Being a guy alone at a party, bar or even just walking down the street is hard. Especially if you look like DC Pierson.
It’s a joke he told the crowd at the modestly sized Esther’s Follies in Austin during South By Southwest. After landing in Austin, he had less than an hour for his first show, a rapid-fire, 10-minute set where he touched on looking creepy, not being able to take a nap without watching porn and meeting his dream girl then immediately fantasizing not of having sex with her, but killing her in an apocalyptic future or being told she never stopped sleeping with a secret lover as he dies on the beach.
This is why DC Pierson is bad at girls, which also happens to be the title of his hour-long routine that he’s been performing in his adoptive home of Los Angeles and performed at the Underground Comedy Fest in Austin later in the week.
Is Bad At Girls isn’t really stand-up, but instead is a long interwoven story about three girls he dated in his life. The first is about the first girl he ever had a crush on in sixth grade, the next discusses the only girl he ever really called his girlfriend officially in college and then he finally riffs about his brief relationship with a stripper right after finishing his degree.
“It kind of runs the gamut,” Pierson reveals about the routine he calls more of a long story than anything. “It’s like The Wonder Years but with more boobs.”
The show’s richness in detail and hilarity stems from a long sense of desire to share what he found was funny in a very unique way.
“In high school I really wanted to be an auteur filmmaker,” he says about his switch from loving knowing every vice-president’s name to wanting to pursue writing and acting. “Once in college I joined a sketch group. Through that I discovered Upright Citizen’s Brigade, figured how awesome comedy was and decided that is all I want to do.”
He received his degree from NYU in dramatic writing for television, where he formed Derrick Comedy alongside Donald Glover, Dominic Dierkes, Dan Eckman and Meggie McFadden and filmed and participated in sketches alongside his troupe. Then Pierson started performing stand-up on his own in 2008 and has since worked on honing his skills as a comedian, but more importantly as a writer. He co-wrote Derrick’s Mystery Team film, published a book (The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To), and wrote the final message on Glover’s Camp, which is a detailed account of why Glover has chosen to rap.
Pierson’s demeanor is very much that of the West Coast surfer-hippy who seems too laid back to lock himself in a room for focus on his skill, but he puts in more work than it looks. His knack to make jokes as funny as possible on the written page is what propels him to the level of writer/actors who know how to pen the perfect joke but portray it as spontaneous and improvised.
As for the future, another Derrick Comedy film is in what he calls the “maybe pile.” Regardless of what it is, he is certain that he’ll team up with the group again, but isn’t sure exactly what medium it will be. He also has another book he’s written that will be published in 2013, which he hopes will become the first in a young adult series that he describes as a comedy-fantasy saga.
“Everything is my fulltime gig,” Pierson divulged about his busy schedule. “I try as hard as I can in everything I do. Stand-up, sketch, improv, writing all dovetails together. I’m trying to cover the Roulette table with everything I do.”
In the meantime he’ll continue working on a follow-up to DC Pierson Is Bad At Girls, writing on an upcoming Anthony Jeselnik late-night show, trying to develop his book into a movie and having richly detailed fantasies about hippy girls wearing headbands who can quote the 1986 Stephen King-directed Maximum Overdrive.