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Aries Spears - Interviewed

by Mitch West

Comedian Aries Spears Photo Credit: Integrated PR Agency

Aries Spears is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and voice actor best known for his work on the sketch comedy series MADtv, where he was a cast member from 1995 to 2004. Spears has also appeared in several films, including The Pest (1997), Jerry Maguire (1996), and The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (1993). He is known for his sharp wit and his ability to impersonate a wide range of celebrities, including Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, and Martin Lawrence. Spears is a regular on the comedy circuit and has released several stand-up comedy specials. He is also a voice actor and has voiced characters in several animated films and television series, including The Boondocks, Family Guy, and The Cleveland Show. Today was a surreal moment. Growing up in the 90s Mad TV became an addiction for my friends and I. Aries Spears was one of the cast members that made us laugh the hardest and we became fans. His impressions were some of the best around and through the years watching his performances at The Comedy Store, Improv, and The Laugh Factory were some of the most fun we had. Knowing I'd be getting a call to do an interview was quite surreal. We got to talk with him about his career, his podcast, and his next moves.

What have been some of your favorite areas to perform in?

"I'm an East Coast guy so you know I love anywhere on the East Coast. Maybe even southern Florida but usually on that side of the map Philly, New York, DC, West Palm Beach, Miami."

When you go back home to play, what does that full-circle moment feel like?

"Not since the pandemic I haven't been to New York New York. I've performed in West Nyack, NY which is probably about 40 minutes outside of the city because certain places in New York have just been still have been trying to recover so I haven't gotten a chance to get back to New York like I'd want to but again the vibe whether its Boston, DC, Philly they all have that same kind of East Coast sass pace vibe which is what I love."

Speaking of the pandemic and covid, what opportunities did it give you once you had that time to reflect? Biggest takeaways?

"I can't speak for everybody else because people were doing whatever they had to do to stand up. It taught me there is only one true way to stand up and that's the honest traditional way. All these Zoom stand-ups where you would do stand up on Zoom with no audience or you would do it at a parking lot with cars where you're standing in the back of a pickup truck and the audience Blairs the horns to take place for a laugh, there's no real substitute for honest stand up. It just made me more aware of what I wasn't willing to do."

When you first wanted to do comedy, what was the moment you knew that's what you wanted to do?

"I always had a deep love for stand-up. My father introduced me to Prior and Red Fox and a lot of black and white movies like Abbott and Costello watching those kinds of movies I've always been a fan of comedy. Eddie Murphy in the 80s was like a king at the time watching SNL, Trading Places, and Beverly Hills Cop it was just something I had taken a liking to. Watching him was just inspirational and it was something I wanted to do. I wanted to follow that path.

Is there anyone you wish you could have shown your impression of them to?

"Not really. They say you should never meet your heroes because you'll be disappointed. I would have loved to of done James Gandolfini just to talk Tony Soprano in front of him to see what he'd thought out of just pure curiosity but at the same time from everything I've ever seen on him in interviews especially out with the paparazzi he seems like the kind of guy where you would have to of approach him under the right circumstances otherwise you might get let down so that would have been a great thing but at the same time it would have been very intimidating."

Now that podcasting is such a huge thing and the success of the Spearsberg Podcast do you feel the control is in your hands with what you want to put out there?

"Ya, you know I think we're still trying to search for what that true success is. We've been doing it for as long as we've been doing it now and I don't know that we've reached what we'd like to believe is that true apex of success is for us but you know it's a grind so you just gotta keep pushing forward and just keep pushing forward until you finally break through."

How did you and Andy Steinberg meet and decide to do this podcast?

"You know he opened for me by circumstance one or two times and he finally just asked me if I needed a regular opener and I told him why not? So once we started going on the road together he brought the idea of doing a podcast to me so I said why not? It's either that or just staying in a hotel room all day doing nothing or trying to figure something out, try to flex those creative muscles and see what happens."

Have there been areas or topics you've wanted to or needed to avoid?

"No, I think one of the things we've prided ourselves on is being an open book in that way. Anytime I tell somebody what the podcast is about one of my main selling points is that I always describe this as alcohol in the prohibition era. Everybody wants to drink, everybody wants to let loose and have a good time. We live in an era and a time now where you know between political correctness and wokeness people really can't speak freely so we offer them an opportunity to hear two guys speak freely."

What have been some of your favorite relationships over the years you cherish with artists, comedians, public figures, etc.?

"I don't have what would be deemed as traditional comedy relationships with some of my peers as most people do. I've always been a loaner in that way. Those experiences for me have come far, few and in between but they're nice when they happen. Anytime you get a chance to share a moment or two comedically with some of the people you have respect for it's always fun but most of them are so fleeting to me that I don't invest too much emotionally into most of those things."

How does the Midwest imprint your career? What stands out?

"I think I've only been there one time and it was brutally cold. It's just a laid back different kind of lifestyle. Being from New York I enjoy a faster pace but at the same time not too slow which is why LA is perfect. It's not too fast and not too slow."

Moving forward what are you working on?

"I'm just trying to put so much energy into trying to take this podcast to the next level. I've got something on the back burner I did with comedian Paul Rodriguez but it was an independent movie. You never know how those things are going to turn out. Maybe they come out, maybe they don't, maybe they're successful, maybe they're not you just don't know in today's age. All I can do is do the work and then after that leave it to the man upstairs."

Give us some words of wisdom or a piece of advice for that kid picking up the mic for the first time.

"Have some drugs on stand by it'll help. You might need it."

Aries Spears plays the Omaha Funny Bone on March 17th and 18th. Tickets are going quickly so make sure to reserve yours soon. Subscribe to the Spearsbergpod Podcast featuring comedians Aries Spears and Andy Steinberg on YouTube HERE or on Apple Podcast HERE.

Omaha Funny Bone (Friday & Saturday, March 17 & 18, 2023)

17305 Davenport St, #201

Village Pointe Shopping Center

Omaha, NE 68118

Ticket link: or (402) 493-8036

Shows: Friday @ 7:30pm; Saturday @ 7pm & 9:45pm

*Updated 4.30.23*


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