On the Spot: Moshe Kasher

Kasher enjoys uncomfortable cab rides with Aziz Ansari.
Kasher enjoys uncomfortable cab rides with Aziz Ansari.

If you went to one of Aziz Ansari’s shows at Constitution Hall in March, then you’re familiar with his opening act, Moshe Kasher. If you’re not, get acquainted with the author of the dark, hilarious memoir “Kasher in the Rye,” writer for “The New Normal” and co-host of the podcast “The Champs” as he returns to headline the DC Improv this weekend.

Did you do any sightseeing with Aziz when you were in D.C.?
We [rode with] a black taxi driver that was a neocon Rush Limbaugh supporter. Every time we drove by the White House he would boo loudly. And anytime hip-hop would come on the radio he would turn it to country and say, “Now that’s what I’m talking about.” I don’t think [Aziz] was enjoying it as much as I was.

At the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival last June, you did an improvised bit about Radiohead, and you closed with it in D.C. How does an improv bit become a closer?
I was talking to my friend [comedian] Nick Thune, who was at that show, and he said, “Who knew you were going to get a new closer?” It’s true. That’s what comedy is like: You have to force yourself out in the world because you’re always one experience away from new material.

In “Kasher in the Rye,” you write about being raised by deaf parents and becoming a young drug addict.
At every show, people come up to me and say they’ve read the book. I’ve never been a person trying to touch the world, but I’ve had a lot of people come up to me or email me and say the book meant something emotionally to them.

Last October, you released your “Live in Oakland” special on Netflix. Was that a good move?
No question about it. The thing with Netflix is everyone who reads this article can go to Netflix, watch “Live in Oakland” and come to D.C. and see me do a different show. It’s a constant source of people getting to know me.

DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW; Thu. & Sun., 8 p.m., $17; Fri. & Sat., 8 & 10:30 p.m., $20; 202-296-7008. (Farragut North)
Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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