The Marty Smith Podcast: Comedian Dusty Slay Talks Memorable Standup Performances, Alabama-Auburn Rivalry, and More

by Chris Haney

The Marty Smith Podcast returns this week with even more laughter than usual as comedian Dusty Slay joins the show on the newest episode out today. The Southern comedian who hails from Opelika, Alabama talks to the guys about his life and career in comedy. They also dive into Alabama collegiate sports, talk country music, and much more on the new episode.

The funnyman is based in Nashville, Tennessee these days and opens up about performing at the Grand Ole Opry. He talks about his first performance on The Tonight Show and compares his similar feelings to being able to do standup at each. Slay also reveals his worst-ever performance, which is always an amusing story from any comedian.

Anyone who listens to the podcast knows the show’s co-hosts are both huge sports fans. Obviously, Marty has worked for ESPN for years, so it’s only natural to bring up sports during the interview. Since Dusty grew up in ‘Bama, he knows the Alabama-Auburn rivalry well. The guys chat about the two schools, get into Dusty making fun of country music songs, and much more during the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast.

Dusty Slay Talks Debut Performance on ‘The Tonight Show’

After introductions were made, host Marty Smith jumped right into things. He wanted to know about Dusty Slay’s career in comedy as the guys started to talk about the comedian’s various performances on famous programs. Through the years, Slay has appeared on every late night talk show on television it seems. Plus, he has his first-ever half-hour special on Netflix as part of Season 3 of The Standups.

Smith asked Slay what performance is his most memorable so far and why. The comedian has plenty to choose from but took it back to his first performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

“I think my first appearance on The Tonight Show was the most surreal for me,” Dusty Slay explained to Marty Smith. “Because it went the way you want it to go.”

That first appearance is what helped put Slay on the map and what introduced the comedian to a nationwide audience. For decades, visiting The Tonight Show and performing could make or break a comedian’s career. Countless comedians have appeared on the late night talk show, and for many it became a springboard to stardom. The same could be said for Dusty Slay after his The Tonight Show debut went so well. Slay said one other performance stands out, and that’s when he performed at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time.

Marty Smith Asks Dusty Slay About His Experience Performing at the Grand Ole Opry

While The Tonight Show is definitely hallowed ground for comedians, the Grand Ole Opry is hallowed ground for country music. Therefore you’re forgiven if you didn’t realize the famous venue welcomes comedians on occasion to perform there as well. Even host Marty Smith didn’t realize comedians played the Opry, so he had to know more about Slay’s experience.

In fact, the venue doesn’t have special comedy nights. Instead, comedians are sometimes simply thrown into the mix as part of the normal musical lineup. Slay compared his feelings from his debut performance on The Tonight Show to his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry.

“Honestly, I got the same feeling from doing the Grand Ole Opry the first time,” Slay said. “It just, it didn’t make sense to me that a little country kid that doesn’t even play music was getting to perform on the Grand Ole Opry stage.”

Slay admits he had some nerves built up during his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. However, he eventually got used to the historic venue and has performed there numerous times since.

“I was so intimidated the first time, but I think I’ve done it about 15 times now. And now I really feel at home. The people that work at the Opry are so nice and so great, everybody in the band [is too]. It feels like just a good, fun hang. But the first time, I was just like, man, I’ve got to prove that I belong here. I’ve gotta prove that this wasn’t a mistake, you know? That they’re like, ‘We could’ve put any musician here tonight, but we chose to let you do jokes. So don’t make us regret it,'” Slay joked as everyone shared a laugh.

Bama and Auburn Fans Close Your Eyes, Dusty Roots For Both Schools

As mentioned, comedian Dusty Slay grew up in a small Alabama town called Opelika throughout his childhood. As anyone from the state would tell you, you’ve got two choices when it comes to sports allegiances. You can pull for the Alabama Crimson Tide or the Auburn Tigers, but it’s almost considered sacrilegious to root for both. Don’t tell that to Dusty Slay though, because he doesn’t abide by that way of thinking.

Slay opened up about how the state of Alabama is often the target of jokes, but he loves everything about his home state. So much so, he even supports both rival universities. He admits people hate that he pulls for both schools, but he’s sticking to his guns.

“I went to many Auburn games, but my dad’s a diehard Alabama fan,” the comedian explained. “You know, I can cheer for them both. If they’re playing each other, and one has a chance to go to the national championship, that’s who I’m pulling for. A lot of Auburn fans, I think, I don’t know that they’re so much Auburn fans as they are ‘I hate Alabama’ fans.”

“I always say, where I came from, you’re either an Alabama fan, or you went to college. But… I didn’t go to college, so Roll Tide,” Dusty Slay hilariously said as everyone laughed.

The guys talk about that and much more with comedian Dusty Slay on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. Make sure to check out their full conversation in the clip above, or listen to the full interview on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.