By Tony Castleberry
Raleigh, N.C. — When I saw Dusty Slay record a live, hour-long set at the 2016 Cape Fear Comedy Festival in Wilmington, I remember thinking how neat it would be to talk to him someday about our similar upbringings.
Wednesday was that someday, and the conversation was even better than I imagined it might be. Slay, a stand-up comedian who, like your humble author, lived in a mobile home growing up, was on his way to Charlotte for a Wednesday night show when I reached him for a noon phone interview.
Fresh off his television debut on Tuesday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Slay is making a mini-run through North Carolina, following the Charlotte show with Thursday’s headline set at Goodnights Comedy Club in Raleigh and then a
Friday performance at the Cary Theater.
In addition to some seriously funny and honest trailer talk, Slay and I discussed how he decided which jokes to tell on TV, who made final decisions on his Kimmel wardrobe and more.
Enjoy the interview,
follow Slay on Twitter and don’t forget to read The Best Tweet I Can Find in Five Minutes at the end.
Tony Castleberry: How was the Kimmel experience?
Dusty Slay: It was great. They were really nice. They flew me out there and they put me up in the Roosevelt Hotel, which is much nicer than what I'm used to. I had to do a run-through early in the day just to give everybody a feel for what I was going to do.
So I did that in front of, like, the crew, which was definitely the most nerve-wracking part. I'm doing it in front of five people and it's just for certain things, but in my mind, I'm thinking, if I bomb in front of the crew, they're not going to let me record.
But it was great. They were so nice. Jimmy Kimmel? So nice. Everybody involved, they're great. They made it such a casual thing, to where, in there, it didn't really feel any different than just doing a comedy show, other than the fact that I only had five minutes.
For me, it's hard to jump right into it because I have a slower pace and I like to kind of slowly bring people in to what I'm doing. It's hard to jump right in there, but it was great.
TC: Was it hard for you to whittle it down to five minutes or did you think, “Hey, these are the five minutes I have. I'm going to cram these jokes in there.” Was that kind of how it felt?
DS: I feel like almost right away I knew what I wanted to do, but I like to do callbacks and things like that. Within that chunk of time that I did, there are other tags and other callbacks that I'd like to do. It felt like it was missing those, but I just didn't have the time to bring those all in. But I had a good idea. I was like, “These jokes are working right now. This is funny. People like these. That's what I want to do.”
TC: That was a pretty sweet hat you were wearing. Did the people in wardrobe and makeup suggest the hat or was that your artistic vision?
DS: That's mine. I'm wearing it right now.
TC: [laughs] What is written on the front of the hat?
DS: It's an old Texaco hat. It's got a big 18-wheeler on there and it says “Texaco Trading and Transportation Inc.”
TC: Wow. Very official.
DS: Oh yeah, but it’s the old school. I don’t see Texacos anymore. It’s a trucker hat with a truck on it. You don’t see that a lot.
TC: [laughs] Like you, I grew up in a trailer, but unlike you, I wasn’t in a trailer park, although there were a few of those nearby. I think that upbringing is part of the reason I’m terrified of tornadoes to this day. Do you have a similar fear of twisters?
DS: In a trailer, it's not even just the fear of tornadoes. It's the fear of all weather. Even the wind blowing too hard, it's like, we gotta get out of here. We had a tree limb that froze one time and fell and stabbed through the roof of our trailer. So yeah, they're not that safe.
TC: They definitely aren't. I remember a hurricane that came through in the early 90s and just seeing the desolation all around our trailer, I felt like maybe God put his thumb on our trailer and said, “Not today. You're not taking this one today.”
DS: We had Hurricane Opal that came through where I lived in Alabama. I think that was the early 90s and we had trees that fell down on our trailer. We were gone, but it crashed through the living room. We got it repaired and it was fine and we lived in it for a long time after that, but we had some stuff. I know of people who have shot a gun in a trailer and it went through several of the walls. … Nowadays, they may be a bit fancier, but not back then.
TC: Absolutely not. My earliest memory is of a single wide that, it felt like if you breathed too hard in that thing, it was gonna fall over. But we upgraded to a double wide when I was a teenager and man, I thought it was the most luxurious thing in the world.
DS: Living in a double-wide is like living in a house. You're almost there. [interviewer laughs] “Put some cement blocks around the bottom of this thing and we’ve got a real house.”
TC: Yes! We had the brick underpinning. I remember those guys building it and thinking, “We’ve really moved up in the world.”
DS: We just had tin around ours, but even that was nice. Some of the trailers had nothing. You'd see dogs and cats sleeping under there.
TC: Oh yeah, you could see the wheels and the axles.
DS: We had two porches. My mom dated a carpenter guy for a while so we had a front porch and a back porch. Most of the trailers just had cement blocks stacked up to make steps. Even the difference of living in a trailer, like you, on some land versus the trailer park is...
When I'm in school and anytime I have to write my address down, it says Lot 8, Morris Trailer Park. So everybody knows now. You got to write like Highway 81, County Road or whatever. I've gotta write Trailer Park, ya know?
TC: Yeah, it’s amazing that we made it this far.
DS: I believed in Santa Claus. I don't even know how that's possible.The whole story of Santa is how he lands on a roof and comes in through a chimney. We had neither of those things.
TC: No doubt! I believed it too. I thought, “Well, for the trailers, for the people in our area, he just parks the sleigh and walks house to house.”
DS: A tree limb crashed through the roof and I thought he could land his sleigh up there.
TC: It can’t possibly support the weight of the sleigh and all those reindeer.
DS: And like there wouldn’t be people trying to shoot the deer in the trailer park. [interviewer laughs] They wanna get that reindeer mounted on the wall.
Here it is, The Best Tweet I Can Find in Five Minutes:
Ummmm okay pic.twitter.com/XrQnPDF1DU
Source : http://www.wral.com/comedian-dusty-slay-talks-trailer-parks-jimmy-kimmel/17232930/