For those that don’t know comedian Mike E. Winfield, it must look easy. On one recent weekend he was headlining at a comedy club and spied an audience member sound asleep center stage. Winfield immediately brought his mic into the audience and began to torment the poor sleeping guy. (His name we learned, is Ruben).
While it is impressive that that video (see below) has garnered over a quarter million YouTube hits in the last 5 days, it was that same weekend that Winfield was told he just landed a plum reoccurring role on the hit TV show, “The Office.”
Winfield is no stranger to performing on television. He’s been featured on the pilot, “The Bobby Lee Project” in 2008, Showtime’s “Comics Without Borders,” hosted by Russell Peters, “Comicview” on BET, “Comics Unleashed” with Byron Allen, “Last Comic Standing” on NBC and “Live at Gotham” on Comedy Central.
Today, we caught up with Winfield again flying from a college appearance in Texas to one in Florida.
So, tell us a little bit about the role that you play.
“His name is Wes, and he is one of the new warehouse workers at Dunder Mifflin. Without telling you too much, the fact that he is a new warehouse worker plays into the plot.
He (Wes) doesn’t really care, he’s just having fun, you know, having fun with the new guys at work. We are just funny people who cut-up at work. And you know, it’s cool because the character has a lot of funny stuff to say and the best part is, he gets a lot of camera time.” (laugh)
With this new credit (The Office) behind you, you are destined to play some of the comedy clubs “A” rooms now. Are you looking forward to that?
“The role is an amazing, great role and I have many lines, it’s a funny character and not only is the office big around the world, but it is very popular on college campuses. They might have me doing even more colleges.”
Yeah, but probably only those with huge auditoriums. When we last talked in November, you had just done a college “room” that was underground and only had room for about 40 people and the ceiling was so low that it kept bumping your ‘fro’.
“Oh man, that was one of my greatest shows! I loved it. I think I did over 2 hours that night. It’s so much fun.”
How was the audition process?
“The audition was in southern california at 10:00 AM on a Wednesday. I decided to drive it rather than fly in and rent a car. I left Sacramento around 1:00 AM and arrived around 8:00 that morning. The audition went OK. Nowadays, when I audition, I don’t even plan on getting it. I just go in and do as good as I can and read, and forget about it.”
When you left the audition, how did you think you did?
“I thought, ‘Wow! That was a big opportunity I just had!’ Then I just forgot about it went on to set up a show I had scheduled in Ventura.”
How is your family holding up under your growing stardom?
(Laughing) “You know man, my family is cool. I find ways to be there. And when we are together, our time is so productive. I mean, you know, we have kids in soccer and we just stay busy and active.”
Some of your greatest bits were based on your family, but last time we talked, you said you weren’t doing much family based material, is that still true?
“I want to say that now that I have been home more, I’ve been back on it. (laughs). I’m not sure if that is my niche, but it is easy to talk about things that go on in the house, so I have a lot more stories about that.”
When will your character be appearing?
“The season starts September 22nd, on Thursday nights at 9:00 PT. I know I am not in the first episode, but I have a feeling it will be in the first 3 episodes. ”
How many episodes have you done so far?
“I have already filmed one episode and I will be heading back for a second in a few weeks.”
We love to watch the ascent of Sacramento based comedians (AmericasComedy.Com is headquartered in the California capital) and other than Jack Gallagher and Brian Posehn, we can’t remember the last local comedian with such national exposure.
If you would like to follow Mike E. Winfield’s career, you can subscribe to his newsletter by texting the letters MEW to 22828, or his SuperFanPage on Facebook. (Read our more recent interview with Winfield here.)
Watch Mike harass the hell out of this very tired audience member.
About the Author: Steven Bloom is Founder/Publisher of AmericasComedy.Com. He is pursuing his dream of laughing every day and associating with some of the most creative people in the entertainment industry. Steven@AmericasComedy.Com