Brooklyn-based comedian Ian Lockwood is sharing the off-kilter video for his latest single “Not Like Other Girls,” off his comedy-pop EP of the same name (out on October 22). Lockwood has been a mainstay of the underground Brooklyn comedy scene for much of the last decade. He initially moved to New York to pursue comedy—and as an act of teenage rebellion.
“I actually grew up in L.A. and I was like, ‘Okay, if I want to do [comedy], it has to be in L.A., or New York, but I’m 18 and I’m rebelling against my parents, and I don’t want them to visit me. So I’m moving to New York,’ ” Lockwood explains over Zoom before assuring me that he and his parents are the best of friends now.
In New York, he’s thrived in the gritty and bizarre melting pot that is the Brooklyn alt comedy scene, which floats between bars, small theatres and DIY venues. Lockwood praises the community as “safe, but a wild space for queer artists to do really awesome stuff.”
“When I do comedy out in the world, it’s really, really rough around the edges. It’s really dirty,” he tells me. And Lockwood means that quite literally, listing off dumping soup over other comedians’ heads, squirting lotion all over the place, and urinating (“I was asked to,” he clarifies) as just a few activities he’s done onstage.
Case in point: a show he put on with his oft-collaborator Sophie Zucker (Abby on Dickinson) called “Baby Ian Falls Down a Well.”
“We did it in the Annoyance New York—rest in peace—and most of it took place on this stairwell. The problem was the stairwell was right under these trash cans and if it rained, which it did often during that run, trash water would come in through the door and settle on the stairs,” Lockwood recalls.
That same off-the-wall energy feeds the Not Like Other Girls EP and, more specifically, the title track’s fever dream of a music video. The smooth pop song follows someone who considers themselves different from the rest of the pack to an unsettling degree, to say the least. Director David Olonoff filmed the video in his hometown of Chappaqua, New York, providing an idyllic backdrop for the occasionally surreal visuals. Lockwood describes the shoot as “move move move, go go go, kind of guerilla style,” except for when they gave him the talent treatment.
“They’d be like, no, ‘Ian, you can’t help. Here’s an iced coffee. Go sit in that chair.’ And I’d be like, ‘Okay.’ ” he remembers with a laugh.
With his second EP (his first, Nasty, came out in 2020), Lockwood aims to hit the sweet spot of getting laughs while also making genuinely catchy music.
“I want people to be able to throw it on at a party and not everybody goes, ‘What the hell is this? Turn this off, next.’ I think if you’re a fan of comedy music, and you’ve ever hosted a party and tried to sneak a comedy song onto a playlist, you know the pain of people getting upset and asking to change the song. So the philosophy is good comedy and good music at the same time,” Lockwood says. He’s long been a fan of Flight of the Conchords and Bo Burnham, but also finds inspiration in pop divas like Ariana Grande.
Writing Not Like Other Girls in lockdown proved a challenge for Lockwood without his usual feedback loop, but also forced him to have more confidence in his own comedic choices.
“To not have my normal flow of workshopping was a real test of faith in myself, because my flow is usually I write these songs acoustic, I try them out at open mics, I see what gets laughs and I tweak things or I drop things, come up with new songs if they don’t go well. There were a couple of online shows, but other than that, I just had to be confident in what I thought was good and move forward with it,” he explains.
“Not Like Other Girls” was a particular turning point for Lockwood where he stuck to his convictions despite others not quite getting the premise.
“I think I actually had some naysayers say, ‘I’m not sure this is a clear concept. I don’t know,’” he explains. “And I was like, ‘No, I know what this is. I know it’s good. And I just have to push through.’”
Now that the shooting has wrapped up for his two other music videos (“No Homo,” following a pair of guys who totally aren’t in love no way bro, and “Your Dad,” which is exactly what it sounds like), Lockwood is looking forward to the EP’s release show at Union Hall in Brooklyn on October 22. He radiates earnest enthusiasm as he tells me about the hosts, comedy collective Ladies Who Ranch, and the two openers, Sara Hennessey and Sydnee Washington.
“I picked them because they’re kind of my favorite comedians,” he says excitedly.
As for the main act, it’ll be the “final manifestation of a show that I’ve been working on for a long time,” combining standup and “a truly glamorous pop star concert.” Lockwood even promises he’ll be wearing a headset mic and dancing.
Watch the music video for “Not Like Other Girls” (directed by David Olonoff) below and purchase tickets to Lockwood’s Union Hall release show here.
Clare Martin is a cemetery enthusiast, hibernophile and contributing writer for Paste’s music and comedy sections. She also exercises her love for reality TV at HelloGiggles every now and then. Go harass her on Twitter @theclaremartin.