Pre-Show Interview: Don Jamieson




Comedian Don Jamieson usually plays the Improv when he comes to town. But in the wake of his success as co-host of That Metal Show — a VH1 talk show in which he and fellow comedians Jim Florentine and Eddie Trunk interview celebs and pontificate about all things metal — he’ll be performing at Peabody’s on Friday.

“I’m really excited to play at Peabody’s because a million great metal bands have played there over the years,” says the New York-based Jamieson. “The show I’ll be doing is basically a stand-up show. It’ll be myself and two other great comics from Cleveland. We’re going to do a comedy show, but it will have a metal flavor to it. A heavy metal cover band will play us on and off. We’ll see what happens. If we drink enough beer, maybe we’ll get up and sing ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ at the end.”

Jamieson’s résumé (his website includes an actual résumé) is littered with significant stuff. He's opened for Andrew Dice Clay, snagged an Emmy for his work on HBO’s Inside the NFL and delivered a successful Internet-based show, Meet the Creeps. But That Metal Show has really broken him out — at least in places that are most important to him.

“Whenever I bring a chick to a metal show, I sign 50 autographs,” he says. “I take tons of pictures with people. That’s a big aphrodisiac. But we go out to dinner, and nobody says a word. Believe me, the people who recognize me don’t go to the same restaurants. They’re eating at Quiznos.”

Jamieson says he’s been a metal fan since seeing Judas Priest and Iron Maiden in the early ’80s at the Convention Center in Asbury Park as a teen.

“I remember my parents drove and picked me and my friend up,” he recalls. “I remember walking out and my parents saying something to me. It was like the teacher from Charlie Brown. My ears were blown out, and I just heard, ‘whaaaa wannaaa whaaaa wanaaaaa.” Of course, we were a little drunk and stoned too. That show got me way into Priest, and then the floodgates opened after that.”

That Metal Show just completed its second season, and a third is on the way. Jamieson says he and his co-hosts are talking about taking the show on the road next season.

“The show is a goof,” he says. “It’s what me, Jim and Eddie would be doing on a Saturday night anyway. We’d be backstage at a metal show rapping with some dudes from the band. We try to keep that vibe in the show. The three of us never discuss the interviews. We want it to be a hang. We don’t want it to be ‘You say this and I’ll say that, and then you come in with a zinger at the end.’ We just go out there. We know the artists, and we’re all metalheads. You go, ‘OK, it’s Ronnie James Dio from Sabbath.’ We could sit there for hours and talk to him.” —Jeff Niesel

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