Comedians are always going to offend someone, but comedian Ian Edwards welcomes his critics.
"I hold out hope for more hate mail," says Edwards, who appears at Punch Line Comedy Club this week. "I don’t get as much as I would like, but there’s always the possibility."
Like the best comics, Edwards, a regular at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, is ruthlessly irreverent. He goes places many people, including fellow comics, won’t venture — making cracks about Down syndrome haircuts, race, rape, abortion and, in an oddball twist — shark attack victims.
"I expect people to get touchy," Edwards says. "But there is a sense of logic. Most of these things are observations. I just take it a little bit further."
In addition to doing live stand-up, Edwards has appeared on the MTV series "Punk’d" and also written for films and televisions shows, including "Saturday Night Live."
"I like any job in show business," Edwards says with enthusiasm. "I like both writing and performing. If you have a writing job, though, people in L.A. have high regards for that, they respect it."
Edwards credits Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Bill Cosby and George Carlin as early, dominant comic
"Pryor had an original way of being honest, an original way of doing stand-up," Edwards says. "He painted pictures when he told stories, and it’s the same thing with Cosby. Pryor was the dirty version of Cosby, and Murphy is a flat-out funny dude. He projects hilarity, just by the way he is. I mean, how did they think of James Brown in a hot tub? Who thought of that?"
Edwards himself looks to the news and his friends for new material.
"God bless dumb friends," Edwards says. "Without dumb friends, I wouldn’t appear smart. I’m a contrarian, so I come up with ideas based on the dumb stuff that they say."
But Edwards has his own, Oscar Wilde-like truisms. On a recent Twitter post, he wrote: "A woman’s in love when she knows the things she wants to change about you."
Frequently tapping the battle between the sexes for material, he brims with confidence when asked about his own romantic life: "It’s thriving!" he says. "I understand women, so, it’s perfect."