Pop Goes The News — Godfrey isn’t exactly sure how he ended up in the line-up of this year’s edition of The Nasty Show at Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival.
“I’m not nasty,” he insists. “I’m just edgy.”
Still, Godfrey says he’s looking forward to taking the mic at Metropolis nearly a dozen times between now and July 29.
“It’s going to give me freedom. I won’t worry. I’ll just do what I want,” he told Pop Goes The News. “It’s The Nasty Show. It’s open season. If I go, ‘Yo, what’s up guys. Did you ever fuck a goat in the ass? I’m just smashing this goat and then I sucked a goat’s cock. It was amazing. That milk is so amazing. Good night!’
“I mean, I don’t know. I’m going to feel it out but I think funny is just funny.”
There were no goat-fucking jokes in Godfrey’s set at Wednesday opening show — but there was a hilarious bit involving Donald Trump’s ejaculation technique.
The Nasty Show, hosted by Ari Shaffir, also includes Jimmy Carr, Robert Kelly, Big Jay Oakerson, and Yamaneika Saunders.
Godfrey figures Just For Laughs asked him to be a part of this year’s Nasty Show after he showed another side of himself at last year’s Ethnic Show.
“We had like 20 shows. That’s a lot of fucking shows, so I would change up my shows,” he recalls. “I guess at one or two shows I got kind of edgy and all of a sudden they were like, ‘It’s an ethnic show, there’s a branding for it,’ but I was like, how many times are you going to tell an Italian joke? There’s only so much you can do.”
The American comic, who celebrates his 48th birthday in Montreal on Friday, says he’s just happy to be at a Just For Laughs again.
“You always feel cool when they invite you to the festival,” says Godfrey. “Every year it’s going to be huge. That’s the great thing about the festival is that you get to hang out with people and you never know what’s going to happen. Also, it’s like neutral ground here so it’s loose.
“And Montreal is such an awesome city.”
In addition to doing stand-up, Godfrey has had roles in movies like Zoolander and Soul Plane and has appeared as himself on a couple of episode of Louie. But the former audience warm-up comic for The Cosby Show insists he never wanted to land a sitcom.
“I’m not really comfortable with that three-camera thing and the audience right there,” he explains. “I’d rather do like a single-camera like Louie where the audience isn’t there and you just close your eyes and hope the world likes it.”
Godfrey admits he’s hoping there are some Netflix execs lurking at Just For Laughs.
“Netflix is the thing. Netflix makes more sense because you can shoot a special and you can have people choose what they want to watch. You give the power to the people, which should always be, because those are the consumers, the people who make you,” he says.
“Who doesn’t want a Netflix special?”
While The Nasty Show is not a good choice for the sanctimonious or easily-offended, Godfrey is not worried that his edgier material will offend anyone.
“That means you’re not treating comedy as an art form. You think we’re just a bunch of idiots talking shit,” he says.
“You see somebody singing a song about what’s going on, you’re not going to talk shit to them. But as soon as a comedian comes up, we’re not part of the arts?”
Godfrey believes comedy is one of the last forms of free speech.
“The great thing about comedy is it’s a relief thing. It’s helping, healing when you talk about the atrocities going on,” he adds.
“What about my perspective? We can all laugh about it. It’s not about trying to separate us, it’s about everybody coming together.
“I’m a fucking grown man. I pay taxes. This shit affects me. You don’t know what’s going on with me. And you’re saying I can’t talk about this?”
Godfrey blames a culture of rampant narcissism.
“Narcissism is so big now. ‘I didn’t appreciate it!’ Attention! Attention! And I tell people, you don’t have to appreciate it but you have to fuck off talking to me.
“Laugh and heal yourself.”