MTV comedian Andrew Schulz takes his unapologetic show to Norwalk
Andrew Schulz’s website says it all with its headline of “Unsafe comedy.” Those who are easily offended should probably heed that warning and steer clear. For anyone else who enjoys a raucous night of unfiltered comedy, New York style, Andrew is bringing his comedy show to the Wall Street Theater in Norwalk on Nov. 14.
Schulz grew up in Manhattan and the city has left its mark, giving him a style of comedy that is unapologetic and wild. A tireless performer, who often does nightly shows when he is home, he has made his mark in the crowded field of stand-up, doing what he does best: connecting with audiences directly, whether it’s on stage or the Internet.
After getting his big break on MTV2’s Guy Code in 2011, going on to appear in the first five seasons, he now does stand-up across the country, co-hosts the podcast The Brilliant Idiots with Charlamagne tha God and produces his own comedy specials.
Asked about Guy Code, he says,“So many great things have come from that. My podcast with Charlamagne, etc.”
Making his own opportunities in comedy quickly became his business model. In the fall of 2017, he self-produced and released his first comedy show on YouTube, titled 4:4:1, which racked up nearly 1.5 million views, followed the next summer with a comedy album that reached #1 on iTunes for comedy albums.
While he has appeared in several television shows, he admits to not thinking overly highly of TV and film as preferred comedy mediums. When gatekeepers at Netflix and mainstream TV passed on him — perhaps due to his comedy being not PG-rated or politically correct — he decided to go to where he saw the audiences were: the Internet. And if he proved the gatekeepers wrong in the process, so much the better. “No one else wanted me. I had no choice. And by giving my stuff to the people, I realized the people actually wanted my stuff and not what TV was giving them.”
Schulz is now riding a high, selling out shows, and crisscrossing the country for performances, and says he never stopped to worry early on about success. “I never thought about making money. I just knew that if I was good enough, money would find me,” he said.
Working hard has been second nature for years but he is quick to say he didn’t get here alone. He attributes his success to hard work, trusting himself and understanding the game but also hiring good people. “You can’t do this all by yourself. You need good people helping you and I have great people,” he said.
Audiences in Norwalk will see an unfiltered Schulz at his upcoming show. Asked what they can expect, he replied, not quite tongue-in-cheek: “Flagrancy. Unfiltered, unapologetic, un-PC comedy. The way stand-up is supposed to be.” Comedy has has a rich tradition of being cutting-edge and R-rated. Still, Schulz does not utter curses for sheer shock value, they are carefully chosen and doled out in measured doses to accentuate a point.
Blessed with a razor-sharp wit, keen observation skills and the gift of improv, he can find humor in virtually any situation. Performing a show last month, he interrupted his act to riff about a fly that had just landed on his shoulder, getting big laughs from the crowd. He posted a video clip about the fly heckler on his Instagram page, getting over 100,000 views. Most of his usual topics of humor probably cannot be printed here but readers can go online to watch.
Schulz has taken flak for some of his words but has a tough skin and takes no crap from Internet trolls, giving back as good as he gets. Hecklers, too, during his shows are no problem. Every stand-up comedian has a heckler story, most have a few. Schulz’s favorite heckler story centers on a young man in a wheelchair heckling him but in a good-natured way. “We had some fun back and forth banter. It’s up on my YouTube,” he said. “But most importantly, he thanked me afterwards. He was grateful I didn’t treat him like a cripple. I went at him just like I would anyone else.”
Fans describe his shows as edgy, authentic and fearless but does he ever worry about going too far? “Never,” he immediately shoots back. “Everything is too far for someone. You make a joke about eating meat and vegans are upset. You can’t think about who would be offended. Just do you.”
Schulz is on tour through March up and down the East Coast with a few shows out West, as far away as Hawaii. After that, he might take the tour into Europe. Whatever he’s planning next, no doubt, his fanbase will eat it up.