Nick Mullen has made a name for himself on the internet with his dark, uncompromising sense of humor. Whether writing infuriating op-eds as Nicole Mullen, a dim-witted, outspoken mom, pranking businesses as Clarence Elmore on his Help Me, I’m Old podcast, or petitioning fans to Free Steven Avery (and make me the official Adidas spokesperson), he’s made a career out of pushing boundaries. I caught up with Nick in advance of his Moontower appearance to discuss living in NYC, the challenges of being a full-time comic, and why he’s one of four people David Cross follows on Twitter.
How’s New York?
It’s all right, I guess. Fuckin’ pizza pie.
Are you performing a lot?
Yeah, I am. Thought it’s harder to get up here. People think you get up all the time in New York and it’s true for like 35 people doing comedy.
Who do you see out there?
I see Kurt Metzger pretty often. Me and Kurt are pretty cool. We’re both working on a show. But yeah, I don’t really hang with anybody. Dan Soder. And then a couple of guys from D.C. I’m friends with. I see Jake [Flores] around.
And are you doing standup full time?
I’m doing standup and pursuing writing stuff. The business changes. You can’t really have a career as just a comedian unless you’re a headliner and there’s no path towards me headlining right now. I don’t have any fucking credits. Although Fox News has been putting me on Red Eye with Tom Shillue as a panel guest. They have guests on and give them topics to riff on. Yeah, it’s pretty loose, man. It’s pretty fun. It’s a TV credit. It’s something you can put on a poster for fuckin’ one nighters.
Nice. How’d you get hooked up with that?
You know what? I just tweeted at them and said, “put me on the show.” That was kind of just a joke and then Sam Morril saw it and he was like, “hey man, do you want me to recommend you for that?” And I was like, “yeah, sure.” And then a month later I got an email about being on.
I think everybody’s like if you do comedy for ten years and you don’t have a TV credit or anything going on, you might as well quit. That’s barely a TV credit and it’s year eleven for me.
(laughter) Are you still making videos?
I make small shit for my friends. If I have an idea, I’ll put something up.
ABOVE: Mullen’s re-edit of a scene from The Sopranos
Do you think you’ll stay in New York for a while?
Yeah. I like New York a lot. The only other place to go from here is Los Angeles. Unless someone told me I had a mysterious disease and I would be dead in two years. Then I’d be like, all right well maybe I’ll move to North Carolina. If you’re doing comedy, you have to be here or LA and I really don’t like Los Angeles as a town. So unless I had a job out there I wouldn’t move.
How long have you been out there now? Two years?
Two years, yeah. I guess time keeps going and you don’t really succeed at much and the more you think about how long you’ve been doing something, the less your accomplishments feel like accomplishments.
(laughter) Anything you’re excited to do in Austin?
Well, the festival’s always fun. I really haven’t had a bad show at Moontower.
Anybody you’re excited to see performing?
No, isn’t David Cross shooting a special at Moontower?
Yeah, he is.
That’d be cool.
You’re like one of three people he follows on Twitter.
Yeah he follows me, Patton Oswalt and Amber Tamblyn. I’ve never spoken to him. He doesn’t fave or retweet anything I tweet. I have no idea. I feel like it’s bullying. I’m not sure why he follows me.
(laughter) I’m sure that’s not the case.
I don’t know, I’m too paranoid.