A Conversation with Adam Sank | Comedy | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

A Conversation with Adam Sank

"If someone tells you they're a comedian, you think, "Oh, you're an asshole."

The New York City-based comedian brings his Whore Tour to Cruze Bar at 8 p.m. Fri., Jul. 12 for an 18-and-over show. Cruze is located at 1600 Smallman St., in the Strip District. Tickets are $15. Call 415-326-6339 or see www.nbandp.com.

Did New York City turn into a giant rainbow recently, with the DOMA ruling and NYC Pride Parade? 

Yeah, pretty much. There were unicorns galloping through the streets and pink glitter just falling from the sky. It was kind of scary actually; it was like a gaypocalypse. 

What's the funniest thing happening in the news right now?

Paula Deen is just sort of like a Saturday Night Live character, someone that Kristen Wiig would play because she's such a caricature of herself. She gets on The Today Show and says, "I is what I is." I mean you can't write that shit. The fact that she doesn't know how racist she is is hilarious. Everything about Paula Deen is hilarious, right down to that fright wig on her head.

I also personally find it laughable watching all of these right-wing Republicans' heads explode over the DOMA ruling and the Prop 8 ruling. They're just so furious that they're not getting their way on this, and they literally can't understand how they're losing this fight. And that's hilarious to me.

Michele Bachmann, the day of the rulings, within seconds, was issuing a statement where she was just attacking the Supreme Court for these decisions, so I tweeted, "Michele Bachmann blasts Supreme Court for gay-marriage rulings; Marcus Bachmann files for divorce." Cause I find it so hilarious that this evil right-wing homophobe is married to the gayest man on earth. I mean you can't write that, you can't write anything that funny.

Is your stop in Pittsburgh part of a larger tour? 

It's actually a two-night tour. We're calling it the Whore Tour. Although now that I have a boyfriend, I won't be allowed to do any whoring. I can only talk to the whores; I can't actually have sex with them.

How might you tweak your NYC jokes for a Pittsburgh crowd? 

Most of my jokes are just embarrassing stories that have happened to me, usually involving sex or dating, and I find those translate pretty well. I assume people in Pittsburgh know what a subway is, but I have to maybe explain a little bit more about what it means to ride the New York City subway and see a straight guy rubbing his ass against the subway pole and have his girlfriend get mad at me because I'm staring at him. Maybe that's something that Pittsburghers can relate to, but perhaps not.

Do you have a "day job?" 

Yes, I do writing to supplement my income. And by writing, I mean dealing drugs ... No, just kidding. I'm a copywriter. 

Does a career in comedy ruin your relationships? 

If you're going to have a relationship, it has to be with someone who has a really good sense of humor about himself. My boyfriend is really great about this. I mean, he's seen me three times so far, and the very first time he saw me, I was like, "My boyfriend's here tonight and he's a bottom!" I wasn't sure how he was going to take it, but he laughed his ass off. I knew then that he was the right person for me. 

When you were single, did you lie about your profession when you were picking people up? 

I think when you tell anyone that you're a comic, whether you're meeting a potential hookup or anyone, really, their immediate assumption is that you're probably an asshole who thinks he's funny and isn't. Like, if someone tells you, "I'm a singer," you think, "Oh, they can sing." But if someone tells you they're a comedian, you think, "Oh, you're an asshole."

What are your thoughts on dating websites? 

Well, I met my boyfriend on Grindr, so it can be done. I mean, I think Grindr should be called "Lazy Sluts," 'cause it's really for people who are too lazy to go out to a bar or a club and meet someone. Most people on there are just looking for sex, but I happened to meet someone who was looking for more. We just met each other at the right time and I think that can happen anywhere. I don't think there's any rule that says, "The only place you can meet a nice guy is in church," or something. I don't think we have to have these puritanical notions of dating. I think that's one of the fun things about being gay, is that we can just create our own rules

Do you have a motto? 

Don't fuck up. No, I try to laugh at everything. It makes everyone's life better if you can laugh through the awful stuff. I tested positive for HIV in 2004, and if it weren't for my HIV-positive friends and I being able to make AIDs jokes to one another, I don't think that I could have gotten through it.

I mean you're told you have this potentially deadly disease and you can either fall apart or you can say, "You know what, fuck this, I'm gonna laugh in the face of this." Not that we don't take our health seriously, but you can find humor in anything including your own struggle.

Among my friends, I've probably gotten more humor out of HIV than anything else in my life, and that's kind of the irony. I haven't yet written material for the stage about it, but that's my goal. I think this is the power of stand-up: If you can talk about something that makes someone in the audience both laugh and also feel a little less alone or a little less frightened about what they're going through, I think that's an incredible gift.  

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