About a year ago I went to a comedy show with my then girlfriend. The bill was stocked with some heavy hitters but the one who brought the house down was a young comedian named Mitch Fatel. I liked him, but my girlfriend loved him. For the next week or so she poorly tried to recite bits from his act and talk about how cute he was. It was awful and, being a comedian myself, I don't particularly like to hear how funny other comedians are. I swore if I ever met him, he would pay. And that is just what he offered to do.
"Do you guys want a drink?" Mitch Fatel asked as he made the rounds at Standup NY comedy club. My photographer, Ariana, and I declined the offer as politely as two college students masquerading as professional journalists could.
If you have ever seen Mitch Fatel, chances are you would remember him. Part timid child, part innocent demeanor, part inappropriate sex addict; Fatel is certainly an individual. When he speaks onstage you hear a child lost in the supermarket; a scared little kid unsure of himself and his surroundings. A scared little kid propositioning audience members for sex, talking about the clitoris, anal sex, and how men feel when they do it doggie style ("I can only say that it is similar to the way women feel when the see a sunrise").
With the release of his new comedy CD "Miniskirts and Muffins," numerous appearances on Letterman and Leno, and a huge fan base, many feel Fatel is on the verge of a major break. But he wasn't always this funny.
CH: When did you start doing comedy?
MF: I started doing standup when I was 13 or 14. My Dad would drive me in to the clubs and I would go onstage in my pajamas saying that I had to get up early for school. I wasn't funny but I would get up and do stuff that I thought was hilarious. I would eat cookies and milk and say I needed my snack before bed" it was really terrible stuff.
CH: I know what drives me to perform is a massive ego, do you agree?
MF: I always say there has to be a sick reason why you go through this rejection constantly. There's got to be such a need for love. If you ever ask whether or not you should be a comedian, don't do it. You shouldn't have to ask, you should need to do it. If you don't need to do it, save yourself a lot of pain and get a family and a real life.
That pain Fatel speaks of is bombing; an act so horrifying to a comedian, that some never recover from it.
MF: There is no way that you're not going top die eventually. When you do it's torturous still. I've never learned to deal with that pain. One time my Mom and Dad came to a show and I died horribly. I thought my Mom would say "you tried it," "you did good" but she didn't say anything. So halfway into the trip home I asked how I did and my Mom actually said, "Let's face it, you bombed." After your Mom saying you bombed, anyone else telling you comes easy.
CH: Do you want a TV show?
MF: Yeah, you get a lot of babes with a TV show. (points to Ariana) I could get Ariana with a TV show. That's all she's waiting for, she basically told me.
CH: What would be the premise of your show?
MF: When I started out, everyone thought I would be the typical wacky neighbor. And I was. I was on a show called "House Rules" that lasted for about 4 episodes. It was terrible" (phone rings) I think that's "House Rules" calling to say I'm the reason their show failed. I'm not an actor, I'm a comedian so I'm not going to fit into the conventional sitcom. What I'm doing now is working on a show for Comedy Central that will cater more to my audience.
CH: Who will you cast in this show?
MF: People who write good interviews about me. Ariana, of course, will have a lead role once she dumps her boyfriend. I'll just cast people that make me laugh. If you put a bunch of comedians together and take all the corporate stuff out of it, you'll have something successful because we know how to be funny.
CH: Are there any shows that you think have that pure comedic brilliance to them?
MF: "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "South Park." You watch them and you wonder why network TV still puts out crap.
CH: That is very true.
MF: Yes. I'm very smart.
CH: What's the weirdest thing to happen to you on the road?
MF: I was doing a club in Alabama and I was doing pretty good. I see the owner, who's this Tony Soprano mafia guy, walking around to every table passing out rolled up socks. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Sure enough, when everyone has their socks, he shouts "'1,2,3' and everyone started lobbing socks at me. I was like "'what was that? I wasn't even doing bad.' That was bad, but another time I was working a club in the Hamptons and I was doing great I always do very well, I'm very talented and a girl just walked on stage lost. She walked right over to me, stared at me, and threw up all over me" Now I'm dating her.
We started to talk about Fatel's appearances on "Dr. Katz," a now cancelled cartoon series that has developed a serious cult following. We then talked about working for the NFL as a commentator. You may have seen him asking "retarded" questions to some of the players at the Superbowl or celebrating the Patriots win atop the shoulders of linebacker, Jeff Chattam. He then called me his best friend and asked if we could hang out. I guess that is the essence of Mitch Fatel; unpredictability. But if you have ever seen his act, you would see his answer to my next question coming from a mile away.
CH: You've worked for both "Playboy" and "Penthouse," which do you prefer?
MF: "Penthouse." They stick stuff in their vaginas" how do you beat it?
Interesting. I thought that now would be a good time to tell Fatel about my ex-girlfriend and her obsession with him. I brought a picture along and he seemed very impressed (point: Seidell!).
MF: She is hot. I would love her.
I told him the sad tale of her leaving me for the owner of a rental company.
MF: Oh man, tent and grill rental always gets girls wet. How did you not know that? Man, you should have come to me.
CH: I didn't know.
MF: You're young. I know a lot more than you about this. When she's my girlfriend, I'll keep all rental people away from her.
Fatel wanted to know if we had had sex after seeing him perform. I couldn't remember. But more importantly, I thought that was a very odd question. Fatel was ready with an explanation.
MF: I've heard that a lot of girls tend to get turned on, not by me, but by the sex talk and go home and have sex with their boyfriends. I just want pictures. To all my fans out there, if I'm involved somehow in getting you sex I want to reap the benefits of my jokes. Send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
He is dead serious as well. And if you do feel like sending Mitch sex pictures of yourself, please CC: them to email@example.com as well. But it was time to move away from women and onto more serious matters, namely, Mitch's new CD "Miniskirts and Muffins." I was curious about the cover, which features two Playboy centerfolds.
CH: Was that the best photo shoot ever?
MF: It was the worst ever. One of the girls showed up from Playboy with a tube-top on. We were all like "'ok, gotta lose that top.' And she actually said, "'I have to take my top off for this?' We were all thinking "'you did work for Playboy, right?' Suddenly, we're all dirty old men going "'TAKE YOUR TOP OFF! TAKE YOUR TOP OFF!' But it was business to them. They were there to make money and they did a great job.
CH: Any advice for the readers of Collegehumor.com? Remember, they're probably stoned.
MF: You are only living life for one reason and that is to achieve what you want. If you die following your dreams, you will die satisfied.
This from a man who calls the clitoris "the Osama Bin Laden of the vagina" (it spends most of its time hiding in an underground bunker).
Check out mitchfatel.com to listen to clips, watch his TV appearances, buy his new CD and see a nude picture of him.