Joel Kim Booster Is Deeply Frustrated by the Lack of Gay Male Standup Comedy Stars
Comedian Joel Kim Booster talks to The Last Laugh podcast about the lack of major gay male comedy stars and reveals why he doesn’t want to be the first.
Joel Kim Booster likes to play the “hot idiot” on stage. But as you will quickly learn by listening to this episode of The Last Laugh podcast, he is actually quite insightful when it comes to the unique challenges he has faced on his path to becoming one of the funniest young comedians working today.
To kick off Pride Month, the stand-up comic and co-host of the Flameout podcast on Spotify opens up about growing up with his adoptive Evangelical Christian family, how he gave up self-deprecation to embrace over-confidence, and why there hasn’t been a gay male stand-up comedy superstar on the level of Ellen DeGeneres, Wanda Sykes, or Tig Notaro. He also reveals some exciting news about the status of his big gay rom-com Trip co-starring SNL’s Bowen Yang.
“The question is always asked, why hasn’t there been a gay male Ellen or something like that,” Booster says, adding that it’s “definitely true” that no gay men have “really broken through” in the way many gay women have. “I think part of it is a general discomfort with the way that gay men have sex. I think that it’s really hard to look at a gay man and not think about anal.”
“I could see it happening,” he adds. “And actually I do know at least one uber-successful stand-up comedian that’s closeted right now. And he doesn’t come off as gay and he doesn’t talk about his life in the same way that I do.”
“Because of the internet, and because it’s so easy to find your niche audience, it’s made it more difficult for somebody to break through with broad appeal,” Booster, who has yet to land an hour-long special, explains. “And I don’t necessarily want to have broad appeal. I don’t necessarily need or want to be for every single person. I’m not looking to be as relatable as John Mulaney is to millions and millions of people because it’s just not me. I’m never going to be the comedian that everyone in middle America is flocking to see. And I’m OK with that. I’ve made my peace with that. Because I’ve found a pretty great, dope audience that likes my shit.”
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