Mike Birbiglia feels that when he first started in stand-up, he oscillated somewhere between two of his idols, Mitch Hedberg and Richard Pryor. He has gradually moved away from short observational gags, though, and into compelling and hilarious storytelling. He performs at Go Bananas Thursday-Sunday.
"There's a really good stand-up comedy scene around here," says comic Brad Thacker. "There are probably 15-20 (nationally recognized) comics I could name off the top of my head ... that hail from here." Indeed, names like Josh Sneed, Greg Warren, Gary Owen, Kat Williams and many more have ties to the Tristate. To showcase the next wave, Thacker has put together a free show called Hackamania. 10:30 p.m. Friday at Mayday.
One of the first to embrace so-called "observational" humor in the '70s, David Brenner's quick wit spawned a legion of like-minded comics. A fixture on TV ever since, he holds the record for the most talk show appearances in the history of that medium. "If I go over to the cashier (at a restaurant) and say, 'I've been on television talk shows more than any other entertainer in the history of television,' she would say 'That'll be $32.14,'" he says with a laugh. "That's what it comes down to."
Over the years David Brenner has proven to be one of the most influential comics in America. One of the first to embrace so-called “observational” humor in the 1970s, his quick wit spawned a legion of like-minded comics. A fixture on TV ever since, he holds the record for the most talk show appearances in the history of that medium. He performs Thursday at the Mayerson JCC.
"Most of what I do … comes from pain or anger," muses Kettering native Drew Hastings. "I think that's what tends to drive my stuff. And then I probably tend to look at the human condition using me as an example." His comedy comes from his own experiences in the world and not as a detached observer peering at us through his trademark large black glasses. He performs at Go Bananas Thursday-Sunday.
Comedian and sketch performer Mike Cody wants to be the next Lorne Michaels, but he didn't realize it until he was few months into a project known as Underbelly. Featuring area comics doing "everything but stand-up," the show marks its one year anniversary on Tuesday. Each Tuesday for the past year, this loose affiliation of comedians — some from as far away as Columbus and Lexington — have held court in the Southgate House Parlour. 9:30 p.m.
You've seen Bruce Baum somewhere before. You know he's funny, but you might not be able to place the name with the face. "That's why I keep this face," he laughs. A true comedy veteran, Baum has been cracking up audiences since the late '70s as more of a traditional joke teller. He performs at Hollywood Casino's Laff Inn Comedy Club Thursday and Friday.
"It's slow and quiet, then all of a sudden it's like you can't catch your breath," says comedian Paul Mecurio of his career. These days it's been a case of the latter for the former 'Daily Show' writer, and fans of his HBO Web series 'Got No Game' will be glad to hear that new episodes are going to be produced soon. He performs Thursday-Sunday at Go Bananas.
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." Essig headlines at Go Bananas in Montgomery Thursday and Sunday and will be the feature comic opening for Doug Stanhope Friday and Saturday.
Eddie Gossling has what a lot of comedians want: a steady TV writing gig. The Texas-native is on the staff of Comedy Central's hit 'Tosh.0,' which is going to start taping its second season in a few weeks. The job allows him more time at home with his wife and kids. Thursday-Sunday at Go Bananas.