It’s the rare kind of person who loves comedy so much he or she dedicates the better part of his or her life to tracking down and celebrating the lives and careers of other comedians. But Kliph Nesteroff already has done just that, turning his WFMU essays and Celebrity Showbiz blog into a wonderful new book: “The Comedians — Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy.” He managed to find many comedians who were long-forgotten by today’s Hollywood and get them to open up about their days in Vaudeville, radio and early television, the mob and more. But what about Kliph Nesteroff’s early days as a stand-up comedian himself? I asked Kliph to tell me all about his own comedy life and story.

So let’s get to it!