Steve “Mudlap” McGrew is a comic survivor.
He’s been canceled for supporting President Trump, denied an HBO gig for mocking President Clinton and, in 2020, separated from his home office by the pandemic.
AKA the comedy stage.
Now, McGrew is hitting the road again to make us laugh while promoting his new comedy album, “Toxic Masculinity.” If you can’t find him at a club near you quite yet, you can see his comedy clips on YouTube.
HiT reached out to McGrew to learn more being funny during a pandemic, how Big Tech censorship impacts his career and more.
HIT: COVID hit everyone hard, including stand-up comedians. Can you share some of the creative projects you started/continued during the lockdown?
McGrew: I tried to be more visible on social media. I was doing more videos of my characters, like Liberal Larry, Tucker the Trucker and Conspiracy Theory Carl.
I also was a guest on more podcasts. I started using my metal detector again and was making videos about the old coins I’d find. People really like those videos
HiT: Some states are allowing limited stand-up shows, and you’re going back on the road at long last. What are the main precautions/rules in place for stand-up gigs now?
McGrew: Oh yeah and boy, does it feel good to get back on the road! I recently did a show in Little Rock and it sold out! That feels awesome because people are coming out of hibernation to see me. The clubs are doing everything to make the crowds safe. Social distancing, wiping down the tables, chairs and handles. You see lots of plexiglass, too.
HiT: Do you get the sense that your fellow comedians are eager to hit the road again, or are they staying home to ensure they stay COVID-19 free?
McGrew: I think there is a lot of comics that are ready to get back out make some money, pay their bills and save their homes. I know I’m one of them!
I’m not sure they’re staying home to be COVID-free. I think a lot of comics are staying home because the work is just not there for them anymore. There was a lot of comics that should’ve been working clubs already, but they just weren’t ready. But a lot of the real headliners are eagerly getting back to work
HiT: Big Tech censorship is clamping down on right-leaning material. Can you share if this has impacted you in any way?
McGrew: Oh it’s impacted me a lot. They’ve removed posts. They’ve removed videos. They’ve removed great jokes that would’ve gotten good exposure. They’ve suspended accounts. It’s censorship, pure and simple It’s basically how they stole the election, too.
HiT: Has your stand-up material changed in any way due to the pandemic?
McGrew: I think so. I’ve written more material. Of course I’ve written more COVID lockdown material. I recently did a show in Dallas, Texas at Hyenas Comedy Club and all of the new material worked great. I even pulled out some of the early COVID material I wrote before the lockdown, and it worked.
And having been so long since I did stand up a lot of stuff was improvised right on the spot. Doing that helps write new stuff!
HiT: Have there been any benefits, even tiny ones, to the extended lockdown for you, professionally?
McGrew: The only good thing about lockdown is I got to spend more time with the wife, kids and pets. It makes you realize when you’re out on the road so much all the stuff you miss day to day. And that, I think, brings you back to being a regular person and makes you want to be a better person.
And that, in turn, makes you a better comic because now you’re more relatable.
“Hell yeah, I’m shopping at the Dollar Tree!”