By David Gavri
Just four guys from Texas who are hell bent on memorbale nights filled with whiskey, mayhem, and jokes. Seeing them live is like drinking with your best friends, only these guys are funnier.
The Whiskey Brothers were not only kind enough to grace us with their presence, but they were generous enough to bring us inside their secret studio. There, we had the opportunity to witness the infamous Whiskey Brothers Podcast in-the-making as they produced their latest episode. Hangin’ with these guys was an experience like no other. What was discussed was highly inappropriate, uncontrollably funny, and overall, wildly entertaining. It’s time to tell the tale.
ROB MUNGLE: Known as The Reverend. Rob is the founding member of The Whiskey Brothers. He’s been around the comedy scene for quite some time, performing anywhere from seedy strip clubs to sold out theaters, and everywhere else in between.
SAM DEMARIS: Crowned as 2011’s Funniest Person in South Texas. Strapped with a bottle of Jack, Sam is one of the funniest, most energetic storytellers in the lone star state.
SLADE HAM: An international headliner who has taken the stage in 22 countries, on four different continents. He’s told jokes for the people of Germany, he’s hopped all around Japan and Korea to perform for the Air Force, and he even got to fly in a Blackhawk helicopter to entertain the troops in Iraq. Slade also appears as a regular on The Bob & Tom Radio Show.
JOHN WESSLING: He’s the founder of the Houston Comedy Union, he’s an ESPN Sports Radio talk show host, and most importantly, he’s a beloved Whiskey Brother. John has made TV appearances on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, as well as Comedy Central’s Roast of Jeff Foxworthy. And he is one of only three comedians to ever perform in all 50 states within 50 consecutive days.
Slade: Before we start this interview, you bettter not quote me outta context! If I say somethin’ like, “I can’t stand the fact that I’m contstantly confronted by all these gay people!”
And you edit it to say, “I…am…gay!”
They can do that?
Mungle: Fox does. [everyone laughs]
Now, each of you are different in your own unique way. Tell us about yourselves. And how do you guys work so well together?
Wessling: First of all, my name’s John…I’m a Leo…and I like making love from the bottom. [winks]
Mungle: When it comes to personality, we’re VERY different, yet when it comes to comedy, we’re very like-minded. We have a common sensibility about what we like as well as the issues we like talking about. And since we each have a different approach to the same issue, it gives a little something for everybody. As far as our unique characters go, I’m a raging liberal and Slade is more on the right-wing side, but when you see the show— [interrupted by Sam Demaris]
Demaris: —and I’m 100% apathetic… [everyone laughs]
Mungle: But when you see the show— [interrupted by John Wessling]
Wessling: —and I’m black. [serious face]
Mungle: … [tries to speak, but is only further interrupted by Slade Ham’s infamous giggle] BUT WHEN YOU SEE THE SHOW! [finally free to speak] it all flows into one. [sigh of relief]
Slade: Which is the cool thing about us, because with our different points of view, if we were just strangers who ran into each other on the street, there would be conflict. It would be a bar conversation gone BAD.
Demaris: Someone would get thrown…
Slade: But with our approach to it comedically, there’s unification. And that says somethin’ about comedy. At the end of the day, the joke is more important than either one of our points of view.
Mungle: Except that I’m right. [everyone laughs]
Do you guys ever get in arguments with each other? If so, about what?
Demaris: We’ll argue about what whiskey we wanna drink that day.
Slade: My driving.
Demaris: The thing is, we don’t live together, and we’re not with each other 24/7. We form up, we do our thing, and then we disappear.
Slade: We’re like Seal Team Six…we go in, we kill Bin Laden, and then we get the fuck out.
Demaris: Without dying in a helicopter…
We assume you guys are whiskey connoisseurs— [interrupted by Slade Ham]
Slade: —ya we know a thing or two.
[everybody laughs at my expense]
—so what is your favorite whiskey?
Slade: Jameson 12 Year
Wessling: Bulleit. And I’ve been drinkin’ the same whiskey my entire life. Not because it’s my favorite, it’s just so that when I die, my family has only one person to sue. [laughter] It’s my form of life insurance.
Demaris: Jack is my go-to, but lately my favorite is Old Whiskey River.
Mungle: FREE. My favorite whiskey is FREE whiskey. And for the record, I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur… I just drink to get fucked up. I dunno shit about it. It’s like saying that someone who eats Ci Ci’s Pizza all the time is an Italian food connoisseur! [everybody cracks up in laughter]
Do you guys only order whiskey? Or do you enjoy other beverages?
Demaris: Rob likes to add sweet shit like Coke to his whiskey.
Mungle: Hey it worked for Sammy Davis Jr. and it’ll work for me.
Demaris: Ya…he’s dead. [everyone laughs] But in the summertime, I drink beer a lot. If it’s above 90 degrees outside, I love a super ice cold beer.
Slade: I also drink Guiness. But don’t misunderstand, I’ll drink…anything. Preference-wize, it’s Jameson on the rocks or Guiness. But if you showed up with a frozen strawberry daiquiri right now— [everyone laughs]
Demaris: —in a bag! [points to John Wessling] One time Johnny actually walked around with a frozen daiquiri bag like, “Hey! Sup fellas?!”
Wessling: It was awesome! Had it around my neck on a lanyard.
Slade: It was more like a “Frozen Dai-Nipples.”
Wessling: I don’t wear “bling” around my neck, I wear “burrrr”.
[everybody’s crackin’ up]
What’s the largest amount of whiskey that you guys have consumed during a Whiskey Brother’s Show?
Demaris: The answer is: Not Remembered…
Slade: We do keep a count…and the number is 41 shots between the four of us when we played The House of Blues.
Being that Houston has a large Hispanic community, have you guys thought about being The Tequila Brothers for a night?
Slade: If we can sell it for a night, we’ll do it. We’re not above the gimmick, ya know what I mean?
Mungle: We are officially ready to sell out!
Slade: But with all seriousness, we do what we do in front of anybody. We’re never going to sell out a show based on that pretext alone.
Wessling: In all honesty, if you come to any of our shows, they are as diverse as the world we live in. We’re not about segregating the comedy scene.
Demaris: Every race has 20 bucks in their pocket. Doesn’t matter who you are, if you feel like droppin’ 20 bucks, come watch.
Slade: You can put us up in front of any crowd, period. As long as they speak English.
Mungle: As long as they like to drink.
Do you guys have any pre-show rituals that you’d like to share?
Wessling: I get high as giraffe pussy. [everybody laughs] They bring me into the show like a balloon. That’s pretty much it. [Slade Ham’s infamous giggle]
Tell us a wild ‘n whacky whiskey tale.
Wessling: Allow us to regail you with our tales of daring doom…
Slade: [very nonchalant] Sam and I beat up a midget once…
Demaris: Another time I passed out in a ditch…
Slade: Sam slept in a ditch the night we did a show in Leesville, Louisiana. Sam opened the show, I was the middle slot, and then Rob went up after me…
Mungle: …and I was drunk before I even said, “Hello.”
Slade: During Rob’s set, they brought him a shot called The Vapor Lock, which is a schooner that they lit on fire with a blow torch…
Demaris: And they bring a trash can for him…
Slade: …so he could throw up ON stage. After they light it on fire, everyone looks at Rob and yells, “Go!”
Wessling: So Rob ran away… [everyone laughs]
Slade: After that, all I remember is finding Sam in the ditch outside rollin’ around in the mud. He crawls into my car, my front seat’s covered in mud. Rob disappeared for a while, but we find out that he made it back to the hotel room just in time to throw up, crack his head on the toilet, and pass out on the floor. But at 9 o’clock the next morning we all had breakfast together. [everyone laughs]
And when we found Rob that morning, he looks at us and goes, “We gotta get outta here right now! I left a $20 on the dresser, hopefully that’ll cover the clean up, lets go!”
…wait so the midget fight was a different night?
Slade: The midget was after another show we did. I say he was a midget…he was midget-ish…I don’t know what the legal limit is…we didn’t lay him across a cooler like a salmon to measure, but he was right at the midget cutoff line.
Demaris: First of all, for the record, this lil’ dude wouldn’t leave us alone. We tried multiple times to get away from him. Even his girlfriend kept telling him, “C’mon let’s go…let’s just go…”
And the whole thing went down when he followed me to my car. I put my stuff in my car, I turn around, and there he is yappin’ at me. So Slade comes in and woops his assss…looked like he was hittin’ a speed bag. [Slade Ham’s infamous giggle] And his girlfriend’s yellin’ at him, but the lil’ guy comes at me, so I hit him…he gets back up, comes at me again…so I hit him…again. Finally his girlfriend’s just like, “Okay, we’re fuckin’ leaving!” But the amazing thing is…Slade hit him like 12 times, and I hit him twice…yet the dude still walked away on his own two lil’ feet.
Slade: He was invincible. I’m convinced they’re magical.
Speaking of little people. Any advice for the young comics?
Demaris: If you really think a career in stand up comedy is for you, get into your car, drive for about three days straight. And in that process, don’t eat anything…
Slade: …and somewhere in those three days, you hafta get yelled at by 30 rednecks—as they say the most hateful, vial shit in the world…during all three days…
Demaris: …and still hafta pay your bar tab which supports them having their fun in yelling at you this whole time. Then get back in the car and ask yourself…do I wanna do that next weekend? And the next weekend and so on? If the answer is, “No,” then go back to school.
Slade: Trying to become a famous stand up comedian is taking a jump without the safety net.
Wessling: It’s a leap of faith…that, the majority die from.
Demaris: I do encourage everybody to try stand up comedy. Everyone should walk up there and do five minutes to know what that feels like. But to pursue this as a career…I say get the fuck away.
Wessling: Now here’s the trick, if any of this has discouraged you…then, you should quit. [everbody laughs] But if you think we’re a buncha assholes and you think this doesn’t apply to you, then you’re a comic.
What does it take to become a Whiskey Brother?
Slade: It’s a closed process.
Wessling: It’s a lot like being a Mason. To be one, you gotta ask one.
Mungle: You won’t know until you’re jumped in.
[laughter followed by extreme seriousness]
Sum up your act in just one word.
Mungle: One word…that’s tough, I mean can ya describe the sunshine in one word? I don’t think so…
Slade: Actually ya, you can…it’s fuckin SUNSHINE. [everyone laughs]
[moment of silent, deep thought]
Demaris: [breaks the silence] Boner. [laughs] Beat-Up-Pussy!
[everyone’s crackin’ up]
Wessling: Felchy [heightens the laughter]
Where do you guys see yourselves in the future?
Slade: Tour bus, Whiskey Brothers cartoon, sold out theaters…and face deep in a 23 year old blonde…
Wessling: …and I wanna be face down…with all the blondes on top of ME. I wanna be on my belly and have them piled up on my back. It’s a hard visual to imagine, but I’ve got very weird fantasies…
In fact another fantasy I have (and I’ve run this by my wife so it’s ok) has to do with Fraterism…being a Fraterist…which is the crushing and smashing of human contact…like a packed elevator. It’s sexual.
[infamous Slade Ham giggle]
So my fantasy is that once everything’s great, we’re rollin’ in dough, and life is bueno…I want the hotel room that I’m stayin’ in to have hundreds of super models jam-packed in there like a dance club—standing room only—it’s hot, no AC, alotta sweatiness goin’ on. So what I do is I take my clothes off OUTSIDE the room—the room’s so packed, there’s not even enough room for me to take my clothes off. And essentially what I do is I just walk around in there like, “’Scuse-me pardon-me / ‘scuse-me pardon-me / pardon-me ‘scuse-me / pardon-me ‘scuse-me / ’scuse-me pardon-me / pardon-me ‘scuse-me…” [repeating this phrase, each time getting even funnier]
[hysterical laughter break]
Eventually I make my way into the bathtub and this is where we do a re-enactment of the bobsleding scene from Cool Runnings. John Candy’s there, on the shitter, coaching us up as we go for the gold.
So I dunno how these guys are gunna spend THEIR money, but I got this shit figured out.
[Interview ends in plenty of laughs, followed by plenty of whiskey]
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Interviewed & Written by: David Gavri