Christian Finnegan is a stand-up comedian, writer and actor based in New York City. He currently can be seen as a panelist on VH1’s hit series [Best Week Ever] and as host of TVLand’s interstitial game show Game Time. Other credits include his own half hour special, Comedy Central Presents: Christian Finnegan, The Late Late show with Craig Ferguson and regular appearances on The Today Show. You also might have caught him on Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show playing “Chad,” the only white roommate in the infamous “Mad Real World ” sketch.
In addition to his television appearances, Christian served as a writer on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and was a frequent contributor to Jest Magazine. He can also name every member of German heavy metal band The Scorpions and play “Shave and a Haircut” by banging on the top of his skull with his fists.
Christian Finnegan tapes his first one hour comedy special on Saturday, 10/25 in Philadelphia. For info and free tickets, go to www.christianfinnegan.com [www.christianfinnegan.com].
1. What’s your favorite political movie?
I’ve seen Rob Reiner’s AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT 8,944 times. It’s not that I think it’s a particularly good film (in fact, it’s kind of awful), but TNT seems to air it on a continuous loop. I enjoy cringing at Aaron Sorkin’s corny, I’m-so-smart repartee. It’s also fun to imagine how terribly Michael Douglas’ climactic ‘in your face’ State of the Union address (“I’m Andrew Shepard…and I am the president.”) would go over in real life. NY Post headline the next morning: “PREZ GONE WILD: Wacko-in-Chief Delivers Nutty Tirade to Congress; Approval Rating Drops to 9%!!!”
2. What role does art play in politics?
Of all the artistic disciplines, I think stand up has the most in common with politics. And I’m not talking about ‘political humor’, which is pretty awful in most cases. But like any political candidate, a comedian uses words and ideas to manipulate people into seeing the world through his or her eyes. There is a difference, of course-Obama is attempting to tap into the collective American spirit. All I’m trying to do is get that drunken group of bachelorettes to stop playing with their penis straws.
By the way, I realize that’s not exactly an answer to the question but like the best politicians, I ‘pivoted’.
3. What do you think is the biggest issue for the next generation of americans?
Based on the current economy, I’d have to say ‘hoarding strategy’. It’s time to re-purpose those Cold War bomb shelters and stock up on the essentials, folks. When America descends into some sort of Road Warrior style dystopia, you’re going to want to place to ‘chill’ while society is overrun by homoerotic marauders with Mohawks and leather chaps.
4. Who was the first political candidate you were excited to vote for and why?
The first candidate to really inspire me move me was Brad Armstrong, who rode a wave of bold policy initiatives to a landslide victory in the RJ Grey Jr. High School 8th grade elections of 1986. Of course, all of President Armstrong’s promises turned out to be just that: promises. A soda machine in the cafeteria? How could I have been so gullible?!
5. What factors are important to you in choosing a president?
1) How much will judicial philosophy determine your Supreme Court appointees?
2) How much can you bench?
3) Where do you stand on Garth Brooks’ 1999 rock ‘n roll alter-ego, Chris Gaines?
6. What issues would you like to see politicians focus more on?
There’s really no way to answer this question without sounding like a Commie pinko, is there? A short list: Literacy, urban renewal, alternative energy, global poverty, Secular Humanism, the New York Knickerbockers, the genius of Elvis Costello and Fortean Zoology.
7. Which issues would you like to see politicians focus less on?
That whole ‘Wall Street versus Main Street’ metaphor. It’s really hack at this point. Can’t we agree on some other figure of speech to convey the disconnect between our financial services industry and the middle class? How about ‘Sashimi versus Filet o’ Fish’? Or simply, ‘A-holes versus Normal People’?
By the way, what’s so great about Main Street? Have you been there lately? Good luck trying to find wi-fi.
8. Which candidate’s initiatives do you feel better addresses environmental concerns?
Um…is this a trick question? Why not just ask me which candidate has most recently hung out with Joe Biden? Or, which candidate would I rather go to for a restaurant recommendation in the greater Chicago area? Or, which candidate is more likely to have seen the film, ‘Krush Groove’?
9. This is your soapbox – shout it out! What do you need to get off your chest?
He was already dead when I found him! Oh wait, ignore that.
I’m hoping that the next decade will bring a newfound focus on and appreciation of rational thought. I long for the day when having book-smarts isn’t a political liability in this country. I’ve had enough of ‘regular folk’. If you’re an ivy-educated dweeb, you’re my candidate.
10. Do you have any recommended links, books or movies so people can learn more about the issues you care about?
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
The End of Faith
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Extra Credit: Fill in the blank. _________ for change.
SHOWER for a change.