FRIARS CLUB: You have given tour de force performances in dramas, comedies, and musicals in addition to hosting TV shows and comedy specials. What do you look for in a role?
DAVE KONIG: I like a role where the check clears and I get to take something home from wardrobe. Currently my agent is looking for TV roles for me, something in a nice gabardine suit or a cashmere sweater vest.
FRIARS: You have taken an active role in the Friars Club. What makes this organization so unique?
KONIG: I perform at a lot of great Friars charity benefits, from the Sunshine Committee (providing entertainment at children’s hospitals and nursing homes) to Wounded Warriors. Frank Sinatra said, “It is by their charitable works that a Friar is known.” Sinatra also said, “Jilly – punch that guy in the teeth!”
When you perform comedy at the Friars Club you take part in a magnificent show business heritage, with a direct apostolic link from the great comedians of my generation to Freddy Roman, Stewie Stone, and Dick Capri, to Alan King and Buddy Hackett, to Milton Berle, to Jolson and all the way back to Mordechai Ben Halvah, the very first comic, who roasted Moses at Mount Sinai. He told a joke about Moses’s wife catching an STD: “That’s why she has a burning bush.” When it didn’t get a laugh, he became the very first comic to say, “Too soon?”
FRIARS: Tell us a funny story about performing at the Friars Club.
KONIG: I performed at the Friars Roast of George Takei, Mr. Sulu from Star Trek. He had just gotten married to his long time boyfriend Brad Altman making him one of the first gay celebrities to get married. With George in the hot seat, and Brad in the front row, I said on their honeymoon George turned to Brad and said “I hope there are no Klingons on Uranus.” It got a big laugh (would I be telling this story if it hadn’t?), especially from George and Brad. Only at the Friars would I have the chance to tell a questionable gay Star Trek joke to an actual gay cast member of Star Trek!
FRIARS: How has being a Friar impacted your life, personally and professionally?
KONIG: When you are a Friar, you’re part of something very special. The Friars is a great social club, a great show business institution, and a great philanthropic organization all rolled into one. Plus the steam room is perfect – just hot enough, not too damp. And they serve a great skirt steak.
Dave Konig is a national headlining comedian who also plays the comedy club owner “Matchie” on the hit FX series Louie with Louie C.K. He won three Emmy Awards as the host of the TV series Subway Q&A, and also hosted the infamous late-night HBO comedy series Hardcore TV. He starred on Broadway as the deejay Vince Fontaine in the long-running revival of Grease. He serves on the Friars Club Board of Governors. www.davekonig.com