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Jim Florentine talks new comedy special ‘Bite The Bullet’

January 12, 2022
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A screenshot from Jim Florentine's fourth full-length comedy special "Bite the Bullet" streaming free on YouTube. A screenshot from Jim Florentine's fourth full-length comedy special "Bite the Bullet" streaming free on YouTube.

Comedian, actor, author and avowed metalhead Jim Florentine’s new YouTube comedy special “Bite the Bullet” covers a lot of the stuff that’s been irritating him lately. If you’ve had it with cancel culture, pandemic hypocrisy, damaging social media trends, Yelp critics or bad dates, you’ll find a kindred spirit in Florentine.

A veteran of “Crank Yankers,” “The Metal Show” and the Howard Stern Radio Show, Florentine shot “Bite the Bullet” in front of a live audience in Fairfield, CT.

Florentine made his first appearance in Maine in November 2020 with a live set streamed around the world from Jonathan’s Ogunquit.

The Maine Edge: It seems a little unusual to give away a special of this caliber, but “Bite the Bullet” is free to everyone on YouTube. Capitalism doesn’t usually work that way.

Jim Florentine: I understand capitalism but when you’re a middle-aged white male, you don’t have a good shot at getting on Netflix at this point. The model now for comedians is that you want more people watching so if you can’t get on Netflix, you give it away on YouTube, more people see it and hopefully they’ll come see you live which is the ultimate goal.

The Maine Edge: The comedy climate is pretty weird right now and you address that upfront on “Bite the Bullet” when you say you cannot be cancelled, you don’t play by Hollywood rules.

Jim Florentine: If you’re not trying to kiss Hollywood’s ass, you can pretty much do what you want, like what could they take from you? Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, you’re not going to make it in Hollywood so stop playing to that audience and build your own. As a comic, my goal was always to have people see me in a club or a theater. That’s still my goal. I did a few things in Hollywood but it’s not my time anymore and I’m fine with it.

The Maine Edge: You take on gender reveal parties in your new special. You’re not a fan.

Jim Florentine: No. So you knock somebody up so now we have to have a party? Everybody has to film it because if you don’t film it, it didn’t happen. You have to top your friend’s gender reveal video you saw on Facebook so everybody’s building bombs, people are dying, they’re setting forest fires, people are getting hit with shrapnel, what the hell is going on?

The Maine Edge: You’re a single dad and you talk about your son in the special. What was his reaction when he found out he was part of the show?

Jim Florentine: He loves it, he thinks it’s funny. I did a comedy show last night and he went up onstage at the end and started making fun of me and I was loving it. He’s OK with it.

The Maine Edge: You’re out there in the dating scene again. Where do you draw the line when it comes to dating activities? What are some of the things you’ve had to endure?

Jim Florentine: I don’t put up with it and I just tell the girl right off the bat. Being a middle-aged single dad, the dating pool for me is a divorced middle-aged female probably with a kid. Now all of a sudden, they want to do stuff outdoors, they want to travel because their husband for the last 20 years that they just divorced didn’t do anything. Now it’s on me. They want to go kayaking, they want to hike, they want to go pick apples, they want to go look at statues, I don’t want to do any of that.

The Maine Edge: While watching “Bite the Bullet,” I cheered when I heard you say “It’s not life or death, it’s lunch or dinner” when you talk about people who leave bad reviews on Yelp. You say don’t leave a bad review, just don’t go back – and your audience overwhelmingly agreed.

Jim Florentine: Especially with Coronavirus and all of these restaurants and businesses hurting, people still complain and leave a one-star Yelp review for a place because the service took a little too long, or people don’t want to work, or whatever it is, just let these businesses get back on their feet. Even before Covid, I didn’t approve of it. So the restaurant had a bad day just like everybody else has a bad day at work. Imagine if a review of your bad day at work was up there for everyone to read for the next 20 years. You’re affecting people’s livelihoods. There are a million places to eat, just go somewhere else.

The Maine Edge: When you were in college in New Jersey you had a radio show on the college station. What sort of stuff did you do on the air?

Jim Florentine: I majored in communications and did a show on the college jazz station but then I got an internship at another station where I was doing the news. In the daytime it was a soft rock station but at night you could play whatever you wanted. They gave me a Thursday night slot from 8:00 to 10:00 where I just played heavy metal and it was amazing. Two of my friends were sidekicks and we’d just play metal songs and talk in between trying to pick up girls.

The Maine Edge: A lot of people remember watching you on “That Metal Show” on VH1 Classic. What are you listening to you these days? Any recommendations?

Jim Florentine: There’s a band out of LA called Dirty Honey that I like. They’re young and sound like kind of a cross between Aerosmith and Guns ‘N’ Roses. They’ll open a tour soon for Eddie Van Halen’s son’s band, Mammoth. I really like those guys and they’re the band I recommend right now. (Note: Mammoth WVH with special guests Dirty Honey are scheduled to perform at the State Theatre in Portland on January 28).

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 January 2022 13:36

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