Standup comedian Christian Finnegan has put the brakes on fat jokes. But, wait, aren't "fat" jokes good material?
Aren't most comedians mean-spirited and want to mock those folks who they deem as easy targets? Not all of them!
That's certainly not the case for Christian, a well-known New York City funnyman, who is also known for his gig on "Chappelle's Show." For starters, Christian used to be overweight and actually used his own weight battle as a source of material. But, a few years ago, he lost over 80 pound and doesn't think it's cool or clever to single out the weight-challenged.
"I guess the simple answer is that I'm not so fat anymore. It would make any sense. And I'm certainly not going to write material about losing weight because no audience member drinking his third beer and scarfing down a cheeseburger wants to hear about your successful regimen. Success, in general, isn't funny," jokes Christian.
But, all joking aside, Finnegan reveals to Healthy Hollywood that standup was easier when he was overweight because it gave him a "air of phony affability." But, he would much rather be healthy and "not die of a pre-mature attack."
As far for his weight loss secret, Finnegan reveals to me it was the right motivation, noting, "I guess I was just sick of hating myself all the time. Looking in the mirror every day and feeling disgusted is more than just depressing – it's boring."
Adding, "You can read diatribes about why Diet A is fantastic and Diet B is terrible, but most of that stuff is white noise. For me, the key was learning to exercise discipline. It doesn't matter that it was South Beach instead of Paleo or whatever – the important thing was proving to myself that I was capable of sticking to any program."
Finnegan is now ready to embark on his latest journey -- he's starring in the upcoming new musical "HA! The Musical." It is a hilarious look behind the scenes at the world of standup. The show premieres in New York City on August 2 and runs through August 7.
Christian is excited to perform in this show. While, there's no more laughs directed at his former fat self, he does admit being slim has its benefits, adding, "I'd say the main benefit of being in better shape is that I'm not so much in my own head. Not having to obsess over about how fat I look allows me to put all of my attention on the audience and on the jokes I'm telling, which is where it should be."
-- Terri MacLeod