Making people laugh, and doing a spot on McConaughey, come naturally for Whitmer Thomas
While it’s difficult to find an exact number, we can probably all agree that there aren’t a lot of stand-up comedians who enjoy skateboarding.
After chatting with Whitmer Thomas on Monday, I’m proud to say that I’ve interviewed two comic-skaters this year.
Thomas is a Gulf Shores, Ala., native who now tells jokes and lives and skates in Los Angeles. After I discovered that Thomas liked to skate and once he agreed to an interview, I asked him if he had ever skated with the other comic-skater I spoke with in the spring and guess what?
The answer is in this interview. Like I’d give that away now.
Thomas and I discussed his kickass holiday plans, his killer Matthew McConaughey impression, the comedic influence of his dad and older brother and much more.
TC: What are your holiday plans?
WT: My brother’s getting married out here in Santa Barbara on the 31st and me and my dad and my girlfriend and my stepmom are going to go to Las Vegas for Christmas to see Jerry Seinfeld.
TC: Damn, dude! Those are pretty big holiday plans there.
WT: I’m super excited. I’ve never seen Seinfeld.
TC: Power Violence is an interesting name for a comedy collective. Do you prefer power, violence or neither?
WT: Oh. Probably neither. Both of them are bad. Maybe power? In good hands, power, I’d say.
TC: Your Matthew McConaughey impression is so on point. Did it come naturally or did you watch that weird car commercial he did over and over?
WT: That was natural. Honestly, it kind of started because I used to have a bit where I do an impression of my dad. I’m from Alabama so I already have that kind of accent and my dad sounds a lot like McConaughey to me. When “True Detective” came out, I just kept saying shit. His character in “True Detective” in a way reminds me of my dad so I didn’t have to really try too hard to figure out how to do it.
TC: You ever had a session with fellow skateboarder and comic Chris Fairbanks?
WT: Oh yeah. Chris is a really good skater. He’s better than I am. He’s legit when it comes to skating, and comedy of course.
There’s not a lot of us. There are four comedians that skate, that I know of. Comedy is not a popular thing for skateboarders to do.
We got lucky. Me and the guys (in Power Violence), most of them are from Alabama. We all grew up together and we all loved skateboarding. We all kind of hurt ourselves at about the same time so we weren’t able to make skate videos anymore, for like a year or two. So we started filming funny videos instead and that’s kind of what first put the idea in our heads: “Maybe we can be comedians one day.”
TC: Do you feel like you were destined to be a comedian considering that wit is right there in your first name?
WT: (chuckles) No. I used to deliver groceries and I remember people would ask, “What’s your name?” and I’d go, “My name is Whit” and the person would go, “Oh, are you a comedian?” (interviewer laughs) It was always awkward because I’d be like, “Yeah, but it doesn’t have anything to do with my name.”
My dad’s name is Whit also and he’s much more witty than I am and much more clever.
TC: It’s interesting you say that because so many comics I’ve talked to point to one or both of their parents being funnier than they are. Is that kind of how the seed got planted for you, just seeing your dad be funny and saying, “Hey, I want to do that too.”
WT: Definitely. My dad is very calculated and hilarious and he kills at a dinner table and stuff like that, you know? My brother is very weird and sometimes awkward, but also funny in a strange way. I think I became a good hybrid somehow, trying to impress both of them growing up. I thought, if I could somehow get in the middle of what they were doing, maybe I could do this.
Here it is, The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes:
We’d like to sincerely apologize for booking the Karate Convention on the same day as the Rare Wooden Boards Fair
— sweaty five dollars (@iscoff) December 23, 2014