Steve McGrew dishes on his new marriage, new YouTube show and more!
Last year, we connected with Steve McGrew about his life and how he got into comedy. Since that time, he and especially his most-well-known character Liberal Larry have found themselves in some trouble with the powers-that-be at Facebook and Twitter.
See that interview here.
Steve McGrew is a conservative, but his standup usually does not have a political bend. He considers himself to be an equal opportunity offender and he's been killing it onstage and on cruise ships for 20 years.
Most of his older videos are not as neutral, --though he and his new bride Janet have started reviewing products on his YouTube channel. His popular comedic character Liberal Larry is loved by many conservatives and is not enjoyed quite as much by individuals from other political groups.
Now, Steve McGrew is excited to participate in the Deplorables Comedy Tour along with Michael Loftus, Terrance Williams and the Deplorable Choir that starts in Texas on Nov. 4 and 5. They plan to expand the tour and hope that it is a huge success.
Steve McGrew spoke with Michelle Tompkins for Stars and Celebs, the new home of The Celebrity Cafe about his recent wedding, what happened to him with Facebook, how he and his wife Janet started tasting things on camera, how has fan was not really trying to kill him when he gave him the hot peanut challenge, what makes the Deplorables Comedy Tour special and more.
Steve McGrew on tying the knot for the fourth time
Michelle Tompkins: Now you're a newlywed. How's that going for you?
Steve McGrew: It's going good. I thought I was ready to do it again.
Michelle Tompkins: I think it's the third time, right?
Steve McGrew: This is my fourth. I've been divorced three times.
Michelle Tompkins: But you've been with Janet for years is that right?
Steve McGrew: Oh, we've been together for almost eight years.
Michelle Tompkins: Now was it a big wedding?
Steve McGrew: No. We just decided to do it on a ship. I was out working and we just said, ‘We should it right here.’ So we got married in Jamaica on the ship.
Michelle Tompkins: And where do most of the cruises go to? Is there a particular line of cruises you're on so people can look for you on them?
Steve McGrew: Well, I work for Royal Caribbean and I do everything. I spent five weeks in Barcelona on the brand new ship, the Symphony.
Michelle Tompkins: Oh, that sounds fun.
Steve McGrew: I could be anywhere that there's Royal Caribbean ship.
Michelle Tompkins: Now have you been touring on land too?
Steve McGrew: Yes. I have been but not as much and that's what I'm looking forward to doing this Deplorables Tour to get back in theatres and stuff.
Steve McGrew talks about ending up in Facebook jail
Michelle Tompkins: What's going on with Remasculate?
Steve McGrew: The podcast— I'm still doing that. I have not been as active with that as I should have. I've gone from once a week to once a month which is not good. So I'm going to try to kick that up next year for sure. Get it back up and going.
Michelle Tompkins: Now I understand, you have life get in the way when you're trying to get yourself going like that so I get it.
Steve McGrew: I know. Every time you turn around—well, either you got to do something or your guest cancels and then you're like, ‘Well, I'll try to get a podcast next week.’ And then something else comes up. It's not like when you're in a radio station and you have to be there and somebody else's publicist tells them they have to call you [laughter].
Michelle Tompkins: And then you have to set it up and then it's back and forth and it doesn't work just this time and then the equipment doesn't work. Yeah, so.
Steve McGrew: Exactly. I've been trying to get Nick Searcy.
I've been trying to get him on the podcast for a year. He said, ‘Yes.’ We have a date. Doesn't happens in a date. Yeah. Let's do it when it gets closer to the release of a Shape of Water. Okay. Well, we can't do it now. Then I talked to him a couple weeks ago right after Godzilla opened, and he goes, ‘Yeah. Let's do the podcast. I'm in Toronto filming a new movie.’ Then the next day, he's like, ‘Well, it's crazy. I'm not going to be able to do it.’ Constantly it's something like that.
Michelle Tompkins: Now what else is going on with your videos? I want to talk to you separately about the trying videos that you and Janet have been doing because I think you're a masochist. So we'll go to the political videos first [laughter].
Steve McGrew: The videos have been doing great. The videos have got me in and out of Facebook jail three times this year.
Michelle Tompkins: Really?
Steve McGrew: Yeah. I think I have a hater who stalks me. And as soon as they can find a video they don't like, I'm reported. So I've spent three months of the last year in Facebook jail.
Michelle Tompkins: And how do you get out of Facebook jail?
Steve McGrew: They lock your account and then just unlock it on the thirtieth day. You can go look at stuff, but you can't post or respond, which is really hard because people keep sending you stuff and saying, ‘Hello? Why aren't you answering me?’ I can't [laughter].
Michelle Tompkins: Well, you still think you have been a victim of shadow banning on Twitter and Facebook?
Steve McGrew: Oh, I totally think so, especially even now. I've had people today tell me that they've had to go search for my stuff, that I'm not showing up in their timelines.
Michelle Tompkins: Interesting. Now, what was so controversial about the videos that you think made you persona non grata with Facebook?
Steve McGrew: I think Liberal Larry did it [laughter]. I think he stabs them in both sides of the head, you know what I mean? I'm making fun of them, and I'm making fun of the politics. So I think it's a combination that if they're on the left, they hate Larry.
Michelle Tompkins: That makes sense [laughter]. Larry would hate you in real life.
Steve McGrew: Exactly [laughter]. Somebody wrote me today. They follow my YouTube channel, and they said, ‘Your multiple personalities are fun, but they're totally getting out of hand [laughter].’
Michelle Tompkins: Well, I think that's one way to put it. I think it's funny though.
Steve McGrew: Yeah. Look, I try to do so many things. I do Tucker the Trucker because I feel if I play all sides I'm not making fun of one person. That's what I'm trying to do is—if I make fun of everybody as an equal opportunity offender, nobody should be singled out or feel singled out.
Michelle Tompkins: I get that. I think that works. And it actually keeps a little bit more even feel kind of comedy, which I think works very well at this point in time.
Steve McGrew: Well, I was always a big fan of Johnny Carson. And to me, that's why Johnny Carson worked was because, if you watch this show, everybody got made fun of. It just wasn't a— you watch now it's just one-sided Trump bashing. But if you watch his show, everybody was a punch line.
Steve McGrew on his new videos with his wife, Janet
Michelle Tompkins: That's true. Now, okay, you've got to tell me about these spicy videos. How did they come to be?
Steve McGrew: Well, I had the idea. I was in a comedy condo, and there was a can of Vienna sausage in the cabinet, I thought I have not had Vienna sausage in years and I don't know if Janet's ever had it. So I brought it back and we made one video of Steve and Janet trying Vienna sausage. And people wrote how much they liked it and we just decided to turn it into a whole channel of trying stuff. And people have been sending us stuff to try. I think they think it's funny that we hurt ourselves with spicy stuff.
Michelle Tompkins: Yeah, I actually felt pain with doing your peanut challenge today without Janet. It looked like she was going to call 911 for you.
Steve McGrew: It was bad. That peanut challenge, it made me sick the next day. I didn't feel well the next day. And I love spicy stuff. I collect hot sauce. I mean, I eat a lot of spicy stuff, but that was so bad I couldn't breathe. On that very last peanut, I couldn't take in air without it hurting.
Michelle Tompkins: I made a similar mistake a little while ago. I got a tester item that had ghost pepper in it and I forgot about it. It looked like a beautiful wonderful luscious queso dip. So it looked friendly and I'm not scared. We were having a family get together, the niece, nephews, sister, all that kind of stuff, so I put out this queso dip, heated it and had two chips loaded with cheese, one after the other. With some peppers, it takes about 10 seconds for the heat to hit. And this dip was tasty but so spicy. About 10 seconds later, I was downing a gallon of milk and I'm looking at the label and it says ghost pepper. Mrs. Renfro's Ghost Pepper Nacho Cheese Sauce. Ah. So had the same kind of situation, but the ghost peppers you had were the mild ones in the ones you tried.
Steve McGrew: Yeah. It started as ghost pepper and then continued to get hot. I don't even know what pepper X is.
Michelle Tompkins: I don't know but I wanted to call 911 for you too.
Steve McGrew: Somebody wrote me and said, ‘Your face turned the color of the couch you were sitting on.’
Michelle Tompkins: Wow. And I was wondering did the person who sent these to you, were they a fan or not?
Steve McGrew: No. They are a fan. Both of the people that sent it to me, they're not only fans of my standup, then they became fans of the characters through my channel. And so they were like, ‘Oh, we know you love hot stuff so try this.’ So I don't think they meant to kill me…
Michelle Tompkins: Now they're fans of watching you squirm. See can he do it, can he do it, can he do it?
Steve McGrew: Yeah. But the whole rest of the channel is I just wanted to try goofy stuff that people would be like, ‘Oh, I've never heard of it.’ One of them was Dr. Pepper baked beans. Where people like, ‘I've never seen it, or never heard of that. I'm going to order those off the internet.’ So that was the point of the channel, to begin with, was just try goofy stuff, not to kill myself.
Michelle Tompkins: Good to know. Last week, I was just surfing around YouTube and I found a channel that I really liked and subscribe to it. It's called Vivian Tries. And it's this cool Texas gal who's trying all sorts of As Seen on Television stuff, Dollar Store finds, stuff from the Wish App, she tries everything. And I just can't get enough of it. I think those kinds of shows have done really well. And I'm happy to learn that your show, people are asking you to do it, but I'm even happier to know that they actually weren't trying to kill you on video.
Steve McGrew: Send me a link to that show. I'd love to check that out.
Michelle Tompkins: I will.
Steve McGrew: Good. A friend of mine has been sending, you know I do that thing called Noodle Chat on Facebook when I'm not in jail. And people have been sending me links to it. There's a whole kind of like a sub-culture of people that make videos, they don't say anything, you just watch them eat. Have you heard about that?
Michelle Tompkins: No.
Steve McGrew: It's called M-U-B-A-N-G, Mubang, Mubang. And they're telling me, ‘You should set up a channel. These people actually make money. All they do is eat different things and people watch them eat.’ I mean, seriously, there's weird stuff on YouTube.
Michelle Tompkins: There really is. Now, who are some up and coming comedians, or even comedians that have been around for a long time that should be taking a look at now?
Steve McGrew: Well, especially the new guy I'm lined up to go on tour with, Terence Williams.
Michelle Tompkins: Tell me a little bit about him? Oh, yeah, no I actually reached out to him today to try and get an interview with him too.
Steve McGrew: He's a good guy. He was at the young black businessmen thing. I think it was last night. So he was in Washington D.C.? I think it's where it was. And he's friends with Kansas Owens and he's kind of become one of the young black role models of the Republican Party. But he's a very witty guy in real life. He's new at standup but he's so good at being witty in conversation that he's almost like a black Will Rogers sort of.
Michelle Tompkins: Well, and his videos, some of them have gone viral pretty quick. He's fun to watch.
Steve McGrew: Right. Right. He can post something and five minutes later it's got 16,000 views. It's that kind of appeal.
Steve McGrew on the Deplorables Comedy Tour
Michelle Tompkins: Now your standup though typically really isn't political so you're about to go political for the Deplorables Tour?
Steve McGrew: I just had this conversation with the guy that's producing the show, and we just talked about this. I've been working on putting together all the stuff that I've done over the years that is really conservative-based. Things that when I was a kid we did this and wasn't it better back when this happened, and teaching my kid to shoot guns. I got jokes about taking him to a shooting range. So it's not politics as much as my act's going to be still standup but heavy towards the good old days' conservative side.
Michelle Tompkins: I got it, okay.
Steve McGrew: And that way, everybody on the show will still have different. Mike Loftus' stand-up will be different than mine. Terrence's will be different. And then the Deplorable Choir they sing the original songs. So a little bit of something for everybody.
Michelle Tompkins: Now how are the midterms contributing to your routine?
Steve McGrew: Well, I think we're just going to try to just make it more a rally kind of thing where we got to push people to say, ‘Go vote.’ Because we're doing two shows before the midterms, and that's kind of what they wanted to do is us to get out there and, ‘Hey, tomorrow make sure you go vote,’ that kind of thing.
Michelle Tompkins: I'm curious about the go vote movement because most people who are telling you to go out and vote want you to vote the way they want to vote. So if they know you're going to vote the way you want to vote, then they would probably not have asked you not to vote in the first place [laughter].
Steve McGrew: Oh, I agree. I think that's exactly what— when you see somebody like Alyssa Milano pushing go vote or Taylor Swift putting a link to go register to vote and actually more Republicans registered to her link.
Michelle Tompkins: Now what do you think about this Megyn Kelly business?
Steve McGrew: I think NBC knew what they were getting into when they hired her. I'm not sure about the way they fired her, but my guess is, I was telling this to Janet, I think they were already looking to get rid of her, and this was just an easy way out.
Michelle Tompkins: I think that's possible too. But I think with this there was a teachable moment here. I don't think everyone should be running scared if they say something stupid. When people say something stupid in externally facing industries like the media, it would have been better I think for her to have some people explain why this was so bad, and explain what is okay and what isn't and why. But then on the other side though, something that I was talking about with a friend today, that she has a white daughter who dressed up as Princess Tiana from the Princess and the Frog. So why is it not okay to dress up as a different kind of princess? So it's a worthwhile discussion to have, and I don't know why she got into that much trouble for it.
Steve McGrew: Well, I agree with you. Because I think that's the kind of stuff that'll stifle real conversation. Because they were all sitting there talking about Halloween and costumes. I mean that could be what is discussed in a podcast. So if you start making people afraid to talk about stuff, that's going to hinder free speech I think.
Michelle Tompkins: Yeah. I think so too. And I think people are going to be walking around on eggshells. And I'm always a little wary of political correctness anyway. I want people to be able to be free to have conversations that they might learn something too—even if they are uncomfortable.
Steve McGrew: Exactly. Exactly. Isn't the point of Halloween to be something you're not? That's what I always thought. When I was a kid, you dressed up as cowboys and Indians. And you weren't an Indian. Or you were a ghost and a witch. And you were really neither one of those.
Michelle Tompkins: I understand why that she lighted a spark. But I don't know why it was fireable and I would like the issue to be explained and I don’t understand why the conversation couldn’t go on.
Steve McGrew: Yeah. I agree. I think you've got a great point there. Her coming out making an apology, if she'd have had that and then had a conversation, what you said, with a couple of black leaders, that would have been a great bit of TV.
Michelle Tompkins: I think so. And mix it up. Have a little bit of everything to explain, maybe a mom who did mess her shit up in a way that they got in trouble. And just have the dialogue. It's just shutting down conversations just doesn't seem very American.
Michelle Tompkins: So tell me about the dates of the Deplorable tour.
Steve McGrew: The first one is November 4 in Addison, Texas at the Improv there. And the second one is November 5 at the Improv in Houston.
Michelle Tompkins: And how long will the tour last?
Steve McGrew: Well, we're hoping a couple of years. That's actually the goal, they want it to grow. There's a couple of feeders starting early next year. These first two are sort of like, the guy was telling me, this is like off-Broadway. This is two shows we want to do to see how it goes, what we need to do to tweak it, and then we'll move forward.
Michelle Tompkins: That part makes sense. So will you guys do all your acts separately, or will you do a little Rat-Pack kind of bonding before or after together?
Steve McGrew: We're going to do it after. At the very end, we're all going to try to come back onstage and do either a Q and A or try to figure out some way to make it into a bit. So we all want to come out onstage in the end.
Michelle Tompkins: So where could people get tickets for them?
Steve McGrew: You can go to the Improv website in Addison and in Houston. And there's also, I think you can get tickets off the Facebook page, The Deplorable Tour on Facebook.
Michelle Tompkins: Okay. Deplorables Tour on Facebook. Okay. Now, what are you watching on TV these days?
Steve McGrew: I am trying to catch up with Outlander now [laughter]. My sister got me hooked on Outlander.
Michelle Tompkins: That is my editor and my favorite show. I covered the New York Comic Con went to the Outlander panel discussion. So I actually got to see the premiere episode before everybody else did.
Steve McGrew: So I hear season four is just so good. I'm season three. My sister's already saying season four's going to be spectacular because she just finished all the books.
Michelle Tompkins: They're great. So I can say from the first episode it looks great. So it starts up again on November 4. So that's something to look forward to, too. Actually, the day you're on the road is the day Outlander begins. You're going to have to record it.
Steve McGrew: I'll stream it online somewhere. But I've gotten so hooked by it that you know how you start noticing things everywhere? I was in the mall yesterday and go, ‘Oh, there's an Outlander calendar.’ And then you walk past Hot Topic and there's like, ‘Oh, they're selling Outlander kilts here at Hot Topic.’ It's like it's its own little cultural ion these days.
Michelle Tompkins: It is. The people who like it, love it. I mean these fans were something else at New York Comic Con. It was rather amazing.
Steve McGrew: My mom loves the show. Well, she just turned 91. And she loves the show. And she calls the show Jaime's butt [laughter]. That's what she calls the show because every other episode they show his butt.
Michelle Tompkins: Now, what have you been doing to entertain yourself? I mean because you're kind of an outdoor guy.
Steve McGrew: Well, I'm spending so much time on the ships. That's really all I've been doing. But if I'm home, like today I took my son, we went to a shooting range. That's where I was when I was texting you earlier. I'm trying to give him a little more manly stuff these days [laughter].
Steve McGrew and the Deplorables Comedy Tour may be found here.