The Uncensored Darren Frost Interview
By TooFar.TV President and Co-Founder Danny Mendlow
In 2008, after the highly successful launch of TooFar.TV’s sketch comedy and musical comedy division, we decided to add a stand-up comedy section, and there was only one guy we knew had to be the first comedian… Darren Frost. He was everything we aspired to stand for in comedy – uncensored, ruthless and laced with savage social commentary. He was also a leader in the old guard of Canadian Comedy. Respected by his peers, surviving highly publicized assaults on the road, but most of all, a steady, moral guy to look up to. Always the first to help out younger comedians, taking hours and hours of time to counsel and nurture up and coming comics. He was Frosty, one of a kind, and he still is. 12 years later, as we decided to turn this Frankenstein website back on, we knew we could only do it one way… the way we started the stand-up section – with our pal Darren Frost. We caught up with Darren to talk about his new album, Story Yelling, the SEVENTH independent release of his illustrious career, and his upcoming Cross-Canada Tour, which will be his last, after almost 30 years as one of Canada’s top headliners.
TOOFAR.TV: So I had to go back into my records and it looks like Nov. 17th, 2008 is the earliest video I have up of yours, Miley Cyrus and Jenna Jameson. Tell us a little about why you said yes when I first asked you to be the flagship comedian for TooFar.TV’s (at the time) new stand-up comedy section.
DARREN FROST: At the time I was grinding out a new album worth of material every 16 months. My attitude is whatever you filmed that night has a shelf life and the more eyes on it, the better it will be for my future tour dates and releases. I have always inherently hated my past so at the time my main fuel was hate so that would push me to write more material
TOOFAR.TV: What was going on politically back in 2008, in the comedy industry and in the world of Darren Frost? Also, I feel like you’d get crucified for that Miley Cyrus joke today… would you tell it the same way in today’s climate or switch it up a bit?
DARREN FROST: In the comedy world things were changing very quickly. The gatekeepers were changing or falling by the way side. Young comics were starting to learn you can’t wait for the phone to ring. Comedy clubs were starting to die off as the same lame jokes were not gonna cut it. The world started to become about theme shows as crowds wanted something different. When it comes to the Miley joke, I still stand behind that joke. That joke changed a bit as I added the wrath to be pointed more at her father than her since she was a child. I still think the joke is fair… shocking yes, but I don’t like the sexualization of children.
TOOFAR.TV: The Miley Cyrus / Jenna Jameson clip is still the most popular Frosty video we’ve put out, but it was of course, not actually the first one. Tell us a little bit about the infamous Greyhound Beheading video we actually launched the TooFar.TV stand-up section with and how that all went down. As I recall, you had already been through hell with the beer glass throwing incident and just wanted the drama to end, quickly.
DARREN FROST: I wish I controlled the internet cause my highest viewed clips are ones that hurt my career not really help it. People see a 2 minute clip and think I am a crazy person who does blow off hookers’ tits. I get it… you don’t want that to happen, don’t give them the footage. The greyhound bit was different cause crowds love the joke but the world at the time thought it was inappropriate to do material on it. This was years before Guy Earle or the Mike Ward case. As you know audiences would give me an applause break at the end of the bit almost every other night. I always believe in letting the audience vote on what they think is funny cause they are there and can understand the context.
So what happened is you filmed that bit and put it up. I was fine with that. Some people saw the clip and somehow the media got tipped off by the bit… ok fair. Then somehow someone with the family of the victim was made aware of the clip and voiced their displeasure. The article hit the wire and boom I was a devil in comedy for a few days. I had to decide what to do. Now I want to be very clear about this as I still stand behind the clip but am not sure I did the right thing. I looked at it like this….. it’s the family upset, not some special interest group… not some SJW group about offensive comedy. Did I really want to make the family upset after they lost their son or brother? I can write another suck and fuck joke. I called Kenny Robinson who also agreed it wasn’t worth it to put the family through it so I took it down and the story went away. Not before the press misquoted me but alas I digress. It always happens that way.
I am not the same comic I was back then… not as sharp maybe not as funny but at the end of the day I am trying to stay on the right side of decency. Not at shows cause I warn people, but how I handle my business off stage. It’s just a 3 minute bit I can write another one. I still believe in the comic’s right to tell any joke no matter what the subject matter and will fight for that. As we have seen in the last few years my rep has been tarnished due to this but hey it’s my cross so I will admire the view.
TOOFAR.TV: The number one comment I still get on your videos is something to the effect of “Hey, why is Shadow Prove from Bakugen saying cunt so much?” Tell us a bit about the two lives of Darren Frost, and how we probably ruined your lucrative commercial career (Thanks for not pulling all your videos btw, like a lot of other comics have who were losing corporate gigs because of our videos.)
DARREN FROST: I never got into this for the money. Commercials is all about ego and money. Not above it but I ain’t stopping what I want to do for a KFC spot. I have been very fortunate in this business that I can still do cartoons and I’m pretty good at it. My act is no longer as crazy as it once was and maybe that is part of the reason… or maybe there are younger darker comics out there. I just do my little voice gigs and then try to keep my head down. I have been fired many times over the years cause of my stand up. I have lost more money than I have made due to the nature of my stand up. So be it.
TOOFAR.TV: Alright, enough about the past, let’s talk about the present and future. You’ve got your SEVENTH independent comedy album release here, STORY YELLING, and you’re about to embark on what you’re calling, your Final Cross-Canada Tour. Not hanging
up the microphone but this will be your last big, coast-to-coast comedy tour. Tell us about the album and the material and the milestone and the tour!
DARREN FROST: The grind is harder when the road is no longer your woman. It’s pretty basic really. When you are 21 staying in shitty places it is exciting and now at 49 I might get corona virus. It just is time for me to admit to myself that I can’t keep moving at the same pace. So my last big cross country tour, coast to coast during the year of the apocalypse. It’s my 7th album that I have released. It’s just another 50 minutes of me screaming into the wind. Unlike other releases for some reason the audience was more on my side this time, I didn’t have to warm them up which is rare and maybe the marketing is working. There is a bit on this album which took me almost 15 years to pull off. 100s of times trying to make it work … it was my rubiks cube of comedy. Countless times people asking me not to do the bit… many emails saying we love you but not that bit: it’s just horrible. Well the work payed off and I got it to a solid 6 out of 10 so it goes on the album. Never let anyone tell you what funny is, fuck them.
TOOFAR.TV: How’s your health? Last couple times I’ve seen you live you were going through hell with your health, and your family too. Is there finally peace and health in the Frosty household?
DARREN FROST: Another reason I have to slow down is my health. It is not great and you will hear all about it on the new album. That is what is great about my albums for me… they are snap shots of my life. My first couple of releases were about my kid’s health and now at number 7 it’s all about my own. The Circle of Life Cuntly.
TOOFAR.TV: Let’s talk about Brandee. One of the things I’ve always loved about you is that despite being the most vulgar, depraved, demented savage on stage, you’ve been with the same lovely woman as long as I’ve known you, and her support is unwavering, even when you and Kenny are drinking in Newfoundland and the Facebook feed starts getting out of hand. How important is it to have such a strong rock by your side and will any of the Frost boys be hitting the microphone in the future? I think you’re a shining example of the false narrative that clean comics are inherently morally superior to dark or edgy comics, if anything I’ve found the opposite to be true more often than not.
DARREN FROST: Let’s get the bullshit out of the way. Good comedy is hard and I know clean comics that are degenerates and I know edgy comics that are far from one. Don’t Believe The Hype is what a legend once yelled. I have always known that I had to have a life outside of comedy and my work. I am lucky and I know that. My wife and family are the reason I hit so hard at comedy and also the reason the road sucks. It’s the normal thing when you are home you can’t wait to get back on the road and when you are on the road you can’t wait to get home. I have struggled with mental health quite a bit over the last few years quietly. Depression… cutting myself off from the business… all the boxes are checked. It is due to my family I am still here and I never forget that. This business is full of horseshit and falseness just like high school. I can count on one hand the number of people I trust just like in life. My wife keeps me in check… her and a handful of close friends who only roll their eyes every other time I post.
TOOFAR.TV: I’ve been referring to the 2010s as “The Dark Ages of Canadian Comedy.” Complete and total collapse of the TV industry. Clubs closing or reducing to 2 shows a week. Comics viciously attacking other comics for jokes they made. You and I have discussed this in private, but what’s your take on the ridiculous splitting of society into two extreme groups and complete collapse of civil discourse and how it’s affected comedy? I feel like we’re finally moving away from that bullshit and it’s going to hopefully start being about who’s funny again, but I can’t stand either “side” and feel like there’s very few true, old-school, swashbuckling, iconoclast Pirate Comics left. Is the old code still alive and will it always prevail in the long run? I’ve heard people say the early 90s PC wave was similar and these are just the natural waves you get used to if you’re around long enough.
DARREN FROST: I have always been amazed at comics who go after other comics for jokes. Stealing is different and even that for me goes in the category of just fuck them. The 2010s were a lonely place for dark comedy I ain’t gonna lie. Been told many times I was great by audiences and then being banned or not re-booked at places cause one person complained. It’s always been a law of numbers but that did not apply in the 2010s for comedy clubs or bookers. They would all privately tell me I’m great but never hire me and I would watch the comics they do hire who would open for me and not do great. This is not a take down of young comics but just an education, cause they are where I was and they are not getting booked like they used to. I went through it and now they will. Comedy does go in waves, you just hope you stay in long enough to be able to ride the second wave on the upswing. For some it was all down wave and they got out.
I don’t have a great outlook on where comedy is going and the old code. The old code is dying and for some they believe that is right. Maybe it is and maybe I just like yelling “stay off my lawn.” It s hard cause you are too close to it and comics are not self aware for the most part. I think I am to a fault but I cant change that now.
TOOFAR.TV: Speaking of the old code, when I was coming up I got told I sucked and to shut the fuck up by older comics. I had to earn my stripes and it wasn’t until people like you, or Aaron Berg, said I was funny, that I was funny. I feel like that’s completely missing right now, and it’s doing incredible damage to the quality of stand up in general. I get the feeling most old school comics have given up and figure what’s the point, but this whole grading on a curve atmosphere is really starting to show, with mediocre specials having all but sucked the word “special” of any meaning. Mark Breslin says it’s becoming a “hobbyists” pastime, instead of a career or something to take seriously. Can comedy be saved? Canadian Comedy doubly so?
DARREN FROST: I always apply music business to comedy for analogies. Is comedy dead as Gene Simmons said about Rock? I don’t think so, but it needs to go back to a talent based system. Canada can only support 5 famous comedians at a time and when I say famous I mean they can afford no roommates. When I came up there was comics who thought I got way too much, too soon but they didn’t do press releases… posters… emails… they just tried to get hammered and fuck waitresses. A lot of old school comics said to me in the 2010s – “Why do you bother, it’s all wasted energy.” Maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t, but I tried. You can never say I never tried. It’s not my fight anymore, let the CASC try to see where all that goes. When it comes to young comics I really do enjoy watching younger comics rip it up. I want them to make my job hard. I always had killer middles or middles who I thought just needed some more time to figure it out and they would become middles. The whole business is like music, there is not time for evolution… just be a killer at all costs. Well how many corona beer jokes do I need to sit through before I hope that the bullets also have lead poisoning. That way if they travel through the same opening in the back of my throat from past attempts, something will catch and kill me.
TOOFAR.TV: Alright, enough negativity. Who’s GOOD right now? Who’s killing it or impressing you out of the young guns? What’s next for comedy? Canadian Comedy? For good or for worse?
DARREN FROST: I no longer list comics that I like cause I miss too many comics and lists are for cunts.
TOOFAR.TV: Fair! Alright, let me put it this way. You vouch for very few comics, and like even less of them. There’ s a few that come to mind over the years that you’ve always backed and been vocal about supporting. A few words about the following “Frosty Approved” comics: Kenny Robinson. Kathleen McGee. Terry Clement. Tom Simmons. Bobby Mair. Shannon Laverty. Ron James. Aaron Berg. Dave Martin.
Kenny Robinson – The only Godfather of Canadian Comedy
Kathleen Mcgee – When Kathleen started no one had her hussle which she continues to this day. She is one of the few whose hustle matches her talent. When I think of all the young comics I may have helped, her and Bobby Mair are the two I am so happy for the success.
Terry Clement – The Flaming Lips of Standup Comedy
Tom Simmons – In a perfect world Tom would have his own show or be on The Daily Show. When Canadian comics tell me they can do intelligent humor like no one I am like have you even ever checked out Tom? Even almost 30 years in I still watch, what does that tell you?
Bobby Mair – One of the few young comics at the time who wrote jokes way funnier then me way earlier in his career.
Shannon Laverty – The Queen. She is one of the first dirty comics that could not only handle herself with the boys but teach us a thing or two.
Ron James – The Trailblazer of Comedy….. more people need to look to Ron to see how it should be done.
Aaron Berg – The Killer. I saw Aaron a few months ago with a bunch of big name comics and he was the star of the show no one came close.
Dave Martin – For me, one of my favorite comics in the country. Dave has made me laugh the hardest of any comic in Canada and not always for the right reasons
TOOFAR.TV: What’s your Jerry Springer Final Thoughts after 7 albums and staring down the barrel of your Final Cross-Canada Tour?
DARREN FROST: Just like porn I ain’t going out soft I will try and swing the bat for as long as I can. Like me or hate me just remember your hate makes me stronger.
TOOFAR.TV: Oh, Frosty. One more thing. Is this the apocalypse or just another false alarm?
DARREN FROST: Apocalyptic fire alarm. This will remind all performers to have a back up plan. Dark days ahead.
So that was our little interview with Frosty. Hope you enjoyed it. Go buy the album on iTunes or be a cheap cunt and stream it on Spotify, Youtube or whatever you kids are doing these days. Just listen to the damn thing and send it to your friends. And if you live in Canada – head on over to ComedyWhore.Com and catch the Story Yelling Cross-Canada Tour – a legend’s last stand against bullshit and mediocre comedy in this barren wasteland of corporate and government approved, censored, watered down crap.
He’s still booking too, so get in touch if you want him to come to your city, town or region. Also, one final note, a few years ago Frosty released an unprecedented 25+ hours of uncensored comedy on a digital box-set – he still has them but ONLY ON USB STICKS AND ONLY AVAILABLE AT HIS LIVE SHOWS! So make sure to hit him up for one after the show. We’re also gonna work with him on getting a digital option available soon as well as getting some all-new Darren Frost Merchandise happening on the all-new TooFar.TV Store! Coming Soon! It must be the apocalypse because we’re actually going to try and monetize this bitch. Bye4Now!