Has anyone at HQ asked you to tone down the Phish allusions?

No, not so much. I’m just trying to be myself, which is why I was doing these references when there were 100 people in the game. It’s all been organic. I just do what I find is funny. I would get a kick out of watching someone drop these lyrics or some Yiddish, so I do it. I also make references to my favorite radio show, The Best Show with Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster, and also to other bands that I love.

I went crazy with the Phish stuff recently for MSG. Everyone was getting jazzed up, and I was going to the shows and I wanted to tip my hat. Most people don’t even realize what I’m doing—they probably think I’m being fanciful with my word choice when I say, “I’m broadcasting live from Gamehendge.” Sometimes I wonder, “Are people Googling that and trying to figure out what Gamehendge is? ‘What is the land of the big baboon? What is he talking about?’” So to me, it’s funny. And I just love that people get a kick out of it.

Other than Phish, what are some of your other memorable live shows?

My parents aren’t big music people. My dad never took me to a show growing up. My first concert experience was relatively late in my life—Phil Lesh and Friends at the Beacon Theatre in November 2001. In the summer of 2002, I went to the Adirondack Mountain Music Festival, where Mos Def and Talib Kweli headlined. Psychedelic Breakfast was there, before they changed their name to The Breakfast. When I was in college, I was working on the student board and I brought them there.

I went to a moe.down one summer. I went to Bonnaroo in 2004. I’ve gone to The Dead and Dead & Company. I saw The Other Ones at MSG in ‘02. I also always love watching Dark Star [Orchestra]. I’ve seen Pink Talking Fish a few times, and that’s a fun show.

I’d also love to give some shine to this band called Landlady. The frontman, Adam Schatz, is so engaging and funny—and it’s great musicianship, lyrics and everything. They’ve got the total package. They’re certainly fans of Bowie and Talking Heads, and I’m sure the lead singer has gone to a Phish show or two.

How did you come to host HQ?

I auditioned for it back in April and, thankfully, they chose me out of a bunch of people they saw. It’s the perfect gig for me. For stand-up comedians, hosting a stand-up show is pretty low on the totem pole. It’s the sort of the thing you do when you start out before you’re a headliner. But I’ve always enjoyed hosting and, especially in this situation, just speaking to the camera is something I’ve been working toward. So it’s a great fit. 

This article will appear in the March 2018 issue of Relix. For more features, interviews, album reviews and more, subscribe here