With I LIKE IT ANYWAY, James Austin Johnson interviews a fellow comedian to discuss an activity or artifact that they love—so long as it’s uncool, unbecoming, or otherwise unacceptable.
Dave Stone – Bigfoot
One night awhile back in Nashville, I met a woman studying to become a cryptozoologist. We chatted briefly about El Chupacabra and Champ, the Lake Champlain lake monster, while she sucked a cigarette into her lungs. I had been hosting the comedy show upstairs. She gave me her number, and I never called her. (Cool story!) But this isn’t an article about me striking out with a monster hunter. It’s fascinating how comedy draws in people of disparate backgrounds and philosophies, yet how common it is that they have a singular, bizarre obsession. ILIA is obsessed with those obsessions, and naturally I was super-pumped to interview this month’s subject: bearded comedian and fellow cryptid enthusiast Dave Stone.
Dave Stone is probably the best thing to come out of Atlanta since Chick-fil-A or OutKast. For years he toured in a roving band of hirsute stand-ups called the Beards of Comedy, but has since struck out on his own. And he’s doing just fine; not two weeks ago Dave made his network television debut on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. I knew he had strong opinions on barbecuing pork and van customization, but I didn’t think it would get much weirder than that. Then he started talking about Bigfoot.
Dave, what do you like anyway?
The only thing I can really think of is Bigfoot. I believe in him, most people don’t, would that qualify?
Okay, cool. I like, and believe in, the North American Sasquatch–or Bigfoot, to the layperson.
When did you get into Bigfoot?
I’ve been interested in Bigfoot ever since I learned to read, so about six years now.
How does that interest manifest itself? Is there any ritual to your Bigfoot obsession?
My only ritual is that I consume everything I possibly can on the subject–books, documentaries, blogs, YouTube clips, whatever is available.
I believe in Bigfoot because I am very intrigued by the unknown and I like the idea of his existence disrupting what we perceive as reality.
Why don’t you think everyone else shares your opinion on Bigfoot’s existence?
I think most people don’t believe in Bigfoot because they have preconceived notions of how our world functions. Society as a whole seems pretty confident that we’ve got it all figured out, in terms of our natural world and its creatures, and Bigfoot falls outside of what we know to be true.
But there are others who believe, right? Have you met any other Sasquatch enthusiasts? What are they like?
I have met several. Some self-proclaimed experts seem a little too confident that he not only exists, but that he is far more advanced than even a believer like me may think. “I heard he travels via a sophisticated series of underground tunnel systems, and has even mastered the technique of Carolina Pit Barbeque.”
Bigfoot seems like a pretty central figure in your life. How do you personally identify with Bigfoot?
I do identify with Bigfoot in the sense that we are both nomadic. I live in a van and tour the country with no real place to call home. And, like Bigfoot, very few people have actually seen me in person or believe in me.
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