10 Comics to Watch 2012 - Moshe Kasher
After years of sharing crazy stories onstage, Moshe Kasher agreed to try something different with his latest longform monologue. At the encouragement of his manager, the comic arranged the outrageous details of his upbringing into a published memoir, “Kasher in the Rye.”
The title may be clever, but the subtitle is even more telling: “The True Tale of a White Boy From Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16.”
Clearly, Kasher has a wealth of auto-biographical material to draw from. Describing the book, the comedian says, “While you’re being distracted by pretty little jokes, you’re shot along a conveyor belt into a dark and claustrophobic place. You almost don’t know how you got there, which parallels the experience I had living all that stuff.”
The same goes for his standup, which is marked by Kasher’s ability to turn hardships (he was raised by two deaf parents) into humor via snappy one-liners (“My parents were really into hip-hop”).
“I love stories of my own ridiculous human failings — and the failings of people I see around me,” he says. “I never tried to be edgy or offensive in my life, (but) all my taboos got beaten out of me in my youth.”
That style caught the attention of producer Ryan Murphy, who met with Kasher about writing for “The New Normal” and reportedly booked the comic on the spot.
“For me, the fun is found in gallows humor. To some degree, I feel like I was born on the gallows,” he says. “I’ve been there my whole life, telling jokes to stave off execution. I really love that dark place.”
P.O.V.: “I once asked myself, ‘What would I be doing if I could be doing whatever I want?’ Well I’d really like to tour doing standup and write books. Then I realized I’m literally doing that right now, so I can probably dial back on the neurosis a little bit.”
Influences: “Hip hop, sex, drug addiction, Oakland, mental retardation, my peers.”
Reps: WME/Gersh/3 Arts