Brian Balthazar may have fallen into the pop culture game, but he’s hanging around for a reason. The New York-based standup comedian turned celebrity know-it-all has taken his humoured approach to the world of celebrity folly and catapulted himself into mini-stardom. Who knows, maybe one day he’ll find himself on the receiving end of one of his rants…
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
As a result of creating POP Goes The Week, I managed to stumble into a strange life where I go on TV and radio and talk about the often-strange things some celebrities do! (And let’s be honest – they do strange things all the time!) But behind the scenes I also produce television shows, and have an obsession with finding the perfect cocktail. So much so, I started my own cocktail website, Dr. Thirsty. I’ve already started to chronicle my life in cocktails there!
How did Pop Goes the Week start?
Back in 2008, I had been a standup comic and pop culture addict, but never really had a place for my voice to be heard. Then I got a call to appear as a guest on a pilot test show for (The View co-host) Joy Behar’s talk show on HLN, which was still in development at the time. In the course of one weekend I created POPgoesTheWeek.com so I would have a place to say I was ‘from’ when they introduced me! The site and the TV appearances have been happening ever since. Suddenly I have a very unusual life bouncing from channel to channel talking about the strangest things. It is as though I turned a corner and found something I had been searching for my whole life. Life has been full of surprises. I’m having a blast!
What do you love most about pop culture and entertainment?
It is unapologetically fun and lighthearted! It may not be considered the most noble of genres, but it’s a wonderful escape in a world where, sometimes, you need to get your mind off the tough stuff and just look at a video of a puppy learning to howl, or Ryan Lochte trying to complete a sentence. (Wait, I try not to be mean… Should I take that back?)
Finish this sentence: I love my city because…
It’s full of surprises. And even though it’s enormous, if you live here long enough, you will find yourself running into friends all over town. You create your own ‘small towns’ here in the different neighbourhoods. I was born and raised a country boy, so I appreciate that.
What are three things you simply cannot live without?
Coke Zero. Oh, how I try to quit, but I’m hopelessly addicted. Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. (Even though I never actually finish them off, I always lose them first, then replace them.) If I don’t have lip balm in my pocket I feel naked, and not in a good way! Internet access! I honestly don’t know what I would do without it!
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
This one is so hard, because I have so many! I love Jean Claude in Soho. French deliciousness in a quaint little place – but hit the ATM first! It’s cash only! I also love Hudson Clearwater for its fantastic, inventive dishes.
What’s your favourite drink/cocktail and where do you go to get it?
I love a Dark and Stormy or a Moscow Mule. (I judge a great bar by whether or not they have Ginger Beer!) Dutch in Soho is a great place for a Dark and Stormy, topped off with fresh ginger and lime. Again, I frequent Hudson Clearwater for a creative concoction. Both places have large, perfectly square ice cubes that don’t melt so quickly into the drink. See how seriously I take my cocktails? For some reason I’m a total lightweight, so when I drink, the first two really have to count! I may not get much further than that!
Who’s your favourite designer/brand and why do you sport their fashions?
I’m a style conundrum. For a nice suit, I’m a lover of all things Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Tom Ford. (As you can see I’m horrible at picking just one favorite anything!) If there’s one theme I look for, I guess, it’s a classic, timeless, sophisticated look. (Although I’ve been known to buy a ridiculously ‘loud’ jacket just because it might look good on television.) Still, I love a bargain, and TV makeup can make a collar get nasty quickly… so it’s off to Target or Express for some dress shirts that won’t break the bank! I love style, but I’m not a snob about brands – if you look great and got a great deal, it’s win-win! Once I get home, though, all bets are off and I’m jumping into gym shorts and a t-shirt!
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with all your city-trotting?
I’m hopelessly connected and I love staying in touch with people. Between Twitter and Instagram, Facebook and my websites POP Goes The Week and Dr. Thirsty, you will be absolutely sick of me! Like a nice cocktail, I’m best taken in moderation!