Interview: Hal Sparks On Politics, Guilt And Life

Hal Sparks comedian, actor, and Twitter king extraordinaire took time out of his schedule to speak with Equality365 about life, touring, podcasting and politics. You probably know him as a star on ‘Queer as Folk’, ’Talk Soup’ and Disney’s ‘Lab Rats’. He is an extremely interesting character and you won’t want to miss his show at Parlor Live on New Year’s Eve! Get tickets here!

How is the new podcast going?
It is going great. We recorded our one yesterday. We are pre-taping a couple to play through the holidays. I am one of those people that believes that especially as a comedian and heavy Twitter-er that there is this old kind of Hollywood notion that people take a break during the holidays and you leave them alone. I believe that the opposite is now true now. It is the only break you get from the overwhelming force that is your family. Taking a break to check your Twitter feed, listen to some podcasts, check out some YouTube videos, or go to a movie is your way of saying I came all the way back to Cleveland but I need a break. In two hours I will be right back to loving you guys unconditionally.

You have worked with some amazing artists and comedians. Who is your favorite comedian to work with?
Hmmm, my favorite comedian to work with… Well the interest thing about being a touring comic who headlines is that all of your contemporaries that you may have come up with when you started doing standup usually come up to the same level. When you are on even keel and both headlining, you may never see them again because you are on opposite sides of the country. I think that is why comedians have such a notoriously lonely road life. You start out with this group of friends but then everyone splits. That being said, I love whenever I get to do a show with Dave Hill. He is an immensely funny fellow. He is also from Cleveland like me. He lives in New York and I live in LA. Very rarely our paths will cross and we get to do a show together.

Hal Sparks Equality365

Hal Sparks NOH8

Would you think about bringing ‘Queer as Folk’ back to TV?
Yes, definitely. I just started answering questions I get asked repeatedly on my YouTube channel. That is actually the question that started it. There is so much talk about a reunion, reboot or all the “re’s” that Hollywood is known for these days. So I decided to make a YouTube clip and just say here you go. The short answer is “yes, of course.” The longer answer is if the script and idea is of quality and they haven’t totally sideswiped the character and turned him into something I don’t agree with. If you care about the project the real answer is maybe leaning in the yes column like you are on “House of Cards”. If we had our execs back and they were in charge of production, I would trust them. It would not be a reboot without Ron and Dan our execs. They are more important than most of us cast members in my estimation.

As an actor, what would be your dream role?
Oh, Buckaroo Bonzai! A reboot of ‘Buckaroo Bonzai’ no question. It is the role I was born to play. I think I have something to bring to it that would make Peter Weller proud. That has been a pet project of mine for years.

Which political candidate would you most like to meet and maybe even interview?
Oh, that’s interesting. Honest to God, of the candidates that are running right now it would have to be Hillary Clinton. I have tremendous respect for Bernie Sanders and I understand that the article, which I am allegedly writing in this fantasy, would do much better as far as visibility if Trump was the person because it would automatically get punched to the front of the line. He has taken sort of a Sid Vicious view of modern politics, thinking that I don’t really have to play music. I can just pee on the crowd and the same number of people will show up. The fact that Hillary is the first actually viable female candidate for president in the history of our country cannot be overvalued. It is an extraordinary thing. Personally, I would be very curious as to what is takes to be that person because of the amount of weight on you to be just that. It is the reason that four or eight years ago I would have said Barack Obama for very similar reasons.

Hal Sparks Selfie

Hal Sparks taking a selfie

What is your guilty pleasure while on tour?
I don’t have any. I don’t believe in feeling guilt about anything that gives me pleasure. Just because I like something and you don’t has no bearing on my whatsoever. That being said, this could be the most boring answer ever. I usually do radio in the morning to promote the shows. Then I do the shows at night. There is something to be said for being trapped in a real crap city and just lying in bed in the hotel and writing while watching ‘Law & Order’. There is just no place to go because the town really blows so I will just use this time to relax, reflect and write. I find that tremendously pleasing. I just sit there with a yellow legal pad and a pen just scratching out ideas while junk television plays in the background.

How do you stay creative?
The universe is a constant provider of muse-like provocation either through anger or joy. Comedians are bullshit detectors. That is our job to call bullshit on stuff on the behalf of everyone.

Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
I kind of had an epiphany while we were talking about guilty pleasures. I will have to tweet it immediately after we hang up. It is “Opinions are like assholes. You will die without one.” (Laughter) The idea is you need it to live. You have to have one to be a whole person.

Hal Sparks is one to watch!

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Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton is the Chief Blogger and Editor of Equality365.com. He founded Equality365.com in 2013 to provide information about LGBTQ friendly events of interest, and to support LGBTQ entertainers and supportive artists who visit our community. Earle is a successful businessman in the Pacific Northwest with a long history of support for and involvement in, the Northwest LGBTQ community. His personal interests include: music, theater, pets, culinary arts and technology.

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