This post is nonsense. So, be aware of that on the front end.
Earlier this month, I had the chance to host an episode of Knoxville’s insanely fun and adjective heavy weekly experimental comedy show known as QED Comedy Lab. That week’s theme was a comedy spelling bee in which I made up words and asked performers to spell them and then follow some randomly assigned improv task to define the word.
Like with any experimental comedy, it had some great moments and some not-so-much great moments. But, the key point is that we once again got to play in a great comedy sandbox (as my friend Tyler calls it) curated by our fearless QED leader Matt Chadourne.
The point of this post is more for my own archiving than for you the random reader, probably. But, I wanted to make a note of some of my favorite words and definitions from the night before they are lost to my memory forever.
So, here are some of the highlights from a night of words with friends, in alphabetical order, naturally:
- Biscuitarian – Todd Lewis correctly saw this word for its potential as a true religion of the South. Naturally, followers of this religion will find themselves at odds with Todd’s true calling as a member of the Quincy’s Big Fat Yeast Holy Rollers.
- Comediandroid – Eventually all comedy will be based on algorithms. Meet our new comedy overlord.
- Nickelbacteria – This is how modern pop music goes viral, according to Tyler Sonnichsen.
- Ovulatte – Easily, this is the worst new idea at Starbucks.
- Rednecrophelia – According to Matt Chadourne, the key indicator of a sufferer of this ailment is a strong desire to dig up Dale Earnhardt’s grave.
Other words from the evening included these gems, but I’ll have to go back and review the video from that night to remember the definitions offered.
It’s always a treat in my fledgling comedy career when I get to open for a touring comedian whose work I admire. And, this weekend, the comedy gods have smiled upon me because I get to do it twice! I’m opening for both Tim Northern and Laurie Kilmartin this weekend.
On Friday, February 20, I’ll be part of the local support team when the hilarious Tim Northern visits Sassy Ann’s in Knoxville’s Historic 4th and Gill Neighborhood.
Tim’s genius for wordplay leaves me in awe each time I see him. When he headlined at last year’s Scruffy City Comedy Festival, he left me absolutely speechless. I highly recommend getting out to see him if you can. Tim has performed at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival. You may have seen him on television on Star Search back in 2003, or more recently on Last Comic Standing last year.
Tickets to this show are only $5. Showtime is 9 pm. Opening for Tim will be a roster of Knoxville area comedians including Chase Dyer, Evan Brooks, J.C. Ratliff and Jay Kendrick. Sam Donnelly will be your host. Sassy Ann’s is a smoking venue and 21+. Details about the show can be found on the Sassy Ann’s presents Tim Northern Facebook event page.
On Saturday, February 21, I get a second treat when I am allowed to open for the hilarious Laurie Kilmartin at The Pilot Light in the Old City. In addition to being a stand-up comedian, Laurie is an author and an Emmy-nominated member of the great writing team behind Conan O’Brien’s late night show. Last year, Laurie awed and moved me greatly when she turned to Twitter to share her thoughts as she sat through her father’s final hours in hospice care. It was one of the most beautiful, funny, and human things I’ve ever seen on social media. And, now, a year later, I’m sharing a stage with her. How weird is life?
Some of my friends may also know Laurie as the author of The New York Times best-seller Sh*tty Mom.
Laurie will be performing two shows on Saturday at the Pilot Light in Knoxville’s Old City. I’ll be on the bill, along with my friend Matt Chadourne, for the 8 pm show. Tickets to the show are only $10. Pilot Light is a non-smoking venue and 18+. Fair warning, also, if you’ve not been there before; it is a cash only establishment. You can find out more about the shows on the Pilot Light presents Laurie Kilmartin Facebook event page.
To learn more about Tim Northern, please visit his website at timnortherncomedian.com.
To learn more about Laurie Kilmartin, please visit her website at kilmartin.com.
I am so grateful for this opportunity. I hope you’ll come on out this weekend to one or both of the shows and enjoy the moment with me.
I’m looking forward a busy week of comedy-related fun in Knoxville this week. As always, I’d be delighted if you’d join me at a show.
Here’s where you can find me on stage this week:
I’m excited to have an opportunity to guest host an edition of the always adventurous QED Comedy Lab show. If you aren’t familiar with the show, you probably haven’t talked to me in person for longer than five minutes, so here’s what you need to know.
The show is easily one of the most inventive and entertaining comedy shows being produced right now in the Southeast. As a performer, it challenges our writing, improvisational and overall performance skills. Each week we perform based on a different theme. Matt Chadourne is the show’s producer and regular host.
This week’s theme is “Spellbound.” It’s a comedy spelling bee. I’ll be assigning our performers random and likely completely made up words to spell, along with various unusual tasks to help define those words for our audience.
The show is free (donations are always appreciated).
I’m privileged to produce and host this new addition to the Scruffy City Comedy scene. It’s a weekly showcase that allows us to spotlight traveling comedians visiting our area and some of our best local comedians. This week’s show is an all-star lineup of some of the best of the best of Knoxville comedy: Ian Ferguson, Alex Stokes, Jeff Blank, Matt Ward and Tyler Sonnichsen. Each of these gentlemen has been incredibly helpful to me in finding my way in the comedy field, so it is my honor to have the opportunity to put them in the spotlight.
Admission is $10. Wine is available from Blue Slip Winery and food service is available at your table courtesy of Forks on the Road food truck. Doors open at 7. The show starts at 7:30.
The guys in Quartjar have decided to its time to put on another rock and roll show with a little extra something in the recipe. I was delighted to provide comedy between sets for them last year at a rock show in the Old City and I’m happy they’ve invited me back to be a part of this bigger, more spectacular spectacular.
It’s a variety show! I’ll be your host and/or ringmaster for the evening as we’ve put together a show that includes two longtime favorite Knoxville bands — Quartjar and Jack Rentfro & the Apocalypso Quartet — as well as comedy from Gail Grantham, Jay Kendrick and Jeff Blank, magic from Pan Walker and juggling from our friend Doug McCaughan.
I’m sure other things will happen, too. I suspect it’s going to be an adventurous night. Admission is $8.
So, come on out and join us for some pre-Valentine’s Day variety fun.
Additional information about these or other upcoming shows can be found on my calendar page.
I’ve been negligent in getting around to putting up links to some fun things I was able to do in 2014. Here are a couple of examples for your potential entertainment.
By law, every aspiring comedian must give at least serious thought to starting his or her own podcast. And, I have been giving it some thought, but I’m not quite there yet in the time management skills to pull it off just yet. But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t had some fun being a part of watching the comedy podcast scene evolve over the past couple of years. In fact, in 2014, I was even allowed to have cameo guest appearances in a couple of particularly fun podcasts.
On Friday nights in the Scruffy City of Knoxville, Sassy Ann’s has established itself as a home for comedy with a hybrid open mic/showcase night called KnoxVegas Comedy. The show is co-hosted by Jay Kendrick and Chase Dyer, and includes a lineup of open mic comedy with three or four featured comics included in the mix as well.
I’m delighted to be one of the featured comics tonight along with my friends Tyler Sonnichsen and Boston McCown. It’s been a while since I’ve hit the stage at Sassy Ann’s as Friday night is usually my old man night of sitting at home and complaining about the music these kids listen to these days.
There’s no cover, but it’s a smoking venue, so heads up on that. You can find more info about the venue on their Facebook event page.
Every Monday at the Pilot Light in Knoxville’s Old City, a group of comedians and performers gather for the QED Comedy Laboratory. Here’s a little example of the fun we have putting together a week of experimental comedy for your entertainment.
In addition to the Facebook page linked above, you can also keep up with QED Comedy on Twitter at @QEDComedy.
I was thrilled to be asked by Scruffy City Comedy to play the role of Ebenezer Scrooge at the Roast of Ebenezer Scrooge. In true roast fashion, it was my duty to offer a rebuttal to each of the great cast members who had roasted me through the night. So, it made for a long but very fun set in which I give a sound thrashing to the likes of The Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, Charles Dickens, Heat Miser, Jim Henson, Bob Cratchit, all those darn ghosts, and more. It was much more fun than the usual humbug. Enjoy! Scruffy City Comedy has assembled all the videos of the Roast of Ebenezer Scrooge for you to watch.
Like everyone else’s year, mine was a roller coaster of events. The key point to bring up here, because I need a first post of some sort for this site, is that I was mostly able to find a way to redirect the negative energy into something mostly positive.
One of the end results of the year was that my year of misfortune and blind flailing about in the world of stand-up comedy was deemed worthy of a feature article in the local newspaper.
Here’s me, contemplating whether I can stockpile enough copies of the article to one day fashion a blanket when I’m sleeping in a park somewhere. And, here’s the article about my comedy career by Randall Brown.