I caught up recently with Texas comedian Jud Travis who is a regular performer at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. In addition to his stand up duties he has his own podcast and his own streaming talk show on DromeBox.com.
What was it like growing up in Texas?
It was weird. I went to a small k-12 private school, which sounds glamorous, but it was run-down and falling apart. Many of the teachers and students were outcasts of society. I didn’t take anything seriously and just screwed around making fun of the people around me and cheating on math homework. Nothing’s changed if you substitute math homework for IRS forms.
Who were some of the comedians you looked up to growing up?
I didn’t really look up to any cause I didn’t know of any. It was before YouTube and my family didn’t have HBO or anything. We had dial-up internet, so when I risked having my parents wake up in the middle of the night to “You’ve Got Mail,” it was to look at porn. Comedy was the last thing on my mind. Looking back, comedy came naturally from imitating people at school and making fun of local news broadcasts with my dad.
When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in comedy?
I discovered stand-up comedy about five years ago while browsing YouTube. I was tremendously affected by watching several comedians both onstage and offstage in interviews. I saw pieces of myself in each of them and my intuition told me that, if I ever wanted a career where I could truly be myself, I needed to do stand-up. I got caught up in my job in Dallas, TX for the next few years and didn’t attempt stand-up until I moved to LA in late 2014. But my intuition was right. Which was really relieving cause it’s been wrong about pretty much everything else.
You live in Los Angeles what is the comedy scene like?
I started when I moved here so I can’t really compare it to any other scene. It’s huge and there are so many people attempting to do it. The majority of them are kind and friendly—so I can’t complain too much; however, it would be nice if a bubonic plague wiped them off the face of the earth so I’d be the only one left.
How is Los Angeles different from Texas?
They aren’t that different. Hot weather and hot girls that I still don’t know how to approach. Before I moved here I lived in Uptown-area Dallas for a few years and it prepared me nicely for all the hellish things here—nowhere to park, superficiality, daily greetings from those without a home, etc.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have faced as an up and coming comedian?
Trying to figure out how to separate myself from the rest of the unknowns and get on the road doing shows. That’s my only goal. A lot of comedians do it cause they have ulterior motives of acting and being on some shitty sitcom and voicing a cartoon car. I don’t care about any of that. I do it for the love of it and wanting to entertain whoever’s in the room.
You have had your own talk show and podcast what were the best part of those experiences and worse?
I’ve had no bad experiences with either. The best part of doing my podcast, “Lost in LA,” is just being able to be myself and entertain people without the pressure of doing jokes. The best part of my talkshow is putting pressure on myself every week to write and deliver topical monologue jokes. My talkshow, “#TJIF: Thank Jud It’s Friday,” is finally back and it’ll stream live for two hours every Friday on DromeBox.com.
What is your biggest pet peeve as a comedian?
I’m always shocked by how many comics treat their stage time as ‘show and tell’ concerning minutia about themselves instead of having opinions about how messed up the world is. “So what else about me?.. I’ve been dating.. I’m broke.. I can’t get laid..” WHO CARES??? George Carlin said in one of his specials, “I don’t have pet peeves. I have major psychotic fucking hatreds.” I do too and comedy is the only outlet I have to deal with them.
What is next for Jud Travis?
Really good things. If my life right now were a movie, it would be the original Star Wars where Luke Skywalker wants to get off the sand planet but doesn’t know how. That’s how I feel about getting on the road. But I’m beginning to learn how to use my powers, like he does, and it’s only a matter of time before I take to the skies and blow up the Death Star.