Comedian Saffron Herndon has a lot in common with other comics who are two years in. She's sarcastic, frequents open mics and likes to wear a T-shirt when she performs. Unlike other comics, however, Saffy is still young enough to order off the kid's menu.
At just 10 years old, the dry-yet-spunky comedian has been making waves around the Internet with precociously edgy one-liners.
We talked to Saffron about her writing process and what it's like to be a kid who's also a rising comic.
MTV News: What got you interested in comedy?
Saffron Herndon: My dad. I always wanted to do stand-up, because I wanted to just tell jokes and be awesome. One day I asked my dad, "Can I do stand-up?" and he said, "Well, if you can come up with three minutes of material, we can take you to this local comedy club." I did, we went up and I did stand-up. I loved it.
MTV News: So you loved it the first time? Did you get laughs?
Saffron: Yeah. It was an open mic, so yeah.
(Saffron shrugged on the "yeah," so as to say -- as comics often do -- "it was what it was.")
MTV News: How do you perform at places that are 21 and over?
Saffron: [Clubs] accept me with open loving arms [laughs] because I’m a performer. If I was just a random kid and I wanted to see stand-up, I couldn’t have gone in. It depends on what comedians are going up, too. If they're bad, I wait outside.
MTV News: Who are your favorite comedians?
Saffron: Tig Notaro, Phyllis Diller, Gilda Radner and Joan Rivers. At school, we were doing this thing called "Living Statues," where you dress up as a famous person or person in history, and you talk like you’re there. I really wanted to be Phyllis Diller, so I watched some of her stand-up. I was her at school. I wore a big dress and I had big wig and a boa.
MTV News: Who do you relate better to: kids or adults?
Saffron: I relate to my best friends a lot, so I guess I relate more to my friends. I relate to my dad because he’s a stand-up comedian, and he’s my dad, and I have half his blood, which is kind of gross. It's hard relating to adults because they're all sad and old.
MTV News: What have you noticed about the adult comedians you work with?
Saffron: A lot of them work in restaurants. And they're all single.
MTV News: What's your writing process like? How do you get ideas for jokes?
Saffron: Usually I’ll be talking to my dad, and I’ll see something or I’ll say something. What usually happens is we keep it in our journal for a long time and we find out different ways that we can convert it into a joke.
Sometimes, you might say something and you don’t even have to change it into a joke. They’re just jokes. I have a joke about Nirvana. My dad and I were talking, and I said I wished Kurt Cobain would have lived another 10 years so I could see him in concert, and dad said, "Why don’t you just wish that he was alive?" and I said, "And not have the Foo Fighters?" And that’s when the joke was born.
MTV News: So, you like Nirvana. How did you get cool taste in music?
Saffron: My uncle has a lot of records at his house, and he knows a lot of rock songs. He taught me about Nirvana when I was little. He taught me all the words to “My Girl,” and we would sing it all the time. My dad he taught me about jazz. Jazz is like comedy because you can improv it and no one will notice.
MTV News: What are you working on in your comedy right now?
Saffron: Every Wednesday I host the Hyena’s open mic [in Dallas]. I host all the time. It’s so much fun. I love hosting. There's this guy, Butch Lord, at Hyenas. He's a really good comedian. He's like a teacher. He’s teaching me different ways I can host.
MTV News: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned by hosting?
Saffron: That when you forget someone’s name, it’s embarrassing, and all the other comedians will make fun of you. They don’t hold back on me, but I bash on them back. I make fun of them a lot.
MTV News: When you’re writing a joke, do you think a lot about the phonetics of words?
Saffron: I think a lot of phonetics and words and grammar because I totally got your question.
Hahaha. Oh, yeah. She's 10. Touché. Saffron is on Twitter, because of course she is. Follow her here.