Comedian Ben Hague has expanded his skill set as of late. The New York City resident recorded his “Avoid the Wet Spot” album in 2012 and had a killer set on “The Late Late Show” on CBS. He’s now a regular guest on the SiriusXM show, “My Wife Hates Me,” which is hosted by comedy couple Rich Vos and Bonnie McFarlane. He’s also getting into filmmaking both in front of and behind the camera, with one short war drama, “Getting Home” in the can and several other projects in pre- or current production. Hague performs at Rob’s Comedy Playhouse on Dec. 10.
Question: How did you learn to be funny?
Answer: I came from a funny family. One of the few good things that came out of the divorce (of my parents) is that my mom’s side is funny and my dad’s side is funny, busting each other’s chops. Especially coming from the Northeast, (because) if you can’t take it or give it back, you’re not going to last very long.
Q: You attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City ...
A: Yeah. I was always a bit of a goofball and I certainly wasn’t shy as a kid. I went to a dramatic acting school, which is a big change of pace, but as an adult, I actually enjoy the dramatic acting a little better now. I think it’s easier, because comedic acting is very difficult.
Q: When you went to school, did you have a desire to be a comedian, or was that something that flipped after you finished?
A: It was right around the time I was thinking about it. Me and a good buddy Mark was always daring each other to get on stage, and I loved living in New York City. It’s the heartbeat of stand-up comedy. I always thought about it. I had written a lot of material before I went to acting school, but I actually didn’t get up on stage until I was 21 when I moved out to California.
Q: How did the first few years go?
A: Surprisingly smooth, probably smoother than most people. A lot of comics just bomb miserably, and I certainly had my fair share of bombs, but the first time I went up on stage at the Laugh Factory was actually a good, positive experience. I got a bunch of laughs and I haven’t been able to get out of this business since.
Q: What was the worst job you’ve ever had?
A: I was a construction guy for one summer. I had been doing stand-up for a year and a half, and I had moved from Los Angeles back to Rhode Island. My buddy used to buy houses, fix them up and sell them. He put me on the demo crew, and I couldn’t even do that right. I literally think he wrote me off at the end of the year on his taxes. I went to a bathroom and he said smash all the walls in the bathroom. I smashed through the walls and into the pipes, so they started leaking. I cost him thousands of dollars.
What: Ben Hague
Where: Rob’s Comedy Playhouse, 1340 North Forest, Williamsville
When: 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Dec. 10