LIKE MANY stand-ups, David Huntsberger made the move to Los Angeles to advance his comedy career. Truth be told, he didn't really want to do it.
"It wasn't a goal of mine," Huntsberger says. "I really would have been much prouder if I had managed to do comedy and never have to live here. I was enjoying being on the road a lot and living on people's couches. But then the economy got crappy and I had some friends here that needed a roommate and an agent that said, 'You have to move here.' So, things were obviously pointing in that direction."
The relocation has been a positive one, though. Besides getting regular stand-up gigs, Huntsberger has made it to the semi-finals on the NBC competition show Last Comic Standing, worked as a writer for the Comedy Central version of Doug Benson's popular show The Benson Interruption, and is one of the hosts (with Tig Notaro and Kyle Dunnigan) of the popular podcast Professor Blastoff.
For all those career victories, it doesn't sound like Huntsberger has completely acclimated to the LA lifestyle, even after six years of calling the city home. While he has creative projects to work on, he uses up most of his downtime with an array of hobbies like screenprinting, woodwork, and fixing up old mountain bikes.
"There's a lot of time waiting for the phone to ring," he says, "and I realized that me sitting around thinking and not doing something wouldn't put me in the best mental state."
His interest in learning such tasks is an outcropping of his naturally curious spirit—something evident in his stand-up, where he explores his fascination and frustration with human nature, science, and, on his fantastic 2013 CD Explosion Land, the complexities of faith.
His inquisitiveness comes out most freely on the podcast Professor Blastoff, where the three regular hosts and a guest discuss a different subject each week. Some episodes bear a vanilla theme like photography or cars, but some of Blastoff's best installments come from unconventional topics like emotional intelligence or the weather in outer space.
"My favorite topics are the ones where you have some ideas backed up in your head about it," Huntsberger says. "You've given it some thought, but you've never gone to look something up. For a while, we did have an intern who would do some research for us, but the more we've done it, the more we enjoy letting it be a lot more casual and letting the expert go, 'No, dummy, this is what it actually is.'"
The popularity of his podcast (it regularly lands in the top 20 on iTunes) has been a boost to Huntsberger's stand-up career, helping him get new bookings around the country and connecting him with new fans. The only downside comes from him and his co-hosts being very open about themselves on the show, which leads to awkward conversations with people he's never met before.
"It's a weird thing to run into strangers and having them know something about your life and family," he says. "It's strange that people want that connection, but at the same time, we ask people to give so much of themselves nowadays. I mean, I like sharing in a more personal way and dealing with someone one-on-one. To say it out loud to the internet is what feels weird to me."