Oh, this guy Owen Smith is good. Maybe even better than me (but I doubt that.)
When I was a frosh in college at The State University of NY at Stony Brook, my suite-mates thought I was the meanest person around. It was simply NJ sarcasm, but apparently, all that Aqua Net hairspray melted their brains because they truly didn't know what sarcasm was. So I toned it down while in school. When I graduated and went back home, my Jersey friends told me I softened up and poo-poo'd me.
So here we have Owen Smith. He's clever, has quick wit and he's adorable looking in a distorted way.
Owen has a bunch of projects that you may want to check out:
-Starring in NBC's Sebastian Says
-FOX's Winning Ugly alongside Bill Bellamy
-Writing and acting in Starz's Survivors Remorse
-A residency performing at the world famous Comedy Store every weekend
-A new comedy special called Good Luck Everybody, making history as the first comedian to film a stand-up special entirely on the iPhone 5s (because he's a loser but I love him anyway!)
You have a bunch of projects on the horizon. Tell us about some of your favorite past jobs in TV.
I really loved working on Everybody Hates Chris because I laughed hard everyday at work. How many people get to say that? I also loved working on The Arsenio Hall Show because I got to write and perform sketches with Arsenio on live TV. A lot of people forget what an incredible comedic actor he is. Watch Coming To America after reading this and you'll see. He was one of the few cats who could keep up with Eddie Murphy.
Check out our Sign Language Interpreter Goes Rogue Sketch.
I'm chomping on a Twix bar as I write these questions. What would you rather be doing instead of answering these questions?
Answering these questions suck so bad that I'd much rather be the opening act at a Donald Trump rally.
Seriously, I'm a big foodie and I one of my great pleasures in life is tricking my non-vegan wife with recipes I get off vegan blogs and putting my twist on them. So if I wasn't answering your annoying questions I'd be deceiving my wife's Paleo-palette with vegan crab cakes with horseradish dill tarter sauce. Shout out to HotForFoodBlog for the recipe! Matter of fact, I'm going to start a blog called "I'm Vegan And My Wife Isn't" so, keep an eye out for that.
Congratulations on you and your wife expecting your first child this fall! How are you preparing? Is your wife is going to be okay looking after a baby while you're out gallivanting late at night for work?
What are you trying to start an argument between me and my wife?! You must not be married asking questions like this. Basically, we - and by we I mean "my wife" - is getting rid of a lot of my stuff that she never liked in the first place, to make room for our future baby boy. [WRITER'S NOTE: You think you're so smart, Owen! Okay, well, you're correct, I'm happily not married, pththth!]
You made a comedy special called Good Luck Everybody, making history as the first comedian to film a stand-up comedy special entirely on the iPhone 5s. Choosing an iPhone was the joke, right? Seriously, why not an Android?
Ha! When an Android Store opens up let me know. I literally walked into an Apple Store, purchased 10 iPhones, shot my special, and then returned the phones.
There are basically two ways to get your own comedy special: 1) get somebody else to pay for it, or 2) pay for it yourself. And I didn't have time to wait for the comedy powers that be to give me permission to shine. I had something to say and figured out the most cost effective way to say it. And because the idea of shooting a special on iPhones was so disruptive, a lot of great industry professionals helped me out so it looks great! You couldn't even tell it was shot on iPhones if I didn't tell you. Plus, most people consume content on their phones anyway so why not create something on the very device they will probably end up watching and sharing it on anyway?
Shameless plug time: Good Luck Everybody is available on VimeoOnDemand.
You're in the Writers Guild of America (WGA). What did you have to do to join that union? What benefits does the WGA have for you?
Actually, I'm a proud member of both WGA and SAG-AFTRA. Even though, SAG-AFTRA lightweight bullied me into joining. I was shooting a McDonald's commercial with Grant Hill and Larry Bird, it was a two day shoot and on the second day of shooting a tiny woman in a gray suit ushers me in a room and says, "You are a must join which means you have to pay SAG-AFTRA $1,200.00 if you wish to finish this commercial." (That tells you how long I've been in SAG-AFTRA because today their dues is like $3K! The older the actor the cheaper their SAG-AFTRA dues -- I bet James Earl Jones only paid a nickel.)
My entry into the WGA was a lot less stressful because I had the good fortune of getting staffed on a union show - Ice Cube's sitcom, Are We There Yet?
The main benefit of both guilds is the health insurance and the community. They both really do provide tons of resources to help keep you inspired, informed, encouraged and most importantly working in this business of show.
What's it like having such a rare last name that only approximately 2,842,158 others share in the USA?
It means you better get to the family reunion early if you want to get a plate.
It means every time you blink it's somebody's birthday.
It means I must really be talented to stand out among of 2.8 million Smiths.
I knew there were a lot of us but I didn't know the Smith's ran that deep. One of my good friends likes to complain about being the youngest of 17, now I can tell him try being one of 2.8 million!
You attended Notre Dame University and earned a degree in finance. At what point did you realize you were so boring that you had to turn to comedy in order to be noticed?
Probably that moment flat-chested Tiffany Dobson showed up at school after summer break with breasts! I was always funny but fine Tiffany Dobson inspired me to put my funny to work. Thanks Tiffany.
After college I had a friend who played in the NFL and he would spend thousands of his hard earned football dollars just to swoon women - he'd fly them all around the world, charter boats, wine and dine them in restaurants with things on the menu neither of them could pronounce. And all that is great, but for me, being funny made a lot more sense for my checking account balance.
What are your thoughts on the candidates for Presidency?
Bernie Sanders should have run 20 years ago. I feel like people love Bernie but are afraid to vote for him because they don't really believe he can deliver all that he promises from within the system. Bernie Sanders is like a Prius - a good idea but you don't want to get stuck behind one.
I wish Hilary's supporters would come out the closet. I live in LA -- land of the bumper sticker -- and I haven't seen one Hilary bumper sticker but she's in the lead. Hilary is like a Chuck Lorre sitcom, nobody admits to watching them, but every week he's number one.
And Donald Trump has essentially taken his reality show on the road and the American people are falling for it hook, line and sinker. Trump is great for comedy, but for the country...not so much. I can't wait for him to appoint Omarosa as his running mate. To all the candidates I say, "Good Luck Everybody" which coincidentally is the name of my comedy special available here.
What is your ultimate career goal?
To be so valuable in this business that I never hear the word "no" again, but until that happens I'd settle for having an audience that allows me to have my own successful show that saves a network; write, direct and star in a movie once a year about something important to me, and tour.
Anything else you'd like to say?
Yeah, LA is also the land of the atheist and I would be an atheist but I don't make enough money to not believe in God. They way I figure it, is I'm about two tax brackets away from doubt.
Thanks for the interview. My wife and I love reading the Huffington Post and it's an honor to grace your pages.
Shout out to everyone everywhere who has ever supported and encouraged me. For all things Owen check out my website. And, for exclusive content from me text message the word COMEDY to 44222 and I'll hook you up!