Kevin Nealon is paying it forward, having befriended a young comic named Rajiv Satyal, from Fairfield, Ohio. Satyal, who has lived in L.A. for the past few years, will headline Thursday and Sunday at The Funny Bone, and he’ll perform with Nealon Friday and Saturday.
You can be forgiven if, for a moment, you wondered if '80s-era rocker Billy Squier and comedian Bill Squire were actually one and the same. "A few months ago Billy Squier was playing a show with Styxs or some other equally terrific ‘70s/’80s era glam rockers," says the Cleveland-based funnyman. "Some of my parents’ friends thought that I was opening for them. I haven't had anyone show up to a gig thinking they were going to see Billy Squier doing stand-up, and if anyone ever has they haven't said anything." Thursday-Sunday at Go Bananas.
Comedian Adam Hunter, it seems, really wants to give you, the comedy fan, your money’s worth. “It’s definitely fast-paced,” he says describing his act. “As many jokes per minute as I can possibly fit into a set. It’s fun, a little edgy. You’re definitely going to laugh. A lot of sex, drugs and Rock & Roll. Some stories and a lot of crowd interaction.” His favorite subject out of that mish-mash? Sex of course. He performs at Go Bananas Thursday-Sunday.
Though he was born in Cincinnati, comedian Tom Segura has trouble engaging in conversations with people about The Queen City. “People will say ‘What’s your favorite part of Cincinnati?’ I’m like ‘I was nine, man. I liked recess and having snacks.” He currently lives in Los Angeles, but still has family in Southwest Ohio. He arrived in Southern California shortly after graduating from college, with the vague notion of going into stand-up. “I kind of knew I wanted to do it, but I didn’t know really the normal process of doing it,” he explains. “It didn’t occur to me (to show up) at a club.” Instead he joined the Groundlings improvisational troupe, and took classes there. He performs at Go Bananas Thursday-Sunday.
Robert Schimmel has kept his sense of humor despite losing a son to cancer and was later diagnosed with it himself. In between, he suffered a heart attack. But it’s his positive attitude that Schimmel attributes to his survival. “(You could) be in the No. 1 hospital in the world," he says. "You could have the best drugs that money can buy. If your head isn’t in the right place, that shit doesn’t mean anything because your mind is stronger than all of those things.” Performing Thursday-Sunday at the Funny Bone.
Some comics are encouraged by friends to try stand-up, others by co-workers. For Austin’s JR Brow, it was both, with an extra nudge from the late, great Bill Hicks. It was the late ’80s and Brow was designing T-shirts. A sales rep (Hicks’ brother) met with Brow and invited him to Bill’s show. Brow and Hicks hit it off and kept in touch via phone. “He’d always ask ‘Have you gone up yet? Have you done it?’” recalls Brow. “Next thing you know I did go up, and a year later. I was opening for him in Houston.” He performs Thursday-Sunday at Go Bananas.
When he was younger, the Columbus-native Darrell Joyce never really thought of himself as a laugh machine. “I was the guy saying the least out of anybody,” he explains, “but the one thing I did say was a gem and we’d crack up for like 10 minutes.” That was good enough for his friends to insist he try an open mic night. He beat out five other amateurs for a $50 prize. “I thought I’d shit myself,” he laughs, “but it came off kind of Woody Allen-esque. The first time on stage you don’t know anything about charisma or stage presence. You just want to go up, do your dick jokes and hope they laugh.” Darrell Joyce performs at Go Bananas Thursday-Sunday.
Many comedians first take the stage to satisfy a long-burning desire to perform stand-up. Others are encouraged by friends to try an open mic night. Cowboy Bill Martin started telling jokes to save his life — literally. At the time he was working in advertising. At night he worked on a book, basically a survival guide for men going through a divorce, as he was. "There was some tongue-in-cheek (humor), some motivational thoughts and as things progressed people started telling me 'This reads like stand-up.' That was the beginning of the act." Bill performs at Funny Bone on the Levee Thursday-Sunday.
Some comedians pursue acting roles, others have acting thrust upon them. Such is the case with Tig Notaro, who just completed work on a film about the life of rocker Joan Jett. Tig was cast as Jett’s mum after her managers submitted her for the part. “It was really fun,” she says. “It was bizarre. It was my first time doing a feature, and a drama, and the first time wearing a dress since I was 5.” Not a complete stranger to acting, she returns to work soon on the upcoming season of The Sarah Silverman Program. Notaro performs at Go Bananas Thursday-Sunday.
Being in a TV show about being in a Rock band presents some problems, especially if you really are a musician. Such is the predicament of The Naked Brothers Band, whose Nickelodeon series is a favorite of the tween set and that demographic’s parental units. The program is shot documentary style (a la The Office), and follows the exploits of the Wolff brothers, Nat (14) and Alex (11), along with their band. They take their real tour to the Timberwolf Amphitheatre at King's Island at 6:30 p.m.