This year, Ron Funches released his comedy special Giggle Fit on Comedy Central to near universal acclaim. The special was the highest rated Comedy Central special in two years, prompting praise from the likes of The Rock, Busy Phillipps and Seth Meyers.
13 years into his comedy career, Giggle Fit is also the US comedian’s first full-length comedy special, a milestone that he doesn’t take lightly or for granted.
“[Recording the special] gave me the confidence of knowing I’m more than just potential. That I could put out a full meal introducing people to my view on comedy and that it would be received well. More people are aware of me and I get told no by bigger executives now,” Funches says.
After airing on Comedy Central, the special was released on iTunes, where it swiftly hit number one, something that Funches, 36, is encouraged by, considering it was released in a time where most people aren’t too keen to pay for much of their content.
Though the norm these days is to see top-tier comedy on Netflix, Funches has been vocal about the reasoning behind his choice to turn down Netflix in favour of the Comedy Central spot. Simply put, the latter offered significantly more money, and the comedian is passionately in favour of artists being adequately compensated for their work.
“I don’t believe in a monopoly of any kind and I’m not going to follow a trend just to run with the ‘cool crowd’,” Funches says of the decision. “I don’t allow executives to dictate to me what comedy is and what my worth is. I believe in people who believe in me. Comedy Central has always supported me and it paid off, as my special was their highest rated hour in two years. No artist should settle for less than their dream and my dream was to make an excellent hour.”
Settling is certainly not something Funches should need to concern himself with now. He’s increasingly in demand, with many headlining spots in tours across the US and Canada, frequent appearances on The Conan O’Brien Show, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and his reputation only continues to rise.
With his demure mannerisms and low-key onstage presence, Funches is a stark contrast to the typically brash, loud, stand-up comedian many of us are used to, and a refreshing one at that.
“It’s just me with practice. I think most comedians I enjoy are just trying to become their true self on stage and that’s what I try to do and as my life changes, my material changes. My older material was a little shy and less confident – my new material is a little more bouncy and joyful and I hope to continue to evolve.”
Giggle Fit nurtured Funches rise however his other credits befit the reputation of a king. Appearing on Drunk History, Portlandia and Another Period, the US comic has also co-starred with Chris D’Elia in Undateable and wrote for The Eric Andre Show.
Because of his low-key delivery, incisive punchlines and shrewd set-ups, the New York Times once said that Funches ‘purrs like a kitty cat, stings like a bee’. Live is set to be an absolute treat.