Comedian Robert Kelly Teaches Us How to Cheat Wisely [INTERVIEW]
Robert Kelly is one of those badass guys who's hysterically blunt while being completely sincere. Basically, he's one of the coolest dudes around. Kelly is a New York-based actor and comedian who recently penned a book with his buddies Joe DeRosa and Bill Burr, ‘Cheat: A Man’s Guide to Infidelity”-- a hilarious take on how to cheat wisely.
He has racked up an impressive line of acting credits, including playing Louis CK’s brother on ‘Louie’ and a guest spot on ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’. His comedic background also includes his own ‘Comedy Central Presents’ and a spot on HBO’s ‘Tourgasm’ with Dane Cook.
We recently talked with this former “rockstar cheater” about his new book, navigating infidelity, and grandma’s “cookie."
‘Cheat-- A Man’s Guide to Infidelity.' Where did this whole concept start?
This whole thing came from a short film that me, Bill Burr and Joe DeRosa wrote and produced ourselves called ‘Cheat’. I walk around with the funniest people on the planet. Joe was trying to cheat on his girl who was out of town that he wanted to be with back in the day. He came over, and we were giving him tips on what to do. We were like, “this is a movie”. Somebody approached us and asked, “do you think you could write a book out of that?” 240 pages later, we came up with this book off the movie that we made.
The book really does have smart strategies, even though it’s very blunt and funny. Was there any sincerity or honesty writing it?
We wanted to write a very funny, honest book. On this topic, you could take yourself too seriously. But if you had too much fun with it, if you went the way of stats and cartoons, it wouldn’t have been taken serious enough. I think we were like “let’s just balls up do this and make it as funny as possible”.
It’s hysterical, and it strikes a perfect balance between being funny and having actual strategies.
Look-- if you don’t laugh at this book, I don’t know if I want to know you. I just don’t know if you’re a good person in your soul.
In the book, you call yourself a “rockstar cheater." What does this entail?
I used to be. The one main thing about this book is we’re not telling you TO cheat, and we’re not telling you to be this guy. But if you’re going to, don’t ruin your life. Try to do these things we tell you do to. You will get caught eventually at some point, but we teach you how to deal with it. It all started with me. I met the girl of my dreams...18 or something like that. Two years in, things got stale.
That was the first girl who cheated on you?
That was the first one, not the only one. Girls cheat, and you’ll never know. I think it’s worse when girls cheat. They cheat because there’s something there, which is worse.
That’s the big difference between men and women?
I’d rather walk in on my wife having sex with another man than actually holding hands, soft kissing with a man. After she cheated on me, it took a long time for me to get where I am now. I’m happily married!
So you regret nothing?
No, I don’t regret anything because all the stuff I’ve done, I’ve had to do it to get where I am today. Without the failures and success and everything in between, I might not be where I am today. There is a point when you’re just done [with cheating]. But in the middle, why not have a story? It’s so hard to cheat on someone now because of technology.
The texting, the internet, everything.
If a girl wanted to send you a photo of her cookie 30 or 40 years ago, she would have to sketch it. My grandmother would’ve had to have an oil painting done of her cookie.
Right! Now it’s just like girls go to the bathroom in the office, take a picture, and it’s on your phone.
Do you think all guys can become rockstar cheaters at some point? Or they have that inner drive to dabble elsewhere?
No way. I don’t think all guys, because not all guys are cheating for the same purpose. Some guys are addicts-- they have to have that high. Some are accidental tourists who went to Vegas one night.The rockstar cheater is the guy who just knows he’s a piece of crap.
You’re not endorsing cheating, but say you’re talking to a first-time cheater. Is there one piece of advice you want to give him?
I want him to swallow the guilt. Just accept it. The guilt will get you caught. You get nervous, you do stupid stuff, and women have instincts like witches. My wife will come home and know what I had for lunch.
We’re crazy like that.
Yeah! So number one, you have to deal with the guilt, and then you have to find out why you’re doing this.
Before writing this book, you started off as a comedian and made your way into acting. You’re still doing comedy, so what still drives you to get on stage doing standup after all this time?
You just can’t not do it, I guess. I love acting. We just got done shooting my own pilot for FX.
So do you like acting or standup better?
I can’t not do standup. Once it’s in you, it’s in you. Doesn’t matter how much money you have or how famous you are. You just have to do it.
You play Louis CK’s brother on ‘Louie.' How is it working with another comedian?
Working with Louie was probably one of the best acting experience I’ve had. He takes away all the Hollywood horse crap. There’s no makeup, no wardrobe. You just show up and do the scene. Once you get it, that’s it.
Where can we see you perform soon and pick up your book?
You can get the book at CheataMansGuide.com and watch the movie that we made. You can also get it off RobertKellyLive.com. On the October 16th, we’re doing a live comedy show, show the movie, do a Q&A, and then sell the book. That’s at the Village Underground in NYC. Go to Laughstub.com for tickets.