Andy Forrester Has Some Idea What He's Doing

October 24, 2019

Photo Credit

Andy Forrester

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Valerie Lopez


It was August 18, 2018 (I know, thanks to date-stamped pic­tures and geo stamps for Cap City Com­e­dy Club), and, as I set­tled in for what I knew would be a great evening of com­e­dy at Cap City Com­e­dy Club with head­lin­er Brad Williams (a peren­ni­al Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val favorite of mine), the evening’s host intro­duced a gen­tle­man by the name of Andy For­rester. Not a name I rec­og­nized, and when he and his large frame came up on stage with his tan­gled mess of curly brown hair, miss­ing eye­brow pig­ments, busi­ness casu­al jack­et, and goofy grin, I thought for sure, this was the one time, the one and only time, that Cap City had failed to do its home­work with this big goof of a comic. 

By the end of Andy’s set which fea­tured hys­ter­i­cal bits about a miss­ing tor­toise, his demon­ic chil­dren (includ­ing one poten­tial ser­i­al killer daugh­ter), and his look”, I was sold (and with­out much of a voice left after hys­ter­i­cal­ly laugh­ing for 20 min­utes). All of the phys­i­cal attrib­ut­es that caused me wor­ry when he first stepped on stage are part of his set. In his trade­mark style, he’s quick to say I get it! I’ve seen myself in the mir­ror.” But lucky for me, I became an instant fan in August of 2018 and have been patient­ly wait­ing for his return to Austin (he makes his home with his wife and chil­dren in North Car­oli­na). That patience was reward­ed in ear­ly Sep­tem­ber when Andy came back to Austin to fea­ture for the fan­tas­tic Gareth Reynolds, and carved time out of his sched­ule to sit down with me to talk about some­thing we both love to talk about.….Rage Against the Machine. Hav­ing recent­ly trad­ed sto­ries with guest Leo Gar­cia about RATM, I was excit­ed when Andy start­ed in on what would be an epic Rage Against the Machine sto­ry (sor­ry, you’ll have to lis­ten for your­self). It launch­es our con­ver­sa­tion and sets the tone for the nat­ur­al con­ver­sa­tion­al­ist that For­rester can be.

For­rester’s start in per­for­mance was in improv and while he did gain valu­able skills from this time as an impro­vis­er, he laments his late start” as a standup com­ic. He spent some­where between 6 and 10 years doing improv before com­mit­ting to standup and, of this late start, he says no mat­ter when you start, you always feel like you should have start­ed soon­er.” One could argue that no mat­ter when you start, you even­tu­al­ly get to where you need to be, and when you live a clean life, odds are that you’ll get a long life to reach the goals you’ve set for your­self. Even with his goofy looks and his clean com­e­dy, you respect For­rester even more for mak­ing deci­sions to not drink, and not do drugs, some of the stan­dard trap­pings of the com­e­dy lifestyle.

No matter when you start, you always feel like you should have started sooner.
Andy Forrester

Speak­ing of the stan­dard trap­pings, go to most open mics, and even most show­cas­es, and you’re more than 95% like­ly to hear blue com­e­dy; some­times pro­fane, some­times raunchy, but gen­er­al­ly laced with a healthy dose of exple­tives. For­rester tried that approach, too, and while off-stage (par­tic­u­lar­ly if behind the wheel) he is more than will­ing to drop some saucy lan­guage, on stage, he real­ized fair­ly quick­ly that work­ing blue” did not suit him. It just.…didn’t work for me to be dirty. And it worked for me to be clean. I’m an Eagle Scout. I real­ly am an Eagle Scout.” We’re glad he made that choice, though I admit I did­n’t con­sid­er him to be either clean or dirty that first time I saw him. It was only in the midst of the inter­view that I real­ized that his com­e­dy was clean, which I think is exact­ly how you want it to be. You don’t want a com­ic to make a big dec­la­ra­tion in the mid­dle of their set that they’re clean (or dirty), you just want to enjoy the laugh­ter you get from hear­ing them perform.

It just....didn't work for me to be dirty. And it worked for me to be clean. I'm an Eagle Scout. I really am an Eagle Scout.
Andy Forrester

Andy has earned an impres­sive array of accom­plish­ments includ­ing work­ing with Louie Ander­son, Rita Rud­ner, Marc Maron, Greg Behrendt and Gilbert Got­tfried, and win­ning the 2008 title of Ulti­mate Com­ic in Greens­boro and 2013 World Series of Com­e­dy cham­pi­on in Louisville. But he’s quick to say 2019 has been an even more incred­i­ble year. He details for us what led to his Dry Bar Com­e­dy Spe­cial (you’ll recall that past guest LeAnne Mor­gan has her own Dry Bar Com­e­dy Spe­cial) released in August fol­lowed soon after with the record­ing of his com­e­dy album (yet to be released). It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to hear how just the right dose of hard work, luck, per­sis­tence, and tal­ent can get you these oppor­tu­ni­ties and For­rester pro­vides an in-depth case study to how it hap­pened for him. I think it will serve as a good les­son for those just start­ing out in their com­e­dy career. 

Speak­ing of tal­ent, For­rester has many tal­ents beyond standup com­e­dy: he is a tal­ent­ed artist (vis­it his Insta­gram account for a peek into his pen­cil and paper art­work), graph­ic design­er and self-taught web­mas­ter. His body of work real­ly goes com­plete­ly against one of the run­ning themes of his com­e­dy sets, and one of his best-sell­ing t‑shirts which is embla­zoned with I have no idea what I’m doing.” It does appear he knows, it’s just a lot more fun to think he doesn’t.

Andy Forrester