Please explain what just happened.

Rob Mungle: I was wondering how it’s possible that Sbarro Pizza is still in business. I believe this proves the power of the Illuminati.

Slade Ham: I just watched a pair of fat kids ride with their fat parents down a sidewalk on Segways.  They’re probably going to Fuddruckers.  Holy shit.  America is so fat, my spell check recognized “Fuddruckers” as a word.

John Wessling: The other Whiskey Brothers are having a discussion about how one of our mutual friends is a berserker on Facebook. Shortly, we will go eat Mexican food and I’ll go to CVS to get some bathroom stuff for my stinky ass.

Sam Demaris: I just woke up on a couch that was made for half a person. I actually slept well, but this couch is at a comedy club condo which is used by a  different group of comics each week. It’s pretty comfy but I fear I might have scabies, herpes, or tennis elbow now.



What is your earliest memory?

Rob: Killing John F. Kennedy

Slade: Sunlight cutting through these blinds like yellow lasers.  My eyes hurt and the dryness in my throat reminds me how stupid I am for not having grabbed an extra bottled water.  That was this morning.  At this point, that really is the earliest memory of my life.  I just delete and reboot each day.

John: I was less than two, running around bare-footed on gravel with my older brothers. It was real sunny and I was crying.

Sam:  When I was a kid, I wanted an orange. So I took one off the counter and grabbed a knife out of the drawer to cut it open. I ended up cutting my finger and told my dad, then immediately got my ass beat for handling a knife without supervision. I never even got a Band-Aid.


If you weren’t a stand-up comedian, what other profession would you choose?

Rob: Speechwriter for Sarah Palin. It would still allow you to make shit up and make nonsense seem rational.

Slade: Dictator.  I want a weird eye and an accent and military shirts.  And one of those bendy sticks with the leather handles.

John : If I wasn’t a comic I’d probably be a paramedic, and not very good at it. So if my career as a comic doesn’t pan out, people are going to die.

Sam: Professional killer. I’ve devoted so much time and energy to enriching people’s lives with laughter, that if it doesn’t work out, I’ll resort to ending people’s lives with bullets. So I suggest you all start laughing and cough up some money.



Is there a time you wish you’d lied?

Rob: I lie daily.

Slade: Many times.  The truth may set you free, but a lie will get her to have sex with you one last time.

John: Not counting this answer right now, no. I think I’ve done a good job in my life knowing when to tell the truth and when to bullshit.

Sam: Yeah. When that cop asked, “Have you been drinking this evening?” Apparently, “LIKE A BOSS!!!!” was not the right answer.


What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age thirteen?

Rob: Don’t trust Whitey. And buy Apple stock.

Slade: Led Zeppelin II.  Just shut up and buy it.

John: I’d tell 13 year old me to give up on baseball, never go to Denver, and loosen up the grip on my dong a little bit. But JUST a little bit.

Sam: See previous answer.



If you could have only one album to get you through a breakup, what would it be?

Rob: Blue Blvd. by Dave Alvin. No question. It is a meditation on love and loss, on pain and redemption and the indomitable resiliency of the human soul as seen through the eyes of the common man. It also contains single greatest white trash love song ever performed called “Wanda and Dwayne.”

Slade: Use Your Illusion II, Guns ‘N Roses.  That record makes me want to punch walls, and You Could Be Mine is such the perfect sunglasses on, windows down, fuck-that-bitch rocker…

John: Anything by Big Head Todd & The Monsters, because if I can live through that, I can live through anything.

Sam: Limp Bizkit’s Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. Because I may have just lost my girl, but at least I’m not as useless as THAT piece of shit.


Who is Shinjo Watanabe?

Rob: Better you don’t know. He is so badassthat Kaiser Soze owes him money.

Slade: Fearless Leader of the Blue Star Happy Star Number One Army.  Er, wait… I’ve said too much already.

John: Shinjo Watanabe is an immortal Samurai, turned Yakuza boss, turned road manager for The Whiskey Brothers. He is also a universal blood donor, which comes in handy on the road.

Sam: Ask him yourself. He’s right behind you.



From what or whom do you derive your greatest inspiration?

Rob: In no particular order: Porter Wagoner, Malcolm X and and Mayberry RFD star, Ken Berry.

Slade: Xenu and the Galactic Confederacy.

John: I draw my inspiration from the erotic films of Andrew Blake. Whenever my life gets rocky, I imagine myself fucking hot models in slow motion with atmospheric techno playing in the background. Helps me find my true north.

Sam: Jack Daniels.


Name three books that have impacted your life.

Rob: The Demon Haunted World, by Carl Sagan; The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins; and The Yellow Pages, by various artists.

Slade: The Art of War, by Sun Tzu; The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield; and War the Art of, by Anonymous.

John: The Conquest of Happiness, by Bertrand Russell; The Stand, by Stephen King; and Letting Go of the Person You Used To Be, by Lama Surya Das.

Sam: Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Anarchist’s Cookbook, and Penthouse Letters (not necessarily in that order).



If you could relive one moment over and over again, what would it be?

Rob: The day I first saw Groundhog Day in the theater.

Slade: A particular moment is hard, but the specific emotion that comes when you’re killing it on stage… I would like to keep that forever.  It feels like your veins are being pumped full of endorphins and crushed up baby angels.

John: I should say the birth of my children, but those were C-sections and it was pretty fucking crazy. So I’ll say my set at the Just For Laugh’s New Faces in 2004, that was awesome.

Sam: The day I discovered masturbation.


What is the harshest thing you’ve ever said to shut down a heckler?

Rob: I have fucked better looking girls than you in the ass.

Slade: A woman in Tucson one night, in her early thirties or so, talked through every comic on the show before me.  By the time I got up I was ready to rip her head off.  Instead of getting loud though, I just sort of stopped and stared at her uncomfortably.  Everything got really quiet in the room and I said — and it was almost apologetic — “I bet you used to be pretty when you were younger.”  I managed to call on every insecurity she had in one sentence.  She left.

John: I told a guy that I’m not gay, but I would fuck him in the butt just to hurt him. Went on to say that I’d tear his ass up so bad that his pooper would need a re-sleeving, where you shove a bone-in ham in the bored-out socket that used to be his colon, pull the bone out of the ham and that hole is his new butthole. To be fair, he started it.

Sam: Can somebody translate for me? I don’t speak “Cunt.”



If you could collaborate with any other artist, regardless of genre, who would it be?

Rob: Johnny Cash.

Slade: Banksy.

John: It’s a three way tie. Kanye West, David Allan Coe, and Steve Martin.

Sam: Shakira. I’d collaborate the living shit outta Shakira. (I may or may not know what “collaborate” actually means.)


Of the bottles of whiskey you’ve consumed in the first 100 episodes, which has been your favorite?

Rob: The free ones.

Slade: Forty Creek (for a Canadian whiskey, it’s really good) and Bulleit (my favorite bourbon).  Nothing beats Jameson 12-Year though.  Ever.

John: Bulleit is my hands down favorite, but Fighting Cock Bourbon has a special place in my heart.

Sam: Old Whiskey River. It’s made by Willie Nelson, so I’m pretty sure there’s weed in it.



How do you incorporate the work of other artists into your own?

Rob: I don’t.  Mine is a singular vision adapted from my own particular perspective that was granted to me via the spirit world. I find inspiration in the beauty of nature and allow the universe to speak its own knowledge through me. I am but a vessel for the dispersion of ancient and proven wisdoms. I disseminate harsh but necessary truths to those willing to listen. I also watch a lot of porn.

Slade: Aside from the fact that I write to music almost 100% of the time, I really don’t.  Stand-up is such a unique animal.  It’s hard to take other art and work it in.  We’re obnoxious purists like that.

John:  I don’t do that. I’m a comedian, not a collagist.

Sam: I don’t. I leave that kind of behavior to guys like Carlos Mencia.


Please explain the motivation/inspiration behind The Whiskey Brothers Podcast.

Rob: Free booze and talking about nonsense with my best friends. Hoping someone else may enjoy our musings.

Slade: It’s a writers’ room.  Being able to riff with three other really brilliant comics keeps the muscles loose.  It’s weird that it has caught on like it has, as it was originally just a project that amused the four of us.  I know that I would still do the show even if no one listened.

John: We really like working together in different ways. We’ve done stand-up shows for years, but the podcast gives us a way to create as well as perform together. Everyone of us has taken jokes from the WBPC to the stage. Doing the podcast has been one of the most fulfilling creative ventures I’ve ever been involved in.

Sam: The four of us sit around and have conversations just like we do all the time. We figured we might as well share those conversations with the rest of the world. You’re welcome.



What is the best advice you’ve ever given to someone else?

Rob: Go fuck yourself.  No one else will do it for you.

Slade: It was to an eight-year-old in the post office.  I said, “Stop banging on that FUCKING wall or I will hand what is left of your mangled body back to your parents in a cup.”  I only know how to give advice to kids.

John: I went back in time and told a 13-year-old me to give up on baseball, never go to Denver, and to loosen my grip on his dong…but JUST a little bit. It changed our lives.

Sam: You should quit comedy. Seriously man, go back to college.


List your favorite in the following categories:  Comedian, Musician, Author, Actor.

Rob: Odd choices I know but my favorite actor is Johnny Cash, musician Daniel Day Lewis, author Louis CK, and comedian JRR Tolkien.

Slade: Dane Cook, Ke$ha, Stephanie Meyer, Nicolas Cage.  Or…. Richard Pryor, Led Zeppelin, Lewis Carroll, Denzel Washington.  Probably the latter.

John: George Carlin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Elmore Leonard, Steve Buscemi.

Sam: Henry Rollins. Because he’s the only man on earth who can qualify as all four and is badass at all of them.



If you had complete creative license and an unlimited budget, what would your next project be?

Rob: Star Wars Episodes I-III done right.

Slade: A porn version of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but everyone in the movie is female.  And they’re all finger puppets.  And there’s lots of CGI, explosions, and a narwhal.

John: A modern remake of Every Which Way But Loose, starring Matthew McConaughey as MMA fighting trucker Philo Beddoe.

Sam: I’d make three Whiskey Brothers movies for every Tyler Perry movie.


Okay. Why the fascination with Justin Bieber on the podcast?

Rob: He is national treasure and should be recognized as such.

Slade: Because I know no one else will answer truthfully… He came up a few times in the first five or ten episodes.  I mentioned that we should probably try to avoid bringing up something so ridiculous that often, which prompted Sam, John, and Rob to do the exact opposite (because they are total shitheads).  They’ve been dropping “Biebers” into the podcast for 100+ episodes now and the fans have caught on.

John: He’s fucking hot. Don’t be a hater.

Sam: Because she’s sexy as all fuck. As soon as I get done with Shakira, that Bieber chick better watch out.


What do you want to know?

Rob: Who still gives M. Night Shyamalan financing, and how to spell his last name.

Slade: 42.

John: What’s really on the Dark Side of the Moon.

Sam: What the fuck happened last night?



Please explain what will happen.

Rob: Nothing after December 21, 2012 because the Mayans were right about EVERYTHING ELSE!

Slade: I’m pretty sure this girl in line at this coffee shop is going to get pregnant.  In the near future anyway.  Shorts like that lead to babies.

John: I will eat Mexican food and I will crush this toilet. This is known. This is truth.

Sam: Tomorrow, the four of us have two shows, which wouldn’t be so bad but it’s St. Patrick’s Day. This will end with jail time for at least two of us (probably me and Slade. Me because I’m black and Slade because he’s Slade).  Johnny will be so high he’ll think it’s St. Valentine’s Day. He’ll probably call his wife and apologize for forgetting.  And Rob will drink so much Jager he’ll bang a fat chick… probably on the couch I’m sleeping on and I’ll leave here with gout to boot.

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TNB's ARTS & CULTURE section features essays, reviews, and interviews in the world of film, television, visual, comedy, and theater arts. Cynthia Hawkins serves as our Arts & Culture Editor.

6 responses to “21 Questions with 
The Whiskey Brothers”

  1. Erika Rae says:

    Nobody’s left a comment because everyone is scared to death to follow that. Woosh. You guys make me hurt. LOVE to the Whiskey Brothers. Where else can a girl learn Mormon techniques to keep from masturbating and where to get a cougar cheese sandwich? Shit. You guys are tops.

  2. Gloria says:

    I love Louis C.K., Richard Pryor, Use Your Illusion II, and this interview. Well done.

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