The comedy duo Hits and Giggles performs at Rafters on Wednesday, March 10. (Photo courtesy Hits and Giggles)
Comedy duo to perform at Rafters
In a continuous effort to bring live entertainment to Mammoth Lakes, Rafters will be hosting the comedy group Hits and Giggles on Wednesday, March 10. The duo consists of comedians Rick D’Elia and Adam Stone. Stone has been making his name in the Reno stand-up circuit for over a decade. D’Elia, besides his stand-up, has made multiple appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. After an afternoon of non-stop YouTubing and MySpace stalking I finally got a chance to chat with D’ Elia and Stone via a conference call last Wednesday. The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Sheet: I checked out some of your songs on your MySpace page, and they’re really funny. They kind of remind me of Weird Al or Flight of the Concords. What’s your inspiration?
Stone: Flight of the Concords is funny and so is Weird Al. But I wouldn’t say they’re an inspiration. We have a good stage relationship and banter kind of like the Smothers Brothers and Cheech and Chong, we’re not just up there singing funny songs.
D’Elia: We actually started out as an eighties cover band. Some guys dropped out after awhile and Adam I still wanted to do music so Hits and Giggles sort of formed from that.
Sheet: You have a song called Southern California, which is to the tune of Hotel California about two illegal Mexican immigrants. I noticed the video was pulled off of YouTube.
D’Elia: Yeah, it’s stupid. All of the people we know that are Mexican thought it was hilarious but it was the uptight white folks that took issue with it. It’s just a funny song about immigration. For God’s sake Daniel Pearl has a video of a guy getting be-headed but they didn’t pull that video.
Sheet: When I first heard the song I thought to myself, “these guys are going to get their a**es kicked,” but then I thought there’s no way anyone could take this seriously. Adam your Hawaiian, people must have thought “well hell, here is a Mexican guy singing this song so it’s okay.”
Stone: Ha, I’m sure. I get that quite a bit. But during our live shows we each do a short stand up bit and the audience eventually knows that I’m Hawaiian. But I can see the confusion. Hawaiians are basically skinny Samoans.
Sheet: I think the problem might stem from the fact that most people in the lower 48 don’t know what a Hawaiian looks like. Speaking of Samoans, I saw you in one of your profile shots and you’re rocking this leather jacket and looking pretty tough. You could probably play Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s stunt double.
Stone: Ha maybe, or a skinny version of him. Maybe I could play him in his younger years in a made for TV movie or something.
Sheet: Rick, I saw a stand up bit of you and you were joking about how you had some bills go to collections because the company put your name down as Rick D”Apostrophe” Elia. Did that actually happen?
D’Elia: Once in awhile the comedy gods smile down on you and give you a piece of material like this. I actually sent a copy of the bill to my dad and he framed it. As a comedian you often take real life scenarios and exaggerate to make it a better joke. The English jokes that followed were obviously made up but that scenario was definitely a gift.
Sheet: Yeah, you went on to say that the name was ridiculous because you’ve never had a semi-colonoscopy.
D’Elia: That’s true, but I do have a dangling participle.
Sheet: In some of your bits, you remind me of Chris Farley. I mean, you’re a fit lookin’ guy but your mannerisms are sometimes reminiscent of Farley.[Long Silence]
D’Elia: Ummm I’ve never heard that.
Sheet: You know like the motivational speaker bit where Farley keeps adjusting his belt?
D’Elia: Great, now you just gave Adam more material to rip on me about when we do our show up there.
Sheet: Sorry, I just thought you may have heard that before. Let’s change the subject. Rick, on your IMDB.com page it says you’ve had some appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno?
D’Elia: The funny thing about IMDB is that they know everything about you. I really have nothing to do with that stuff. Once I tried to change my birth date on there because everyone is Hollywood lies about their age, you know? So I called em’ up and told them there was a mistake with my birthday but they told me that there couldn’t be a mistake because that’s the info they got off of my SAG application.
Sheet: Wow, IMDB is like the IRS of entertainment.
D’Elia: True, but yeah I’ve only done a few things on the Tonight Show.
Sheet: It seems like on that show you either played an ATF agent or a drunk guy. You’re a pretty diverse actor.
D’Elia: Hmm, I think maybe there’s a direct correlation to ATF agents and drunks. They’re always around alcohol, tobacco and firearms; I bet eventually they’re forced into alcoholism. Hmm, that’s interesting.
Stone: It’s funny because Rick doesn’t even drink on the road.
D’Elia: Yeah, I still drink at home. But I went through this stage in my twenties where I thought I was a rock star but I lacked the star part. So I partied myself out I guess. Now it’s strictly business. You just can’t do your job very well. I mean you’re a writer, what’s that old adage for writers? “Write drunk, edit sober?”
Sheet: I heard that’s the secret to good writing. But there’s definitely been a few times where I wrote some stuff, woke up the next morning and then realized man if I don’t change this there’s gonna be a gang load of people trying to beat me up.
D’Elia: Yup, that’s why I don’t drink on the road.
Sheet: But isn’t there a part of being a comic that demands you ruffle some feathers and piss some people off?
Stone: I think that’s something that is inherent with the business. It’s kind of like that Southern California song. It pissed some people off, but in the end a lot of people thought it was great.
Sheet: Yeah, it sounds kind of like writing for this newspaper.
For more excellent banter, Check out D’Elia and Stone’s video clips at myspace.com/hitsandgiggles and certainly don’t miss the duo live at Rafters Restaurant and Lounge Wednesday, March 10th. Reservations are recommended, so call 760.934.9431 space is limited.