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Jay Mohr (@jaymohr37) is a comedian, actor, Emmy nominee, bestselling author of Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live, and host of Mohr Sports from Los Angeles and Mohr Stories.
“Desperation has a very distinct scent.” -Jay Mohr
Jay Mohr is a comedian, actor, radio host, and bestselling author of Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live. He’s been performing stand-up comedy since he was 16.
Since landing his dream job on Saturday Night Live in the early ’90s (perhaps not ideal for someone prone to panic attacks), he’s been cast in 25 films — including Jerry Maguire and Picture Perfect — and guest starred in over 50 TV series. He was the lead in the critically acclaimed CBS comedy Gary Unmarried for two seasons, was the Emmy nominated inaugural host and producer of Last Comic Standing, is currently the host of Mohr Sports from Los Angeles and Mohr Stories podcasts, and still finds time to do stand-up comedy. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Whether or not the name Jay Mohr sounds familiar to you, you know who he is. He was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1993-1995. He played sports agent Bob Sugar in Jerry Maguire. He was Professor Rick Payne in Ghost Whisperer. He was nominated for an Emmy as the inaugural host and producer of Last Comic Standing. He’s the author of No Wonder My Parents Drank: Tales from a Stand-Up Dad and Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live. And he’s the host of not one, but two podcasts: Mohr Sports from Los Angeles and Mohr Stories.
He’s also known for doing some pretty spot-on impressions of Tracy Morgan, Norm Macdonald, Al Pacino, and Christopher Walken, to name a few. But in fairness, he’s had some time to practice: he’s been doing stand-up comedy since he was 16.
“What’s amazing about comedy,” says Jay, “and Buddy Hackett told me this, the first time you do it, you’re using .1 percent of what you’re able to do if you keep going. But still, somebody sees something in that .1 percent where they go, ‘What are you doing Wednesday? Because there’s an open mic in Hackensack.’ Then Wednesday in Hackensack, you’re like at .01 percent because you suck and somebody goes, ‘You know, Saturday nights there’s this place in Montclair…’ And then you find your tribe.”
Still, for all his time on stage, Jay considers himself more of a funny storyteller than a joke creator.
“For stand-up, I’m a horrible writer,” Jay says. “I’m a great ‘this happened’…because one’s the truth, and the other one is something I’m trying to construct that’s just a funny idea…three years ago, I realized my entire show that hasn’t been written yet already happened to me. So I’ve just got to buff the rear-view mirror.”
Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm to learn more about what Jay discovered that made him a better impressionist, the bonding power of Drakkar Noir, using trauma and personal pain as comedy fodder, what they make at the bookstore on Lankershim Blvd., the Monopoly board properties to which Jay most relates, negotiation, what actors and lawyers have in common, what Jay’s audience can expect from him, what happened to Jay on a childhood bike ride through an abandoned asylum, the differences between panic and fear, why it was nearly impossible to stay in character when performing a scene on live television with Chris Farley, Jay’s favorite podcast, how to jump start a baby who has Bradycardia, and lots more.
If you enjoyed this session with Jay Mohr, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
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