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.
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 just happen to completely agree. – CDC 10/04/2018 (Chris is just one member of the team here at stlouiscomedy.com and can not speak for the entire team. Opposing viewpoints can be emailed to email@example.com)
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?
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?
On Monday, June 11, the Heavy Anchor will host another edition of the weekly open mic, Comedy Shipwreck, helmed by Chad Wallace at roughly 10:00 pm. A special treat’s in store early, though, as an indie tour shares the venue with a 9 pm start time.
Dubbed Your Uncle’s Girlfriend, the tour features New Orleans comics Laura Sanders and Kate Mason. After a stop in Memphis, St. Louis’ gig will be the second on their June tour swing.
The bio for the show reads like so: “Laura and Kate grew up mere hours apart in Columbus and Pittsburgh, respectively, where they honed their loud voices, love for mushy foods, and ability to fake confidence to avoid ridicule. They met in New Orleans where together they host the beloved weekly open mic, Bear with Me, at Twelve Mile Limit. With over 15 years of stand-up, sketch, and improv comedy experience between the two of them, their credits include being featured on Fox’s LaughsTV, Limestone Comedy Festival, and Denver’s High Plains Comedy Festival. Laura’s comedy album, Oh God Please Like Me, debuted at number one on the iTunes comedy charts.”
Writing from home in NOLA, Mason notes that “this is a single tour, but we would like to do more in the future, so it could end up being a recurring one! We’ve built the tour through friendships with comics in other cities. We’re really lucky to have this network, because each show becomes like a trust fall with the local indie comedy scene. We’re so excited to see who local show producers have picked to be on the shows with us, and get to know each city’s local comics even more.
“This tour is actually a friendship anniversary for us,” she adds. “Laura moved to New Orleans in the fall of 2015. We dodged each other for as long as we could, but by June of 2016 we were unable to deny that friendship was inevitable. Laura started hosting the mic on Monday nights at Twelve Mile Limit around the time we became friends, and I jumped on board a year later.”
The pair look forward to road life.
“One thing that I think is surprising to many people,” Mason adds, “is how amazing comedy shows are in cities that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with great comedy. People tell us how impressed they are by shows in New Orleans all the time, and I think the same goes for a lot of small-mid size cities across the U.S. People are producing incredible, creative shows with fantastic talent all over the country, and you don’t need to pay a lot to see it.”
(In fact, the this Monday’s gig is a “donations accepted” affair, so open your wallet to the sum that moves you.)
Here’s Kate Mason at work:
And here’s Laura Sanders:
Everything else you need is found on Facebook.
St. Louis’s favorite historical comedy show has jumped across the pond to London, where it will continue it’s tradition of providing completely 100% accurate portrayals of historical figures. We asked Christian Lawrence about the trip. This is what he telegraphed back. Continue reading “London Falling: History Shmistory Takes On The UK”
St. Louis has given the world some amazing comedic talent. Dick Gregory may have been our comedy scene’s greatest alum. Continue reading “R.I.P. St. Louis Legend, Dick Gregory.”
Maria Bamford caused a comedy hurricane in St. Louis yesterday when she posted this challenge to Twitter: Continue reading “And the winner is…Ella Fritts!”
Thomas Crone continues his year long visit with #STLComedy’s performers in St. Louis Magazine with profiles from Andrew Frank, Sarah Pearl, and Rob Tee. All three recently made it into the semi-finals of Helium Comedy’s “Funniest Person in St. Louis” competition, where Frank ended up taking third place.
St. Louis Magazine continues its year long profile of local comics. This month’s profile from Thomas Crone features Fitz’s co-host, Ryan Dalton, Hey Guys regular, Jamie Fritz, and newcomer to the STLComedy scene, Sam Lyons.
Get to know these great local performers, and take some time to read the other profiles Thomas has written.
In 2004, in an article about St. Louis comedy powerhouse, Jessie Taylor, there’s a point towards the end of the article where Ben Westhoff writes of Jessie:
“Taylor dreams of opening what he says would be St. Louis’ first black comedy club.”
– (“What Are You Laughing At”, St. Louis, Riverfront Times, February 4, 2004)
The statement seems prescient, as this week Jessie Taylor announced the soft opening of The Laugh Lounge, his new comedy club. This new club promises to be home the city thriving urban comedy scene, but Taylor isn’t limiting the reach of his audience or comic base. Continue reading “The Laugh Lounge Opens This Week”
St. Louis Magazine continues Thomas Crone’s monthly profile of comics at various levels of the St. Louis comedy scene. This month, they asked questions of Ella Fritts, JC Sibala, and Eric Brown. It’s a fun look at their views on the craft of comedy.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out each of them stress the importance of open mics in developing material, since we’re in the midst of Death Mic 2017. Our favorite is Ella’s declaration that:
“I, personally, don’t consider someone a comic until they’ve done open mics for at least three months, no matter what shows you’ve done or what comedy you’ve participated in.”
Shots fired! Also, we agree. Get out there and do the work. Here’s a list of open mics.
Read the whole article here.