5 questions: Baron Vaughn
The comedian is a regular on Netflix’s ‘Grace and Frankie’
Being a graduate of Boston University and performing your first open mic at Dick Doherty’s Comedy Vault, how exciting is it for you to come back to Boston to perform?
Baron Vaughn: Very exciting! A few years ago, I had the great opportunity to do a show for Comedy Central and it was filmed in Boston. I love coming back to Boston, because I get to relive my glory days.
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What does stand-up allow you to do that you are not able to do with acting?
BV: I love stand-up because the material is the stuff I write. With acting, I am performing someone else’s words. There are limitations with acting. Stand-up is a living document and it can be adjusted at any moment. Stand-up is both surprising and unexpected.
What is the first joke you learned?
BV: Hmmm … it was probably a knock-knock joke. I do remember a joke a friend told me back in high school. Two guys are walking down the street with their dogs on a hot day. They are thirsty and see a bar across the street. There is a sign in the window that reads “No dogs allowed.” The first guy places sunglasses on his dog and goes into the bar and gets served. The second guy does the same thing. The bartender says to him, “No dogs allowed!” He says, “But this is a Seeing Eye dog.” The bartender says, “It can’t be. It’s a Chihuahua.” In shock, the guy says, “What?! They gave me a Chihuahua?!”
What is it like working with the amazing cast of Netflix’s “Grace & Frankie?”
BV: It is unreal! It is crazy to be working with them and calling them by their first names. It is weird to believe that I have a friendship with these vets of the show. I am learning so much from them. Jane doesn’t mess around. You have to be in the zone and ready anytime you have a scene with her. I love learning their process and watching them act.
What have you learned about comedy from Lily Tomlin?
BV: Lily’s talents were already a big influence on me before I was hired to do the show. I was a fan of her on “Laugh-In.” She is not afraid to play or explore the scenes that you do with her. All of them (Lily, Jane, Sam, & Martin) have really fine-tuned acting skills. What I really love about her is that she takes you in and pays attention to you. She is always saying, “Be kind and be present.”