Exuding giggly lovability as well as a zen-like center of calm, the comedic persona of Ron Funches is completely sui generis. Like a human Pokémon, Funches is almost cartoonishly adorable — so it's no wonder he's found a home doing voiceover work for animated shows like Bob's Burgers and Bojack Horseman. In addition to gently telling his jokes on Conan and The Tonight Show, Funches is also the reigning champion of the Internet on @Midnight, and an ensemble cast member of the sitcom Undateable, which was recently renewed for a third, all-live season by NBC. And now, continuing a tradition that includes Dave Attell's dick-joke masterpiece Skanks for the Memories, Funches is recording his debut standup album at Denver's venerated Comedy Works, whose subterranean ambience also creates fine acoustics for recording.
Funches will be back at the downtown Comedy Works for a headlining engagement (and live recording) August 20 through August 22; he'll also be participating in the High Plains Comedy Festival, sitting down with Kevin O'Brien and Taylor Gonda for a live These Things Matter podcast recording at 4 p.m. August 22 at the hi-dive. Westword recently caught up with Funches to discuss recording his debut album at Denver's own Comedy Works, what video games he's currently playing, and his take on Hulk Hogan's recently revealed awfulness.
Westword: Was it your decision to choose Comedy Works as the setting for your album recording?
Ron Funches: Yes! I love the city and the long history of great albums recorded here, and was hoping to add to it.
What do you like about performing in Denver?
Denver has smart and energetic crowds that appreciate good comedy and don't take themselves too seriously.
How long have you been doing the jokes you’re about to lay on wax?
A few of them are from when I started comedy almost nine years ago. it's a collection of a few pieces I've done on TV and things people have never heard before. The album just marks kind of a milestone of the work I've done so far and am ready to move on from.
Do you know what you’re going to call the album?
How do you stay sharp as a standup while Undateable is in production?
From going to the Comedy Store or Improv or Meltdown or places like that. A lot of the other cast members are comics, so we'll all go.
Are you really shooting every Undateable episode live for season 3, or has Wikipedia misled me?
All live! It's gonna really capture the fun and spontaneity of our live tapings. I think its going to be awesome!
I know you were a pretty big Hulk Hogan fan. What’s your take on his recent scandal?
It's just nice to live in an age where people care what's in people's hearts as much as their talent.
You’re a pretty avid gamer. Which next-gen console do you think is best?
I like them all! I'm currently playing Batman: Arkham Knight on my PS4 and Splatoon on WIiU.
You’re also participating in the High Plains Comedy Festival, right?
Yes! I love those guys! I'm doing a live podcast, and you will see me all over the city that weekend.
Anything else you want to mention before we wrap up?
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Find more information — including showtimes and ticket prices — about Ron Funches's Comedy Works shows here; since this is a live album recording, use of cell phones is prohibited. For a complete schedule of the High Plains Comedy Fest, click here.
Follow Byron Graham on twitter @ByronFG for more mildly amusing sequences of words.