Four days before he was to start graduate school at Miami University, Jeremy Essig dropped out and became a stand-up comic. “I wasn’t that keen on doing more schooling,” he says, “so I started telling jokes.” Prior to that, he had no desire at all to become a comedian. “It’s something that I was kind of coaxed into trying by some friends.”
Essig's first open mic was at Joker’s in Dayton, but it was at Go Bananas that he found steady work.
Today he cracks wise about current events and, yes, that includes the healthcare debate.
“It is amazing to me,” he says, “how many people that I knew, that I thought were idiots, suddenly became constitutional scholars. It’s amazing how many people suddenly grasped the Bill of Rights and the fourth article of the Constitution, seemingly more than the Supreme Court, in a week’s time.”
What’s perhaps more surprising than that is the fact that Essig recently returned to graduate school. “That’s kind of a new thing in my act. It’s been a new experience going back to school at age 31.” He’s learned a lot — mostly that he’s not a young college kid anymore. “I am now making references that no one understands. When you talk about Hall & Oates and the majority of a room goes ‘Who is that?’ You realize ‘Oh, I’m now older.’ ”
Essig headlines at Go Bananas in Montgomery Thursday and Sunday; on Friday and Saturday he's the feature comic opening for Doug Stanhope.
Showtimes are 8 p.m. with a 10:30 p.m. show Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $8 Sunday and Thursday, $22 Friday and Saturday. Get show and venue details here.