Interview: Standup Comic Charles Gould Leaves 'em Wanting More


Charles Gould may seem put-upon in his online comedy of relationship errors, Charles, By the Way, and in his show, Tips for a Happier, Healthier You, both web series with episodes shorter and sweeter than 4 minutes. He expands on this theme in his live stand-up gigs: Gould is convinced that he’s at a loss for finding the perfect love relationship. We spoke to Gould while he was on the East Coast leg of his current tour.

A.D. Amorosi: From what I have witnessed of you in a live setting – say the Upright Citizens Brigade shows and through the usual suspect viral mediums, your primary interests, where comedy is concerned, are women in public spaces and paranormal interludes. Do I have that order correct? Why do they make great comic conversation?
Charles Gould: Hmmm, I'd say that's probably the right order. Ultimately I'm trying to be relatable, and I think dating is a great vehicle to do that. It's something we've all experienced, and most people don't love dating unless they’re a sociopath or my brother. I've also noticed that when it comes to dating and sex, people seem to drop all the agreed upon rules of polite society, which is a goldmine for comedy.

A.D.: Is there a part of your life that you keep private and apart from comedy, and what would THAT be?
Charles: There is no part of my life that I keep private or won't talk about on stage. I'm an open book, baby. Mostly because I've noticed that any experience, no matter how personal, has never been exclusive to me. I have a joke about how growing up, I thought my Dad had a huge dick. Now, people come up to me after shows and talk to me about how they thought the same thing. That being said, it's also really hard to make that stuff funny. I'm happy to talk about how I like being slapped in the face during sex, but I'm not so sure how funny it is so I don't. I only talk about it in interviews.

A.D.: I love Charles, By the Way, and now that I have watched them repeatedly, they’re the perfect length - short and to the point. How do two people – you and Daniel Hurwitz – split up such a short amount of time with your awful date fails?
Charles: Oh yeah, "Leave em' Wanting More" will be the name of my memoir, and it will only be one chapter. And that's all I will say about that.

A.D.: Did you use Charles, By the Way as a video resumé for more work with networks such as Comedy Central where you did Tips for a Happier, Healthier You?
Charles: Most of the episodes of Charles, by the Way are the worst case scenarios that Dan and I would make up in our heads in order to stop ourselves from actually talking to people. So, we didn't actually experience a lot of the stuff that happened on the show, but we did think we would experience it if we actually put ourselves out there. We essentially made a web series justifying our antisocial behavior.

A.D.: I’m friendly with the Philly guys from the show Delco Proper and know that they felt as if web series were very much THE FUTURE, yet, they are pleased as can be to get on the Comedy Central television network full time. Where do you two stand – the newness of streaming/web or the traditionalism of old medium television?
Charles: I think it would be way more punk rock to say that we just made the web series with a bunch of friends for the love of the game but, alas, that would be a lie. We definitely made the web series with no expectations, but once it started to get posted in publications we sent it out to industry types as a resumé. It's how I got my agent and it is how we got Tips for a Happier Healthier You. We never changed any of the content to be more industry friendly, but we definitely had the goal of having someone watch it and then give us money to make something else. I can't speak for Dan, but I can say that I personally see no future (web series/ streaming/ networks) for entertainment. I'm so happy to do stand-up because live performance isn't going anywhere. It's the original art form. As far as what the future of watching stuff is I have no clue and am very worried.

A.D.: Do you feel any need at all to be political? I ask this question of comedians all the time now as there seems to be a need to prove your opinion/affiliation one way or another.
Charles: I have become a little more political in my stand-up, but not out of any feeling of necessity. Rather, because I'm a political person. My Dad identifies as an Anarchist and my Grandpa was the treasurer for the Bronx Communist Party, so politics has been a big part of my life. I will say that some of my more liberal politics have become very accepted in the current climate. If I talked about abolishing the prison system two years ago people would not be onboard. Now, however, I think that's something that people would at least be willing to talk about.

A.D.: Do you feel as if your stand up and your video work now carry the same DNA? Certainly I have heard you talk about women a lot on stage.
Charles: I wouldn't say I talk about "women." I would say I talk about dating and trying desperately to find a connection in this cold, cold world. Once again, I've always enjoyed comedy that's relatable, so hopefully, whether it's through my stand-up or my videos, people will know that when they watch Charles Gould they will be watching a part of themselves - or the Jewish version of themselves. Just kidding, but hopefully there is a vibe or a voice that's a through-line through all my stuff that people like and can expect, whether they're watching something OR BUYING A TICKET TO A SHOW THIS SATURDAY AT THE GOOD GOOD COMEDY THEATRE.

Charles Gould performs two shows,  8 PM and 10 PM, on July 15 at Good Good Comedy Theatre, 215 N 11th St., Philadelphia PA. For more info visit

Photo courtesy of Good Good Comedy Theatre

Posted on Saturday, July 15, 2017