Steve Mudflap McGrew, conservative comedian, a.k.a “Liberal Larry” talks comedy, career and his battle with Facebook [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

The main thing that comedian Steve Mudflap McGrew would like people to know is that he is a nice guy. And, he is. He is an incredibly sweet-natured man who is an equal opportunity offender comedian, which means he makes jokes about just about everyone and everything.

However, there are two styles of work for McGrew. First, there’s his standup comedy, which is apolitical. There he talks about family, beer, relationships, fast food, pets and things that are relatable to just about everyone. Then there are his YouTube Videos and Podcasts which are political. He is one of the few outwardly facing conservative comedians out there and people from both sides of the aisle can’t help but love him.

OK, some don’t love him, but the hate mail is funny on its own.

He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and grew up in Houston, Texas. After getting his start as a cartoonist, he moved to radio and was on Good Morning Radio in Denver for 12 years, There he won three CMA awards for Best Morning Show as well as a Marconi for Best Morning Show.

McGrew started standup and has been working steadily ever since. He has a YouTube Channel where he does lots of comedy sketches and one-off monologues. He created the character of Liberal Larry who is a fan favorite. Soon after the Nov. 2016 election, he joined forces with YouTube star Chad Prather and recorded the song ‘Friends in Safe Spaces’ that became an instant hit and was shown on Fox News and played on many country music stations across the USA.


McGrew also has the podcast ‘Remasculate’ and his ‘Noodle Chat’ on Facebook where he evaluates different types of Ramen. He and his fiancee Janet have a YouTube show called ‘Wrinked Sheets.’

On Nov. 17, he started a campaign on his Facebook page after many fans had asked him where he was and noticed that he is being Shadow Banned.

Steve Mudflap McGrew spoke with Michelle Tompkins for TheCelebrityCafe.com about his early life, work, favorite bits, how political correctness is killing comedy, how he created Liberal Larry, what are his upcoming projects, what is his dream gig, what he thinks is too serious to joke about, how his fiancee moved in and their upcoming wedding–his fourth and final marriage, what he likes to do for fun and more.

 

Steve Mudflap McGrew
Steve Mudflap McGrew

Michelle Tompkins: So I love that you’re called the Hellbent Southern Gent.

Steve McGrew: yes [laughter].

MT: Now, where are you from?

SM: Well, I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and grew up in the Houston area, Texas.

MT: And where do you live now?

SM: Denver, Colorado.

MT: Would you mind telling me a little bit about your childhood?

SM: Typical. Very Leave It To Beaver. People always think that Leave It To Beaver is exactly how I grew up. And so I wanted to be a cartoonist or artist when I was a kid and I ended up going to school for that. And did that for five years at the Houston Chronicle. And then from there, spun off into doing stand-up.

MT: One of my questions is, what kind of jobs have you had in your life?

SM: And that was pretty much [laughter] it. When I was in school, when I was little, I started off as a lawn mower cutting grass, as a kid. So I was probably 10 or 11 when I had a lawn mower grass cutting business. And then went into bussing tables and washing dishes at restaurants. I had all those typical kind of jobs.

MT: And where did you go to school?

SM: Are you talking about college-wise? I went to community college and then transferred and took some classes at the University of Houston. And I actually got my job as the cartoonist at the Houston Chronicle before I graduated so I dropped out of school because I thought, ‘Well, that’s the job I’m going to want [laughter].’

MT: How did you first get into comedy?

SM: Bill Hinds was a friend of mine. Bill was the cartoonist for the Houston paper before me. And he draws the comic strip, Tank McNamara, which is a sports comic strip. And he was dating somebody at the Comedy Club. And I started hanging out there, and was going through a divorce and thought, ‘This would be the perfect place to get on stage and use this as therapy.’

MT: And worked for you?

SM: It worked, yes.

MT: How did you get the nickname, Mudflap?

SM: That was my radio DJ name. I was at Good Morning Radio here in Denver for 12 years. Yeah. And then that was my DJ name. And on radio, I won three CMA awards, three Country Music Awards for Best Morning Show and a Marconi for Best Morning Show.

MT: Oh, that’s great.

SM: Yeah, the Marconi is sort of the Academy Award of radio.

MT: Well, congratulations.

SM: Well, thank you.

MT: Now, what was your first paid gig as a comedian?

SM: Oh, wow [laughter]. Well, the first one I can remember that stayed with me was getting paid to open for the band, Chicago at one of their concerts.

MT: Ooh, that’s exciting.

SM: I’d probably been doing stand-up less than a year, so it was very cool but very scary. I remember that I almost threw up before I walked out on stage.

MT: Almost is impressive. Some people still do that beforehand [laughter]. Tell me a little bit about your comedic point of view.

SM: Well, I consider myself an equal opportunity offender. I think if you make fun of everything, nobody can single you out. And I’ve been doing this going on a little over 30 years now. So I started making fun of everything and everybody before there was the political correctness and so it made me want to do it even more. With what I feel is the ignorance of that, I want to point that out even more. So my point of view is everything is an object to be made fun of.

MT: What do you do when you deliver a joke that bombs?
SM: Never happens! At least not yet. OK, maybe once. I just don’t panic and move on.

MT: Now, do you think political correctness hurts comedy?

SM: Oh, big time. Big time. You’ve heard some of the bigger comics. Seinfeld has said it. I think Chris Rock recently had mentioned it too.

MT: Well, most that I’ve talked to refused to do college campuses because they’re so easily offended.

SM: Yeah. I’m the same way. I told my booker that I didn’t want to do colleges because it’s the– I went to see comics when I was in college and if you didn’t like something, you just didn’t laugh if you thought the joke wasn’t funny. But now it’s, ‘Ah. Oh. Boo hiss.’ It’s like, ‘Just shut up [laughter].’

MT: I find that comedians have it tougher than most others because when a comedian does something wrong or offends, people want their heads. They just don’t say, ‘I just don’t like this comedian.’ It’s worse now.

SM: Right. Well, the other thing that I had noticed and I’ve talked to other comics about, is the new crop of comics that are coming up. The new twentysomethings—because jokes have to have a punchline, and to have a punchline you have to have a victim [laughter]. With jokes, you have to make fun of something, and that’s mean, or that’s insensitive, or that’s cruel, or that’s— so if you watch a lot of young comics, they’re either making fun of all the same stuff like the simple targets. Trump’s orange. Or they’re just premises like, ‘Have you ever noticed that only half of the bag of chips is full?’

MT: Yeah. I understand. Hard to offend the bag of chips or even Lays potato chips.

SM: That was just one of the things that I’ve noticed and I’ve talked to several comics, and I’ve talked to club owners about it too. I had one recently tell me that he wouldn’t hire anyone under 40 if it was up to him. He goes, ‘You guys over 40 make everybody laugh and everybody— the younger comics seem to only make their little niche laugh. It’s all about what shows they watch or what YouTube star they do or don’t like, or jokes about only what they can relate to.’ Life experience gives you more to joke about.

MT: I agree. Now, do you think your political jokes have caused other people to think differently?

SM: Yeah. I actually think they might. It’s possible. You see, in my stand-up, I don’t do political in my stand-up at all. On my social media is where I write out the jokes or I share that stuff, but as far as my stand-up, I never do politics in my acts.

MT: All right. So you want to keep it as broad and equal opportunity offensive as possible, then?

SM: Yes. Yes.

MT: You recently posted an angry message on Facebook, stating that you are being Shadow Banned.

SM: I am being Shadow Banned. My fans were wondering where I was and they weren’t getting my most recent posts and videos. Facebook is doing it. I pretty sure Twitter is limiting my exposure. And YouTube is messing with my videos by the demonetization of several. I think I’m mysteriously losing subscribers too. What’s a good conservative comic to do?

MT: Why do you think it is happening to you?

SM: I have seen my numbers drop, as President Trump would say BIGLY. I talked to Chad Prather about it and Shadow Banning came up. They do. I don’t know how I can prove it. But I see what’s happening. And I see them wanting me to pay to promote my posts. Hmmmmmm.

MT: What can people do to help you?

SM: Just keep sharing and retweeting me as much as possible!
Keeping me popping up on other people’s pages and feeds is a great way to expose me to new viewers, readers and possibly new fans! Then they share me and the cycle of comedy continues!

Steve Mudflap McGrew as Liberal Larry

MT: Okay [laughter]. Now tell me how ‘Friends in Safe Spaces’ came up?

SM: ‘Friends in Safe Spaces’ was—Chad Prather, who you may have heard of. The cowboy in the truck. Have you seen any of his videos?

MT: Only after seeing a couple of yours.

SM: Okay. Well, he kind of turned into a social media phenomenon. He’s had nearly a billion views on YouTube and Facebook. And he does this videos from his truck where he does little rants. Well, he and I were talking about going on tour together and so he said, ‘We need a name for the tour,’ and I said, ‘We should make fun of a country song. Something like Friends in Safe Spaces.’ He goes, ‘Perfect. Let’s call it that.’ And so, we got to talking about we should do a song. And so, I said, ‘Let’s do Friends in Safe Spaces as our song and that’ll be the theme.’ So I started writing the song. I did it in about five minutes in my car; I was doing it on my phone. And I sent to him. He wrote me back a couple of ideas and we tweaked it, got in the studio with John Macy, who has produced Earth, Wind, and Fire and Michael Martin Murphy, and we recorded the song. And I just slapped a video together on my phone. I used my iPhone because I just wanted to get something together so that I could get the audio up on YouTube and it blew up overnight. It actually went viral and Fox News picked it up. Fox was playing it as bumper music. Some country stations actually picked it up and were playing it in rotations on their stations [laughter]. Then they had us on Fox News a couple times to talk about the song and that’s how, well, to finish the story up, Chad ended up getting signed by Gersh.

MT: Oh, wow. That’s a good one.

SM: Yeah. They didn’t sign me. They signed him [laughter]. Yeah. Because he’s got the social media. Good for him. He’s the star. And he just got too busy to actually continue a tour, with the Safe Spaces tour. So he’s doing his own thing now called the Star Spangled Banter. So Gersh has him out on the road on his own tour.

MT: I may have to speak with him sometime too. If he’s as funny as you are.

SM: You should. You should.

MT: Okay. Now, what are some of your favorite of your own routine?

SM: Probably some of my favorites is the Sick Dog. The bit about waking up to a Sick Dog. I don’t know if you saw that video. That’s one of my favorite. Another one of my favorites is the whole Taco Bell, of going through the drive-thru drunk at Taco Bell. Yeah. And I’ve people tell me that’s probably is the absolute favorite of all my bits. There’s a radio DJ here that plays that bit here in Denver on the five o’clock funnies every now and then. He bleeps it out. I go, ‘If you want me to, I’ll record a clean version of it.’ He goes, ‘No. No oh no. I love it just the way it is [laughter].

MT: I think your Congresswoman Frederica Wilson bit is really funny, but I still think Sheriff Clarke rocks the cowboy hat just a little better than she does [laughter].

SM: You like that little hat?

MT: Oh, it was fabulous.

SM: That in the pet section at Wal-mart.

MT: In the pet section?

SM: Yes [laughter].

MT: Oh, that’s a story too.

SM: Yeah, that little hat that I have on is a pet hat. And it was funny after I posted that video people started emailing me pictures of their cats and dogs in the same hat [laughter].

MT: If you could send one of those, that would be fabulous.

SM: I will try to track one of those down for you.

MT: Now have you ever met President Trump?

SM: I have not. I would love to. I have friends that have and have done shows for him. When he was not the president, just around New York. I would love one day to actually meet the president.

MT: Now what do you think of the political coverage by many of the hosts on the night-time talk shows?

SM: I think it’s just biased hate. I think it’s been a blind hate because they don’t even give credit when credit is due. It’s one thing if you want to make fun of something. They need to go back and listen to Carson. Johnny Carson was actually the best because you make fun of both sides. If somebody does this, make fun of it. But if you just do the same thing every night, it’s just so obvious that you just want it to fail. And that’s un-American to me.

MT: Recently Jimmy Fallon was taken on for this because he said he cares more about pop culture than he does politics. So he didn’t want his show to be run by a political bent every single night. But it seems like that’s where the others seem to be going.

SM: Right. But then didn’t he say something about his ratings had actually dropped because of him not doing the politics?

MT: They did. They did.

SM: But I think those guys play to a group. There’s a certain market that’s going to watch those shows, and I don’t think they get the mass appeal like they used to. The late night shows don’t get the 50% of America like when Carson was on.

MT: No, that’s true. I still think that Leno and Letterman should team up together and do an old fart show.

SM: I think so too. They would be the best— they could do the Carson/McMahon, one is the sidekick of the other.

MT: And take turns. I think they could possibly do it. But there’s still could be some bad blood between the two, but why not?

SM: Probably. And as much as I loved Letterman—Letterman was my favorite of the two, just because I liked his humor and the bizarreness of the jokes. But he has turned out to be almost a weird little wacko guy these days [laughter].

MT: I haven’t followed him much since he left the show.

SM: He hates Trump, he hates everything, he’s all about, he’d love to see him impeached. He’s got this giant Santa beard. He looks like a guy that would write his manifesto in a cabin.

MT: I saw the fuzzy beard on him. I did. I was a little surprised with that. Now, are your three CMA awards, are they from your radio career? Or are they from comedy?

SM: They’re from radio career. Yeah. In 2001, I got offered a morning radio show. I was tired of being on the road all the time. I was about 40 to 48 weeks a year on the road. So I decided well, I take this radio job but just do stand-up on the weekends kind of cut back and I ended up doing radio for just about 12 years. I never stopped doing standup ever but I did radio for 12 years.

MT: And they kept you around town more often?

SM: At home. Yeah. Yeah. I’d get off the air on Friday and jump on a plane and fly to a city, Dallas or Atlanta to still do stand up but I wasn’t my full-time gig.

MT: Makes sense. Well, what is something you haven’t done before professionally but you want to do?

SM: Well, I’ve done some acting, I’ve done some commercials, I’ve been in a couple of indie movies but that’s my goal is to still do the sitcom or a movie. That is still my goal.

MT: Do you have one in mind? I mean one that you’d write yourself or a Jeff Foxworthy kind of thing or something like that?

SM: Yeah. Yes. Well, I wrote a sitcom and sold it to Disney back in the late ’90s, it was called Trailer Trash. And Disney bought it, picked it up, we were going ahead with it. We got the showrunner, moving ahead with the project and the guy who was my producer contact at Disney got fired and projects go into what they call turn around. So they sort of getting dropped or on hold and then they didn’t renew my contract. So my show didn’t get picked up. Then the project got back to me and recently I thought with all the stuff with Trump and conservatives coming back, I’d like to rewrite it and update because I’m sure if I go back and read it—every sitcom you watch in the ’90s you go, ‘Well, that was a dated reference [laughter].’ So I’m thinking if I set down again and rewrote it, it might be a good time to try to make a redneck conservative comedy.

MT: It might be.

SM: But I was also talking to Rosanne Barr about an idea for a TV show because Rosanne and I are friends. We’ve known each other since the 80s.

MT: Oh, nice.

SM: And so I was talking to her about an idea I had for a sitcom sort of based on me now because I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures. My hair is really long and I look like Leonard Skinner or something from 38 special. And so I had this idea of a sitcom based on a southern rocker who had a couple of minor hits but the song gets used in a movie and they get a resurgence of career. So now he gets to go back out on the road but now he’s got to track down the guys– its sort of like the Blue’s Brothers. Where you’ve got to track down the band and everybody’s got something going on and it’s sitcom sort of like trying to get the band back together…

MT: I’m sorry, you just fully cut out…

ST: That’s sitting by my back door with the— I don’t know. It’s mobile. It’s T-Mobile. That’s what it is [laughter].

MT: All right. I can hear you now.

ST: Okay.

MT: There we go. Now, tell me a little bit about Roseanne. What is she like?

SM: Super nice, I’ve always liked Roseanne. I always thought she was genuinely funny. And just a few months ago I opened a couple of show for her, and she was so funny. She had all new material. And I even told her, I go, ‘You’re like back at the top of your game. I mean, you’re a full-blown standup comedian. Not just some celebrity trying to do standup’ you know you see some people, they get famous and they lose their edge? Yeah, that was not the case with her [laughter].

MT: Domestic goddess.

SM: Yes, [laugther]. Yeah [laughter].

MT: Now, who are some comedians that you admire?

SM: Well, I was a big Jonathan Winters fan. I’ve kind of grew up listening to Carlin and Bill Cosby because the story stuff because that’s the kind of stuff I like. Stories and full bits. Not just joke jokes. And I guess my real favorite would be Sam Kinison and Carlin at the top of my list as far as my favorite comics.

MT: All right.

SM: And Sam, Sam Kinison is the reason that I do standup for a living.

MT: No, he was fantastic. I loved his screaming. Have you seen ‘Back to School’?

SM: Yes, yes.

MT: He’s just so funny in that film.

SM: Well, did that perfect. They worked his act perfectly into that scene.

MT: It couldn’t have been better.

SM: When he starts screaming at the student [laughter], that’s exactly like from his standup.

MT: It is. Now, please tell me about ‘Remasculate.’

SM: ’Remasculate’ is my podcast. I’ve been doing it for I think five years now. And it started off with another radio DJ and me here in Denver. We’re talking. He just became a new father, and he was all worried about all the wussification of the kids and little kids not getting to do those things kids used to do in schools. Like Dodgeball and the stuff, we grew up doing. So we got to talking about we need to bring back men to America, the manliness of guys. TV shows, all the TV shows, and commercials always make guys out to be too stupid to buy the right product, or they can’t get the project done if they’re going to do something around the house. And we just thought, ‘That wasn’t our dads, and that wasn’t our grandfathers, and that wasn’t the TV shows that we grew up with.’ Father Knows Best or like I said, Leave It to Beaver, so we were always thinking, ‘Guys need to be brought back into the forefront again.’ So that was how that show came about, the idea for the show. And then it sort of just spread out into getting my celebrity friends on it [laughter]. I started getting singers and bands and got a couple guys from Fox News have been on. And but then I’d still try to ask them, ‘What is manly to you? What means a guy? How do you treat your son to make him be more like a man?’

I just want people’s opinions about what makes a guy a guy.

MT: My dad would love to be a part of that one [laughter].

SM: He’s a man’s man?

MT: He is. He’s a Jack Daniels-drinking, cigar-smoking Californian.

SM: There you go. And you don’t find too many of those.

MT: Not too many, no. He calls himself a ‘John Wayne Republican.’

SM: I like that [laughter].

MT: Now, tell me about your YouTube sketches.

SM: The YouTube started off—they actually started off as just Facebook videos because I could do it with my phone and Facebook. And I always had ideas for characters. There was one I think—when I was younger, I was hoping to do a show kind of like Hee-Haw, that you could just have this kind of conservative characters on a show. I would love to do a conservative Saturday Night Live kind of show.

MT: So that’s kind of your dream gig.

SM: Yeah. I mean, if you could do Saturday Night Live with just some good old guys or comics that have the same kind of attitude instead of just the same stuff over and over again– and if you watch Saturday Night Live, there’s a lot of the same kind of bashing and the same type of jokes over and over.

MT: It used to be so imaginative, but sometimes it dwells on the political in only one direction. It doesn’t make comedic sense.

SM: Yeah, I totally agree. They could be old shows. The killer bee, remember John Belushi’s killer bees and samurai delicatessen? And they were just characters. They weren’t and here’s Trump’s spokesperson, and here’s Trump, and here’s-

MT: Mostly politics these days…

SM: Right, right. And to me, that’s just easy, sloppy kind of comedy. That’s sort of how I came up with my character Liberal Larry [laughter]. I love Liberal Larry. As a matter of fact, Liberal Larry is going to make his radio debut today. I’m going to be on talk radio here in Denver as Liberal Larry to be the opposite of things because that’s how Liberal Larry came about. Things are so obvious, all I gotta do is take the opposite side. That’s all I have to do for that character. And then it just– it pisses people off so bad. That’s my favorite part. And even Larry’s fans tell me they love to read the hate mail instead of the people that love Larry because you either love it or hate it. And it’s funny. The conservatives that hate Larry because they don’t catch satire— satire is not for everybody. Sarcasm either. Sarcasm is lost on a lot of people.

MT: That’s true [laughter]. So do you have a favorite bit of ‘Liberal Larry?’

SM: Oh, gosh, so many. I think probably one of my favorites was the original, where I hadn’t even developed him into a full character yet, but it was when Trump won the election, and he was crying. I had a video of just him crying about Hillary losing. And that got like 8 million views. So that was one of my—that was one of my favorite. But my second favorite is crying— the one of him crying for Trump to leave King Jong Yung alone. And then I invited the Korean leader to come live with me in California because I’ll keep him safe, and Asians are very popular in California. As a matter of fact, they’re getting their own TV shows, so maybe I can help him get on— help him hide and get him on Dancing With the Stars because nobody watches that and he’d be able to hang out in California [laughter]. So, that’s one of my favorite of liberal areas.

MT: Now, do you think there’s anything too serious to joke about?

SM: Yes, certainly. I totally as a comic—the rape jokes drive me crazy. There is nothing funny about it and every millennial comic thinks they have to make one. I just think there are certain things like that that are just off limits.

MT: That would be a subject that I wouldn’t want to hear a joke about either.

SM: And I don’t know if you noticed, I think it was Louis C. K.’s recent stand-up. He opens with a whole bit about that, a whole bit about rape culture.

MT: I read about that, but I haven’t seen it.

SM: Yeah, and it was horrible and unfunny, and I couldn’t understand why, other than just trying to be hip and now, and say, ‘Hey, I’m not 50 years old.’ You know what I mean?

MT: Well, not all joke works, so I don’t know.

SM: And then, well, that’s another thing that’s going on in the millennial attitude of comedy is they think if you’re not funny that you’re saying something. You’re fierce. You have a message. And, I think you can still get a message if you’re funny. I think that’s the best way to get your message across is make somebody laugh at it and they actually hold on to it.

MT: I think laughter is one of the ways that the world thinks. I mean, talk about Richard Pryor and everything. So, calling things as they are and being politically incorrect is important for making the world a little bit better.

SM: Very. Very.

MT: Now, what do you like to do for fun?

SM: I read. I watch a lot of news, and, I guess, my real thing I do for fun is fish. I love to fish.

MT: Are you any good at it?

SM: I’m really good at it [laughter].

MT: Well, I like your’ Invention of Beer’. So, I guess, that is part of your contribution to fishing.

SM: Oh, yeah, fishing. Yeah, that’s one of my favorite bits, too, the history of beer [laughter].

MT: Can you please tell me a little bit about your family?

SM: My immediate family or mom, dad, brothers, and sisters?

MT: Whatever you’re comfortable with.

SM: Oh, yeah. I have an older brother and a younger sister. Both of them are more successful in business. My brother was a computer programmer with Shell Oil, and my sister was in the legal department of Continental Airlines, and then there’s me [laughter].

MT: And you’ve been married three times. Is that something you don’t want to talk about, but that something you joke about it all the time.

SM: I’ve been married three times [laughter]. I got engaged last Christmas, so I’m going to do it one more time.

MT: Well, four times is a charm. That’s great. Congratulations.

SM: Yeah, four times is a charm.

MT: Is she the one who moved in and, sort of like an ant, moved one thing in at a time?

SM: She is. That is her [laughter]. That’s the one and that really is a true story and that’s why she kinda hates that.’ And I go, ‘Yeah. But it’s sort of the way it was. We were dating, and all of a sudden you just decided you didn’t want to go home anymore [laughter].’

MT: Yeah. It’s like, ‘I’ve been living here six months. Oh, great. Okay.’

SM: Yeah. I was going to say that it took her a while, the spin of the joke is it really did take her a while to start moving her stuff in because one point, she goes, ‘Can I have anything at your house?’ I’m like, ‘Oh yeah. I’m sorry. Oh yeah. Hang this up if you want to.’ But it’s a better joke if you just make it as like, ‘Why is everything in my house pink now [laughter]?’

MT: I just like the ant metaphor because first, there’s a toothbrush. It then is undies. It then is clothes, then a keepsake, then it’s the entire house.

SM: Yeah. ‘I’m going to leave a back off an earring [laughter].

MT: Now is there any charity work you wish to mention?

SM: Well, no. And I probably should do more. I used to do a whole lot of stuff for Comic Relief when, there on HBO, remember Robin Williams and all those guys…

MT: Oh yeah. One of my favorites.

SM: Yeah. I did a bunch of Comic Relief stuff, and we did a satellite version of it here in Denver years ago. And I continued to do a lot of homeless stuff when I was on the radio. I worked with the Denver Mission. But once I got out of radio, I really haven’t done hardly any charity work. I think of my comedy, my comedy is charity work. I’m saving people’s lives through comedy.

MT: Making them laugh and seeing the ridiculousness of their lives, sometimes?

SM: Exactly. Exactly.

MT: Now, what’s something you really want people to know about you?

SM: That I’m really a nice guy. That, I think, a lot of people think because you’re conservative, they portrayed us as, ‘Those mean nasty, they hate everybody. They want to deport everybody. They want to throw gays off of buildings.’ None of that’s true.

MT: Well, I hear that a lot.

SM: Then there’s one of—this is something that one of my best friends here in town and this is his [too?], ‘Hey, I have gay friends. Hey, I have a black friend.’ That kind of thing. But somebody was attacking me one day about being a conservative, and I wrote on my Facebook, I go, ‘I love three things. My God, my guns, and my gay friends.’ And Chuck Roy, my friend here retweeted that, spread it around, and tried to make people see, ‘All conservatives aren’t bad.’

MT: Those people have their opinions about certain things, and there’s no way of getting through. I think comedy is a way to change things.

SM: And there’s two, my friend Chuck is a young republican. He actually is a conservative. The two ladies that live next door to my mother, they’re a married gay couple, a lesbian couple. They both voted for Trump. And I thought that was— and she goes, ‘After the poles tonight, the shooting in Orlando,’she goes, ‘Trump was totally behind us. Trump was totally like, ‘Stand behind me. Get a gun. Protect yourselves. Don’t take the guns away. We actually need those for protection how do you like fans to connect with you?

MT: How do you like fans to connect with you?

SM: I like them to connect any way, shape or form. I am very much into social media, and I reply to almost everybody. I spend way too much time on the Internet. My girlfriend actually said, ‘I wish you spent as much time on me as you do on Facebook [laughter].’ But I love when people reach out, and say, ‘I like something,’ or they want to share something. And because of Youtube, the videos I do, my girlfriend and I get a lot of, people send us stuff. ‘Try this,’ or, ‘We know you love hot sauce. I found this bottle at the store.’ I do a thing on Facebook called Noodle Chat. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that. I love Ramen noodles. I’m a big Ramen noodles fan. And there’s this thing called Noodle Chat where I get different brands of noodles, and talk to people for 30, 40 minutes about it. And so people send me chopsticks. They send me noodles. They send me anything that looks like Ramen noodles, and I love that kind of stuff.

MT: Are there some good Ramen places in Denver?

SM: Oh, we have got some amazing Ramen places here, yeah, some really good. I know LA’s got them.

MT: Yeah, they’re crazy packed and popular over here in NYC right now.

SM: Yeah. I worked in Vegas a lot and they’re popping up all over Vegas now, too.

MT: Now, where is somewhere you would want to travel that you haven’t been yet?

SM: I loved working in— around the Asian, that area. Singapore and I loved— I’ve been hearing more and more comics tell me that that’s where comedy is blowing up. In Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur and Vietnam and those areas because there’s a lot of Brits and Australians there. And so those are some of the areas I would love to get to.

My manager’s Ian Wilson out of London. My manager’s British and I do a lot of stuff around the U.K. So I’ve done specials on British TV. I’ve been on their version of the Tonight Show. I was actually bigger in the U.K. back the ’90s than I was here in America [laughter].

MT: How’d that work? Do they like regional, American humor?

SM: Yeah, well I try to always work on an act that would work around the world. I always thought that there are certain things that you can— everybody’s going to relate to. Everybody’s got mom and dad. Everybody’s got relationships. Everybody’s had to deal with kids. Everybody’s had to deal with somebody else’s kid. There are certain topics that you can work on that will be universal. That’s why I do shows in– I just did some in Hong Kong, in Singapore and as long as anybody speaks English you’ll get the joke.

MT: I hope you get there sometime soon.

SM: Thank you.

MT: Well, what are your social media handles?

SM: It’s @stevemcgrew ‏ on Twitter. It is @steve_mudflap_mcgrew on Instagram. It is youtube.com/mudflap for my Youtube because I started my Youtube when I was still on the radio. So that mudflap is my Youtube. And I always tell people if they want to find me, just Google Steve McGrew. Or Google Steve Mudflap McGrew because that pops up everything, all my connections, my videos, my albums because I’ve done six comedy albums.

MT: Now, what are the things that people can see you or hear you in weekly? Are there [as?] your podcasts or your videos, is there a schedule for them?

SM: There is absolutely no schedule. That is probably what drives people crazy. I’ve heard that more and more. People go, ‘You need to set a schedule like every Monday there’s a new video, or every Wednesday is the podcast.’ And my schedule just does not allow that because I’m either traveling, or I don’t get a chance to book a guest for that week, or something happens. I do a lot of cruise ship work, too. So a lot of times I’m out on a cruise ship and I don’t have an internet connection that I need to record something. So I’m very random in my schedule.

MT: What do you like about doing the cruise ship crowds?

SM: They’re no longer for old people at all. And they are now floating Vegas hotels. Some of the ships I work for, they have 6,000 people on them. And so they actually have a dedicated comedy club. There’s actually a club on the ship. And so it is the new comedy club. You know how in the ’80s, comedy clubs were everywhere? Comedy clubs are popping up on the ships, and you’re getting people getting great kinds of entertainment. The shows are amazing.

MT: No, everyone says how good everything is, from the food to the entertainment. It’s just the way to do a trip.

SM: Oh yeah. I tell everybody if you’ve never taken a cruise, do it now because it’s completely different than what it ever was in the past.

MT: Now, just so we can say something, I know that you want people to Google you, but what are things you’re doing now? You’re doing your YouTube. Are you still doing a podcast? What are all the things?

SM: Yes, I always do the YouTube, podcast. I do another podcast that’s called ‘Wrinkled Sheets.’ I do that with my girlfriend, and we just posted a new one of those last night.

MT: And what are those about? Like domestic life?

‘‘ Steve McGrew and Fiancee Janet

SM: That’s basically, yes, just relationships. It’s all about relationships and getting along or hot topics. We’ll pick a hot topic and do a he said, she said, kind of thing.

MT: And you guys are getting married in December. That’ll be fun to have more bits. You’ll never run out of material.

SM: Ever. Ever. Because I told her this is the last time I’m getting married. If this one doesn’t work, I’m killing both of us [laughter]. That’s a joke. That’s a joke.

MT: I know it’s a joke.

SM: Well, you know how people are. ‘Oh, my God. He’s talking about killing her.’

MT: Well, with people who have been married a long time, if you haven’t considered murder, they say you’ve never been in love.

SM: Oh, I do the joke about my mom saying—my parents have been married 69 years— I go, ‘And mom said, ‘If I’d have killed your dad, I’d be out of prison by now [laughter].’  Shows like The Honeymooners probably couldn’t even get made in this day and age because who could look at their wives and tell them, ‘To the moon, Alice. One day?’ What he’s suggesting was, ‘I’m going to beat the crap out of you.’

MT: Yeah, and they recently did—there was some sort of special on, not special but news write up, on bits that even Seinfeld couldn’t have gotten away with years ago.

SM: Oh, I’m sure. We were watching last night—we were watching Friends before we were going to bed, and there was a scene where Joey wakes up and lost his arms; they fall asleep on the couch watching TV. I don’t know if you remember that. And, they jumped up and like, ‘What? Don’t ever tell anybody. Don’t ever—’ and I go—’They could not get away with that today because somebody would go, ‘Wow, my God. How homophobic.’

MT: The lens of today is a little different, but I like my comedy a little more unfiltered.

SM: Me, too. Totally.

Steve McGrew and Fiance
Steve McGrew and Fiance

MT: Best of luck with your wedding. Are you having a big wedding? Or is it just please ‘get it done?’

SM: We’re just getting it done. We talked about the wedding— the big wedding and she said, ‘I don’t want to waste the money.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s another reason we should get married. Your principles[laughter].’

MT: Well, that’s wonderful news.

SM: Thank you. Yeah, we were going to get married in Puerto Rico. Because one of the ships, it docks in San Juan and because the hurricane it’s been taken off the itinerary. And so we’re going to just have to make a last minute call. I think we’re just going do it on the ship. An actual ship wedding.

MT: Okay, just have the captain do it, right?

SM: Yeah, yeah. The love boat [laughter]. That’ll be nice.

MT: Best wishes to you on that and good luck with all your endeavors.

SM: Thank you.

MT: What’s next for you?

SM: Right now, I am performing on a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship and I’m trying to get a Netflix special. I want Cathy Carlson to shoot and direct it.

Learn more about Steve Mudflap McGrew and find out where you can see him here.

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.