Hidden in the depths of Adult Swim — i.e., The Cartoon Network's programming after your kids' have gone to bed — is The Eric Andre Show, a prime example of the anti-talk show. Andre and fellow comedian Hannibal Buress buck the conventional talk show format and bring on the awkward humor, enhanced by a set and graphics that look like they were inspired by 1980s public-access TV. Nothing is off limits for Andre, as evidenced by his knack for getting completely naked and spraying ketchup on his wiener (not a hot dog), or conducting hilariously uneasy man-on-the-street pranks — for instance, dressing up as an escaped slave being chased by his master at a Civil War reenactment. His guests have included everybody from Sinbad to Reese Witherspoon — well, the African-American-guy-in-a-blond-wig version of Reese Witherspoon.
The Scene got to catch up with Andre in anticipation of his show tonight at Exit/In. We discussed his love for Space Ghost, the wounds he’s received in the name of comedy, and whether he hs any special musical acts planned for Nashville:
Not planning on heading out to see Black Lips at Exit/In? Not terribly intrigued by the Robert Redford shipwreck movie at The Belcourt? Perhaps you'd prefer jokes told by a comedian who regularly appears on cable television. According to posts on Facebook and Twitter, comedian Sara Schaefer will drop in as the not-so-surprise special guest at Mikey's Sunday Night Comedy, this weekend.
Schaefer is probably best known as the bespectacled co-host of MTV's Nikki & Sara Live, a late-night talk show that — against all odds — is actually pretty funny and possibly the only thing on MTV that isn't completely alienating to anyone older than 16. Or, if you're a dork (like some blog post authors who will go unnamed), you may have seen her story about what would happen if Captain America got catfished in last week's “Marvel Now What” comic.
I'll go ahead and give you a moment to enjoy that premise.
Schaefer's only in town for a minute, so the only place to catch her set is at Mikey's on Sunday. In addition to Schaefer, local comics DJ Buckley, Julia Luce, Steve Spinola and headliner Brad Hinderliter will perform. Cover is $5 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Also, the show is BYOB, because it's basically in a warehouse.
As a co-host on The Champs, a rare podcast where all of the guests aren't white guys in their mid-20s, Kasher joins Brennan and DJ Douggpound to interview black actors, comedians, musicians and artists, in what is honestly one of the most illuminating podcasts in the sea of comedy podcasts. Though they may not be as in-depth and painful as an average episode of WTF, they provide insight into a perspective that is, all too often, missing from the conversation.
But, more than that, Kasher is a gifted stand-up comedian with perspective built from an almost comically bizarre upbringing — he was the son of deaf Hasidim in inner-city Oakland, developed a drug problem by 12 and bounced in and out of multiple mental institutions by 15. His memoir detailing his teenage freefall and gradual rebuilding, titled Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16, is wildly entertaining, when it's not totally brutal.
Kasher's performing exactly one show in Nashville and is absolutely worth your time. Tickets are currently on sale for $15, or $20 for fancy VIP status. You can also watch Kasher's recent comedy special, Live in Oakland, on the Netflix.
In the end, at least three Nashville submissions made it through the first round — but as the great philosopher Christopher Lambert once said, there can only be one. Despite a tough bid by Corporate Juggernaut's pile of Def Poetry Jam DVDs, Tig Notaro (and Showtime) has selected Squalor Holler as the Nashville stop on her roadtrip across America. Squalor Holler is inhabited by Dana Delworth, who you may know as the first-place winner in 2011's You Are So Nashville If ... issue, with her submission of "Gay gay gay, gay gay; gay gay gay gay gay."
Notaro arrives in town on Friday, with the show scheduled to start around
8 p.m. 7 p.m. in East Nashville. Details aren't completely nailed down yet, but in the spirit of good sportsmanship, Corporate Juggernaut is pitching in on the cause. Word has it that in addition to Notaro and opener John Dore, the free, taped comedy show will also feature performances by Ri¢hie and Brandon Jazz. The address of the Holler is undisclosed, but if you know a guy who knows a guy, you'll find your way there.
UPDATE: Details have started to shape-up around this show, which is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. (on the dot) tomorrow. In addition to Notaro and opener John Dore, the show will feature musical support from Ri¢hie, Tristen, Brandon Jazz & His Armed Forces and Mystery Twins with perhaps some special guests in tow. Additionally, Jazz noted that technically Squalor Holler and Corporate Juggernaut were selected to co-host this event. So, there you go.
UPDATE x2: Due to threats of torrential downpours later tonight, tonight's Tig Notaro show has been moved from Squalor Holler to The East Room. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the capacity crowd is 300 people.
What's up, party people? July was a quiet month for comedy in Nashville, but it looks like August is coming out swinging, with performances by Amy Schumer, Chris Gethard, Myq Kaplan and more on the horizon. All that, plus the regular open mics and a brand new recurring show at a venue across from a cemetery. Spooky!
Mikey's Sunday Night Comedy (Sundays at SmackDab Media)
Back in May, when I was talking to NashvilleStandUp.com proprietor Chad Riden about the options stand-up comedians have for performing in town, he mentioned that he'd been looking around for a dedicated venue to book comedy in — outside of the bars and restaurants that he's tried to twist into working. That dream, apparently, has come to fruition with the new Mikey's Sunday Night Comedy show, held in a warehouse/production studio/rehearsal space near the City Cemetery on 3rd Avenue South.
Now with actual stage lights and an actual stage, the space owned by SmackDab Media will start hosting weekly comedy shows, starting this Sunday. The inaugural show is headlined by Monty Mitchell, with supporting sets from Trey McClarnon, DJ Buckley, Mary Jay Berger, Brad Hinderliter, Brett Cantrell, Josh Wagner and Riden himself. The show is $5, BYOB and happens every Sunday night at 7 p.m.
For line-ups through the end of the month, see the Facebook event.
Amy Schumer at Zanies (8/2-3) — This one sold out quick, so if you don't have tickets to see Amy Schumer, you're out of luck until she inevitably plays a theater next time she's in town. I've got 150 words of pontificating about Schumer in this week's dead tree edition, but suffice to say, Amy Schumer is very funny and you should know what's up.
Tom Scharpling at Nashville Outlines (8/3) — So, Tom Scharpling had to cancel his MCing stint at this weekend's Nashville Outlines festival, but in his honor, you should all listen to his Gathering of the Juggalos episode with Paul F. Tompkins and prepare to weep with laughter.
Victoria Jackson at Zanies (8/8) — Sigh. Next.
When: 8 p.m. Friday, July 26
Where: Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Bill Cosby’s role as the lovable dad everyone wished they had in The Cosby Show has seen a definitive shift over the years. Today, Cosby has taken on more of a tough-love role, demanding higher standards of education and responsibility from black America. To Cosby, the issue boils down to accountability, while his critics say the multi-millionaire comic is ignoring systemic inequities of race and class.
Cosby recently took a public stance on the George Zimmerman verdict, maintaining that the case was not a racial issue and there is no reason to call Zimmerman a racist. (Really, Bill?) Despite his controversial views, Cosby remains an in-demand performer.
Material from Cosby’s current tour will be included in his first comedy special in 30 years, Far from Finished, set to air Nov. 24 on Comedy Central.
Watch the video of Cosby's take on Zimmerman after the jump.
This summer, Tig Notaro is crisscrossing the nation, performing on the porches and in the backyards of her fans' places for a tour documentary that will eventually be aired on Showtime. And if the precocious jokers at Corporate Juggernaut have anything to say about it, she'll be coming to Nashville for an intimate performance
in Brandon Jazz's living room on the site of Grassy Knoll Movie Nights next to Bongo Java East.
Notaro has been a working comedian for more than a decade, but only recently broke into the mainstream after riding a wave of tragedy into what Rolling Stone described as an “instant legendary” set of stand-up comedy at Largo in Los Angeles. Abandoning her usual set to speak frankly and honestly about undergoing stage-two cancer treatments, the sudden death of her mother and a dissolution of a relationship. Which sounds like a total bummer, but Notaro's set was real and truly masterful — something that any fan of comedy absolutely must listen to. It was released under the name Live (with a soft "I") and can be found on Spotify and iTunes.
Go ahead, I'll wait.
Corporate Juggernaut, the scrappy comedy upstart profiled on our cover at the end of May, has submitted their application to bring Tig to Music City and, honestly? They've got a pretty good shot at this. This isn't the first time that a YouTube video has thrown Brandon Jazz into unlikely circumstances, after all. Back in 2012, Jazz (and his Armed Forces) were tapped to open for The B-52's at the Ryman, thanks to his penchant for self-promotion and an antagonistic music video shot during a Westboro Baptist Church protest. If there's anyone who can use the power of the Internet to pull off something crazy, it's him.
If you want to help, all that they ask is that you tweet their video. Nobody really knows how Notaro and Showtime are going to pick their venues, but it couldn't hurt to give this thing some social media props.
And below, read what Lance Conzett has to say about Maron in this week's Scene:
There’s this irritating logical fallacy haunting the music industry — usually stated by armchair psychologists with a subscription to Rolling Stone — that suggests once a musician kicks drugs, their art is no longer as valid as it was when they were high as a kite. And while Marc Maron isn’t a musician — though you wouldn’t know it by the blues-guitar wailing he enjoys from time to time when musicians drop by his cat ranch for appearances on the WTF podcast — that theory hangs right over his head. Now that Maron, a famously neurotic curmudgeon, is succeeding both personally and professionally, can he still be funny? Even if he’s still steeped in a terrible swamp of frustration and self-loathing? Yes, dummy, he can — and is. Maron’s as sharp and cynical as ever, and even though he’s become a figurehead for comedy in a new media landscape, he’s still got plenty to complain about. And FYI, Stone Temple Pilots were sucking long before any of them sobered up.
Word comes down from TPAC that comedian Anthony Jeselnik, star of The Jeselnik Offensive and one of the more caustic elements of Comedy Central's kind-of-a-bummer series of celebrity roasts, will perform at James K. Polk Theatre on Sept. 27. And if you're easily offended, you should probably just go ahead and move on to that cat video you were about to watch before this came across your computer screen.
To call Jeselnik's style of stand-up comedy grim would be a massive understatement. This is a guy who opened his most recent album, Caligula, with a rape joke (titled “Rape”). Who has four jokes about suicide that he rattles off in a row. Who premiered his television series by performing cancer-themed stand-up to a cancer patient support group. You know. That sort of thing.
And, yet, despite his raging on-stage sociopathy, Jeselnik been celebrated by comedians and critics for his commitment to total darkness. Personally, his style of comedy — which comes off like Doug Stanhope in a suicide pact with Stephen Wright — isn't really my bag. But, he's nothing if not daring in his attempt to squeeze comedy out of subjects that have traditionally been considered off-limits.
Tickets go on sale on Friday, July 19, at 10 a.m. for $27.50. You may want to think twice about trying to score front-row seats, unless you're feeling particularly unflappable.
Happy July, stand-up comedy fans! After last month’s stand-up round-up proved to be a useful exercise in showing that comedy shows are happening in Nashville pretty much all the damn time, we’ve decided to make this a monthly feature on Country Life. Below, you’ll find all of the stand-up comedy you could possibly desire for the month of July.
Open House at Mercy Lounge Billiard Room (Mondays) — The flagship show of Corporate Juggernaut, hosted by Gary Fletcher. Each comic gets five minutes, with sign-up starting at 8 p.m. and the show going on at 8:30 p.m. Keep in mind that you’ll need to enter from the Mercy Lounge deck once 8 Off 8th starts at 9:00 p.m.
Ultimate Comedy Open-Mic at The East Room (Tuesdays) — Open House’s little brother, hosted by Brad Edwards and backed up by The Grey Greys (Gary Fletcher and Sean Parrott, on drums and guitar respectively). Sign-up starts at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 8:30 p.m. Enter through the alley.
Open Mic Contest at Spanky’s (Tuesdays) — The oldest running open mic in town, hosted by Joe Southards. Funniest comic gets a Fresca! Least funny comic might get a Fresca thrown at him/her! Sign-up starts at 8 p.m., show begins at 8:30 p.m.
Dive Laughing at Springwater (This Wednesday, 7/3) — Hosted by Sean Parrott. Prepare to get weird. Sign-up is at 9 p.m. and show at 9:30 p.m. Once I saw Dave Cloud doing stand-up here and it made everyone kinda uncomfortable.
Touch the Mic at Jazz & Jokes (Thursdays) — No longer sharing the calendar with Wild ‘N Out Winsday, an improv comedy show based on the MTV series of the name, the open mic hosted at Jazz & Jokes has gone weekly. Nashville’s only urban-focused open mic runs Thursdays, with drink specials until 11 p.m. and free cover until 10 p.m. Sign-up starts at 8 p.m.
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