Icing: From Therapist Slights to Baby Brows, (It’s Not Easy) Being ROBERT DEAN
Didn’t get enough info about ROBERT DEAN’s new album at his Reddit AMA? Well, that’s your problem! Just kidding! This is your chance to get answers to the questions that are probably plaguing fans and soon to be Bob Dean cult followers. Dean’s first stand-up album (It’s Not Easy) Being Dean features carefully curated tracks honed over years of hard-earned solo experiences, interpersonal exchanges, and, yes, even private battles. From the story of a therapist’s unbelievable error to ulcerative colitis dating challenges to gleeful realizations at a “Hibachi” restaurant, this album is non-stop revelry in the face of adversity. So are all those hilarious stories true? Does Dean really go to restaurants alone? Will his face soon be on the front of an Amtrak train? Perhaps, if you read a little further, you’d stop wondering. (It’s Not Easy) Being Dean is currently streaming for your listening pleasure. Check it out and read this interview NOW!
COMEDY CAKE: So many questions, so little time. First off, “Its Not Easy Being Dean” is a breath of fresh air. I needed some serious laugh breaks in-between tracks. How long was this album in the making?
ROBERT DEAN: Thank you Comedy Cake! This album was in the making for somewhere between 32 years (my age) and 10 years (how long I’ve been living and doing comedy in NY) and about 10 months from when I decided to record an album
CAKE: What jokes were just on the cusp of making it to the album?
DEAN: So many! There were a lot of jokes that I didn’t do during the album recording because they didn’t fit in or are/were not good enough. I performed a few jokes and stories at the album recordings that didn’t make the final cut. Some of these were were edited out because I found myself eager to revisit and continue working on them.
CAKE: What is your joke writing process like? Do you seek to make your jokes as relatable as possible?
DEAN: My joke writing process starts with me finding something funny then repeating it in my head and on stage until it finds itself. I do try and make my jokes as relatable as possible. I want everyone to enjoy them as much as I do.
CAKE: We are definitely going to need more backstory on some of the album anecdotes that are just too good to be real. Did your therapist really not know your name for an entire year? How did that make you feel, Richard?
DEAN: My therapist 100% thought my name was Richard Dean. As I say on the album he asked “Why was I calling you Richard Dean?” I responded that maybe he was thinking of Richard Dean Anderson? I laughed the entire way home from that therapy session and for days after. It was perfect.
CAKE: When did the macaroon guy encounter occur? Do you still think about that guy and his harrowing situation? If he found out he was mentioned on the album, what do you think he’d say?
DEAN: Macaroon Guy happened two weeks before the album recorded and is a story that I only performed the two weeks before and at the album recording. I haven’t done it since. It just fit in perfectly with the album at the place in the album at the time (dessert mystery and relationships). I like to imagine he’s still wandering around Queens walking into every business yelling Macaroons.
CAKE: There’s a joke on the album about Buzz Aldrin’s mother’s unbelievably foreshadowing maiden name. How did you come upon this fun fact and decide to integrate into your set?
DEAN: Someone asked me who my favorite astronaut was at one point, so I did my research on all of them. There was a time I was doing more space related material because my goal was to set up a planetarium comedy show.
CAKE: On the same track you talk about beachwear mogul Tommy Bahama’s actual name. How many people do you think did a Wiki search after listening to that joke? *Raises hand in shame*
DEAN: I hope none and I’m terribly sorry for lying to you. It’s the only joke that’s dishonest!
CAKE: You definitely have fun on the album with your personal insecurities (anxiety), features (baby eyebrows) and long-term conditions (ulcerative colitis). Has it been therapeutic to talk about stuff like UC for both you and your audience?
DEAN: A little, sure, but I’m also very lucky. Many people have it much worse than I do. And by it, I mean colitis, anxiety, and eyebrows.
CAKE: Now that the first date poo story is out there, do you think that will make first dates much more relaxing?
DEAN: If they have listened to my album before our first date I think it’s going to make it all less relaxing… Listening to my album together is the 2nd date!
CAKE: One of my favorite points in the album was when you talked about deleting all your cell phone games because you felt you were becoming addicted. When you were asking the audience about games they play, there was what I figure was an unplanned interaction with an audience member that ended up being sheer comedy gold. Do you enjoy taking the risk of seeking audience input? Also, did you know that game was formerly called “Scrabulous?”
DEAN: I wish Lexulous lady was a plant! I do enjoy taking that risk when I can and when it makes sense. I did not know it was called Scrabulous! I wish I had known that or guessed that in the moment.
CAKE: How tempted am I to test eating alone at a Benihana restaurant after listening to your “Hibachi” track? On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say 11. Where’s a place you haven’t attended alone yet, but would really like to?
DEAN: I’m sorry to say… it’s not always possible. I’ve tried to do it again and some Hibachi restaurants will not let you sit at the table alone. You can order the same food at a regular table they will tell you and as much as I’ve complained and begged you don’t get the show. The food isn’t as good without juggling knives, the onion volcano, and the catching shrimp game.
I think Disney World alone is the ultimate challenge.
CAKE: You’ve already brought America the Robert Dean museum and the Robert Dean Hotel. What branded form of entertainment can we expect from you next?
DEAN: I want a train with my face on it ala Thomas the Tank Engine. I also have always wanted a Balloon of myself in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I also may start Robert Dean Cult.
CAKE: We had a chance to check out your Reddit AMA on album release day. One question you were asked was “Do you have like a famous comedian(s) you’ve always wanted to meet?” and you responded “Andy Kaufman (who may still be alive).” If the conspiracy theories are true and you met Kaufman, what would you ask him?
DEAN: I think I’d ask him if he’s heard of this one, if he’s locked in the punch, if he is goofing on elvis, are we having fun?
CAKE: We understand you’ve embarked on a cross-country Amtrak tour in celebration of the album. What cities are you looking forward to visiting? Will you be recording your train observations for posterity?
DEAN: I’m looking forward to Austin Texas and the train between Austin and LA. I will be hopefully writing jokes on the train, meeting people, and journaling. I will be trying to instagram it and there’s a chance there will be a documentary crew filming me.
CAKE: What projects do you have planned post-tour, besides being Dean?
DEAN: There is a documentary film crew following me for something that should be out soon. I’ve written a few things I’m pitching around. I am working on new jokes and performing as much as possible. So just being dean, which, I don’t know if you’ve heard, isn’t easy.