Joe DeRosa stumbled into comedy while performing music with a buddy. "We were trying to play some songs at the end of a music open mic," he says. "The crowd was drunk and they weren't listening." DeRosa and his friend had downed a few as well and Joe started berating the crowd, finally getting them to pay attention. "We got off stage and the manager was like 'You're funny man, you guys should do a comedy show.'"
Jim Florentine launched a career as a stand-up comic, but not primarily to crack wise in front of a roomful of strangers. "I'd always thought about doing stand-up and I saw all of my friends who were in bands and all the chicks they were getting," he says. “"I was like, 'I gotta get on stage.' I didn't have any musical talent, so I did comedy because people always told me I was kinda funny."
Humorists such as Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Jimmy Dore and Will Durst delve into the issues of the day and enlighten while also making us laugh. But what about other issues of interest to people, like UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, criticism of the Federal Reserve, conspiracy theories and unexplained phenomenon? Enter Kooks, a comedy trio featuring stand-ups Ryan Singer, Tom Simmons and Billy Wayne Davis.
Don't feel badly if you're in the minority of folks who don't recognize Tom Wilson from the film 'Back to the Future' or the cult TV series 'Freaks and Geeks.' Throughout his TV and film career, Wilson has been a headlining stand-up comic. "You don't have to apologize. (My stand-up show) works on its own. You don't need the pop culture background in order to understand what I'm talking about."
The bio on Rachel Feinstein's website mentions that the comedian will release a CD later this year on Comedy Central Records. Where do you suppose she's going to record it? "Comedy Central recommended it," she said of the decision to record at Go Bananas in Montgomery. "They said the crowds are smart, fun and not uptight. I figured they would welcome my shenanigans and not judge me and look at me suspiciously."
Americans seem to enjoy British comics, but how do our comedians do over there? Not bad, according to Kurt Metzger, who just returned from a series of shows in the UK. "I'd never been there before," he says. "It went very well; it was a very cool experience." The only downside, he says, was having to adjust his set for British audiences. "I have about an hour and half of material (in the States) and about 20 minutes (in the U.K.)," he says, laughing.
Todd Barry bristles somewhat when he's described as a "comedian's comedian," but he is often cited by his fellow comics as a favorite. Barry comes to town this week on the Spring Value Tour along with comedian Neil Hamburger, the bizarre alter ego of musician Greg Turkington. It's a nice juxtaposition of styles, with Barry's casual manner providing a stark counterpoint to Hamburger's frenetic delivery.
"There have been many odd twists and turns over the last three years," comedian John Evans says. One of the big twists in his life was getting married. "I didn't think I'd get married because I have a weird look," he says. "When my wife and I first went out she said, 'You know what you look like? Count Chocula.' Is that a compliment? Are there cereal characters getting laid nowadays?"
A few years ago Chris Porter was just a stand-up comedian from Kansas City touring the country when he had what he calls "an epiphany." He elaborates on his blog: "I was drinking amaretto out of a girl's vagina when I thought to myself that this was as good as it was ever going to get living in Kansas City. To be honest with you I didn't even really want to drink the amaretto, but how often does that opportunity arise? And we were out of cups."
How tough and dedicated is comedian Roz G? A few years ago I was scheduled to interview her for a weekly paper in Cleveland. Hours before our phone conversation she was in a serious car accident, but she still managed to do the interview. "The car was totaled," she says. "Everybody walked away, (but they all) went to the hospital except for me. Ain't nothing wrong with me, I’m taking my ass home."