (10:46):
Oh man. Yeah. I actually, I, I do because I, last week or week before last, I was just curious and I went back and I found my emails with Scott where I was like, hi, my name's Andrew Stanley, Jeff Foxer gave me your information. I wanna learn about joke writing. And so I kind of was reading through our email chain where he was offering to help me and I could see the email where right after I did my first set I was kind of giving him the report about how it went. And um, and it's funny because there's a few bits in there that I still do that are wow much be much better versions of them. But I was really surprised to see that there. I think there are two bits in my first set that worked out, like after kind of messing with 'em for a while, like Kyle's, those are ones that I would do at a show tomorrow. Um, and then there are some that are just nonsense that I, that I would never touch again, <laugh>. So it was cool to see that. And it, a lot of that was cuz he was helping me and he knew yeah, what the things to do and not do were, so he, I feel like he gave me a jumpstart because he probably stopped me from learning a bunch of mistakes the hard way.
Joey Odom (11:53):
I, I'm so interested in the, as you listen to more and more comedians, I mean obviously you see the finished product, but that, and we'll talk about this a little bit later, but the construction of a joke in a bit. I was listening to, um, Louis CK talking with Theo Vaughn on an interview and them saying like, oh, and then Louis cc, oh you said this, and then I really think you could take that into another bit. It's really interesting the eye that other comedians have for something like, no, no, no, no drill in there. Like I see something there. So he, he took you through a little bit of that process. Can you tell us the first joke, you know it?
Andrew Stanley (12:24):
Oh man, I don't remember what I opened with. I definitely, uh, talked about being homeschooled, which if you've seen me stand up, you probably heard me talk about that. And then I do a thing, I don't do it as much anymore, but I still like to do it where I talk about instead of paying for my mom's nursing home one day I would just frame her for a crime <laugh> and let her go to prison. And so taxpayer take care of it. And I actually, that actually is the first joke I told because when I was, uh, I always tell people the laughing skull, doing the five minute open mic was the first time I did stand up, but it's, which is kind of true. But while I was preparing for that, um, when I was in the pr when I was emailing with Scott trying to figure out when I was gonna go up for the first time, my mom had her, I guess 50th birthday party.
And since it was 50 we kind of did a big outdoor kind of lunch thing with a bunch of her friends and there was a stage and some live music and it was, it was not a big huge group, but it was very, it was more, way more produced than like a normal uh, right birthday party I guess. And so they asked if any of us wanted to like get up and say anything cause they had like microphones and stuff. And I remember the first time I think I ever tried to tell a joke, like in a standup way was at her birthday party. I told the thing about framing her for a crime
Joey Odom (13:44):
Andrew Stanley (13:45):
Instead of sitting nursing home. And I remember everybody was just like, what is he doing? And then they realized, oh, he's being, he's doing like a joke, like a <laugh> and, and I think like half of the crowd kind of got what I was trying to do. And of course I was stumbling through it and I was not comfortable, which made it tougher for them to tell that I was trying to do something. Um, but I remember I had told my brother before, I was like, I'm gonna go try this thing I was been writing. And so I think a few of the people there really thought it was funny and a few of them were like, that was not a very nice birthday speech
Joey Odom (14:16):
<laugh>, that's just so good. It, and it, it's, that's uh, that can't be too great a feeling when someone hears you joke and say, oh, oh, okay. I I didn't realize you were joking. Yeah.
Andrew Stanley (14:28):
Oh, a joke. I see. Yeah,
Joey Odom (14:30):
<laugh>. Oh sure.
Andrew Stanley (14:31):
It helps when you're at an event where they're like, time first cut jokes. Were there not, not just the, your pastor's wive's birthday party, <laugh> and her son's up there. Like is he a terrible person or trying to do something
Joey Odom (14:44):
I don't <laugh> uh, isn't he a budgeter stick to the budget? Did you get any of those yelled from the crowd, stick to the budget, analyzing, yell
Andrew Stanley (14:50):
That at you back to the back to the cubicle
Joey Odom (14:53):
Andrew Stanley (14:54):
Yeah, I stole, I stole a lot of company time writing jokes into my cubicle that
Joey Odom (14:59):
Year. <laugh>. Oh, does um, so did your parents ever give you, like, did your mom ever give Hey Andrew, do something funny. Do something funny? Did you ever get that from your parents? I'm sure you get that from other people or maybe there's an I'll start with that and then the second question is like, there has to be such an expectation on you that you gotta be funny in all moments. And, and if not, it's a real downer. Like what is like what's that guy's deal?
Andrew Stanley (15:22):
I would say more often from like family it's a, Hey, can you stop trying to be funny all the time?
Joey Odom (15:28):
That right <laugh> rather than
Andrew Stanley (15:30):
Andrew, please continue to be so funny.
Joey Odom (15:32):
Andrew Stanley (15:33):
It's much more of a, Hey can you just turn that off for a few minutes? We're having dinner please. Or like,
Joey Odom (15:37):
Can we just, yeah, can we just finish the funeral here and then you can be funny again. One of those.
Andrew Stanley (15:41):
Yeah. Not, not everything has to be one of your little things, but you know, strangers, you do get that sometimes for sure. Especially if, if they're like, uh, so what do you do on an airplane or something? And if I, if I tell the truth, which is less and less these days.
Joey Odom (15:55):
Yeah. What's what's your go? Yeah. What do you revert to if, if like do you just go back to budget analysts or do you like talk back in the watercolor days?
Andrew Stanley (16:04):
I love, uh, I love hearing different comedians' answers cuz everybody kind of has their fake career that they tell people that they don't want to talk to. And I, I forget who it was. So there's somebody that always says they're in, they're in real estate or I mean the more the, you really wanna pick something where there's no follow up questions. Yeah, right, because, and I've learned that. I just, I just still say budget analysts, <laugh>, uh, cause nobody cares. Nobody's like, oh, that's interesting you what kind of analysis is like
Joey Odom (16:32):
Andrew Stanley (16:34):
Where do you do that? Where do you, how do you get your fake, you
Joey Odom (16:37):
Know, you guys in the red or the black? How'd, how'd, how'd to go budget wise? But
Andrew Stanley (16:41):
Sometimes if you say comedian, they'll be like, oh, what kind of jokes do you do? And then just trying to tell people, trying to describe yourself to someone who's never seen you. It's just like the, it's like, well I tell some stories and it's, you know, I got it and it never, there's never like a Oh great, it's always just like, oh, I forgot. That was, seemed like that was not a great question.
Joey Odom (17:01):
I've heard a lot of comedians talk about with where they draw their inspiration from and you get some, you, you start going down a deep path or dark path. Excuse me, for you, what do you, and homeschool may be one, but like, what is, what are those experiences that you think you draw on to come up with your bits, to come up with your material? Um, again, maybe it is largely homeschool stuff, but what was it kind of in growing up that you really find yourself drawing from or, and I'm not trying to like, you know, put you on the psychologist chair here, but a lot of people say that it's comedy is then the reason why they're so good at is because comedy was always used as a defense mechanism growing up that they were able to defend off if they were getting picked on or if they were, um, or if had like some problems at home or something like that. Um, I don't mean to get go go too deeper dark here, but I'm curious if, um, like where do you, where do you draw from there to, uh, to come up with your stuff or, or how did you start getting into it and realizing you were funny?
Andrew Stanley (17:55):
Yeah, you're, you're right that there's a lot of comedians that are, you can tell their, their jokes kind of come from pain and it seems like the worst childhood they have, the better comedian they are. And I always tell my parents, I always say, if y'all had just been worse parents, I would be such a better comedian,
<laugh>. Um, so thanks a lot. N you know, I think it definitely is a defense mechanism for sure. I think that that's how a lot of people get naturally to be thinking about funny stuff or to come up with jokes is cuz it is like an easy diffuse any tension that exists and that's what comedy, I mean that's what jokes are in a comedy club. It's kind of building tension and releasing it. So I think in your life you can use it the same way. If there's tension you can, that you're feeling whether other people are or not, you can release it by trying to lighten things with a joke with the material kind of coming up with it. I, I wish I had a really good answer and I think, I think every comedian has a kind of the same answer and also different.
But I mean it's just observing. I think Seinfeld would say it's like observe and report and you can observe things about your own life or you can observe things in the world. You can observe things in politics, you can reserve things from your past, which is where I got a lot of my, my first stuff for sure was looking back like, okay, homeschool preachers kid. Well growing up like that I need to mine that for material. And that's, that's in a lot of ways I think for me it's easier to write jokes about stuff from the past cuz you have a better bird's eye view of it than what's going on with you currently. Um, I think the, the best comedians are able to zoom out in the same way. But in current, like there's so many comedians, like Taylor Tomlinson is so good, I forget which I think it was her first Netflix special where it's a lot about what it's like to be in your twenties and it really connected especially with people that are in that stage of life.
But people were blown away because it's like, but you're still in your twenties, how are you analyzing it so well and you're not even past it. And I think the best comedians are able to do that, where it doesn't take you getting distance from something for you to be able to have a cool, unique perspective on it. And so I think that's why it's easier for me to write jokes about growing up cuz it's behind me. But, um, I would love to get better at kind of more current stuff and that's probably where I'm, where I'm pushing now.
Joey Odom (20:16):
Uh, I'm curious, you re you touched on it, the, and I was actually gonna reference Seinfeld and how he talks about that observation, how he has his, he has his notepad with him all the time, and then he takes those notes and then he goes back and he has his scheduled time to go start the construction and see if there's something there and then discarded if it, if it doesn't talk to me about the evolution of a joke or a bit from observation all the way until, until you know the time when you know the exact order of the words and inflection that you need to give to get the best crowd reaction. So that, that whole life cycle is so fascinating to me because it feels so natural when you hear a great, you know, a great comedian almost like they thought of it right then and you realize that no, that's, that is hours and hours and tens and maybe hundreds of hours perfectly constructing. Will you walk us through the construction of a joke, which ironically will probably make it not funny, but I'm just curious how the, the construction of a joke, just the mechanics of all of it.
Andrew Stanley (21:12):
Yeah, it's way less romantic when you just know how it works. <laugh> the, uh, you know, it's, it's funny because sometimes you, it feels like the joke comes gift wrapped. You think of it and you try it on stage that night and you're like, that worked great. That needs very little, little, I can add stuff to it, but that version of it kind of just worked, doesn't need much. And sometimes you just have an idea that you think is so funny or has so much potential and then you take it on stage night after night and it feels like you're just, you've got a, you know, you put too much weight on the bar and you can't lift it, but you're like, I know I should be able to lift this. So it's, it's both of those things and I think it's what's your tolerance for trying, how many times can you try it and fail it before you're like, all right, maybe this one just isn't gonna make it.
Or maybe I I set it aside and come back to it later when I'm a better comedian or better writer. I would say the ones like the jokes that I am the most proud of in my act definitely started to where, you know, by the time you've tried 'em three times on stage, you can tell this has got something that's worth continuing to work on. And it's working well enough now that it's still fun to do even as I'm working on it, it's still working. And then that's when it's really fun because the joke works, you're confident in it, but you still get to tinker with it and add stuff and remove stuff and, and then, you know, over time it gets, it gets really strong. Did you, did you say you wanted a specific example?
Joey Odom (22:34):
I was just curious more, more the, um, more of the work that goes behind it. So, I mean, if you have an example that's great, but you know, to your point, like you observe something, you think of something and then it's how do you start, begin to dissect if there's something actually there and then, and then to the point where you know that, okay, this is something that really, really plays.
Andrew Stanley (22:52):
Yeah, the, the cool thing and the frustrating thing about standup is that the only way to really edit your jokes is to try them in front of people. There's not a lot of behind the scenes learning. You're doing a lot of writing and coming up with ideas behind the scenes, but you can't really test them or know how to change them until you're testing 'em on people. It's, it's, um, it's different than music in that, in a band, I'd imagine you can practice a lot behind closed doors and get it perfect or at least you're the version that you think is perfect. And then, and then the audience may still tell you, Hey, that's not as good as you thought, but at least you can get it to a place that you know, holds up and that you're proud of. But in standup the exciting part is that you don't get to do that.
So you get to go out as many nights as you can and throw stuff against the wall. And some nights it's, you know, there's no better than when something you weren't, you weren't sure if it was gonna work and it works. That's, that's the, the real rush. It's, it's fun to tell jokes that, you know, work and they work, that's fun. But the new ones when they're first starting to work is the most for sure the coolest part. So the answer is, you know, you you write it as good as you can and then you just gotta take it on stage and, and do it as many times as as it needs. And that's one thing I like about living in Atlanta is that there's a great comedy scene here in several clubs and lots of shows that happen every night. And so if I have stuff I wanna work on, it's easy to find, you know, low risk places to try it that still have good audiences and I'm not having the pressure of somebody's paying me this many dollars, so I just need to do the best I can and not mess around with anything new.
So I definitely have that comedy scene here that helps me a lot when it comes to developing stuff and other comedians hear your jokes and go, Hey, have you thought about it this way? And you're like, no, I didn't think about it that way.
Joey Odom (24:40):
So you give each other notes. So it's, it's the, the fraternity, like you guys are giving each other notes. Who's, who's your dream team? You're ti you know, you can go grab dinner tonight with three comedians, <laugh> Living or Dead. Who's your, who's your, who's your dream team, your advisory council?
Andrew Stanley (24:54):
Oh gosh, I don't know if I'd be good at a dinner with most of my favorites. <laugh>, uh, <laugh>. I would rather just like watch them have dinner than be at. Yeah.
Joey Odom (25:02):
If you could sit and if you could, let's imagine that they all got, um, they all got a beach, um, a beach table at, at watercolor in 2013. You can just stand and watch them, you as the, as the attendant. Who would those top three be?
Andrew Stanley (25:14):
Yeah, yeah. Oh, that's a, that's a better way of framing it. If I could take certain people to their seats. Um, it's very tough not to say j Norm McDonald, I think he's so funny and just clearly doesn't care what people think didn't or didn't care. It's sad to talk about him in the past tense and just so funny in his own very specific way that it does wouldn't even work for someone else, which is always the most fun to me is to watch somebody that you're like, oh, this is funny. It's well written in, in all the same work went into it. But it's, there's another level of funny because it's this specific person that's doing it and in their own, in their own way that you would never teach someone else to do it that way. But it works for them. So he's the one that, I mean, any, any video of him makes me laugh, whether it's a podcast or, or his standup or Saturday Night Live.
So I would pick him, you know, I I really like Patrice O'Neal. I don't, I I didn't listen to him a lot growing up and really until after he had already passed away. But hearing other comedians talk about him, comedians that were friend with him make me wish that I could have gone to see him or, uh, you know, they always talk, he was just the most ruthless guy to be at the table with cuz he would, he would be all over people in a kind of loving way it sounds like. But, uh, just a so I mean, that would be fun. I went and saw, um, Adam Sandler a few weeks ago. I was in Savannah and had a show and, and after my show ended, somebody was like, you know, Adam Sandler's playing the arena down the street. And I was like, oh. And I looked at my, my watch and it, my watch my phone. I didn't wanna say phone in front of you. I know you're just so against the phones in every aspect.
Joey Odom (26:49):
Andrew Stanley (26:50):
I looked at my analog watch that doesn't detect
Joey Odom (26:52):
Andrew Stanley (26:53):
And the show had had just started. So I googled, I mean I, uh, Ubered right straight to the show and got there and got to watch him. And what a amazing career a guy like that has had in Oh, that's amazing. And it's so funny on stage. So I'll say Adam Sandler Patric O'Neal and, uh, and, uh, norm McDonald's
Joey Odom (27:11):
<laugh> and, and for all the parents listening out there, I would, I would say those are all not safe for work. So probably not, probably not kid appropriate. Um,
Andrew Stanley (27:19):
<laugh> no, this is an adults only beach in
Joey Odom (27:20):
Andrew Stanley (27:22):
Joey Odom (27:23):
Which leads us to our next, my next question, which is, you're, you're a clean comic, you, um, and I'm interested in those dynamics and, and do you feel like in the way you do it, does it, do you, do you feel like you're in any way disadvantaged in the industry or even typecast? How are you viewed, do you think it dilutes like your ability to, to really be the comic that you want to? Um, I'm, I'm curious all the, all the thoughts around that, which is a perfect segue from Patric O'Neal to you being a clean comic
Andrew Stanley (27:51):
<laugh>. Yeah, right. You know, it's, it's really cool to be doing comedy at a time where there's so many, uh, successful and respected comedians that are clean. I don't think there's really any all of the, I don't like clean comedians, I don't like dirty comedians is, in my experience from consumers of comedy way more than from comedians. I don't think that there's any comedian alive that dislikes Brian Regan and he's squeaky clean and I don't think there's any comedian alive that doesn't love the way that Anthony Ick writes jokes. Who's the darkest comedian that, you know, maybe touring. And so there's so much respect among comedians for just good jokes and good comedy that I don't think that there is a, among comedians advantage or disadvantage there. Yeah. Um, career-wise, there's a lot of advantages to being clean. You can get hired for a lot of stuff that, you know, things that people wouldn't hire a comedian that they thought was gonna be dirty for.
I'm sure there's some disadvantages too in the industry in terms of, you know, there, there are shows where they're like, this kind of, the culture of this show is that it's kind of a, anything goes. So maybe we won't ask, maybe we won't ask the homeschool kid to do it <laugh>, but also I haven't even really found that to be true. I think that people that run shows want the funniest people they can find. So whether you're clean or not probably doesn't factor in as much as funnies. So I, you know, I think, um, it's a personal thing. I always tell people, I'm like, you just need to be authentic at whether, and if that's cussing, then cuss. Like you get, don't pretend to be somebody you're not. So if you're clean, be clean. If you're dirty, be dirty. If you're somewhere in the middle, be somewhere in the middle. And then adjust your life if you need to. And then your act can follow that, but you don't need to. It's the comedians that, uh, it's funny cuz the clean comedians are the ones that turn out to be criminals a lot of the time.
Joey Odom (29:44):
Andrew Stanley (29:46):
I think that, I think that's a mike for Bigley or John Malanney thing they said on time. It turns out a lot of clean comedians are criminals, so it's not even always a good reflection of
Joey Odom (29:55):
Andrew Stanley (29:56):
<laugh>, honestly. So there's no judgment for me or for most comedians when it comes to that stuff. But yeah, it's just a decision for me. And I feel too dirty for some shows. I mean, I was doing a show last night at a, it was a Christian school just for the parents and, but there were four, you know, second graders sitting on the front row. So I had to skip a few things. Like, I'm like, I always say family friendly depending on the family because everybody's got different stuff. I got bits about vasectomies and stuff and I'm like, I don't need these second graders asking their parents on the way home. What a vasectomy. Like, it's not like a filthy joke, but it's like, yeah,
Joey Odom (30:30):
Andrew Stanley (30:31):
I'm an adult so I talk about adult stuff. I'm not writing jokes for kids or anything. So it's always interesting to have to figure out where the line is.
Joey Odom (30:39):
But that's really interesting. I, I
Andrew Stanley (30:40):
Actually rambled rambled a lot to answer your very simple
Joey Odom (30:43):
Question. No, I I no, that was, it was, it was a perfect question or perfect answer. I was, I was curious in a way I could see it in a way, I mean certainly the shock comedians and the ones who aren't as aren't that great at it, it's almost a crutch to be able to go towards something dirty. And it seems like it puts, it's a little bit more of an uphill climb for you to be able to do entire bits that are clean. And to me it, it, it requires a lot more creativity. So I actually, I I, I asked the question, but I had my own preconceived notion, which was, I actually think there's a pretty decent advantage in it because if you're what it forces you to do to not just rely on kinda the old standbys.
Andrew Stanley (31:18):
Yeah, I think that, um, the dirty comedy for new comedians can be a crutch, but the, and crutch maybe isn't even the right word, it's just kind of like a, it, you can add some oomph to your set by by cussing I think. And I think for newer comedians, sometimes they fall into that and lean too heavy on it probably. But I think I was listening to an interview like who you mentioned earlier, Louis CK and he was talking about how he hates it when people say that being a dirty comedian's a crutch cuz he is like, you tried talking about this, this insane stuff to people that were not expecting it. Like it is not right. Like it Yeah. You try to go tell people blankety blank blank when they didn't know it was coming, like Right.
Joey Odom (31:58):
Andrew Stanley (31:58):
Kinda goes both
Joey Odom (31:59):
Ways. Yeah, that's a good point.
Andrew Stanley (32:00):
Get to be too, you know, graphic it, it kind of is like, oh my gosh, I would not have it in me to say that stuff. Like
Joey Odom (32:07):
<laugh>. Yeah, no kidding. We
Aro Team Member (32:09):
Hope you're enjoying the show. Let's take a quick moment to hear from one of our members about how Aro is impacting their life.
Aro Member (32:15):
Our kids are young, so I didn't think initially that it would really cater to them, but we really modeled good behavior for them on how to use a phone and how to use it in a healthy way. You know, right now they use their toy phones to put in the box and they like to even take our phones to put in the box too. And it really just shows how our habits rub off on them and how arrows helping teach them good habits too.
Joey Odom (32:41):
You are, you have, you're from a, a line of great communicators. Your grandfather Charles Stanley is a well renowned minister and just a, a terrific communicator. Your father, Andy Stanley is an amazing communicator. One of the best communicators on the planet in my opinion. I, I'm curious, what is that? And maybe it's just an open general question. What was, what was that like coming in, I don't even want to call it a shadow, but maybe the expectations that people had on you. What was that like coming up in that, in that, with that name recognition, with that lineage in then maybe the expectations that came along with it, good or bad?
Andrew Stanley (33:17):
Yeah, it's helped me get a lot more church gigs,
Joey Odom (33:20):
<laugh>, uh, for sure <laugh>.
Andrew Stanley (33:22):
I, uh, I definitely get a little bit of extra trust I think than other comedians would get just automatically because of my last name, which is, you know, which I learned to be okay with because comedies one of the great things about it is that no one can, you always know how it went. There's no, you can't be, you can't have a last name that makes people laugh. Hmm. Or I mean, or makes people laugh for an hour
Joey Odom (33:49):
Unless it's a real silly name. Yeah,
Andrew Stanley (33:51):
Joey Odom (33:53):
<laugh> you kill that makes Kenny giggle.
Andrew Stanley (33:54):
I mean it is a comedy is a meritocracy once you're on stage it is because people cannot, you can't kill if you're not funny. So that helps me. If I, if my last name gets me in a few extra doors, then I'm not gonna say no to stuff. But also I, you know, it gives me, um, it helps me to know that as long as I'm delivering great jokes then that then I don't need to worry about it. I would say that one of the things I was a little bit worried about when I was starting, I started doing standup, never intending to be like, and then one day maybe I can be in churches a lot because I didn't even know, I didn't even know that was a thing. We never had comedians at our church. I didn't know that volunteer appreciation nights happen every night at different churches that they're looking for entertainment and um, so I was just trying to write jokes so I could go write a the office or whatever.
So I'm in comedy clubs in Atlanta where both of my, my granddad and my dad have been pastors of large churches and I was, my roommate when I told him I was gonna do standup was, was like, are you gonna use like a stage name or anything? And I was like, maybe I was like, maybe I should cuz I, you know, might be, people might feel weird about me being there and then, uh, people didn't care at all or even notice. So <laugh> that's what I love about doing the comedy clubs too, is nobody, like my dad and granddad are very well known in the Christian world, but in the mainstream world, like they're maybe known but they're not celebrities outside of Christian stuff. So doing clubs is great because there's, sure there's gonna be Christians there and there might be some people who recognize my name, but for the most part it's just a random assortment of, of citizens. And so that's, that's fun and I'm, I'm glad that the, the name isn't big enough to to, to cast it, that it didn't cast that large of a shadow for me doing standup especially. I was starting.
Joey Odom (35:37):
That makes sense. And, and probably in many ways it would be a heck of a lot easier to be a comedian than to go be a pastor with with, um, with the name. Right?
Andrew Stanley (35:46):
Yeah. I mean, and Richard Pryor's son was doing standup for a while and I was like, that sounds terrible, uh, for him. Uh, I mean, can you imagine? I mean that would, that would be like, and I then it makes me admire my dad for becoming a pastor cuz he grew up under shadow of a large successful pastor. And so to, to lean into it instead of backing away from it, it takes a lot of courage and I'm sure there are advantages along the way, but there's also a lot of extra attention when you're new at something <laugh>, which is not fair. So I, I'm glad that my dad's a famous pastor, not a famous comedian cuz then all of that attention would've been, would've been everywhere that I was doing standup because it falls under that. Like, um, like I'm sure it probably was for Richard Pryor's son or I know Dana Carley's son is, I think that standup and I, I haven't heard either of them, but I would imagine that that's pretty tough to see the whole crowd whisper, oh this is so-and-so's son, it better be good. It's like, well he is new or whatever when he started, I don't know. So
Joey Odom (36:49):
Did, uh, has, have you had, has that created any with your dad or your grandfather? And you don't have to share if you don't, has it created any like awkward they come to see you perform and you just have a a, a shock shock comic write up before you? Have you had any of those kind of fun awkward cringeworthy situations?
Andrew Stanley (37:05):
For sure when I was starting out. Cuz when you're starting you just can do open mics pretty much nobody's hiring you and no one's being like, can you come do this very good show with really good respectful comedians cuz but really good experienced comedians on those shows. So you just do all the shows with the other new people. And I remember one in particular, it was at the punchline in Atlanta and it was their Sunday night open mic competition thing. And they, they, they used to do this thing where you would, you would go and you would do five minutes and then the audience would vote on who would the, who is the best. And then whoever got the top two votes would move on to the championship round, which was the last Sunday of the month. And then you would do the same thing again with all the other people that were in the top two.
And so I was always trying to bring people out to that because if you won the overall championship thing at the end of the month, then you get weekend work at the club where they'll pay you to host for a headliner. So that was a huge, and they would give you like, I think at the time it was maybe like $500, which is crazy to be pretty new at standup and get a check with my name on it would be crazy. And so I would always invite people to those shows cuz you, you pack your friends in there, they're gonna vote for you whether you deserve it or not. And so I remember my parents in like, their small group came
Joey Odom (38:23):
Andrew Stanley (38:23):
To this open mic night at the Punchline and it, it was, it's always pretty rough and dirty and shock factor stuff that's not that funny. Um, but this night I think was even more than usual and I, I don't think my parents have ever had a moment where they were like, I wish you would stop doing this. But if there was ever a moment where they might have been close, I think my mom was like, are you having to sit through this stuff every night? She's like, not worried about me, but she's like, are you having to just like have this penetrate your mind all the time because that's not gonna over time be a healthy thing. My granddad has only seen me do standup once and it was, he had me come to their um, Christmas party at, at in touch his ministry and um, I was very nervous about that, but it, it went well. That was that's awesome. So he's only seen me do well one time and so I, I never would invite him again
Joey Odom (39:17):
Cause Yeah, exactly. Why would you
Andrew Stanley (39:18):
Joey Odom (39:20):
Ex Absolutely. I get it. Yeah.
Andrew Stanley (39:22):
Joey Odom (39:22):
Our shifting, shifting to the personal side. So, you know, at Aro we're all about intentionality. That's, that's what our focus is on. Um, and um, so it's interesting to hear, you know, people and it's ar is built for families very largely. You just got married, I'm curious n newly married. What are some kind of early learnings in your marriage that, uh, that may be, may be helpful for others? And I know you have a great example, your parents just released a parenting book. I'd like to hear a little bit about what you <laugh>, what you plan on taking into that, when that, when that happens. But I'm, I'm curious, what do you, early on in the marriage side, um, maybe specifically as it relates to intentionality, what have, what have you learned?
Andrew Stanley (39:56):
Yeah, definitely learned a lot. And I, you know, Anna and I were together for really three years before we got engaged and so I thought, oh, we already know it all. We've been together, you know, we, but then living together, that's a whole nother thing. Once you get married and start living together, you're like, oh yeah, we gotta be really intentional with our time. I definitely have been having to unwire myself from some selfishness that I didn't know was there that just kind of can naturally live when you, it's just you, it doesn't bump up against anything, so it's not a problem. But once you're married and you know you're together all the time, you're like, oh, I can feel this selfishness that I didn't know was down there. And some of that is, you know, what are we putting on TV if when she walks in the room, if I'm watching something, do I, do I offer to change it or do I just wait for her to be like, Hey, can we not watch this game that you don't care about
Joey Odom (40:44):
Andrew Stanley (40:45):
If it just, you like to have it on while you look at your phone? Can I
Joey Odom (40:48):
Andrew Stanley (40:50):
That? And, and like, uh, like, like y'all preach, putting our phones away and making sure it's not just immediately, oh, let's sit on the couch, turn, put something on the TV and be looking at our phones and catching up on the day before we catch up with each other. It's almost the, the natural tendency addiction to, Hey, let's talk. But first I wanna see what's been going on today on online or whatever. One of the things that we have learned really helps us with that is we started doing, um, one of these services where they'd like send ingredients of food to your house and then, and the recipe, like the, we use HelloFresh, which is the one I'm not trying to create an advertisement for you guys on the podcast. Um, I do have a discount code, but they send you dry ice with like two meals for the, for the week.
So now when, when I'm home enough, we cook together for two nights of the week at least and follow the directions and it's, we do it right when Anna gets home from work and I'm usually waking up for the day and we're making dinner and uh, and it's a perfect amount of time. It's usually like 45 minutes where we're both in the kitchen, we're kind of doing something together. You can't be like cooking and looking at your phone or watching tv. So we're very present in that time and that's kind of our, some of our best kind of conversation of the week is when we're in the kitchen kind of doing a project together that demands our full attention to be on each other and on the thing we're doing together. Love. So that's been kinda one of our cheat codes for that so far. That's
Joey Odom (42:17):
Really good. We
Andrew Stanley (42:18):
Haven't figured out after four months we pretty much got marriage figured out can. So if you have any
Joey Odom (42:21):
Tell any questions I would absolutely <laugh>. No, it's interesting and it that it is, it is funny. Like I, I felt the same early on in my marriage. Just, you know, it was the selfishness. I went and played poker with some friends and you know, it was 11 o'clock my wife called and said, where are you? And I was like, I was playing poker, I told you I would. Why? What's the problem? <laugh>? I, I literally didn't even understand. Yeah. This
Andrew Stanley (42:43):
Is what I do.
Joey Odom (42:44):
Yeah, yeah. Told a prep, I've made 12 to $15, honey, everything's fine <laugh>. But we, you know, I told the guys who had been married for a few years and they just laughed at me and they said, you're such an idiot. Yeah. It, it just exposes there's nowhere to hide when it comes to like the exposing of the selfishness, which is such a, a great thing obviously.
Andrew Stanley (43:02):
Yeah. It definitely is healthy. Cuz you've, you've, you've been living with this selfishness you didn't even know you had I think a lot of the time.
Joey Odom (43:08):
Exactly. No, for sure. It, it's, and it, it is good. It is very good to know for that to be exposed. I wanna hear a little bit about your, and I know I'm taking far too much of your time than, uh, than I told you I would, which is a, uh, you're great. It's a great ploy. What did I wanna hear about your podcast a little bit, um, which is just hilarious. Um, the title in itself, no worries if not is so funny cuz it is the most just passive thing that all of us say when we're vulnerable and then we just immediately back off. So I wanna hear a little bit about that, how that came about. A little bit of you and about you and Aaron and um, and, and a little plug for it as well cause it's so great.
Andrew Stanley (43:41):
No, thank you for asking. It's, uh, yeah, I've, since we started doing it about a year and a half ago, it's been really, I keep catching myself typing No worries if not. And I'll be like, I can't be
Joey Odom (43:51):
Andrew Stanley (43:52):
Saying this now. It's been really fun. We actually taken a little bit of a break right now while we try to figure out kind of what our next, so we're trying to level up kind of our studio space or get a producer or figure out kind of what our next kind of adding some production value to it and doing more video stuff cuz we're both getting more busy so we need help. So we're taking a break while we kind of figure that out. But there's 70 episodes sitting out there if anybody wants to check 'em out. We, uh, it's mostly just comedy interviews. We've talked to some major league baseball players, we've had some founders of companies. We had a Disney princess, had a gemologist, a stunt man. So we uh, we just like talking to interesting people and um, and it's a lot of fun. Aaron is so funny. He makes it easy. So
Joey Odom (44:37):
I mean, it it is, it's just like, it's just like, you know, sneaking into a conversation between the two. You, one of my favorite things is the fake ads you guys do, you'll do an ad read Yeah. That the other one's not heard about and just tracking the other one up. It is, it's it's super funny. Super fun. I would encourage people to listen to that. It's very, very funny.
Andrew Stanley (44:54):
Yeah, we started out at the beginning, our idea was like, every episode one of us will write a fake advertisement that the other person has to read for the first time live on the air. And so it's tough to get through sometimes cuz we make each other say some pretty horrible stuff, <laugh>, uh, or not horrible stuff, but just crazy stuff. Yeah. And, uh, that's been really fun. We said we're gonna do that until we get real advertisers. Um, we're still, we're still doing it. So
Joey Odom (45:20):
<laugh>. Oh man. I, um, I, one more question. I I meant to prep you with this so, so many apologies if I'm catching off guard, but again, I mentioned a second ago, you know, we're about intentionality. You do, whether it's from marriage or to writing or to just the discipline that it requires for, for you to, to be a comic and, and on the road. I, I'm curious when you think of the word intentionality, I'm curious what, what does that word intentionality mean to you and maybe how do you see that playing out for yourself of maybe the life of intentionality? Open-ended question.
Andrew Stanley (45:50):
No, great question. That's something that I'm not naturally good at. Anna. Anna is so much better at being intentional and focusing on what she's working on. And I'm so distracted and running around. I think it is kind of going back to what I said earlier, it's kind of removing selfishness from interactions and whether it's what you wanna be doing or not giving your attention to what you're doing or what you, your task is, or what you need to do, rather than being half there, half not there or doing something but having a bad attitude cuz you'd rather be doing something else. For me it's about trying to put myself right where right where I am and do right what I'm needing to do.
Joey Odom (46:31):
I love it. That's
Andrew Stanley (46:32):
Good. Is that the right
Joey Odom (46:33):
Answer? You do have marriage figured out now. That was it Verbatim. Nailed
Andrew Stanley (46:36):
It. Very good. Good,
Joey Odom (46:37):
Good, good. <laugh> man. Okay, so tell me upcoming shows you have coming up. Plug socials website, how can people go find you? I'm sure we'll wanna go hear your stuff. It is, it is very, very hilarious.
Andrew Stanley (46:47):
Yep. I'm gonna be all over the country this year, which is exciting. You can see all my upcoming email@example.com. I'm gonna start putting some comedy club dates up for hopefully all over the country for the spring and the fall. Um, I've got Dallas Fort Worth area February 24th at hyenas. Those tickets are up now and I do a lot of private events. Um, you can subscribe to my email list on the website and then I'll let you know when I'm coming to whatever city you live in. I'll just email you only when I'm coming there.
Joey Odom (47:20):
Andrew Stanley (47:21):
Promise, I've never even actually sent an email. I'm gonna start sending emails
Joey Odom (47:26):
Andrew Stanley (47:26):
And then my Instagram's the other way at Andrew Stanley cuz Andrew Stanley is a British photographer so I had to add an ex extra w
Joey Odom (47:35):
Isn't there an Irish comedian Andrew Stanley also
Andrew Stanley (47:38):
There is, if you, if anybody knows how to, how to get on Wikipedia above someone else with your same name, I could really pay you some money to help me with that <laugh>. Cause there is an Irish comedian named Andrew Stanley and like all my website and stuff comes up I think first, but his Wikipedia thing's in that top right corner so everybody will be like, you're Irish. And I'm like, no, it's, I don't know how to edit the Wikipedia thing.
Joey Odom (48:03):
We're gonna figure that out.
Andrew Stanley (48:05):
So there's a bunch of Andrew Stanleys out there, but I'm the only one that you need to know about.
Joey Odom (48:09):
That's right. Andrew W. Stanley at Andrew W. Stanley. Andrew, thank you my friend. This was great. You were as always hilarious. Super interesting, super fun. So thank you for joining us, man.
Andrew Stanley (48:20):
Thanks for having me. It's a lot of fun and, um, excited about what y'all are doing.
Joey Odom (48:24):
Hey, I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Andrew Stanley. I'm really sorry for all the laughter directly in the microphone. He got me, he really tickles me. That Andrew Stanley, it was a lot of fun. Thanks so much for joining us. We look forward to you. Joining us again on the next Aro podcast. The Aro podcast is produced and edited by the team at Palm Tree Podcast. Special thanks to Emily Miles for video and digital support and to our executive producer, Aro's own, Katelyn Farley.