Hi-Tech Comedy: Ray DeVito

Today I’m interviewing Ray DeVito.

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Ray has been on Lifetime Network, where his performance at Gotham Comedy Club aired on “How Clean is Your House?” That performance led to appearances on the E! Network and Entertainment Tonight. His ‘Laundromat Sketch’ was featured in the New York Times and his ‘The Tudor’s Henry the VIII: The Real Story’ was the featured video on Comedy Central’s sister site Atom.com. He currently has his own web series on AOL’s men’s website Asylum.com. Ray also frequents the Bob and Tom Show, he’s been the featured comedian of the week on SIRIUS Satellite Radio, he’s also a regular guest on the very popular award winning podcast Keith and the Girl, and clips off his first full-length comedy CD entitled “1647 Waterbury” can be heard on SIRIUS and XM Satellite Radio.

1. How are you using the internet / social media to promote your career?

I use it a lot, it’s weird because I wasn’t sitting around saying “oh I’m gonna use this internet” it was more that the internet found me and it really has helped me reach an audience that I otherwise would never have tapped into. The ‘Keith and the Girl’ Podcast has been great, they have such a great fan base, that’s tens of thousands know all the details of your life. I was doing shows in Scotland and a fan from the podcast was asking me about baseball cards I bought on Ebay over a year ago, and that really hit me. Here I am on the other side of the planet and some kid was noting a small detail in my life, it was surreal. Wow people pay attention to what I do. They have listeners all over the world. Also, I have a web series on Asylum.com.

2. Have you noticed the payoff yet?

The internet is like a crutch that helps you walk ten times faster and I’m like, “Well walking is my business so sure.” A lot of the media that I’m featured on are internet based and those fans seem to find me via Facebook or they’ll email me or buy tracks of my CD on iTunes. (Ray Devito: 1647 Waterbury) I have a web series which is cool, the internet is a big deal, so I’d be a fool to not let the people who follow me know when my shows were and stuff. You can even follow me on twitter.

3. What do you think about posting videos of your show online?

It’s good and bad. I’m at the level now where I don’t wanna put too much up because I understand a lot of networks want to be the first to expose you to the world.  If you put a comedy video (non-standup) online and it does well, Atom.com or FunnyOrDie they don’t want it from you, cause it’s already out there. However you have to throw some stuff out there for people to know who you are. If it wasn’t for my Laundromat Sketch video, Comedy Central’s Atom.com would never have known about me and then I never would have done the Henry the VIII for them.

4. How do you think digital tools will change comedy?

It’s gonna make it easier to make videos look really professional. With Photoshop, iMovie and Garage Band, anyone can make a video look amazing now. Also I co-produce a show in NYC Sacapuntas Show on the first Monday of every month at Bowery Poetry Club, it sells out every show, and we sell most of our tickets on line through eventbrite.com

5. How much information do you tend to share on the social networks?

I let people know what shows I do but I try to keep it humorous. I gotta start treating fans like fans, I think I’m too laid back. When people think I’m funny after I show, I’ll be like, “Yeah lets hang out.” I’m the only dude I know who’ll hang out with his fan base. And that’s not always the best. I was in Sioux City, Iowa and I did some jokes about smoking weed and afterwards, this guy goes, “You wanna go get high?” and I’m like “Sure.” It turned out he just got out of jail that day. So it’s me, him , his buddy and his buddy’s girlfriend and while we’re back there smoking weed at the Best Western, the guy’s buddy starts giving my ex-con fan a hard time about how he’s a fuckup and isn’t paying his child support, and my fan is trying to impress me, so he pulls out a knife, in my hotel room! I diffused the situation, and then the dude’s girlfriend goes, “He’s right you are a fuck up.” Now there’s a casino boat across the street, so I’m like, let’s go there. And they all go out to do that, and as they start walking, I stop and sprint back to my hotel room and bolt the door.

6. What’s your weirdest online experience involving your comedy career?

Back in the heyday of MySpace, I put up the Laundromat Sketch and it was the MySpace video of the week. There was a lady in Albuquerque who was into it, and I was playing out there. But she wasn’t into my show, she just wanted to show me how interesting she was. She had piercings down her back spine, and this is a G rated video I did, what makes you think I’d be into that? She was weird, cause she had no interest in going to a show, she just wanted to show me how weird and different she was, I was turned off. By the way, please don’t put this on my MySpace page, I mean I haven’t checked it since 2004 but she might still be monitoring it.

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