Funny man Graham Nolan talks graphic novels and video games before his show at Metropolitan Room
"My perfect night usually involves Papa John's and playing Mortal Kombat, making up dirty jokes about the term "Finish Him!"...But I'm not that big a 'gaymer.' I'm not into dangerous, massive multiplayer online role playing games like [World of Warcraft] or Grindr."
Geeky funny man Graham Nolan moved to New York City in 2011, bringing to the Big Apple his unique blend of nerd humor and gay snark. The former, albeit briefly, Angeleno broke into the biz at Second City in Chicago, combining his gift for gab with his own personal trauma. "I'm textbook comedian, I think, in that I learned to laugh at my own experience as a survival mechanism," commented Nolan. "I spent prom night alone watching Fiona Apple and eating two pints of ice cream with my cat. If you can't laugh at being Cathy ("ACK!") in the body of a teenage nerd, you go insane."
But unlike most comedians, Nolan wears his inspiration on his sleeve. Literally: "I have [an arm] tattoo symbolizing [X-Men] Cyclops and Havok, but it's also a shout-out to my own brother. He can't destroy a mountain, but he can destroy a bad day...With the power of friendship!"
In addition to his video game habits, Nolan is a life-long comic book fan. And like many gay geeks, he finds a kinship between graphic novels and gay culture. "[T]he city is heaven for a gay nerd, as opposed to staying in my small Ohio town where cosplay would have been mistaken for bizarre gang activity. And it's too easy to sell gays on comics these days. Like bitchy teen drama? Read [Image Comics'] Morning Glories. Love snarky rich women? Meet Monet St Croix. Just like looking at hot guys? Here's every man Olivier Coipel has ever drawn."
Besides his comedy sets and reading time, Graham has also been able to take in some of this summer's comic-book based films saying, "Iron Man 3 was so undeniably fun. I wish Gwyneth Paltrow had the same powers in Sliding Doors. I loved Man of Steel a ton. It made me wish I could fly and cut off all my fat parts with scissors. And The Wolverine looks really slick, with real stakes."
Never one to sit idle for too long, Nolan is quickly bringing his act to other avenues. What other projects does he have in the pipeline? "Besides therapy every Tuesday morning? After all, no other project is important as learning to love and accept myself. In general, I'm doing all the stand-up I can write now, exploring some comedy video opportunities and trying to find time for some art projects. I'm a Renaissance Man, like Danny DeVito in the movie of the same name. Also: is stalking [Parks and Recreation and Guardians of the Galaxy star] Chris Pratt a 'project?'"
And finally, one last anecdote: "Once, a major cable news network called me to ask me about my thoughts on the political controversy around Dark Knight Rises; they mistook me for the amazing, professional artist Graham Nolan, who created Bane. I'm like, 'Sorry. I didn't create an angry, half-Hispanic maniacal genius who's open to the idea of dangerous steroid use... BUT my parents did.'"
Graham Nolan at the Metropolitan Room at 34 W. 22nd St. (btwn. 5th & 6th Aves.) Friday, July 12 at 9:30pm; $12 cover and two drink minimum.
Super Queeros is a bi-monthly column by members of New York's Geeks Out!