Q&A with “Funniest Person in Columbus” winner Dustin Meadows

  • Photo by Meghan Ralston
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From the December 6, 2012 edition

Dustin Meadows was named the “Funniest Person in Columbus” last Wednesday, winning the Funny Bone’s annual competition featuring Columbus’ top amateur standup comedians. He put in plenty of hard work to earn the title. Meadows records — and listens to — nearly every set he does, and meticulously scripts his stage routine. He spoke with Alive about his favorite comedian, his love for movies and how his poise has progressed to the point where hecklers should be wary.

I’m going to do basically the same set I did for the contest to open for a national touring act at the Funny Bone. They let me pick the weekend I get to do it, which is really cool. I looked at everybody they had coming up and Paul Mercurio, a [former] writer for “The Daily Show,” seemed like the closest match that would mesh well with my style.

I did the open mic at Hampton’s on King a couple weeks ago and there were three people in the crowd who just would not shut up. Typically, I do a 10-minute set there, but I ended up doing 19 minutes — three minutes were my jokes and the rest was dealing with hecklers and shutting them down. Two years ago I probably couldn’t have done that, but the last couple months I feel like I’ve really hit my stride.

My absolute favorite comedian is Kyle Kinane. He’s my biggest influence. It was Patton Oswalt until two years ago when I went to the Cleveland House of Blues to see Patton and Kyle Kinane opened for him. I’d never heard of him before and he did this amazing half hour.

When Kyle Kinane was here in September I got to open for him. It was amazing, one of the best shows I’ve ever done and one of the best nights of my life. He was super nice and we talked about everything. He’s super into punk rock and so am I. We ended up closing out the bar just drinking, eating pizza and playing punk rock stuff on the juke box. A lot of people meet their heroes and they’re just these unapproachable jerks, but he’s so personable and not in his own head about how successful he is.

In January I’m starting a bi-monthly showcase at the campus Donatos on High Street. I’m really looking forward to it because I’ve always wanted to book and run my own room. The first show is Jan. 25 with Lindsay Martin, who won the last Funniest Person in Columbus contest, and Bill Arrundale headlining. After that it will be the second and fourth Friday of every month.

I love movies and go as often as I can, especially now that I work there and can go for free. I went five days in a row a couple weeks ago. “The Man with the Iron Fists” was really good and “Lincoln” was phenomenal. At some point I’m going to get drunk and watch the new “Twilight.” I enjoy watching bad movies as much as good movies. I saw the first two “Twilight” movies because I had a girlfriend and didn’t have a choice. Then it turned into, hey, let’s get drunk and watch this terrible movie.