The podcasting revolution has had both a professional and personal impact on comedian Todd Glass, who returns to Helium Comedy Club in Buffalo this week. Professional, as he is the host of “The Todd Glass Show” on the Nerdist podcasting network, but also personal, as he publicly came out on an episode of Marc Maron’s “WTF” show in 2012.
“A lot of the fear was in my head,” Glass said in a phone interview. Friends and family already knew Glass’ secret, but his personal life was still a burden to him. “What a lot of people already knew couldn’t be talked about because I didn’t talk about it. Once I was honest, now it can be discussed. Not that it’s discussed in a diabolical or serious way, it’s just casually discussed. And it’s that simple. Hiding something is difficult. No matter what it is, hiding something about yourself never leads to a healthy life.”
The response from the public was very warm, Glass said. While his coming out didn’t radically transform his stand-up act into a series of gay lifestyle jokes, coming to grips with his sexuality allowed him to be more honest across the board.
“I mostly don’t talk about it, but it at least I’m not saying, ‘My girlfriend …,’ ” he said. “Some nights it casually comes up, and I do talk about it, but once you’re not embarrassed about talking about it, there’s so many other things you might have not talked about because you perceived [those topics] not to be manly. Once you get into that, then you can just be honest. Whenever you’re doing anything artistic, the more truthful you are, the better it’s going to be.”
Glass was one of the featured performers on Podfest, which brought several dozen live shows to Los Angeles in late September for what can be considered a podcasting convention. Glass said the event had great energy as he met fans who flew in from other countries to attend.
“You don’t know what to expect, but every year it gets better and better,” Glass said of Podfest and the popularity of podcasts. “People don’t really care where the content comes from whether it travels through the air or they can download it, as long as they can listen to what they want.
“There’s a reason why people like stand-up comedy, because it’s pure. What podcasting did was bring that purity to radio.”
In addition to his weekly podcast, Glass is focusing on taping a new hourlong special for Netflix. Audiences who attend his Helium shows can get an early glimpse of his new material.
“Helium presents comedy in the best possible way it can be presented,” Glass said. “It’s a good club to come back to. I heard a good comedian friend of mine say, ‘For a comedian, it’s like going to Disneyland.’ The only thing you have to worry about is performing.”
Who: Todd Glass
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St.