The Lunatic Presents: A Conversation with Ron Funches

Most of us Cornellians enjoy telling jokes, smoking weed, and playing video games. However, rarely do we get a career performing these activities, as we will often end up selling our souls as we work on Wall Street making ridiculous amounts of money and start claiming that we are “socially liberal, but fiscally conservative.” Not Ron Funches, a man who once described himself as having the “[giggle] of an Asian schoolgirl.” Ron is a stand-up comedian who is known for his appearances on @midnight, Undateable, The Kroll Show, and Trolls. Recently, the Cornell Lunatic had the opportunity to interview* Mr. Funches.

In your stand-up, you talk about how you grew up near Portland, Oregon after moving from Chicago. How do Ithaca and Portland compare?

It’s very similar, Oregon and Ithaca. They actually remind me of a lot of each other on the greenery and how white they are. And you’ll be surprised how high our suicide rate is too. Seasonal depression, am I right?

One of my favorite things about you is how active you are on Twitter, commentating on some of the greatest rappers of our generation. Two hours ago, in fact, you retweeted something by Gucci Mane. I was wondering if you could explain that tweet.

Yeah, he just tweeted that he’s a work in progress, he’s not even through, and I just think Gucci Mane is one of the best artists and philosophers of our day. He made so much of himself. He’s been in and out of jail, he’s been through a lot of different struggles, but he still makes a lot of pop hits and had one of the best weddings of all time. It was beautiful. He lost so much weight. He used to just be a drug dealer who was going to be in jail for the rest of his life and he turned himself into one of the biggest pop stars in the world. So if you can’t learn lessons from that guy, I don’t see who you’re going to learn from.

Who’s your dream team-up for a comedy-rap duo?

Probably Action Bronson. Then he’ll be able to cook stuff. That would be a great night, with cooking and rap and comedy. We’ll both be probably really stoned. It would be a great night.

So I’m sort of surprised that you are here right now, considering that the WWE Survivor Series is on right now, and like me, you are a very big wrestling fan. I was wondering if I could have your thoughts of some of the fights that are happening later tonight-

Did you watch [NXT] Takeover?

Hell yeah.

It was amazing. Velveteen Dream, man.

Yeah, I didn’t know he could lose. Anyway, I was hoping if I could have your takes on some of the fights I highlighted tonight.

Of course. Thank god I’m recording Survivor Series.

New Day versus the Shield.

I’m excited about that. Two of the most dominant factions in WWE in the last ten years fighting each other. It’s great. It’s finally cool to see the New Day have a three-on-three match with someone instead of always having a number advantage. I hope the New Day wins, ‘cause I like them more and I hung out with them, and the Shield never did, and Seth Rollins blocked me on Twitter.

How did that happen?

Well, because he had that racist girlfriend for a while and I made a joke about it, and I guess someone retweeted it enough times so that he saw it and he got mad. Seth Rollins is great at wrestling, so go on and be a Seth Rollins fan. He just doesn’t like it when you make fun of his Nazi girlfriend.

Brock Lesnar versus AJ Styles.

I’m. Very. Excited. About. That. That is amazing. Two former IWGP Champions, two of the greatest performers. I just hope it goes longer than five minutes, and I hope AJ wins, as it’s non-title, so it won’t hurt Brock if he loses. I just know either way it’s going to be a hell of a match since AJ Styles doesn’t have bad matches.

The Miz versus Baron Corbin**.

I recently just saw the Miz two days ago. He was in New York, and we did some press together, so I’m definitely going for the Miz. He actually watched the show that I was on, so that’s all you got to do for me to like you. I’m a big fan of the Miz, because he’s a guy who came from reality shows, and I remember seeing him on The Real World, with him saying “I’m going to be a wrestler. I’m going to be a WWE champion.” And he did it.

A lot of people here might know you from television. Out of all your canceled shows, which include Powerless, Undateable, @midnight, The Kroll Show, or Mulaney, which one did you have the greatest memories of?

Probably Undateable, because it was my first job, and it was a chance where we really got to play around, and they let me come up with lines and do it live, which was challenging and a whole new experience I never thought I would go through. It’s either between that or The Kroll Show.

I know that many Cornellians want to be stand-up comedians like you and work in the entertainment industry. So the question is: How do you smoke weed and work at the same time? Because that’s what all my friends are doing but failing at.

You just gotta balance it. I use it as a treat. I’ve been going to a struggle with that. Sometimes I’ve been smoking too much, but usually I’m at my best if I get all my work done and use that weed to motivate me. Let’s get it done so I can get to smoking pot. It’s just part of who I am and what I enjoy doing. So I think as long as you do anything with balance and be relaxed. Sometimes at two in the morning, I’ll be in my bed smoking trying to come up with ideas and then try to edit them sober. But it doesn’t make sense usually.

Our theme this year for our fall issue is “The Daddy Issue.” I was wondering what your take is on that and what you would be writing about.

I am a daddy, a father. I love being a father to my son, and that is very motivating. I just say be good to your daddy if he’s in your life, and if you are a dad, be supportive for your kid but also know that you should do what’s right for you and be happy because if you’re not happy, then your kids aren’t going to be happy, so you got to lead by example. Unless, if you are talking about like “daddy,” and that’s a whole different thing. Dads are sexy and responsible. And I think that’s what I am. Like “Ooh, he’s responsible but he also smokes a lot of pot and plays video games all the time.” I’m a weird mix. If I wasn’t a dad, I would just be a regular loser comic that doesn’t do anything and gets stoned all the time. If it wasn’t for my son, I wouldn’t really have much to talk about***. What do you even talk about if you don’t have kids.

*During the whole interview, our Cornell Lunatic interviewer was stroking a poster of Ron while asking questions. It was sort of weird for everyone.

**The New Day lost, AJ Styles lost, and the Miz lost. Ron Funches cursed them all.

***During his set later that night, Ron talked about how he laughed when he saw his son drop hot cheese from a pizza onto his own penis.

Thank you Ron Funches for this interview. You can follow Ron on Twitter @RonFunches and visit his website for more information about his shows.

Wilbert Ren ‘20

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