Rory Scovel

The comic on the value of discomfort, writing for yourself, and consistently falling in and out of love with comedy.


I’m a stand-up comedian and an actor and, hopefully, one day, a writer. But, as it stands now, I travel the world telling my observations that range from very funny to things no one is interested in, including myself. And that’s about it. We’re done.

My very first experience on stage was great, probably because it was in my college town and I made about 40 friends show up, which was the entire audience. It was an open mic poetry night. They didn’t have open mic comedy nights, so they agreed to let me tell jokes. It’s not particularly hard to relieve the tension in a room if you’re going up after three poets. All 40 of my friends were probably being assholes, like, “What the hell? Someone just tell some jokes.” So the odds were pretty stacked in my favor to please the crowd that I brought.

But it went really well, and I was immediately just all in. My sister lived in D.C. and said I could crash on her couch, so as a matter of convenience I decided that I was going to move there to do stand-up. I definitely was not ready to move to a city on my own and figure it out. I mean, I could maybe do that now, but at that time I was too immature and had no concept of how to actually grow into an adult, let alone take care of myself. God, saying it out loud is so depressing now.