Don Jamieson: Comedian and TV Host
Don Jamieson is a stand-up comedian and the co-host of VH1 Classic’s hit heavy metal talk show series, “That Metal Show.” The program is a round-table talk show where legends of rock hang out and discuss their past and current projects in front of a live studio audience full of metal maniacs. Rolling Stone Magazine just dubbed “That Metal Show” one of the 50 Best Reasons To Watch TV.
Amongst his many accomplishments, Jamieson’s new CD “Live and Hilarious” on Metal Blade Records is currently Top 20 on iTunes comedy charts and is in the top 10 on the Billboard charts. He is also an “Emmy Award-Winner” for his work on HBO’s “Inside The NFL.” Jamieson and long-time comedy partner, Jim Florentine, lent their brand of humor to the popular sports show. They wrote, produced and performed sports-themed comedy sketches.
The two have also collaborated on the hidden-camera DVD and ComedyCentral.com series, “Meet The Creeps” as well as a series of prank call CD’s, “Terrorizing Telemarketers,” which get a lot of airplay on the Howard Stern Radio Show. He has been a featured “Roaster” on Howard’s “Staff Roasts” (he is also a roast joke writer for the country’s best celebrity roaster, Lisa Lampanelli) and has lent his voice to MTV2’s “Crank Yankers.” He is also a regular on HLN’s Joy Behar Show.
His stand-up act brings his everyday take on life, the hip, the cool and the tragically sublime into the spotlight. Besides performing at clubs in New York City, he tears it up at clubs and theatres all over the country.
For the last four years, he has been the regular opener for Andrew Dice Clay. His reputation as one of New York City’s top comics was cemented when he was asked to perform live on ABC’s Good Morning America .
Jamieson started his career as one of the young and talented comedy minds at MTV helping to launch the careers of comics like Jon Stewart, Kevin James, Pauly Shore (sorry) and Tom Green. Unbeknownst to many, Jamieson was spending his nights on the local comedy scene developing his own comic style.
Making the transition from comedian to television host isn’t easy for most. He has hosted his own series, OLN’s “Beach Ambush” and is currently in production for the sixth season of “That Metal Show.”
This interview was originally published back in March 2012.
TSM: Don, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to do an interview for TSM.
DJ: Yeah, between watching a Hoarders marathon and alphabetizing my concert shirts I’ve been pretty busy today.
TSM: What inspired you to get into comedy? Did you always want to be a comedian? I bet you must have been a jokester as a child! Any other comedians in the family?
DJ: My sense of humor comes from my Mom (aww). In high school I was a class clown. Once I had two huge zits on either side of my nose. In English class I popped one, jumped up and flung myself around screaming for help. Then I popped the other one in Spanish class and did the whole thing all over again en Espanol.
TSM: I know you got your start in comedy as one of the young and talented comedy minds
at MTV. Tell us a little bit about this.
DJ: I used to be one of the talent bookers for MTV’s Half Hour Comedy Hour and was lucky enough to give people like Kevin James, Jay Mohr, Caroline Rhea and others their first break. I always had a great admiration for comics of all sorts. Still do!
TSM: Currently, you co-host VH1 Classics hit heavy metal show series That Metal Show. Who has been one of your favorite guests you’ve had on the show?
DJ: Well, the only guest who gave me a record deal was guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, so it would have to be him. He released Terrorizing Telemarketers Vol. 5 , a cd of prank calls that Jim Florentine and I did together on his record label. He also bought us a moderately-priced Italian dinner.
TSM: Who are the performers that have influenced you the most?
DJ: Growing up – George Carlin, Cheech & Chong, Andrew Dice Clay, Richard Pryor. Now I’m partial to all the Jersey comics I came up with – Jim Florentine, Jim Norton, Otto & George, Bob Levy, Rich Vos. I put those guys up against anybody in comedy.
TSM: How do you prepare for a stand-up show? Is there something special you do before you get out on stage?
DJ: I find alternating between complete neurosis and sudden calm seems to do the trick. Basically, I just try to get a structure in my head of what I want to do on stage and then hope I do something completely different.
TSM: What have been some of your best and worst experiences on stage?
DJ: The worst experience on stage was performing for a company X-Mas party for which I was to be paid $400. I bombed so badly they gave me $500 because they felt bad for me. The best experience on stage was making an extra $100 around the holidays.
TSM: Now I have to ask you about the series of prank call CD’s Terrorizing Telemarketers. I take it you’re not a fan of telemarketers!
DJ: Do telemarketers have any fans? Actually, if anybody was a fan of theirs it would be myself and Jim Florentine who I do the cd’s with. We’ve done five volumes in the series. It’s fun. We sit around and wait for telemarketers to call, torture them and make an album. Most people are on the “Don Not Call” List. We’re on the “Please Call” List.
TSM: Your debut stand-up comedy album, Live and Hilarious is out, which was filmed during your performance at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como, NJ. Tell us a little more about this album and what fans can expect from it.
DJ: Most comics record their album in a packed A-list comedy club over five nights and piece together all the shows to make the perfect live cd. As they should. I did one show in a rock club at the Jersey Shore so it’s a live as it gets. It hit #17 on the Itunes comedy charts and #9 on Billboard, so even though I tried to do everything wrong, it still worked out pretty well. Plus I’m the first comic to be signed to the heavy metal label, Metal Blade Records, which is an honor for a metal head like me.
TSM: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
DJ: I would create world peace, eliminate poverty and get rid of any commercials featuring a caveman, talking baby and lizards with British accents.
TSM: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
DJ: “Jump and the net will appear” and “I am Cornholio, I need TP for my bunghole.”
TSM: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can our readers find out more about you and your work?
DJ: Please follow me on Twitter @realdonjamieson, and please make fun of my sideburns as much as you can – I hardly ever get that.
TSM: Thanks again for doing this interview and wish you continued success with with all you do in the future.
DJ: Thanks for the support! Now if you’ll excuse me, they just found another dead cat on Hoarders.