Interviews

Published on August 30th, 2018 | by Jerry Doby

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Meet Max Silvestri From Netflix ‘The Comedy Lineup: Part 2’

Netflix Comedy Lineup 2

Netflix Comedy Lineup 2

The Comedy Lineup‘ is back with a new batch of comedians ready to impress you in only 15 minutes. The Netflix stand-up comedy series returns on Friday, August 31. Quick wit takes on a whole new meaning when this group of fiercely funny, emerging comics take the mic live in front of an intimate crowd at Atlanta’s historic Terminal West.  

The diverse mix of comedians bring a fresh take on life’s issues, big and small, in a series of solo sets and includes up-and-coming comedians Josh Johnson and Janelle James.

Backstory: Max Silvestri is a comedian, writer and actor whose Netflix quarter-hour stand-up special premieres August 31st.

He’s currently a Consulting Producer on BIG MOUTH for Netflix, and is developing half hours with both Annapurna and Olive Bridge.  As a writer/creator, he’s sold projects to Amazon and NBC, and was a Creative Consultant on BILLY ON THE STREET.

Max can be seen in the Fox Searchlight feature, TABLE 19 with Anna Kendrick; he also recently wrapped production on the independent films SPY INTERVENTION and DIVORCE PARTY.  Other credits include THE GOOD PLACE, BROOKLYN NINE NINE, and BROAD CITY.

As a stand up, he’s appeared on @MIDNIGHT and has performed at Just For Laughs, the New York Comedy Festival, Treasure Island and Boston Calling.  While in New York, Max also co-hosted the long running show Big Terrific together with Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman, now a regular fixture at LA’s famed Largo at the Coronet.

We got Max to weigh in on a few things

From the outside looking in, who is Max Silvestri?

I’m a comedian, actor, and writer based in Los Angeles. I write for the TV show “Big Mouth” and I spent the last year on tour opening for John Mulaney. I speak very quickly, I like TV shows about murder, and the extent to which I pretend my dog’s a baby is a problem.

What brought you to the entertainment industry, comedy specifically?

I’m an only child. I always liked the attention. As a little kid, I forced my parents to listen to long boring stories about whatever weird science fiction I was reading. Also, one time I memorized Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and recited it to them in the living room while they had a cocktail. And in high school, it was easier to be funny and mean than to get good at lacrosse.

Then I started college with a plan to double major in Computer Science and Classics, but it did not take me long to figure out those things were hard and boring. What would I have done with that degree? Made an app that quotes Ancient Greek? I am falling asleep just talking about it. But I started performing comedy on campus, first improv and sketch, and then stand-up, and I realized those things were fun and easy. I still thought they were a hobby, though. There were no podcasts then, so all I knew about entertainment was that unless you wrote on the Harvard Lampoon you weren’t allowed in show business.

Luckily I met Abe Smith, a comedian, and actor, who forced me to do stand-up in a club in Boston. And then I was like, yup, I’m gonna do this forever. Sorry, student loans. I got the bug! (Comedy is a disease, but it’s manageable.)

What is it about daily life that inspires your commentary?

I mean, we all have opinions and observations. Like anyone, sometimes I notice things about the world around me, sometimes I go through a sad, but then in hindsight, funny experience, and then sometimes I realize one thing is kind of a lot like another thing. The only difference is that as a comedian I write this stuff down in my phone. Then I edit the parts out that are neither surprising nor relatable to people that aren’t me. And usually, I make the last 10% a lie so it’s funnier.

Tell us about your experience with your first Netflix outing!!!

It was great! I’m not up to speed, but it’s my understanding this was Netflix’s first time filming stand-up comedy, and they were total naturals. Just kidding. Netflix is very good at this. I’d been working on the material all year on tour with John Mulaney, and then Netflix made the tapings feel like any other fun show. Except that now I was wearing pancake makeup and a team of people rejected all the shirts I wanted to wear and made me go shopping for something new hours before I was gonna be on camera.

It takes quite a bit of intestinal fortitude to bare yourself, no matter how cleverly concealed, to an audience who may not quite know how to interpret the nuances of your routine…how do you deal with that as you prepare to step on stage?

I want everyone to like me, but am fully aware that some won’t! You accept that and move on. And then you operate under the delusion that if someone likes you, you did a good thing and earned it, but if someone dislikes you, they are dumb and bad and it’s not your fault. This is a lie that everyone in Hollywood has to swallow in order to survive.

Tell us a bit about your work and passions OUTSIDE of comedy…

The new season of “Big Mouth” premieres later this year on Netflix. That was a blast to work on. The funniest and the most fun group of writers. I love them. I’m in a couple movies coming out next year. But mostly, I like food, alcohol, the Mission: Impossible movies, books, and showbiz gossip. I spend most of my free hours trying to get my girlfriend and my dog to like me more, and they already like me a lot.


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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