We had the good fortune of connecting with Chuck Watkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chuck, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
I like “Drinks Before Dinner” by E, L. Doctorow. It’s the text of a play that was on Broadway in the mid 1970’s. It’s about a dinner party gone awry, when the host of the party pulls a gun on his guests and announces his intention of kidnapping the guest of honor (a Henry Kissinger-like Secretary of Defense). They discuss the end of the world and the secret plans in place for the upper class.
It’s a very dark and funny play. I’ve never seen it live but the text makes me laugh pretty hard, which is a rare thing for me., I first read it before I started doing standup and it helped shape my sense of humor and worldview. It seems prescient during the bizarre moment we all find ourselves going through.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My story is pretty unique- I was working hard as a standup comedian at night and a public school teacher during the day. I hit passed out and hit my head in my backyard, leading to a coma and a traumatic brain injury.
I wrote and drew a graphic novel of my story. It’s called “Bonk”. I’m trying to get it published now.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my friend were visiting from out of town, I’d take them to the ocean and the Observatory at Griffith Park to see some Los Angeles highlights. I’d also take them to a really nice grocery store so I could buy some excellent food, so I can make them a great meal.
The next night I’d try to show them a great comedy show. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shoutout to Hugleikur Dagsson, a cartoonist from Iceland who makes very crude, satirical, one panel comics, with stick figures. His books include “Is This a A Joke?”, “Should I Be Laughing At This?”, “is This Supposed To Be Funny?”, and many more.
Some great comics I look up to include Brendon Walsh, Jim Hamilton, Lisa Delarios, Chris Fairbanks, David Huntsberger, and Martha Kelly.