TheThings recently had the chance to talk to the breakout stars of the comedy duo, Jay Wells L’Ecuyer and Eytan Millstone for an exclusive interview. L'Ecuyer and Millstone are both professional sketch comedians as well as award-winning filmmakers who go by the comedy name "Jay & Eytan." The duo has recently released their second comedy album, So Busy So Tired after much success of their first album, All Growed Up.
Making it as a comedian is not a simple feat but it can be done and Jay & Eytan are proof. They were kind enough to share some advice for some of our readers who might be aspiring comedians or thinking of stepping foot onto the scene. As advice-givers go, Jay & Eytan have the experience to back up their words of wisdom because they have performed at several (too many to name) comedy clubs across Canada and the U.S. We asked what advice Jay & Eytan would give to someone who is interested in getting started in comedy but isn't sure about where to start.
"Get on as many stages as possible in front of many strangers as you can," the comedian pair said. "Any comic starting out will hear the same thing over and over, it’s like working out. The stage is your gym and every set you do is like doing curls. The only way to know if your material is working is to do it in a room full of strangers and see if they laugh."
They went to tell us that comedy is unique in terms of gaging success in a career field because it is a great equalizer. Jay & Eytan explained that if the material is funny, it will be clear if it's successful because the audience will laugh no matter who's telling the joke (famous or not) and how long they've been at it.
"Also, comedy is the furthest thing from a get rich quick scheme," they added. "Get ready to fail and take some enjoyment in that."
We also wanted to know which comedy acts had inspired Jay & Eytan. Knowing who has influenced their love of comedy might encourage fans of similar acts to check them out.
"As 80’s babies we definitely connected with Dave Chappelle and Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy," Jay & Eytan told us. "There's Always Sunny and Curb, and Bill Burr is one of the funniest people alive."
The comedy team also listed their fellow comic peers who they say have made them laugh harder than anyone else such as Garrett Jamieson, Hunter Collins, Keith Pedro, Bryan O’Gorman, Bryn Pottie, Hannan Younis, Nikki Payne, Pat Burtscher, Arthur Simeon, Nick Reynoldson, Dylan Gott, and countless others.
As they mentioned in the interview, becoming a stand-up comedian is hard work and there is no guarantee for fame and success so those who do it for a living do it because they truly love it. One question we couldn't end the interview without asking was their favorite aspects of performing live stand-up?
"The greatest part of performing live comedy getting a group of strangers to all have the same reflex in their gut at the same time based on a joke that you have created," Jay & Eytan said. "And when that reflex causes to make a sound, and that sound collectively fills the room, there is no greater feeling."
Besides their two comedy albums, Jay & Eytan have also experienced success on their award-winning web series, the Jay & Eytan Web Series, with hits like Night Light and Meat Pie. Their first comedy album hit the #1 spot on iTunes back in 2016 and their sophomore album is already headed in the same direction so be sure to give it a listen.
And to all of the aspiring comedians out there, break a leg!