Elliot Morgan is known to millions of fans for his work as a host on such popular digital channels as SourceFed, Mental Floss, Buzzr and PopSugar, as well as Spike TV’s “Lip Sync Battle.”
But like many others who have found success in one sector of show business, the 28-year-old Florida native has other creative ambitions he’s eager to explore, and it’s not to direct.
While the internet community has been embracing Morgan as a digital influencer, he’s been honing his chops as a comedian with appearances at local clubs. Now, he’s taking that act to the (virtual) world in his first stand-up special “Premature,” produced by Supergravity Pictures, which debuts today on Vimeo On Demand.
Filmed at El Cid restaurant in Los Angeles, the special features Morgan giving his wry comedic take on everything from Space Camp and movie theater rage to his goat sex fantasy.
VideoInk had Morgan run down some bullet points on his life, comedy and career.
• Why do stand-up?
“Internet videos are wonderful, but it can get to the point where you feel a little stale, because the people who are watching support you but very rarely are they going to tell you if something is funny or not. With stand-up, when there is that reaction happening back and forth that varies from audience to audience, it just changes the performance. I have jokes that I’ve been doing for years, but it always feels different because you’re communicating with a group of people and you can see how they’re responding, and I think that’s irreplaceable.”
• Describe your act
“It would be a cross between John Mulaney and maybe Denis Leary. There’s a dryness to my comedy and I try for there to be an insightfulness, but also with the acknowledgment that I’m an idiot. So it’s sort of like a humble egotism.”
• Biggest lesson learned about stand-up
“T.J. Miller (“Silicon Valley”) talks about how stand-ups are the modern-day philosophers. People listen to stand-ups more than they do to preachers and politicians. I think my lesson was that I took that to heart too much and I took it too seriously. Every time I would do an open mic, it was petrifying. It took a little bit of time to sort of get comfortable on stage and relax a little bit and start being sillier and connecting with the audience and sort of remembering that this is fun. And when that happened it sort of gave birth to the persona that I have on stage now — which is just me screaming the entire time. Not really.”
• The five-year plan
“I like the idea of not putting all my eggs in one basket. When I moved to Los Angeles five years ago, I was like, ‘If I can just make a living entertaining in some capacity, I’ll be good,’ and I think there’s still that part in me that is always making sure that doesn’t go away. Because, really, I could do nothing else. I have no idea how to wait tables.
“In terms of where I’m going to be five years from now, it’s such an exciting time now in terms of content and content creation on the internet with all the streaming services and the way comedy is. With the political and cultural climate we’re in, it’s a very good time to be an entertainer. I want to do all of it. I definitely will never stop doing YouTube and I’ll never stop doing stand-up, and I’m hoping to get into more of a producer role in the future with various web series and create different types of content that are appealing to people.”