Interview: Meet the Comedian Who Once Wrote Ringtones for Donald Trump

Creating cellphone ringtones for Donald Trump was perhaps the most unique assignment of comedian Dave Hill’s career. The experience, which Hill wrote about for Independent, proved to be a lasting memory.

Trump took a liking to Hill and only acknowledged him in the room of writers. “I got hired to write ringtones for Madonna after that,” Hill said. “They heard that Donald Trump really loved me, but they hated [my material] and fired me within a day.”

The irony, the Cleveland native said, is that he doesn’t think ringtones should exist and hates the people who use them.

“People who use ringtones are the same people who have the keyboard sound on,” Hill said. “They’re irritating, inconsiderate people, but almost always old people who just don’t know.”

However, Hill left the ringtone game on top.

At the time he was hired to create ringtones, Hill was a comedic writer looking for any way to make money. Since then, he’s done stand-up comedy, acting and written books, among other projects.

Hill has appeared on shows on HBO, MTV and Comedy Central, as well as Fuse TV’s “Hoppus on Music” featuring Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus.

Next week, Hill is opening for Snoop Dogg at Moody Theater in Austin, Texas.

“It’s either the greatest idea or the worst idea of all time,” Hill said. “We won’t know until it happens.”

Hill is also working with Steve Carell on the pilot episode of a show Carell is producing, as well as finishing up his second book.

“It’s a nice sort of varied career of doing my own thing,” Hill said.

While Hill presents his material in many mediums–radio, writing, television–he said his least favorite comedic method is performing live.

“I like it when it’s happening, but I don’t like anticipating it,” Hill said.

He recalled a few nights prior when he was eating dinner with friends and wishing he didn’t have to perform two shows later in the evening.

“After [the show], I was like, ‘Oh, that was kind of fun,’” Hill said. “I have to remind myself of that.”

The worst show Hill has ever done stands out clearly in his mind.

A “cousin’s friend’s boyfriend” asked him to open for a Weezer tribute band, which was less than appealing to Hill.

“I usually don’t drink before I perform,” Hill said, “but for this one I didn’t want to be there. There was free beer, so I was drinking beer.”

Hill made a joke about the band, which the band found amusing, but members of the crowd did not. Someone in the audience threw a coin at his head.

“If I had been sober, I would’ve left after the first coin,” Hill said.

In the end, Hill got kicked out of the venue after spraying some of the free beer all over the audience.

“Some people choose to take the high road when things are bad,” Hill said. “I’m a big fan of the low road. I like making things as extreme as possible.”

Taking things to the extremes is something Hill has in common with Donald Trump.

“I’m probably wrong, but I do think he’s a brilliant performance artist,” Hill said of the cliché rich person persona he believes Trump embodies. “He’ll just say what he’s supposed to say and nobody questions it. His followers don’t get mad about [his lies].”

So have Trump’s entertaining antics won over Hill’s vote?

“No, no, no,” Hill asserted. “If he actually became president, I would move to a different country.”

Featured Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Dave Hill, taken by Mindy Tucker.

headshotMaya Pottiger is a junior journalism major and can be reached at


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