My Arizona Comedy Debut

Well it’s come and gone. Well sort of, because I’m still here. My first comedy tour in Arizona is complete! Now its time to sit back, relax, take in more of this Arizona sunshine and visit with the family. I grew up here; born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s really important to break into this scene as I come down here a half dozen times a year. It would be really nice to be able to do comedy when I do, and then I could write off the flights as a “business expense.”

The tour has been great! I love calling it a “tour” cause that is everything that wasn’t. It was two shows in two nights. Last night in a bar, tonight in a video production studio. I’m totally moving up in the world.

Last night, after flying in and getting a quick meal with my parents, I made them drive me (cause I like feeling like I’m 14) into downtown Phoenix for my first gig at the Hidden House. This show was recommended to me by a fellow comedian in Seattle that got his start in Phoenix. The “Red Room” at the Hidden House is a room next to a bar that serves $6 steaks on Wednesdays, has $7.50 mini pitchers of beer, and could hold about 40 people without the fire marshal getting upset. Last night there were about that many people. I went up sort of near the end, so I was able to get a good feel for how the room was going to behave. Man, that was a trained audience. No hecklers. They’ve done a good job making a fine comedy audience at that Hidden House. My set was pretty good, but I thought I saw the light too early and bailed, which was the professional thing to do, but I was still pissed as I passed up time in front of a good audience. Still trying to work on my competition set, so I got some good mileage out of that regardless.

Tonight I performed at the “Thursday Night Funny” show at the Arizona Visual Arts Studio. This is actually a pretty cool place where local businesses can go to get anything from commercials made to 3-D animations for presentations. Oh, and on the first and third Thursday of the month, they also have free comedy on Sound Stage B. It was a pretty cool stage. The audience could have held around 30 people, so its a pretty intimate showroom. It was “very” intimate tonight though. I did get a free Miller High Life Light. See, now I didn’t even know that they made that beer in a “light” form. The more you know… Did about eight minutes and some of the jokes I didn’t get to do the previous night. I wish I could do some of my newer jokes that I’ve been writing, but for first impressions down here I didn’t want to open mic it.

I’ve learned a bit about the comedy scene down here and I’ve found there are some interesting differences and similarities to Seattle and Phoenix comedy scenes. This opinion is formed after doing only two shows here, so bear with me, but it still deserves documentation in blog form:

  • Phoenix comics like to say “fuck” a lot, especially at the Hidden House, whereas Seattle comics like to say “shit” a lot, basically everywhere.
  • Comedy personalities transcend state borders. I’ve found doppelgangers of a couple Seattle comics that I really want to introduce to each other. It would be old Doc from “Back to the Future II” seeing past Doc, and one is freaking out because the other guy stole his premise.
  • No matter how creepy you might be, having an t-shirt with your head on it usually ups you on the creepiness scale.
  • My Dad loves trainwrecks.
  • Some of the coolest places to do comedy, not a lot of audience members come to. It all comes down to the most important thing in show-business, parking.
  • I have too much hair for some of the people in Phoenix. That, or a need a haircut. Probably both.
  • If you see a guy in the lobby with a guitar case, chances are, he is going to play it. If he plays it, you will feel awkward. There are no chances there, it’s just a fact.
  • In Seattle people complain about the rain. In Phoenix people complain about Seattlites visiting in the winter because of the rain. In this situation, no one wins, except the comics. Even then, it’s a viscous cycle of hack material.

One thought on “My Arizona Comedy Debut

  1. I like the image of a "viscous cycle of hack material"…which, I'd have to imagine is similar to a vicious circle of hack material, only more syrupy…and on a bike.


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