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20 Questions with Craig Gass, 3/15/05

 

20 QUESTIONS WITH…



Comedian/celebrity impersonator CRAIG GASS


(and your host C.C. Banana!)

Some of you may recall our announcement from awhile back which hyped a live appearance by our 2003 Sludgeaholic of the Year C.C. Banana, performing at Stand-Up NY alongside comedian Craig Gass of The Howard Stern Show. Craig is famous for his uncanny Gene Simmons and Sam Kinison impressions and even hosted a few dates of our 2003 Metal Sludge Extravaganza Tour! He’s also worked with a bunch of rock stars and acted on some television shows. Anyway, if you weren’t one of the lucky Sludgeaholics in attendance for this momentous performance, then you missed out on history in the making! Because on January 27th, 2005 the universe witnessed the unholy birth of the very first…

Metal Sludge 20 Questions LIVE!

That’s right, live! Without a net and without a delete key! If either of these two funnymen fucked up, our Metal Sludge camera crew would be there to capture it all! Fortunately for them, Banana and Gass are true professionals and everything went off without a hitch. Or so they keep telling us. And fortunately for you, we’ve hosted 5 Metal Sludge TV clips so you can see some of the fun stuff you missed! How’s that for a new twist on an old favorite? That’s Metal Sludge for you, always bringing you something innovative and exciting!

This event marks only the second pairing by this unlikely duo of man and fruit, the first of which is chronicled HERE. But tonight’s team-up of Craig Gass and C.C. Banana was done exclusively for the glory of Metal Sludge! As headliner, Craig closed the show that night by setting aside nearly his entire act just for our interview. He warmed up with an amusing bit about how Adam Sandler hits on chicks and even performed a dead-on impression of SNL’s Tracy Morgan! Finally, after scolding an audience member for having the nerve to go to the bathroom during his set, Craig kicked off the first-ever 20 Questions Live by introducing his bodacious banana buddy.

Take it away, Craig!

Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to end this show with something very special. Something that has never been done before. We are about to witness for the first time… something that I can’t quite describe to you. All I can tell you is that this man brings me joy and happiness. If you know anything about the rock band Poison, and if you like… fruit… then you will enjoy this man. A man who is so easy to like, and so easy to love. Please welcome the future of comedy, and I mean this… C.C. Banana!

Metal Sludge 20 Questions live

Click here to watch C.C. Banana introduce the first ever 20 Questions Live!

C.C. Banana joins Craig Gass onstage.

HELLLLLLOOOOOO, NEW YORK CITYYYYYYYYYYYY!

The audience cheers!

MY NAME… IS… C… C… BANANA!

The audience laughs!

And on behalf of the mighty Metal Sludge website… I would like to congratulate all you lucky motherfuckers… for being here for the very first… Metal Sludge… live… 20 Questions… with the amazing… sexy… charismatic… CRAIG GAAASSSSSSSS!

The audience screams for Craig!

That’s me, everybody! Huh, that’s something! C.C., can you explain your name to everybody?

"C.C." That’s Spanish, it’s for "Yes, yes." Thank you very much. Very good. Yes. Si si. Banana.

Alright. Now, these questions are gonna be related to heavy metal and 80′s rock. This is gonna be a lot of fun, and we’re all gonna do a bunch of coke when this is all over.

DO WE HAVE ANY SLUDGEAHOLICS IN THE HOUUUUSSSSE?

Sludgeaholics in the audience voice their loyalty!

These are the very first live 20 Questions. Our first victim is the amazing Craig Gass. Prepare yourself for the first question, which goes like this…

Craig Gass and C.C. Banana join forces for the very first 20 Questions Live!

1.  What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug your shit.

I am acting right now on a bunch of TV shows, and touring the country doing stand-up whenever I have free time. And if you want more information about me or if you want to contact me, you can just go to my website, IHateComedians.com. In the Bio section, there’s an explanation of why I named it that. It’s a true story!

2.  You are famous for your Gene Simmons impression. You once even dressed in full Demon attire to confront him live on The Howard Stern Show! Is Gene cool with you or does he think you’re a dick?

Gene has actually been very cool to me. The first time I ever headlined at Caroline’s, I got a phone call saying, "Hi Craig, this is Gene Simmons… from Kiss…" He actually said "from Kiss" on my fuckin’ answering machine! Like I’m gonna confuse him with "Gene Simmons… from Pep Boys…"

And he said, "I know you’re headlining Caroline’s for the first time, and I want you to know that I’m going to be in the front row to support you." So I had to make jokes about the history of Kiss with Gene Simmons there and — how cool is this? — I actually saw him wiping tears from his eyes from laughing so hard. So he obviously has a pretty good sense of humor about it. Thanks, Gene!

Craig and a bunch of people who apparently each had $1,000 to spare.

3.  Once while doing your Gene Simmons impression on a live radio program, the station received a call from Lars Ulrich of Metallica! He thought that you were actually Gene and even started arguing with you. What the heck was that all about?

Lars Ulrich from Metallica… any Metallica fans here?

Audience: Yeah.

Alright. Lars Ulrich, from Metallica was on the air at a radio station in St. Louis. And I walked into the radio station with Stuttering John, who used to be on The Howard Stern Show, and is now the announcer for The Tonight Show, and we were trying to promote our comedy gig. But Lars would not shut up, he wouldn’t get off the air. And so the DJ thought it would be funny to say, "Hey Lars, I just want to cut you off for one second. For those of you just joining the broadcast, Lars Ulrich from Metallica is on the line right now live from his home in San Francisco. And Lars, you’re not gonna believe this, but Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons from Kiss are in the studio right now, and apparently they’re mad at you."

And I started to argue with Lars. And I said… and if you know anything about Kiss, I jumped in and said, "Hey Lars, this is Paul Stanley."

"And this is Gene Simmons… from Kiss… Now Lars, I’m gonna get right to the point. A lot of people steal from Kiss. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. But on the new album I think you’ve stolen too much. I’ll give you a perfect example. Name one song on the new Metallica album you think is totally original."

And Lars was kinda confused and said, "I think all the songs are… original, I mean, I’m not… I don’t understand where you think that we stole this shit…"

And I said, uh, "Right. But if you had to name one song. Any song." And Lars gave me a song title and I said, "That’s great, Lars. But I’m gonna be honest with you, I liked it a lot better the first time I heard it when it called ‘Beth.’"

And he went, "What the fuck? How the fuck?" And he said "fuck" on the air, it was going out on the air live. "How the fuck do you hear ‘Beth’ in the middle of a fuckin’ Metallica song?"

Craig doing his Lars Ulrich impression.

And we argued for 5 minutes on the air, and he thought he was really arguing with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons from Kiss. So then I threw in Phil Anselmo from Pantera and Christopher Walken, to back up their argument, and that’s when Lars got a little suspicious. He wanted to know if that was really Christopher Walken in the studio. Anyway, when it all ended, Lars actually had a pretty good laugh about it. And then about a week later I got a call from Gary Dell’Abate, the producer of The Howard Stern Show, telling me that Lars was "looking for me" and that he wanted to talk to me immediately. Lars actually had me flown to Denver, Colorado to co-host a radio show with him called "Late Night with Lars," which we’ll be doing again in 2005.

MSTVClick here to watch Craig impersonate Lars Ulrich, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons!

4.  As a result of fooling the genius that is Lars Ulrich, you actually got invited to open for Metallica! What’s it like being a comic opening for a rock band and how did Metallica’s audience respond? Were they smart enough to laugh or did they just throw shit at you?

No, it was actually cool, with the exception of one thing: Lars Ulrich wanted to introduce me onstage. I said, "Hey, so what time am I going on?"

Lars said, "I thought what we’d do is we’d open the doors, we’d let the audience in. And then I’ll go on stage and I’ll say, ‘What’s up! We’re gonna get ready to come out and fuckin’ kick your ass, but um, I’ve got a comedian friend of mine who’s gonna come up here and tell you some fuckin’ jokes. And then we’re gonna fuckin’ come up here and were gonna fuckin’ rock out!’ HAAAHHHHH!"

Cuz that’s what Lars does. A comedian would never do that. Lars had no idea that he would’ve been throwing me to the wolves. So I said, "Please, just give me the microphone with no introduction, and let me do my thing." So I went on stage and told the audience that Metallica had some important announcements to make before the concert, and that got the crowd completely quiet and attentive. And I tricked the audience into thinking that I was part of the show, and then I just slid into my comedy act. And everything was cool. 20 minutes later, it turned out that the "important announcements" were all somehow related to the size of my penis. It worked out great.

5.  Rate the following comics on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a hack and 10 being a funny motherfucker:

Dave Chappelle = 10. Easily.Will Ferrell = Uhhh… 9.Gilbert Gottfried = 10.Jackie Martling = (laughs) Uhhh… 7.Bob Nelson = Uhhh… Bob Nelson? He’s that shoulder-ma-pads guy. Oh, Bob Nelson! Uhhh… 8.Kathy Griffin = Kathy Griffin, 9.Ralphie May = Ralphie May? Hmmm… 8. On the Richter scale? Gass laughs.Mario Cantone = Mario Cantone, definitely a 9.Pauly Shore = Uhhh… 8.Dat Phan = Dat Phan… poor guy. Just leave it as "poor guy."

Craig Gass: Live from Bananaland (aka: National Lampoon Live: Down & Dirty DVD)

6.  Speaking of which, we hear that "Last Comic Standing" host Jay Mohr hates your guts. What did you do to piss him off?

I was at a comedy club in Greenwich Village and I ended my set with a Christopher Walken impression. And Jay Mohr, believe it or not, was actually upset that I was doing a Christopher Walken impression on stage. And that’s the beginning and the end of it.

The next night, strangely enough, and this is not a joke, I actually had dinner with Christopher Walken at the Friars Club. And I went back to the comedy club to tell my story about having dinner with Christopher Walken. And again Jay Mohr got upset about me doing the impression. Two days later he was on The Opie & Anthony Show, saying that I had committed some cardinal sin. He said that I was a punk comic who didn’t understand that if you know stand-up comedy, you know that Jay Mohr is the guy who does the Christopher Walken impression.

Oh, of course!

That’s his exact words.

7.  One of your first jobs in radio was as co-host to Dee Snider of Twisted Sister on his morning radio show. What exactly did you do for him and does Dee look even scarier so early in the morning?

I was his comedy sidekick and Dee was always really cool. He was 100% supportive of me and believed that I had the potential to sit next to him on the air every day, but the Clear Channel station in Hartford didn’t want to pay me. Dee pushed for it, but they wouldn’t budge. A year later, Howard Stern ponied up some money for me to sit next to him 2 days a week. Way to fuck it up, Paula!

Imagine having to go to work and see this every morning.

8.  Your website claims that you once put on something like 80 lbs. for a role on "Sex and the City," but you later managed to drop the excess flab. What did you do to gain all that weight, and do you have any weight loss tips for rock stars like Vince Neil or Jani Lane who can no longer seem to stay fit and trim?

I don’t know what to say about Jani and Vince, but on "Sex and the City" I played a guy who dated this girl Miranda. I met her at a Weight Watchers meeting so I had to put on weight. I put on 35 pounds to do the role. And it took me, um, probably about 2 years to take it off. No method, no nothing. Just very… very stupid.

9.  Rumor has it that you have visited Eddie Van Halen at his home and once even went bowling with him! Is Eddie a good bowler? How much did he smoke while you two were hanging out?

He’s a good bowler and I actually don’t notice whether he’s smoking or not when I see him.

10.  Please answer a random question from the audience!

Anybody got a random question?

Audience member: Why are you onstage with a huge banana?

You know what? I take offense at that. Craig is not a huge banana! Don’t say that about my friend! Fuck you!

He’s my little Chiquita friend. I like him.

Thank you, Craig. You’re a good man. I’ll pay you later. $10 bucks.

11.  Please share your fondest memory about performing or being in the following cities:

Dallas, TX = A girl got arrested after leaving my hotel in Dallas. And the next day a second girl got arrested leaving my hotel in Houston.Santa Rosa, CA = I actually got banned from the Luther Burbank Center by the Mayor of Santa Rosa in 1998, after complaints to the Mayor’s office about the profanity in my performance. The letter was filed by an employee of the venue, not a paying audience member. Although I’m sure I teabagged one of them as well.Seattle, WA = I was banned from the Seattle suburb of Kent, which is not a bad thing. I was actually banned for life twice from the radio station I started at, KISW. Which is ironic because I’m now heard on that same station in Seattle during my appearances on Howard Stern.Abington, MA = Who the fuck books a comedy show at a Chinese food restaurant? The Reverend Bob Levy, that’s who!Portland, OR = I went on immediately after a Rammstein performance at The Roseland Ballroom. Fun show, nobody got hurt. Portland was also the site of my first ever paid gig in 1993. A stripper I knew had me emcee an all-girl sex show, it was just me and a bunch of naked women. I worked on my material for weeks, and when I got to the place the microphone died out. I told the audience, "Hang on, we’ll find out what’s wrong with the mic." And the collective response from the audience was like, "Who gives a fuck! Where’s the tittles?" So I was bummed out that nobody cared about all the dick jokes I had been working on. But I did earn my first buck as a professional comedian! And I saw at least one vagina.Hartford, CT = The only time I ever thought I might not survive a performance! And this was after doing stand-up in front of Biohazard, Slayer, and filling in for Drain STH on Ozzfest. I had to follow Public Enemy in front of 20,000 Public Enemy fans! Just me with a microphone. So I just cut my set short and said, "Thank you, good night!" Dee Snider introduced me with, "Good luck!"New York, NY = My home! I’ll always remember opening for Metallica as a comedian and surviving it. Seeing Rob Zombie, Jim Breuer and a bunch of K-Rock employees in the audience during my set. Hearing Lars repeat one of my jokes at the end of Metallica’s performance on stage as he said good night.Las Vegas = Where the fuck is my sponsor? That’s all I wanna say.Tucson, AZ = I actually got banned from the local comedy club in Tucson because of the anecdotes I told at a funeral! Which is kind of a bummer, unless you’ve met the guy that banned me. Then you would know that there’s more to the story…Doylestown, PA = I performed there with some guy wearing a banana costume. I think he might’ve been stalking me.

12.  Tell us one cool story from the time you hosted our amazing Metal Sludge Extravaganza Tour featuring Faster Pussycat, Enuff Z’Nuff and Pretty Boy Floyd.

Brent Muscat, Taime Downe and Chip Z’Nuff are guys who really live and breathe rock & roll. They were all very cool to me, even though the audience didn’t really care. But I’d do it again, that was fun.

13.  Of the following, which do you prefer and why?

Comedy clubs or rock clubs = Uhhh… if this is gonna be the comedy club (laughs) … then rock clubs.Britney Spears or Britny Fox = Britny Fox.Craig Goldy or Craig Kilborne = Craig Goldy.Yvonne Craig or Jenny Craig = Jenny Craig.William H. Gass or Kyle Gass = Kyle Gass.propane gas or methane gas = Methane.Alec Baldwin or Billy Baldwin = Alec.Unskinny Bop or Talk Dirty To Me = Talk Dirty To Me.Frehley’s Comet or Vinnie Vincent Invasion = Frehley’s Comet, hands down. What the fuck was up with that Vinnie Vincent Invasion?C.C. Banana or the Chiquita Banana = C.C. Banana is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.

Audience: Awwwwww…

I love you too, Craig. $10 bucks.

14.  When you made your guest appearance on the NBC program "Las Vegas," you performed alongside actor Alec Baldwin, known for being The Shadow, and actress Nikki Cox, known for being a hot piece of ass. How badly did you want to hit that, and was it hard not giggling every time you said her last name?

I think the hardest thing to believe was that Nikki Cox was actually engaged to Bobcat Goldthwait. And that’s the only time in my entire life I’ve ever seen proof that women want a guy with a sense of humor.

15.  Right now, tell us one new joke that you’ve never done live in front of an audience. Something raw and unpolished that you didn’t plan on doing tonight. Don’t worry, we’ll still like you if it sucks.

A new joke, okay… uhhh… uh, okay…

Did you know, we are the first generation to collectively want to cum on our women’s faces? No, really! It’s all because we grew up on porn. The first generation to do so. Grandpa doesn’t spank it on Grandma’s face yelling, "How come the kids don’t call anymore, you filthy whore?"

"In my face, Pappy!"

16.  What hard rock / heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?

Nirvana!

Craig at The Comedy Store in Hollywood, CA on February 14th, 2005 with DJ Will of KNAC.com (presumably not his valentine.)

17.  Rock stars are known for having groupie sluts throw themselves at them after their concerts. What kinds of chicks throw themselves at you?

By and large, the majority of women that want to hang out with me are BI and LARGE.

18.  Yes or no, has Craig Gass ever:

Solved a Rubik’s cube = Nope.Shit your pants onstage = Sure.Seen Howard Stern naked = Nope.Seen Artie Lange naked = Half-way.Stirred a drink with your penis = Yes.Stirred a drink with Artie Lange’s penis = No!Gotten drunk with a rock star = Uh, many times.Been mistaken for another celebrity = Nnnn… yes. Name being? A lot of random ones… Jim Florentine. Note: famed comedian Jim Florentine is actually in the audience tonight!Met Mark Hamill = Yeah! Luke Skywalker. I worked with him. On a cartoon.Gotten cock-blocked by a member of Poison = Yes! Name being? Can’t say.

19.  We hear that everybody in your immediate family is deaf except you. Please show us your 3 favorite sign language signs.

Three? I’ll just give you the one. Craig Gass gives C.C. Banana the finger.

Isn’t that universal?

Craig showing C.C. Banana his favorite sign language sign!

How about this, this and this? Craig again raises his middle finger, then flashes the metal horns and displays something that looks like Mr. Spock’s Vulcan hand salute.

This next question is one that C.C. Banana never got to ask, so Craig later responded to it by e-mail. For some reason he decided to make everything rhyme.

20.  The last of Craig Gass:

Last movie you saw = Hitch. It was a stitch.Last CD you purchased = Creed. Sold it for weed.Last rock star you shook hands with = Metal Skool! Now who’s the tool?Last concert you attended = Metal Skool! Got fucked in a pool!Last person you kissed = Can’t remember the chick. But she had a huge dick.Last time you completely bombed on stage = Tonight is a joke. I’m fucked up on coke.Last time you signed an autograph = I’m out of jokes.Last time a club owner stiffed you on a gig = Performing in the street. I took it in the seat. I’m back!Last time you ate a piece of fruit = I suck again.Last time you threw up = Nothing funny here either.

I’ll throw in a bonus one…

Last time you hooked up with a lesbian Latina = No way, Jose. Your sister is gay.

I think I’m retarded.

We now return to our regularly scheduled 20 Questions.

21.  Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We give you some names and you give us your thoughts:

Paul Stanley = Cool guy. True rock star.Rikki Rockett = Seems nice.James Hetfield = Real artist.James Caan = Can kick people’s asses.Kevin James = Nice guy.Nikki Sixx = Not always nice…Mike Gange = Kiss fan.Bret Michaels = Usually pretty cool.Sebastian Bach = Usually pretty cool.Gene Simmons = Smartest man in the business.

At this point, C.C. Banana announces an unexpected surprise!

Alright now, prepare yourself for the bonus round. This final challenge affords you the opportunity to win a cool prize! Since you are both a master of mimicry and a rock & roll roustabout, please perform the following impressions. If the audience approves, you’ll win a Metal Sludge prize package worth about $8.00.

Alright.

Adam Sandler as David Lee Roth = Uh, listen, uh, has anyone seen my fuckin’ band?

Al Pacino as Axl Rose = Uhhh, listen, uh… seriously, has anyone seen MY fuckin’ band? HOO-AHH!

MSTV

Click here to watch Craig impersonate Adam Sandler and Al Pacino!

Christopher Walken as Ozzy Osbourne = Listen, I’m all fucked up. I think my keys are stuck in my ass. Where’s Sharon?

Tom Arnold as Tommy Lee = Uh, hey, listen, uh, my dick is so big it’s got a fuckin’ elbow in it! It’s true!

Sam Kinison as Sammy Hagar = You know that, uh, there was a time when I was cool. There was a time when I couldn’t drive 55. Now I’m lucky if I can find my FUCKIN’ GUITAR PLAYER! OHH! OHHHHHH!

Dennis Miller as Dee Snider = You know, there’s a lot of ugly women out there. And I know that it kinda scares people that I wear make-up. But hey, get it together, for Christ’s sake. I’m an ugly fuckin’ guy.

MSTV

Click here to watch Craig impersonate Christopher Walken, Tom Arnold, Sam Kinison and Dennis Miller!

Lars Ulrich as Dennis Miller = So, I fuckin’… (laughs) Listen, man, I’ve been fuckin’ doing these fuckin’ jokes for fuckin’ James. And I can’t quite come up with something funny cuz I know Lars is gonna see this. So I’m kinda scared that the Metallica fuckin’ boys are gonna come and get me. And this is lame…

Paul Stanley as Paul McCartney = You know, back in the beginning of time… there was a small little band called Kiss. And Kiss inspired a band called The Beatles. And that’s a true story. So if you really want to look back on it… sure, everything the Beatles did was stolen from Kiss. But let’s give credit where credit is due: I get laid a lot.

Gene Simmons as Richard Simmons = Alright everybody, we’re gonna do a workout and I want everybody to follow me, okay? This is Richard Simmons… from Kiss… and before we get to this workout I want everybody to be a part of this fitness program, so we want everybody to have the same workout tapes. It’s going to cost you $99.99 if you go to RichardSimmonsLovesCock.com, and get your own videotapes. Right.

MSTV

Click here to watch Craig impersonate Lars Ulrich, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons!

Alright folks, does he win the Metal Sludge prize package for that, everybody?

The audience cheers and applauds!



C.C. Banana rewards Craig with our generous Metal Sludge prize package, which consists of:

- a tissue used by Eric Singer in 2001 to wipe off his Peter Criss make-up

- a bar napkin with the phone numbers of the 3 hot members of Vixen

- a fork used by Warrant’s Jani Lane while on tour in 1996, including an uneaten bite of his Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast

- the bottle thrown into the crowd by Sebastian Bach in 1989, destroying some chick’s face

- two very rare promotional buttons from the 2003 Metal Sludge Extravaganza Tour

And best of all, to honor Craig Gass for being the very first victim of Metal Sludge’s 20 Questions Live… a genuine Metal Sludge T-shirt! Absolutely free of charge with no shipping & handling fees! How great are we?

So there you have it, faithful Sludgeaholics! The first ever 20 Questions Live, hosted by the always-entertaining C.C. Banana! We’d like to thank Banana for his continuing dedication to the Metal Sludge cause, and for the weeks of work he spent preparing and transcribing this particular project. We’re just glad we didn’t have to do it by ourselves, because it’s a real pain in the ass.

We’d also like to thank Craig Gass for being a good sport and having the balls to answer our stupid questions in front of a live audience. Most of the time our interviews are conducted via e-mail and people can sort of hide behind their keyboards. But like a true Sludgeaholic, Craig bravely stood in front of living, breathing human beings and stated that he’d seen Artie Lange half-naked, that Nikki Sixx hadn’t been nice to him and that he’d gotten cock-blocked by a member of Poison (even though he pussed out on telling us who). But he did make Lars Ulrich look like an ass on live radio, so that’s always cool. Nice job, Craig!

Thanks also to Mark Riccadonna at Stand-Up NY (www.StandUpNY.com) for letting us take over the club for the night. And thanks to Visionary Creations (www.VisionaryCreations.com) for shooting the event and creating the Metal Sludge TV clips featured in this article.

For more information on comedian Craig Gass, check out his stellar Web site atwww.IHateComedians.com.

And of course, to find out more info on rock & roll fruit C.C. Banana, you can visit his official Web site too atwww.CCBanana.com.

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