Flyover Comedy Festival Performer Profile: Tyler Menz

Over the next two weeks, we’re going to show you some of the great performers who’ll be walking the boards of the stages in The Grove for Flyover Comedy Festival.

This afternoon’s profile is Tyler Menz. Tyler’s humor draws on his experiences as a school teacher, stories about his family, and his deep contempt of how painfully white he is. He has worked with a wide range of comedians, including Tig Notaro, Neil Hamburger, and has also been performed at The Milwaukee Comedy Fest,The 10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival, and Gilda’s Laughfest.

What are you looking forward to most at the festival this year?

I grew up in St Louis. Looking forward to returning to perform there! Also planning on eating my weight in Lions Choice.

When/where are you performing at the festival?

Friday, November 9, 2018 at 8:00 PM – The Monocle
Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 4:00 PM – The Improv Shop – STL
Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 7:00 PM – The Improv Shop – STL

Give us your social media information!

@jtylermenz on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

It’s Halloween season, did you wear a costume? What was it?

I dressed up as the “Change My Mind” meme.

Would you rather be covered in spiders, or live in a world without tacos?

No tacos, easy. Nachos are better than tacos. There I said it!

Do you even lift?

Bein’ dope is all in the muscle
It’s more than just a pause and a chuckle
I bench press elephants, and bowlin ball juggle

See Tyler and all of the other comics joining him at Flyover Comedy Festival, November 8 – November 10 in the Grove.  Wristbands for the entire festival are on sale now.  Buy yours today!

Flyover Comedy Festival Performer Profile: Leah Rudick

Over the next two weeks, we’re going to show you some of the great performers who’ll be walking the boards of the stages in The Grove for Flyover Comedy Festival.

It’s time for your afternoon cup of comedy. Hailing from Los Angeles, Leah Rudick performs stand up at venues such as The Comedy Store, Flappers, HaHa Cafe, and UCBT. She is the co-creator of the web series Made To Order and runs a monthly comedy show called The Reunion in West Hollywood.

What are you looking forward to most at the festival this year?

This is my first time at Flyover so everything feels exciting! New friends to make! New food to eat! New butts to touch!

When/where are you performing at the festival?

Friday at 8 at the Monocle and Saturday at 7 at the Improv Shop Side Stage

Give us your social media information!

Instagram: @leahlalaleah
twitter: @leahrudick

It’s Halloween season, did you wear a costume? What was it?

I didn’t! I like to stay inside on Halloween because I am easily frightened.

Do you even lift?

I don’t! Not. A. Finger.

Plug something. Commerce will save us all!

My first standup special Everything Is Fine! was recently released on the streaming platform Seed & Spark. I would love for you to watch it!

See Leah and all of the other comics joining her at Flyover Comedy Festival, November 8 – November 10 in the Grove.  Wristbands for the entire festival are on sale now.  Buy yours today!

Flyover Comedy Festival Performer Profile: Tiel Pearce

Over the next two weeks, we’re going to show you some of the great performers who’ll be walking the boards of the stages in The Grove for Flyover Comedy Festival.

Good morning! This is the perfect time to introduce you to Late Night Live’s Tiel Pearce.

With a combination of celebrity impressions and an off the wall stage presence, Tiel Pearce has quickly carved out a niche in the St. Louis comedy scene. A skilled improviser, he is a graduate of The Improv Shop’s training program, where he performs with the indie team Yo Nicky!. As a standup, he regularly performs at Helium and placed 3rd at Punderdome’s Blueberry Hill show.

What are you looking forward to most at the festival this year?

Meeting new people, going to all of the  shows, and performing.

When/where are you performing at the festival?

I’m hosting the Friday open mic at Handlebar at 5:30 pm.

Give us your social media information!

Tiel Pearce on FB
tiel520 on Instagram
@Tiel52093 on Twitter

Would you rather be covered in spiders, or live in a world without tacos?

A world without tacos, because I have no soul.

Do you even lift?

Yes, but sometimes I Uber.

Plug something. Commerce will save us all!

I am a writer on Late Night Live, a talk show at the Improv Shop. Our last show is the 24th of November.

See Tiel and all of the other comics joining him at Flyover Comedy Festival November 8 – November 10 in the Grove.  Wristbands for the entire festival are on sale now.  Buy yours today!

Flyover Comedy Festival Performer Profile: Tina Dybal

Over the next two weeks, we’re going to show you some of the great performers who’ll be walking the boards of the stages in The Grove for Flyover Comedy Festival.

Getting ready for work tomorrow? Take the edge off by meeting Tina Dybal.  Tina is the 2018 winner of Helium Comedy’s “Funniest Person in St. Louis.”  She’s a comedy monster who’s going places.  You better see her now.

What are you looking forward to most at the festival this year?

Opening for the great and powerful Cameron Esposito. Also, hoping there’s smoked salmon as food for comics again this year. I really enjoyed that.

When/where are you performing at the festival?

Friday, November 9- 8PM with Cameron Esposito
Saturday, November 10: 9-11PM Adult Spelling Bee with Raj Suresh

Give us your social media information!

witter: @tinadybal
instagram: @tinadybal
website: www.tinadybal.com

It’s Halloween season, did you wear a costume? What was it?

Nope, real slacker this year.

Would you rather be covered in spiders, or live in a world without tacos?

Live in a world without tacos. I fuck with burrito bowls, I’ll be just fine.

Do you even lift?

Yes. Kettlebells 4Ever.

Plug something. Commerce will save us all!

The savage Libbie Higgins and I started a podcast. We will begin releasing episodes before the end of 2019. Follow us online to stay up to date!

See Tina and all of the other comics joining her at Flyover Comedy Invasion November 8 – November 10 in the Grove.  Wristbands for the entire festival are on sale now.  Buy yours today!

Flyover Comedy Festival Performer Profile: Ali Macofsky

Over the next two weeks, we’re going to show you some of the great performers who’ll be walking the boards of the stages in The Grove for Flyover Comedy Festival.

This afternoon, we introduce you to Ali Macofsky from Long Beach, California. Ali wrote a new minute of comedy every week for 2 years as part of the podcast, Kill Tony. She’s a regular at clubs and alternative venues around Los Angeles.

What are you looking forward to most at the festival this year?

Getting to perform in a new state and seeing some cool St. Louis stuff.

When/where are you performing at the festival?

Check the website out for shows I’m doing and other comics!

Give us your social media information!

Fine! @notalimac

It’s Halloween season, so……did you wear a costume? What was it?

Last year I went as Guy Fieri. And not even a Sexy Guy Fieri. I straight up just looked like Guy Fieri. Proof is on my Instagram.

Do you even lift?

To be honest, no.

Plug something. Commerce will save us all!

I mostly post on Instagram fun stuff I’m getting into professionally and casually.

See Ali and all of the other comics joining her at Flyover Comedy Invasion November 8 – November 10 in the Grove.  Wristbands for the entire festival are on sale now.  Buy yours today!

Flyover Comedy Festival Performer Profile: Jon Venegoni

Over the next two weeks, we’re going to show you some of the great performers who’ll be walking the boards of the stages in The Grove for Flyover Comedy Festival.

This morning, have a cup of coffee with Jon Venegoni. Jon has been a mainstay of the St. Louis Comedy scene, both in comedy clubs and on the independent scene, since 2010. He’s one of the creative powerhouses behind, Fatal Bus Accident and has opened for the likes of The Sklars, Greg Fitzsimmons, and John Witherspoon.

What are you looking forward to most at the festival this year?

The pie eating contest! Is this questionnaire a good place to suggest that we have a pie eating contest?

When/where are you performing at the festival?

Fatal Bus Accident on Thursday at Improv Shop and then I’m hosting a showcase on Friday in the small room.

Give us your social media information!

Twitter @jonvenegoni
Instagram @jonvenegoni

It’s Halloween season, so……did you wear a costume? What was it?

Yes-I was Cat Jesus. I had an old Jesus costume and some cat ears and one thing led to another.

Do you even lift?

Yes- I’ve been lifting spirits every day my whole life. (Editor’s Note: Awwww…)

Plug something. Commerce will save us all!

You’re going to love Fatal Bus Accident this time. Come check it out.

See Jon and all of the other comics joining him at Flyover Comedy Invasion November 8 – November 10 in the Grove.  Wristbands for the entire festival are on sale now.  Buy yours today!

Flyover Comedy Festival Performer Profile: Spark Tabor

Over the next two weeks, we’re going to show you some of the great performers who’ll be walking the boards of the stages in The Grove for Flyover Comedy Festival.

Where starting with one of our favorites. Visiting us from Cincinnati, Ohio is Spark Tabor. He’s a two time winner of the Funniest Person in Cincinnati, and has appeared on “Laughs” on Fox TV. In addition to Flyover, he’s been accepted into the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta, Limestone Comedy Festival in Bloomington, and the Women in Comedy Festival in Boston.

What are you looking forward to most at the festival this year?

I have several friends that are performing and live in the city, so seeing them will be so much fun.

When/where are you performing at the festival?

I have 3 shows at the Improv shop.

Give us your social media information!

I am @sparktabor on everything

It’s Halloween season, so…in that spirit, would you rather be covered in spiders, or live in a world without tacos?

Tacos are fine, so it wouldn’t be too hard to live without them.

Do you even lift?

I do, my friends and I do challenges to keep ourselves motivated

Plug something. Commerce will save us all!

https://www.patreon.com/SparkTabor

I put stuff on here i don’t put anywhere else, just a good way for people to support and connect with me.

See Spark and all of the other comics joining him at Flyover Comedy Invasion November 8 – November 10 in the Grove.  Wristbands for the entire festival are on sale now.  Buy yours today!

Flyover Comedy Festival – Nov. 8 – 10, 2018

We’re just 2 weeks away from Flyover Comedy Festival, St. Louis’s premiere celebration of all things comedy.  From November 8 through November 10, The Grove will become a hub of laughter as local and nationally touring stand up comics, sketch comedy groups, improv groups, podcasts, and other performers take to the stages to entertain the masses.

St. Louis Independent Comedy is happy to help support the hard work of the festival’s organizers in any way we can.  So, over the next two weeks we’ll be bringing you snapshots of the performers selected from the hundreds of applicants.

So check in here each day to learn about your new favorite performers.  And,  buy a pass to the festival.  A three-day wristband only costs $40.

We’ll see you in The Grove on November 8th.

Tom Brown Discusses The South City Comedy Series

Tom Brown’s behind the popular, new(is) show at Apotheosis Comics & Lounge, a South Grand venue that’s found a surprise Saturday night hit by hosting standup comedy. We’ve asked Brown a bit about how the South City Comedy Series came to life and quickly came to find an avid, weekly audience on Saturdays.

How’d you come into the knowledge of Apotheosis as a potential venue? Are you a comics guy, who happened in and conversations emerged? What was the process? 

I am very much NOT a comics guy. I had like two comics growing up: a copy of Count Duckula and a issue of Beetle Bailey that I am pretty sure was older than me. Though, if it is Star Wars related, you can probably grab my attention.  How this came to be: I thought it would be a cool venue for a show. It is a comic book store, but it also has a bar. When I pitched the idea to the owners of the store, and they were immediately on board. Originally, this was going to be about once a month, but decided that it might actually be better weekly. It’s not a traditional bar that could replace us with a Karaoke machine or a cover band or a DJ. It’s good two-fold: for comics, a place to perform on a Saturday night; and additional revenue for the shop through the bar.

Had you previously run any shows? If so, what were they? If not, what made this a good opportunity?

 

I have been running a show at 66 Cigar out in Sunset Hills. The June show got cancelled, and that actually led to me deciding to pitch the idea to Apotheosis. I do have at least one more show booked at 66 tonight on October 12th; we will see (if it continues) after that. That has been a fun show that the comics have enjoyed being a part of. Also, way back in 2011, I was the host of a weekly improv show at Lemmon’s.

How do you go about curating a night’s event, in terms of who to ask? And let’s take a step back here and tell folks what they might expect, in the vein of how the show’s structured?

 

Right now my goal is to book three comics to do 15-20 minute sets. A few of the more “established” St. Louis comics and people who I believe deserve more opportunities to perform. I have also included two guest spots that are a little shorter, comics that I would like to see a little more of before getting them some more time. The show format is pretty basic. As host, I’ll do 5-10 minutes upfront to try and warm the crowd up, then stagger feature, guest, feature.

What makes the room special in your mind? Is there anything gained having a comedy show take place in a colorful, creative environment like this? Also, you’re doing a show in front of large, street-side windows; any interesting interactions with the passing public because of that? 

I love the fact it’s on South Grand. There are a lot of great places to go and enjoy a great meal, but not that many forms of live entertainment. I’ve literally pulled people off the street and into the show. I’ve heard a lot of, “Well, maybe after me and my friends finish our meal.” And, shockingly a lot of people have followed through on that! The most interesting interaction was Ron Finger arrived in the middle of my set… dressed as TV’s Batman (the Adam West version). I thought I was killing for a second, turned my head and it was Ron.

Are folks using this venue as a place to try out new material, or work with some of their battle-tested stuff? Any early highlights, so far, where you thought, “wow, (Performer X) really brought their A-game today?” 

It has been a combination. Like I said, Ron Finger showed up as Batman and did his set as Batman. While you’re getting a lot of the battle-tested stuff from features, we’re getting some great sets out of the guest spots. John Green really killed it a few weeks ago. Coming to this show, you’re going to see something you’ll tell your friends about at work on Monday.

What else should people know? 

The show is $5 cash at the door. It is 8pm every Saturday. There isn’t any drink or comic book purchase required (though it’s highly encouraged).
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Guest Editorial: No Stage Time For Piven – Kelsey McClure

Editor’s Note: Kelsey McClure is a comic in St. Louis, MO.  She also ran Comedy In The Lou, which once served as the only dependable source for information about the STL Comedy Scene.  She has worked with national headliners on stage, and has interviewed them for print and digital media.   Her opinions are her own. I agree that these are discussions worth having and it doesn’t do us any good to pretend these issues don’t exist. – CDC

I was able to interview T.J. Miller in 2014 before two sold out shows at The Firebird for The Riverfront Times and it was a career highlight. Never had an interview been so relaxed and light hearted. As the interview wrapped, he told me to find him at the show as he owed me a beer. I did, and with a full, warm-hearted embrace he hugged me and thanked me for the interview. I have reveled in the experience since and probably with a few drinks in, bragged that T.J. Miller knows my name.

This morning T.J. Miller taunted me and boasted that like Jeremy Piven, he too will see me in St. Louis. Rewind.

Yesterday I tweeted about a Denver open mic that shamed T.J. Miller off stage in hopes of setting an example for the debut of Jeremy Piven at Helium Comedy Club. Piven’s three-day, five-show run begins tonight. The timing is downright disastrous with the incarceration of Bill Cosby, outing of Aziz Ansari and most notably Louis CK (who has already found his way back to a stage) what comedy does not need right now is not another predator with a platform. We are also at the crux of the #BelieveWomen movement, a result of our country being neck deep in the Kavanaugh hearings. So it was not within me to sit silent and think, “gross.”

My course of action included posting on social media, a couple ugly and fierce pillow cries and reaching out to Helium Comedy Club as well as a number of news and entertainment outlets in St. Louis. T.J. Miller is an excellent comedian who too is a sexual predator because I #BelieveWomen. He is not welcome to take the stage from, while maybe not decent, but certainly less controversial comedians. Jeremy Piven, however, is not a stand up comedian which follows at a close second as to why he too is not welcome to take the stage in St. Louis. Jeremy Piven has taken to stand up when his television career bottomed out on account of the sexual assault allegations made against him. ‘Lil homie doesn’t even have an album under his belt, no Netflix Special or even a Comedy Central Half Hour. Which begs the questions, what is it he intends to do at a comedy club?

Sexual predators do not deserve a platform in St. Louis. There are eight allegations against Piven and one against Miller. Miller was also arrested for slapping an Uber driver.

I demand St. Louis continue to be a safe and productive place for comics to approach the most difficult, dark and intimidating topics on stage. If we lend our platform to predators like Jeremy Piven (and now T.J. Miller in December), we will lose what we have worked so painstakingly to create, an art form that is re-defined every time a comedian takes to a microphone.

There are no prerequisites for sexual assault. We have learned who sexual predators are and who they can become (i.e. Supreme Court Justices) and I, Kelsey McClure, a distinctively average comedian, will not stand to lend my stage to any of their sort. In my city, in St. Fucking Louis, sexual assaulters do not get a platform.

So while Piven is making his rounds on various entertainment (105.7 The Point) and news (Fox 2) platforms in St. Louis to promote his shows… Here I am, asking you, yes, you specifically, to take the lead and start a conversation. Do you #BelieveWomen and if so, what is to be done?