(CBS Local)– Comedian Bryan Callen is starting to get older and he’s thinking about the world differently.
The 52-year-old tackles many of society’s issues in his new Amazon comedy special “Complicated Apes.” Callen wants us all to stop being afraid of the ideas of other people.
“You start out trying to be funny, but then as you get older you see the world is changing for better and for worse,” said Callen in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “This world is changing so quickly. I felt like stand-up is the last bastion of free speech. You get fired in corporate America for saying anything, regardless of what your intention was. Humor, sex, romance… everything is up for grabs now and nobody knows how to navigate any of those spaces. Comedy and art should disturb. Rock & roll was considered subversive.”
Callen has performed all over the country and has an extremely diverse audience. His audience has been with him since his days on MADtv and through his rise on movies like “The Hangover.” His character Eddie was one of the most memorable cameos of those Todd Phillips movies.
“I grew up oversees… that was a Lebanese guy, I grew up in Lebanon for almost five years,” said Callen. “If he speaks like this, he should be from Lebanon, Armenia, or Israel. It was so improvisational and everyone was so un-famous in the first one. It was a surprise, it was a tiny movie. Todd Phillips is a gusty, revolutionary guy. It was during the writer’s strike and nobody wanted to do Old School 2.”
While Callen has had many different TV and movie roles, he is still a believer in stand-up comedy and podcasting for the long haul.
“Actors aren’t making money anymore, do six or eight episodes for Netflix, sure they pay you, but you can’t do anything else,” said Callen. “Actors will become the middle class. Joe Rogan figured that out and he is one of my dearest friends. He was telling me that a long time ago. I’m not a visionary, I just had smart friends. Joe called me up and said I’m not going to act anymore. Tom Green had his own TV show and Rogan said ‘I want to do this.’ He started doing a podcast and I said you’re crazy. We were doing his podcast in his garage. He’s my blueprint.”