Tuesday marks the release of Ian Edwards’ new comedy album 100% Half-Assed. It not only marks the first album for Edwards, a stand-up veteran, but it is also the first release on Team Coco Records, the new comedy label launched by Conan O’Brien. It’s the latest in a long line of collaborations between Edwards (who also wrote for 2 Broke Girls last season) and O’Brien. “I think I’m the only stand-up who has been on Conan’s show every time,” says Edwards, who made his debut on the old Late Night show back in 2007. “I did it when he was in New York, and then I did it when he had The Tonight Show, and I’ve done it on TBS. Conan always just wants you to be yourself. So why not go with the people who allow you to represent myself the way I really am?”
So enamored with Edwards’ work were Conan producers Jeff Ross and JP Buck that they decided he should be the comic who would release the first album on the newly formed Team Coco Records. “We do by far more comics than any of the other late night shows, so it seemed like a natural extension of things,” Ross said of launching the label.
“What we really like doing is finding those next voices and being the first place for them to come get some exposure,” adds Buck. “Ian is not super young, he’s been around a while, but the fact that he had a wealth of material made him a good choice. We already knew what the album was.”
The collaboration came about after Edwards’ most recent appearance on Conan. “My last appearance was as nerve-racking as my first,” Edwards says. “I had to get loose. They have this dummy in the back that looks like a Bob’s Big Boy that they probably used in a sketch or something, and I shadow boxed the s— out of it. After doing the show and not embarrassing myself, I was in the green room with JP Buck, and he started talking to me about doing an album. They had the technical capabilities, they had the website they can launch it through, they have the people to do it. They could have picked anybody, so there’s gotta be a reason it’s me. I have to even learn to accept that. Like, I’m funny. It’s OK. Stop beating yourself.”
Though he’s pleased with how everything turned out, he’s still not done beating himself. “It’s been 10 years, but really it’s been more like 20. I should have had an album by now,” Edwards notes. “That’s why I call it 100% Half Assed. There’s no excuse for me not having an album out.”
100% Half-Assed is available Tuesday via Team Coco, but you can grab a free download of Edwards’ track “Slavery & Jamaica” right now at the Team Coco site.