GS: Tell us about your wife. How did you meet her? Is she Corean American? Does she think you're funny?
HC: I met my wife at a Christmas party in Nashville. She was with her friends and I was with my buddies and I was....quicker. One of my friends said he saw her first, but he hesitated -- his loss. She is the greatest person I know. A great wife and mother who sacrifices daily so the Cho boys can do our thing.
She is from Arab, Alabama, which is a town of zero color -- of any kind. She worked on the Hill in DC for a couple Senators and a Congressman and was also a tax accountant for a large healthcare company in Nashville and Houston so it's not like she has the small town mentality when it comes to people. She does have the values and morals that tend to go along with small town life, and so do I so it's a natural fit. People ask occasionally how it is in a mixed
marriage. I say it's tough cause she's an Alabama fan and I'm a Tennessee fan -- big college football rivalry. That's the only part of our marriage that is "mixed".
My wife thinks I'm funny, but she always says she's funnier... which is true. I've always said, I'm not the funniest person I know -- not even the
top ten, but I can do it in front of strangers. That's the difference.
GS: Seeing as how she's so funny, do you get material from your wife, directly or indirectly?
HC: My wife and her family and her hometown are good for about 25% of my
show. I just can't make these things up. I always kid that I don't eat at
Thanksgiving -- I just sit there with pad and pen and write down the conversation. My wife is a very funny woman, her timing is much better since she's been with me... just kidding.
GS: Are you really a hay farmer?
HC: I was a hay farmer. Had a farm in Gallatin, TN, just outside of
Nashville. I had 62 acres, 42 pasture and 20 of timber. I grew hay and we'd cut and bale it twice a year. I'd sell it to my neighbors and other folks with cattle and horses. Nowadays, I'm a Black Angus Cattle guy. We own a prize bull and a few cows and calves too. Our bull is awesome, he's huge and people pay top dollar for his stud fee. My vision is when I retire in a decade or so is to have a large herd. Black Angus is the best beef available...hands down. I'll answer your next question -- No I've never seen or heard of another Asian hay
farmer/Black Angus guy, not in the states anyway.
GS: What is your main source of income? Can you support a family with standup comedy?
HC: My day job is standup. It's always a mystery of how we can make a living. A comedian on the upper level can make a really good living. I only work on average 6-8 nights a month and we do just fine. I've never had a real job,
going from college to comedy. I've slept in my entire life until 3 years ago when my first son was born. Now sleep is obsolete..but worth it..I've slept plenty in my life.
GS: How do you divide your time between California and Tennessee?
HC: I live in the South Bay, the beach area. Mainly because if I'm going to live somewhere besides TN, I may as well be by the ocean. Also, the air is cleaner and no one around here is in showbiz so I'm surrounded by real people, not jaded abnormal hollywood types. We go between LA and Nashville as our schedules allows. With our boys still young it's easier even though our oldest is getting more involved in preschool and other lessons it's getting harder to yank him out, but we still do it as needed. I'd prefer to live in TN as would my wife, but the daily grind of working on a TV project keeps me here. We moved back to LA about 2 years ago so I could work on this project. I may only work 6-8 nights a month, but if you add a week in LA a month then it becomes 50% and
that's not quality living.
GS: Give us a picture of your typical day, both on the road and at home. I'm particularly curious as to the mix of work/activity that goes on behind the scenes for a comedian/actor. How does your time break down among writing material, trying out material, dealing with agents, dealing with network people, etc.?
HC: My days on the road are completely different from my days at home. On the
road, say a weekend at a comedy club, I'll fly in on Thursday night, arrive
around midnight if it's back east. Get picked up and taken to the hotel,
crash, get picked up to do press around 6:00-6:30am. If it's back east, that's
3:00 a.m. to my body, on the air by 4am to me -- hard to be funny, but that's the biz.
Friday is full of press -- morning news shows on TV, 3-5 radio stations,
pretty much a full on blitz. Then off to the golf course to tee off before noon.
Back to the hotel by 5 or 6pm. Eat as close to 6pm as possible ( I can't eat
heavily before a show -- no, not nerves, just try not to burp). Then it's time
for the comedians' secret -- an hour power nap just clears the head. The show
starts at 8p.m. I don't go on stage until around 8:45, so I hit the shower at
8 or whenever the showtime is, get dressed, mosey over to the club (normally
a minutes walk or drive in a rental car), get there and relax, talk to the
emcee (typical show is emcee, feature act, then I close the show..sometimes it's
just one comic opening for me) and see how the crowd was for him, any
problems in the crowd, i.e. hecklers (very rare at my shows), talkers, any other potential problem patrons. Then I'll have a bottle of water and take another one on stage with me and perform for an hour.
I take questions during my show, so I
don't stand by the door and talk to people. Always think it's lame to force
people to tell you they liked your show. Anyway, if someone wants to say
something to me afterwards, they normally tell their server or one of the
doormen, anyone who works there and I'll come out and say hey. I don't hide or anything. I'm just not comfortable standing around while people walk out. After everyone's gone and the numbers are done (I normally work for the gate, i.e. ticket sales) I head back to the hotel to watch SportsCenter, uninterrupted, a luxury nowadays because my typical day at home starts at 5:45am with the baby getting up.
When I'm home my wife and I take turns getting up in the morning. We
don't rotate, it's who's capable of getting up and who's not. She probably
gets up 4 out of 7 when I'm home for a week. I'm only gone 6-8 nights a
month, so I get up alot also. As I write this it is the end of July and I've been home 36 straight days (I took July off to work on my TV project) and I don't leave my family until late August. It's been great being home, but it's difficult to get things in order. I'm working on my project, I host a golf tournament in Nashville, TN for MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Assoc) it's called the "Standup for a Cure" comedy golf classic. I get all my showbiz/comic buddies to join me and raise money for the local chapter benefiting middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky. That's Sept 14/15.
Also, my wife is designing the house we're
building in Nashville. I have meetings, conference calls, emails (heck I'm
answering all these questions when my boys are napping or down for the night) and help raise my sons and spend time with my wife. So family comes first. I wake up with Grant (11mos) and make coffee and turn on the computer and watch him play. Watch Grant and check emails and VM's from the east coast. It's 9 or so there. Jackson (3 1/2) gets up about 2 hours later as does my wife. So then I cook breakfast for them and get Jackson ready for preschool (3 hrs twice a week), drop him off and then get Grant back for his nap. Now we have about 1 1/2 to
2 hours depending on when Grant wakes up, so my wife will run to the gym and
the store and I'll get the west coast day going. It's about 9 a.m. Pacific time
now, noon back east, so more emails and calls until 11 a.m. Leave to get
Jackson. Grant is up by now and Amy (my wife) will make lunch for all of us. After lunch if nothing is pressing we'll go to the beach or the playground or just ride bike around the block. Amy takes over in the afternoon. By 3pm all the east coast stuff is normally finished. West coast getting in last minute