John Kildemm is a writer for the Eric Andre show and the author of the autobiographical book series, Hey Doorman; here is a link to his link to his Amazon page:
Q: When did you know you were a writer?
A: I knew I was a writer once I got into my major of electrical engineering in college. I disliked it so much that I actually started to read books again, which this sent me on a path of writing, in particular comedy. My mother would say that I was a writer before 5th grade, as all of my montessori teachers thought that I would grow up to be a writer based on all of my advanced reading (Stephen Hawking, Ian Fleming, Stephen King, Dean Koontz) and the fact that I used to write stories all of the time. These stories were some amalgamation of James Bond, sci-fi, and Kung-Fu as those were my biggest influences at that time. These are still major influences to this day, just add in Tarantino, Scorsese, Coen Brothers, David Fincher and Lynch, Spike Jonze and Lee, Jim Jarmusch and Bong Joon-ho.
Q: How did you come to be a bouncer?
A: I became a bouncer due to two factors. (1) I am 6’3″, 200lbs, black, and look like I can whoop your ass. (2) A comedian buddy of mine introduced me to another comedy buddy of his in LA who worked as a bouncer. And that bouncer wanted some nights off, so he offered me some of his shifts. In other words, it was my physical appearance in combination with a lazy man that began my all too long career as a bouncer. Which is how at least two thirds of people get their jobs, right?
Q: Is it true that they tell you not to let people in based on race, age and looks?
A: It is true that at certain night spots in LA there are unwritten rules on who to let in which are based on beauty, race, age etc. I actually know a couple bouncers who work at those places. But for myself, I have never worked at one of those places. That being said, pretty women are ushered in at almost all costs, while a guy slipping a bouncer money will get you in just as quickly. The tricky part comes when pretty women are there with their male friends or boyfriends, because once we are near capacity a single penis will send your group to the back of the line. This is when, in my case, you need to have a witty/smart pretty woman to talk your group past the line. Because there is almost nothing a guy can say to me to get his group in, that isn’t sponsored by Jackson, Grant and/or Franklin.
Q: Did you ever actually have to rough anybody up, or do you just look intimidating?
A: Ninety-nine percent of the time I do not have to rough anybody up. Primarily because I work in West Hollywood, where there’s a bunch of models and actors. In other words, people who really need their faces intact and are generally of average human height and below average human weight. The few times I have hit someone it was more than called for. One time a guy was assaulting a woman. Another time a drunk guy was pummeling a small patron. Another time a guy intentionally knocked my book (Art Linson’s What Just Happened?) out of my hand so I had to strike him. If you don’t know that book, it has Robert De Niro on the cover. And no one fucks with De Niro, despite his poor movie choices the last decade.
Q: Who was your most memorable drunk?
A: My most memorable drunk is a tough one, as there are too many to count. Plus I chronicle the best of the best in each volume of my ebook series, Hey Doorman. So I will go with the one that occurred when I wasn’t even working. It was at our company Holiday Party. A company employee got so drunk that he attacked the manager on duty that night for no reason and proceeded to pummel him until the barback stopped him. I saw this unfold on video the following day. The funny part was that the guy who attacked the manager had no recollection of what he did. He even showed up to work the next day, only to be informed that he was fired and formal charges were being filed against him.
Q: Why are people so fascinated with Hollywood nightlife, isn’t a drunk a drunk?
A: Drunks are drunks are drunks. This is true. But people are fascinated by anything Hollywood (I.E. Los Angeles), because of what Hollywood represents: The American dream. Coming from nothing and rising to the top of everything. You can make an argument that, the actor, is the top spot in American culture. Our current president became pop culture famous from TV and former president Ronald Reagan was a b-movie actor. These two men became the most powerful men in the world and they weren’t even good actors. Imagine what a Meryl Streep or Denzel Washington could do? On the other side of this Hollywood coin, you have the greatest falls America has ever seen. Look no further than OJ Simpson. His meteoric fall was something that the nation, nor world, could look away from (so much so that his trial gave birth to an entire TV network). This immensely watchable dichotomy is why people are forever fascinated by Hollywood.
Q: How did you become a writer for the Eric Andre show?
A: I became a writer for The Eric Andre Show through my standup comedy connections. I have been performing standup for over 10 years, beginning in Chicago, where I met and became friends with Hannibal Buress. He and I share a similar comedic perspective and he thought I would be a good fit for Eric’s show, so he forwarded some sketches I wrote to Eric. Eric liked them and brought me into his writers room for Season 4, which I could not be more proud of as I have so much respect and admiration for his show. Since then I have also become friends with Eric, who by the way, has hands down the coolest birthday parties that I have ever been to. But due to a Non Disclosure Agreement I can not say any more (wink).
Q: What would surprise us about Eric?
A: Nothing would surprise me about Eric as I have known him for a while. But what would surprise some people is how diligent and un-crazy he is in the writers room. Eric is a good boss and writing partner. He is nurturing, kind, and open to creativity. Period. Just a good creative dude, who may or may not whip his penis out.
Q: Do you think the shock value of the show will ever wear thin or do you think you can keep taking it to new levels?
A: I don’t think The Eric Andre Show’s shock value will ever wear thin, primarily due to Eric. He would rather walk away than not keep taking things to another thoroughly crazy level. Secondly, the format of the show doesn’t allow things to get comfortable as it has a running time of about 11 minutes. If the show was 30 minutes or if Eric was not so hands on, I would feel differently.
Q: Who do you think would win in a fight, Eric Andre or Lauren Conrad?
A: Lauren Conrad versus Eric Andre… Hmmm… While I am 100% sure that Eric can win the fight, I also know he is business savvy. Meaning he knows that the real money is in the rematch or rematches. So while Eric would not throw the first fight, he would most certainly exploit it for all that it is worth. There would be a lot of Vaseline and he would most certainly show up naked or at least wearing a banana hammock with Lauren’s face on it. He would then proceed to push the boundries of sex (without being pornographic; he needs the reruns to play on television), drug use, and violence. In the end, Lauren would be declared the winner. But the real winner would be the viewers.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.