|Comedian to Comedian | Interview with Ali Farahnakian
Posted: October 24, 2013
by Ted Greenberg
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Ali Farahnakian founded The PIT in New York City, has written for Saturday Night Live and is also an actor.
Ted Greenberg: Of all the characters you’ve played, what’s your favorite?
Ali Farahnakian: Playing T.B. on Adult Swim’s “Delocated” was a lot of fun, I got to work with my friend Jon Glaser, it was his show and he put me in it, I got to be around a great cast and crew like Janeane Garafolo, Marc Wooten, Amy Shumer, Eugene Mirman, to name drop a few. I got to be a Blackwater Bodyguard carrying multiple guns. When I was a kid I lived in a small town, Danbury,NC,population 150, and we ran around the woods with fake guns playing army. In one scene I was running around the woods with fake guns playing, and I thought, I did it!
TG: Your bar, The Pioneer, seems to be always hopping. What’s the wildest idea you’ve ever had as a bar add-on?
AF: Pioneers on 138 w 29th is the first bar on 29 b/t 6th and 7th in the 400+ year history of NY, so we feel like Pioneers, we have tried a lot of things, Giant Jenga, we have Pinball now, and someone is trying to pitch body painting, we also do two nights of karoke. One of the coolest things that happens there is ASL story telling, once a month on a friday night the space is filled with the deaf community telling each other stories in their own way.
TG: How old are your daughters? And of all the jokes or bits you’ve done, what’s the favorite of your daughters?
AF: Ella is 7 and Oliva is 5, one of their favorite games to play with me is “the Tap Tap Sisters”, It happens at dinner, I take a piece of food, like broccoli and I say in a real old timey voice, “After a long day of work, I really enjoy a piece of well cooked Broccoli” then one of the sisters taps me on the shoulder, I turn my head to see whate she wants and the other one takes the broccoli off my fork and eats it. I usually say something like, ” Why you Tap Tap Sisters, You’ve struck again” It’s got a real silent movie feel, and they love it, they want to do it way longer than anyone should, but they eat a lot of healthy broccoli.
TG: Anything else you’d like to say?
AF: I feel very blessed that I get to the things i love doing, I prefer a buffet to an entree, so I like the life i’ve somehow created through luck and some hard work where I get to teach improv and sketch, do some improv and sketch, act in cool shows, do some voiceover and commercial work, oversee these various going concerns, do some architechture and design, and help people follow their bliss and fulfill the promise within them. I try to enjoy it while I can, because nothing lasts forever.
Tags: ali farahnakian, ali reza, interview, The PIT