Comedian Mike Polk Jr: Talking Nick Swisher, Willie Mays Hays, and Van Halen

Comedian Mike Polk Jr., famous for hisFactory of SadnessYouTube video as well as his work on HBO and TNT, showed what it would be like rooming with Nick Swisher in THIS video released as part of MLB’s FanCave experience. Polk, a local boy who was born in Warren and graduated from Kent State University, was kind enough to answer a few questions. Make sure you check out his site,


JW: Why didn’t your best friend necklaces with Nick Swisher make an appearance in your latest bro-mance video? Is it safe to say that the relationship has hit a rough patch? Please, please don’t tell me you guys are on the outs. (Polk  handed over said necklace in his 2013 Spring Training video).

MP: Of course not. We both just cherish our necklaces too much to just wear them around in public, risking possible damage or theft. We each keeps ours in separate high security, climate-controlled lock boxes at different undisclosed locations for safe-keeping.


JW: And be honest, could you ever really room with Swish?

MP: I couldn’t room with anyone at this point in my life. And I assure you if I were to room with someone, they would get the worse of it. I’m a psychological disaster.


JW: OK. Ultimate guys night out, which four Indians players, past or present, do you take?

MP: Chris Perez for obvious reasons, Omar to attract women in my age demographic who would want to take pictures with him, John Rocker just to keep the night interesting and Orel Hershiser because he’s responsible and someone has to drive.


JW: The movie Major League, who do you play? Why? Or more importantly, Kenny Lofton or Willie Mays Hayes?

MP: My favorite character in Major League is one of the extra ballplayers on the team that you never really get to know. He’s just kind of in the background. We never learn his first name but his last name is Tomlinson. He gets referenced by Bob Uecker at one point towards the end. He says “Tomlinson gives it a ride but it comes up short” or something like that. Then they show Tomlinson and he looks disappointed and shrugs, and overacts a little. And we never hear from him again. He had a mustache. I’d love to have been that guy.

And I’d take Willie Mays Hayes because though Lofton is a better hitter, their speed is comparable and Hayes would eventually go on to become a fearsome vampire hunter in the Blade trilogy. And that could come in handy.


JW: Fellow comedian Natasha Leggero speaks with such vitriol about her hometown, Rockford, Illinois, but it’s different with you and Cleveland. You’ve come to epitomize how Clevelanders feel about their sports teams – no matter how poor the product is on the field we just can’t turn away. Do you ever worry about crossing that proverbial line where poking fun at the city becomes more? Has anyone ever approached you with a negative reaction?

MP: Oh sure. Lots of people dislike me and what I do. You’re never going to make everyone happy. I just try to be honest and let people make their own judgements from there. I understand that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I think it would be boring if I were.


JW: Your ex-girlfriend, the one who wasn’t impressed with you headlining at the Improv a few years ago, she has to be impressed now, right?

MP: You would think so.


JW: Over/under: Tribe wins

MP: I’m going 90 wins this year. Hopefully enough to make the playoffs.


JW: And, finally, the world – because, really, nothing exists beyond the boundaries of Cleveland – is waiting with bated breath. What is your favorite Van Halen song?

MP: Hot For Teacher. No contest.


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After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: