Funny Shit: Q&A with improv comedian/musician Reggie Watts

When Reggie Watts puts on a show, he takes his audience to the fringes comprehension. The comedian/musician/polymath blends beats, tunes, characters, and ruminations about anything—from algorithms to fuck-shit stacks—in a brilliant, vertiginous sweep of sound and hilarity. Yet somewhere amid the swirl of disorientation, Watts’s otherworldly antics feel as familiar as our own wandering thoughts or the spinning of the radio dial.

Over the years, Watts has gained a cult following in the alt-comedy scene. He opened for Conan’s Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour in 2010, and last year he released his newest CD/DVD, Reggie Watts: A Live at Central Park. Here Watts takes a break to chat about King Buzzo’s hair, super powers, and how he’d stop an alien invasion.

Have you received any weird fan mail?

I definitely get packages where people put together paper and a strain of weed—a little kit—even though I’m not much of a smoker. It’s really thoughtful and sweet of them. Some will bake pot cookies. I’ve never gotten anything hyper strange.

Does Buzz Osborne ever ask for his hair back?

No, I don’t think we’ve ever even met. I may have, in some kind of assault, unconsciously stolen some of his genetic information, but I don’t remember being part of the assault team. I’m not sure if he even knows that I’ve taken it; otherwise I think we’d be more in a battle with each other. We’ll see. If I see him and he recognizes that I’ve stolen something from him, maybe it’ll heat up.

If you could make a guest appearance on any period-piece TV show, which show would it be, and what kind of character would you play?

I’d be in Doctor Who. Not quite a period piece, but it constantly takes place in different periods.

The ultimate period piece. 

Yeah, that should be the tagline on the poster: “Doctor Who: the ultimate period piece!” I would probably be some game master of some weird reality that they would have to deal with. I would be benevolent—but they would have to go through my process to make things happen.

If you had one day in an invisibility cloak, what would you do?

I probably would move coffees in slightly different places every time someone was in a conversation, so they’re like, “What the fuck is going on?!?”

If alien invaders landed on your doorstep, what, if anything, would you say to convince them not to destroy Earth?

If they were advanced enough to get here, maybe they could create a technology that would make us less selfish. They’d have this whole workforce that they needed, that’s indigenous to the planet and that knows how it works. They won’t have to retrain their new guys if they’re planning on invading it.