’30 Rock’ Alum Judah Friedlander Discusses His New Stand-Up Tour

Judah Friedlander is on his new stand-up tour called “Future President.”

Jordan Strauss / Invision/AP

Twenty-one people are running for president. …Or should we say 22? Another has thrown his hat into the ring, and it’s comedian Judah Friedlander, whose hats were a trademark of his character, Frank, on the hit TV comedy “30 Rock.”

Friedlander is on his new stand-up tour called “Future President.” Ahead of his appearance in Atlanta on Tuesday, Friedlander spoke with “City Lights” from NPR-New York.

On talking with the crowd during his stand-up routines: 

“Talking with people in the crowd requires you to be much more hyper-focus, to not only think about what you’re doing and your material, but to focus on every little thing that is going on in the room. You have [to be] 100% on top of things if you’re doing crowd work as well as doing material. You have to constantly be reading things, analyzing things, and creating things on the spot as well, and I prefer that. It brings both danger and unpredictability to the show.”

On his love of performing stand-up in smaller venues:

“I view stand-up comedy as a small venue art form, kind of like jazz. You know, you don’t want to see jazz in a stadium with 50,000 people. You want to see it in a small, intimate vibe, and I think the same goes for comedy. So, I’m still doing the small venues that are good for my show.”

On making/creating his own hats for 30 Rock:

“I’m a very do-it-yourself kind of guy. As an actor, I had to sign a six-year contract before filming one episode. So when that came about, I figured that if I was going to do this long-term that I wanted to be able to look like I am every day. I normally wear hats, so I brought up the hat idea to Tina [Fey] and the costume designer, and they were for it. Then we decided that Frank’s character would make and wear a different hat every day. I figured since this was a personal part of Frank, that I should be making the hats as well.”

Friedlander performs at Atlanta’s Highland Inn Ballroom Tuesday at 8 p.m. He also has a show in Athens on Wednesday night at the 40 Watt Club.