Mike Green is a 30-year veteran of stand-up comedy who grew up in Roseville, Michigan. He now lives in Clinton Township with his wife and three kids. He has won the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, The New York Comedy Expo, and Gilda’s Laugh Fest Clean Comedy showcase. He has appeared on FOX, NBC, and ABC nationally, as well as countless other local TV and Radio shows. He has performed shows in Las Vegas, New York City, Los Angeles, and aboard cruise ships. We asked him a few questions…
1. How do you describe your comedy?
I have an observational style that is clean but adult enough to be fun.
2. Who were some of your comedic influences? What was it about these comics that you admired?
I loved Eddie Murphy in Delirious. I loved how the whole set was one gigantic story.
3. You are know for doing “clever clean comedy.” Does that open doors that may be closed to comedians who can’t work clean? Does that make it harder to perform in other situations?
I do a bunch of corporate shows that I wouldn’t be able to do if I worked dirtier. Early on in my career, I did a college tour it included Christian schools. I had to work clean to get paid, so I did. I can work blue but I don’t like to. I did a show recently where I told the audience I wasn’t going to swear. A guy up front said well then it won’t be funny. I told him it would be funny. I did my whole show and it went great — he loved it. So I said out loud to him, “See, pretty funny, huh?” He said, “Yes, but you said ‘ass’.” So I told him to, “Fuck off” and walked off stage.
I mostly work clean and by clean I mean like Two and a Half Men clean. Adult enough to be fun.
4. How does your on-stage persona differ from your offstage personality?
I don’t talk a lot in my real life.
5. You have a young son who has performed stand-up comedy in front of crowds. Do your kids want to be comics?
No, I don’t think they want to be comedians. My 11-year-old Sarah is my funny kid, though. At dinner the other night, I said something smart alec-y to my wife. My wife said, “What happened to that sweet handsome man I married?” My daughter said, without missing a beat, “Oh, you were married before, Mom?”
My son did try stand up and it wasn’t for him. We worked on some jokes and at one point he panicked and started doing a story from my act.
6. How has the Michigan comedy scene changed in the time that you’ve been doing stand-up?
Well, Lansing, Toledo, Ft. Wayne, Livonia, and Chaplin’s have all closed so it has become survival of the fittest. The entire biz has changed since I started. As a middle act, I would fly to Houston for two weeks and make $800 a week; they paid my air, car rental, and gave me my own condo for the two weeks!
7. Up-and-coming comedians get a lot of advice. What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got?
I didn’t get a lot of bad advice. I had someone once tell me to do my best 10 at the Boston Comedy festival. I found out later that it’s easier and more natural-looking to just do a 10-minute section of my show.
8. What projects are you working on currently?
It looks like I’m going to be teaching a comedy (after school club) this year at my daughter’s junior high school.