A phone interview with Felonious Munk isn’t what you’d expect from an energetic, foul-mouthed comedian. He swore once. Ranted just a little. And explained how he used to be a finance director making six figures. It’s a job he gave up to do comedy (much to the chagrin of his mother). And now, it’s a job that’s led him to grab the attention of Glenn Beck.
“I definitely appreciate that kind of exposure,” he said of his recent rant against Obama becoming a favorite on Beck’s radio show. Still, he included a caveat: “You got to keep in mind, it puts me in a unique position as a black guy who has questioned Obama.”
In the three-minute video posted on his YouTube channel recently, Munk berated the government and president Obama for not paying the country’s bills and racking up debt. All with a unique, profanity-laced flavor that left many laughing and gasping at the same time.
For the most part, the reaction to those words from the black community “hasn’t been that bad.” But there are detractors who don’t like him speaking out against a black president. Munk had a message for them:
“It’s disingenuous to complain about a black man saying something about Obama, when, during President Bush’s reign [he made sure to point out he meant to say "reign"] if you spoke out against the government at that time it was kind of this, ‘oh, you’re not patriotic’ thing. And black people thought that was ridiculous. Well, if that was ridiculous then, it’s just as ridiculous for you to say that I can’t speak out against Obama.”
So where does the long-bearded comedian, not afraid to criticize Obama, stand politically?
“I hate partisan anything,” he told The Blaze from Virginia Beach, VA. “I rant just as much about Republicans as I do Democrats. I rant just as much about the Tea Party as I do liberals.” In fact, he thinks the idea of loyalty to a party is “retarded.”
In fact, he said he supports the president — whether George W. Bush or Barack Obama. But he always retains “the constitutional right to say, ‘that’s ridiculous.’”
Still can’t pin him down? You probably won’t be able to put him in a simple partisan box. Consider this: he’s not a fan of the health care bill (he calls it the “ugliest quilted blanket of health care crap I’ve ever seen”), but has a soft spot for Canada’s single-payer health system.
That seems to lean liberal.
“I think our government has made everything they possible could more difficult, and that’s just during Obama’s presidency,” he said, later adding, “I think [the health care bill] was one of those things where you made a promise and now you force yourself to keep that promise even though what you eventually came up with was crap.” In other words, “squash it.”
That seems to lean conservative.
He doesn’t think the country is headed for communism like some conservatives, but he believes some of the “socialist” programs put in place during the Great Depression weren’t meant to go on indefinitely, and now some people have become dependent on them.
Liberal and conservative?
The rant he delivered that caught Beck’s eye, he explained, was just one of many issues he has with the president.
“There are, oh my God, a million things.” For example, he’s opposed to foreign aid to Somalia and Israel alike.
Still, he admits some of the things he ranted about in the video were slightly exaggerated for comedic effect.
What is he, then? How about a comedic conundrum.
Who is Felonious Munk?
Felonious Munk isn’t really Felonious Munk. His real name is Dennis Banks. And he said this is the first time he’s admitted that to the media.
He has a surprisingly deep knowledge of history — he spouted off people (both politicians and comedians) and terms from days past like he was, well, a stand-up version of Beck. And his path to comedy wasn’t an ordinary one. He went to college for accounting but then switched to IT after being bored with the former. He then worked in finance for almost 12 years, specifically in the car sales business.
Then, he said, the economy “forced” him into comedy — which is a way of saying business wasn’t good so he chose to do what he loved.
Still, his brand of comedy is different. There are curse words. It can be crass. There are plenty of laughs. But he also wants his craft to make people think.
“I thought comedy was always, ‘make me laugh, but let me go home and think about it,’” he explained, which he says is the offspring of his humor and his different way of thinking about things. Now he’s traveling across the country sharing it with as many people as possible.
And now, because of Beck, he’s tapping an audience that might not have ever known about him. And he’s okay with that. He’s even going to work it into his routine.
“I’m sure Glenn Beck is going to be a part of a few of my shows coming up. As a matter of fact, he’ll probably get a tribute video,” he said chuckling. Which is ironic, he added, because he’s made videos bashing Fox News in the past.
Almost twenty minutes into the interview, he finally started cracking jokes: “I think it’s kind of cool that Glenn Beck sees this video and goes, ‘Wow, this guy who kind of looks like bin Laden makes a point that I agree with.’” He’s even thinking about donning a turban and Photoshopping himself shaking Beck’s hand.
And what about Beck’s own joke at the end of his radio show Thursday, wondering if Munk (or Banks) would be willing to join GBTV as a comedian?
“Truthfully, the only way you could get me to shave my beard is if I had that opportunity,” he said while laughing. “If Glenn Beck wanted to make me the Lewis Black of his new TV show, tell him I’m all over it, I’ve got material for months, and I’ve got a couple of really nice suits.”
“We could be like the Run DMC of the new politics.”
Now that’s a funny image.