During these trying times, Nantucket’s comedians stand up.
These days, we could all use a good laugh. So when N Magazine asked four Nantucket comedians to answer a quick-fire round of questions, they flexed their comedic muscles. Think of this interview as a standup routine where our opening act is David Hayes, the host of Nantucket’s Open Mic Night at the Nantucket Culinary Center. Hayes is followed by Sarah Fraunfelder, one of the unlikely comedic stars to have emerged this off-season. Representing the home team, we then have Nantucket native Brian Glowacki, who launched his comedic career on the island before touring comedy clubs around the country. Finally, for the main event, we have none other than Kevin Flynn, the founder of the Nantucket Comedy Festival and Stand-Up & Learn, who has kept islanders in stitches for years. Let the show begin!
N MAGAZINE: Can anyone be a comedian if they work hard enough at it, or does it require a certain genius?
HAYES: No, only geniuses can do it.
N MAGAZINE: What’s the best thing you can do when you’re bombing on stage?
HAYES: Be funny.
N MAGAZINE: Who is the funniest person—alive or dead?
HAYES: Alive but dead inside.
N MAGAZINE: Some say that great comedians have a dark side. True?
HAYES: I hope so.
N MAGAZINE: What’s your best knock-knock-style joke?
HAYES: A guy goes to the doctor for a check-up. The doctor says, “I have good news and I have bad news. Which do you want first?” The guy says, “Give me the good news.” Doc says, “They’re going to name a disease after you!”
N MAGAZINE: What’s one thing you would change about yourself?
HAYES: I would want to be better looking because everyone likes people who are better looking and I want everyone to like me.
N MAGAZINE: Have you learned anything new about yourself while quarantining?
HAYES: Turns out, I’m an extrovert.
N MAGAZINE: There once was a man from Nantucket…
HAYES: …who was actually from western Massachusetts but he would tell everyone he was from Nantucket because he had lived there for a summer and it sounded cooler than “Easthampton.”
N MAGAZINE: What beach would you be on Nantucket?
HAYES: The nude beach because everyone appreciates an even tan line.
N MAGAZINE: Where does your best material come from?
HAYES: The Nantucket Year-Round Community Facebook page.
N MAGAZINE: If you were charged with putting together a time capsule so people would understand Nantucket two hundred years from now, what three items would you put in it?
HAYES: A Tito’s and soda with a splash of cranberry, one cobble stone from Main Street and Jason Bridges.
N MAGAZINE: What’s one thing you could never live without on Nantucket?
HAYES: Morning buns.
N MAGAZINE: What’s one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?
HAYES: I’m doing the best I can.
N MAGAZINE: If you opened a comedy club on Nantucket, what would you name it?
FRAUNFELDER: I only have a good strip club name: The Cobblebone.
N MAGAZINE: What’s the best way to overcome stage fright?
FRAUNFELDER: Vodka. Wait, wine! No, vodka.
N MAGAZINE: What’s it like to bomb on stage?
FRAUNFELDER: You know that moment when you ask a woman who is not pregnant when her baby is due? It’s like that, except it lasts for fifteen minutes under hot lights and people paid money to be there.
N MAGAZINE: When do you get your best material?
FRAUNFELDER: While I’m falling asleep… which is inconvenient.
N MAGAZINE: Describe your comedy style in five words.
FRAUNFELDER: Vegan absurdist shares dating advice.
N MAGAZINE: How would you describe dating on Nantucket?
FRAUNFELDER: Have you ever been to the Take It or Leave It?
N MAGAZINE: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
FRAUNFELDER: I carried the Olympic Torch for 100 yards in 1996.
N MAGAZINE: Really?
FRAUNFELDER: Yeah, I grabbed it from Muhammad Ali when he stopped to go the bathroom. Really, though, the torch relay came through Saratoga Springs when I was a freshman at Skidmore. The opportunity was offered to any athletes who wanted to participate. I was like, “Hold my beer… let’s make some history!”
N MAGAZINE: What’s the biggest fashion faux pas come summertime?
FRAUNFELDER: Women’s bathing suit bottoms don’t seem to cover butts anymore. I miss them. Bottoms, if you’re reading this, please come back!
N MAGAZINE: What’s one thing summer people would be surprised to learn about spending a winter on Nantucket?
FRAUNFELDER: Sometimes the wind blows so hard the water in the
toilet bowl moves.
N MAGAZINE: What’s been your quarantine comfort food?
FRAUNFELDER: I’ve been making a lot of lasagna. Then I eat it out of the pan in bed like Garfield.
N MAGAZINE: What’s one secret about Nantucket that most summer people don’t know?
FRAUNFELDER: We think your ACK vanity license plate is just adorable.
N MAGAZINE: Who wins in a fight: Sconset or Madaket?
FRAUNFELDER: Sconset. They fight old school with croquet mallets.
N MAGAZINE: What’s one Nantucket tradition that just wouldn’t translate on the mainland?
FRAUNFELDER: Unlocked cars. And is anyone really cruising around the mainland with a Lightship Basket?
N MAGAZINE: Have you found any silver linings to quarantine life?
FRAUNFELDER: My look—caftan and messy hair—is suddenly all the rage! Plus, I get to pick up my booze curbside and bread is delivered right to my door… is it wrong that I’m loving this?
N MAGAZINE: What’s one misconception people have about growing up on Nantucket?
GLOWACKI: As soon as I tell people I’m from Nantucket, they automatically think we are spoiled and rich. I have to tell them that I grew up digging holes and filling them back in for a living. Nantucket is one of the only places where a millionaire will cut a billionaire’s grass.
N MAGAZINE: Where do your best jokes come from?
GLOWACKI: They come from all the times when I fell flat on my face. Falling down and getting back up. There’s plenty to draw from and I never run out of material.
N MAGAZINE: What’s your favorite kind of joke?
GLOWACKI: The best joke ever written was by Mitch Hedberg: “I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.”
N MAGAZINE: What have you learned about yourself in quarantine?
GLOWACKI: I learned that I would never make it as a hostage. I also learned how far five people can stretch a single roll of Charmin Ultra Soft.
N MAGAZINE: Outside of toilet paper, what’s been critical to your quarantining routine?
GLOWACKI: Playing music, going for walks and sneezing on the doorknobs of my enemies.
N MAGAZINE: In the lives we’re leading today, what’s an example of a truth that’s stranger than fiction?
GLOWACKI: I spend my days teaching math to children. We are doomed!
N MAGAZINE: If you could have one super power, what would it be?
GLOWACKI: I’d love the ability to see into the future to next year when we are all singing and dancing together under the Figawi tent again. Natives, locals and Chads living in perfect harmony.
N MAGAZINE: Who is Chad?
GLOWACKI: Chad shows up to Figawi with a thirty-pack of Bud Light and thinks the cobblestones should rise to meet his boat shoes. He has severe amnesia because he always asks, “Do you know who I am?”
N MAGAZINE: What movie character do people confuse you for?
GLOWACKI: Everyone tells me that I look like Despicable Me or that guy from This Is Us.
N MAGAZINE: What’s one thing you would change about the island?
GLOWACKI: I’d limit cars. Not my cars of course…but other people’s cars. They need to go!
N MAGAZINE: What’s in the ultimate Nantucket cocktail?
GLOWACKI: As Chad would say, “vodka, soda…close it.”
N MAGAZINE: What’s something that only someone originally from Nantucket would understand?
GLOWACKI: We might gossip about each other, steal each other’s wives or husbands. We might hold grudges and cut each other off in traffic. But when one of us is in need, the rest of us show up. The way Nantucket people support each other in times of need is the thing I’m most proud about.
N MAGAZINE: Many up-and-coming comedians look up to you as the so-called O.G. of Nantucket’s comedy scene. How does that make you feel?
FLYNN: OG means an “Outstanding Gentleman,” right? Oh, it means Original Gangster? Well, that makes me sound like I’m either really old or in prison.
N MAGAZINE: What are some funny lines you’ve heard during your Stand Up and Learn children’s program?
FLYNN: Oh, there are so many great jokes from the kids over the years, but here’s a few quickies.
James Dutra has a bit about his dad working on the computer. His Dad told him to stop bothering him because he was “working.” “Well, I looked over my Dad’s shoulder and said, ‘gee where do you work Dad, Facebook?’”
Kathryn Shure has a bit about talking to people who have a Boston Accent: “When someone from Boston asks where are their ‘car keys’ it sounds like they’re looking for a pair of pants.”
Kyle Steele also does a bit about his family mistakenly getting stuck on a nude beach in Hawaii. “Let me tell you something, I love my parents but I do not want to see them nude! Come on Mom, next time check the brochure!”
Max Margolis once said, “My grandpa is really old. I know because he cut himself shaving and I counted the rings!”
N MAGAZINE: What’s one of your funniest memories from the Nantucket Comedy Festival?
FLYNN: Being heckled (lovingly) by the great Dick Cavett. I was telling the audience about the invoice that I received to fly him to Nantucket from the Hamptons. The invoice read PASSENGER: CAVETT’S DICK. And I said, “My god, this guy is so important even his d*ck gets its own airplane?”
N MAGAZINE: Sorry to be lame and predictable, but what’s your favorite knock-knock joke?
FLYNN: You’re asking a comedian for a knock-knock joke? Really? How about a quick riddle that I use with the kids instead? “Where do you find a turtle with no legs? Right where you left it.”
N MAGAZINE: What goes into the recipe for a good joke?
FLYNN: I encourage the Standup & Learn kids to basically write a short story and then we can work on, “finding the funny” within the story. It’s a little bit of reverse engineering and seems to re- ally work well for them. If you haven’t seen one of the free kids shows we do you’ve gotta come. It’s hysterical.