Nate Bargatze Tells Chappelle & Patrice Stories

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Nate Bargatze

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Nate Bargatze is a standup comedian and host of the "Nateland" podcast. His latest comedy special, "The Greatest Average American," is streaming on Netflix. www.natebargatze.com

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What's your organ experience? When you first go, I went to, when I moved to New York, I went to Boston Comedy Club and I barked and handed out flyers. Oh, did you do that? I did exactly, I did it with Pete Holmes, his show. I did exactly that show. So, with Pete, he got me, I moved like five months after Pete did and he was like, I'm barking at this club. And so I was like, all right, I'll go do that. I remember just standing on the corner. It taught me to learn to like, when I have goals in comedy, it was like learn just to have little goals. I never set big goals. I always set just a goal that I can get. And then I was like, I don't want to be on this corner. So I was like, how do I get off this corner? And then it was like, you just want to go stand in the door. Like, I just, I would like at that moment, dream of just being able to take people's tickets at the door. And so you're like, and you're just, you know, hand these flyers out. People are just dropping them in front of your face. Like, no one cares. They're like just throwing them. It's like 25 degrees out. And so but I was at Boston. So Chappelle used to always come by. This is 2004 or five. So Chappelle would always come by and do spots. You go up in front of six, seven people. No one was there. And then we'd go outside and just say, hey, Chappelle's on stage. This was when Chappelle show has already been off the air. No, it's right before he ended it. Oh, right before he was on. Wow. He would come. I remember him coming and having like white makeup on his neck, like if he played like a white person on Chappelle's show and he would still have it on, you know, because he'd come from there to. Straight to the club. And so we'd go up at Boston and we would, and everybody would go on stage and I'll never forget these one people. They walked by and I said, hey, Dave Chappelle's on stage. If you don't go watch for free, you know, in Boston Comic Club, remember, I had those steps and there was a window and they go, I don't believe you. I was like, well, I'm at a comedy club. So I was like, he's in there. Just go look in the window. If he's not there, then don't go in. And they were like, no, they left. I think about those people every day. They could have watched your belt for free. Those people in that 500 bucks. Those 500 bucks. I bring them to my life every day. Those people too. I did Dave show when he was in New York when we did this Fear Factor episode and the way Tyrone Biggums was on Fear Factor and it was in a warehouse in the middle of the winter, freezing fucking cold, no heat in the warehouse. So we had these little blast furnace, you know, those things that they do on sets where it's like, yeah, those things that are blowing hot air out. And you know, you just stand in front of that until it's time to do the scene. And then you go out there and do the scene and everybody would run back and stand in front of the blast furnaces. But he was in character the whole day as Tyrone Biggums. He was having so much fun. Yeah, he was watching him. He would come by, you know, and he would go up for a while. He hosted one that when I think it's when Boston switched to the comedy village, like he was like, my buddy Dustin Chafee is the one that got us. He was running the Boston at the time. And then it switched to comedy village. I ever sold it. And then Chappelle came by one night and hosted for everybody, like all the even though open mic guys that were going up because he would come up and just do whatever, obviously whatever he wanted. And it was and getting to see that Bill Burr was a big deal for me. Patrice O'Neill, I used to sit in Patrice's car because he would park it out front of the Boston. He couldn't park there and he'd go on stage and I would sit in his car. So if a cop came, I would just drive his car around and wait till he got done. Wow. So there I saw burn Patrice were everybody's a big deal, but they were they were big for me because when I went to New York, you know, that time 2005, something like that there, you know, birds just a comic that people know him in New York, but he's not he's not doing he's not what he is now, obviously. And so they would come by and they would run their HBO one night stands for these 30 minutes specials. And I remember I timed Patrice's one night. He didn't ask me, by the way, just like a young comic being like, I'll time it for you. And he gets off and this is I have no concept of being on TV. I think like he has to do 30 to the dot. And I tell him afterwards, I was like, that was like 34 minutes. And he just like looked at me and walked away. There is no reason for me. I was so embarrassed about doing it. And now I know. But it was like at the time I was just trying to be, you know, a good comic. Did you see his the Comedy Central documentary they did about him? I haven't watched it yet. I haven't got to watch it. I haven't either. I haven't either. But I will make myself for sure. But I've seen so many of his sets. He was the best. He was he was for sure one of the greats for sure. But he was maybe even more important. He was a cornerstone of not giving a fuck. You know what I mean? Like you had to have a guy like that that was an elite stand up comics like what what what what what what what what the fuck are you talking about? And you needed a guy like that to have a great point, like really well thought out point that was hilarious that showed you why you shouldn't care or why something was stupid. Yeah. Like I remember there was some controversy about Opie and Anthony and he went on some show and someone woman was saying that certain jokes could never be funny. And you know, and and he went and said like a joke that was on that subject that was funny. Yeah. And then he was like, look at all. But this is a point that he had this like a really good point that I stick with to this day is like it all comes from the same place, whether the joke is funny or the joke is not whether it's offensive or whether it's hilarious and non offensive. It's coming from the same place. You're just trying to be funny. And when you're a comic, you understand that because like, yeah, you'll say something that some people might find offensive. But the only reason why you're saying it is not because you're trying to be mean, you're saying because you think there's some funny in there. Like you're trying to find the funny. And sometimes like you'll slip and it doesn't doesn't work at all. And sometimes agree agreeable is not funny. Right. And like the whole point of it is like I can't agree with you. Exactly. Comedy is all built from sometimes if someone like they're being like, oh, you're being mean to him. You're like, why don't that's what the comedies mean. Sometimes it's mean. I told a joke where I said I did some of my dad, but I came out and I did a show. These people didn't expect a comedy. So they didn't know I was a comedian and I started telling my act. They don't know what I'm doing. So it just sounds like I'm doing a mean speech. That's what comedy is. If you have no if there's no context to it. Right. That's the worst. And you're like, oh, but if I if I just told them right, I was the comedian, they would be like, oh, OK, they get it. I still live to this day by some Patrice said it was so I was I kind of started with Big J Kurt Metzger, Kurt Metz where I want to and Kurt and Big Big J were one of the comics ever saw that I just was like really where I was like, you moved to New York and you're like, oh, man, this is like the real like these guys are like really good. You know, have you been paying attention what Metzger is doing with Kyle Dunnigan? Yeah, fuck. Yeah. Metzger is one of the I mean, one of the funniest guys I've ever I remember watching him at the very beginning. I would take me on the road. We did like these old weird gigs. And so he would just call me his opener. And I'm like friends with Kurt at this point. I drove him to the gig and we'd be in the elevator and he's just on the phone. He's like, what's that? Now I'm sitting here with my opener. I'm like, Kurt. Just say my buddy. It's not like I'm opening for like, you know, Seinfeld or something. Right. It's like you're you're getting paid eight hundred dollars for this weekend. He just called me that to my face. And I got him in that room, though, because he we're we shared a hotel room. That's what we're like the gig we're doing. And he goes to put we're going to the bathroom and he's like, is this lotion? And I would always just like mess with him or if he asked a dumb question. He goes, I need lotion. It says conditioner. And I go, that's it. It's conditioner for your skin. I just tell him that. And then I walk in there and he's just a rubbing conditioner all over his body. And then we had to go do radio and we had him. And he was he's he's that's why he called me opener. He's a brilliant guy. He's a lot of duck. The moment I met him, the first time I met him, I met him in Montreal. Ari introduced me to him and he goes, hey, what's up? And then he goes, hey, what are you doing for your hair? Your hair is falling out. You doing anything for it? I was like, whoa. I go, yeah, I'm monoxid. All kinds of shit. He's like, yeah, me too. Literally the first words out of his mouth. Yeah, I am. He's just he's got an interesting way of looking at things, but he's also got a brilliant perspective because he grew up in a cult, you know, and because he grew up in a cult, like he sees a lot of those same patterns in like woke thinking. And he's like, like where you can't question certain ideologies. And he gets really angry because no, no, no, no, no, I know what the fuck this is. He goes, I grew up with this shit. What was he a Jehovah's Witness? Yeah, that was it. What? Yeah. And, you know, his stories about growing up as a Jehovah's Witness for fucking crazy. I mean, can you imagine that coming to your door? Hey, what are you doing with your hair? That's the first thing he says. You're like, oh, well, he's just, I don't know. I'm so happy he's around though. He's, it make me so happy at the comedy store when I'm going to talk to him. Uh, unbelievable. And when I watched him at the very beginning, uh, the Patrice thing, the, so Jay was, we used to go to Patrice's house for, uh, uh, like fourth of July or something. He always had a party at his house. And so I got invited and Jay, uh, and then someone, I got into it with someone else, one of Patrice's friends basically. And he was like, and he told Jay, Hey, Patrice doesn't want Nate to come to the party and, uh, then Jay calls Patrice and is like, uh, well, the context of this too is like, so Patrice had always asked me, I grew up in the South. Like I grew up, you know, Christian in the South, typical Southern upbringing, going to church, all this stuff. So Patrice knew that and he would ask me, like, do you believe in dinosaurs and stuff? And I would just go with what I would say, no, I believe in them. But like, it was, you know, I was like, I want to just say no, like I'm not going to give him what he wants. Cause then he would make fun of you and he'd be great. So I would always do that. And so then, uh, so Jay calls him and says, Hey, uh, our other guy says that Nate can't come to your house for that party. And Patrice was like, what? He goes, I didn't say that. He goes, that dude doesn't believe in dinosaurs. You don't think I want that in my house. I want that all over my house. He goes, he can come to the party and I've lived my life by that. With that, I opened my nest to go. If someone came up to me and say, I don't believe in the moon. I'd rather talk to that guy than a guy that does believe in the moon. Catch new episodes of the Joe Rogan experience for free only on Spotify. Watch back catalog JRE videos on Spotify, including clips easily, seamlessly switch between video and audio experience on Spotify. You can listen to the JRE in the background while using other apps and can download episodes to save on data costs all for free. Spotify is absolutely free. You don't have to have a premium account to watch new JRE episodes. You just need to search for the JRE on your Spotify app. Go to Spotify now to get this full episode of the Joe Rogan experience.