St. Louis Comedy Profile: Chris Denman & Travis Terrell

St. Louis Comedy, We Are Live, Podcast

St. Louis Comedy, We Are Live, PodcastChris Denman and Travis Terrell host “We Are Live!”, a radio show/podcast based in St. Louis. “We Are Live” has become a major supporter of the local comedy scene, while also providing some incredible interviews with national performers. Their site (listed below) is full of audio and video guaranteed to entertain you. Continue reading “St. Louis Comedy Profile: Chris Denman & Travis Terrell”

St. Louis Comedy Profile: Eric Brown

St. Louis Stand Up Comedy, Eric Brown

St. Louis Stand Up Comedy, Eric BrownSince moving to St. Louis, stand up comic Eric Brown has become a fixture of the indy scene.  Consisting mostly of stories of his daily life, Eric’s comedy is incredibly self aware, funny, and interesting.

Your Name
Eric Brown

How long have you been performing stand up?
My first time was in February 2011. So a little over five years.

Who are your comedy influences?
Louie CK,  Bill Burr,  Gallagher,  Marc Maron, Bob Odenkirk,  Mitch Hedberg, Gallagher, Eddie Izzard,  Gallagher, Patton Oswalt and Steve Martin.

I know that’s a lot but this is a hard question.  I’ve been a comedy fan for as long as I can remember.  I’m trying to list comics that I learned something from their specials,  books,  etc.

Describe your worst experience on stage.
I had been doing stand up for maybe 4 months in my college town,  Carbondale,  IL and I felt comfortable among my peers.  There was a showcase at at a larger bar in the area that was charging a cover.  It’s nothing now but it felt like a big deal at the time.

I was asked to do 5 minutes.  We had an out of town comic from St. Louis that I hadn’t heard of.  It was Aaron Brooks and I was immediately after him.  He did 10-15 before me and if I wasn’t nervous enough,  he fucking killed, and I was super shaken by it.  So I followed him and tried a few jokes.  They were bad and I couldn’t get out of my head because I knew I just wasn’t going to do as well.  I couldn’t handle how shitty it felt.  So I started bombing and then I told the audience I was sorry that I wasn’t as funny as Aaron.

Then I tried some new jokes, and I asked the audience what they wanted to talk about.  It was my first real insane bomb.  And there was a moment on stage, where it’s falling apart and I’m ruining this show.  I stopped trying and I just looked at the audience.  I scanned their eyes and I quit squirming and fighting how unprepared I was and I told them,  “I hate this too.  I’m just gonna stand here and take this feeling of hatred and disgust because I want to remember it.”

I’ve bombed since, but I’ve never asked the audience anything and I’ve never been shaken by a comic before me again. It didn’t do me any good that night and it never will. We’re all separate entities and it took me eating that turd to realize it.  Also,  Aaron Brooks is great and was super nice,  I just wasn’t prepared to deal with following him at the time.

Describe your best experience on stage.
I don’t have a specific story, but sometimes you just feel everything come together.  When written material is hitting, I tend to start riffing and improvising too.  It’s more fun for me and luckily it’s how my brain works.  So anytime that happens it feels transcendent.  It stops being about hoping they like this joke or that joke and it becomes something like when a band comes together.  You’re all sharing a moment together because this line or idea has never been said live before this way and as I’m trying it,  the audience hears it and we trust each other.  It sounds lame.  But to me when stand up is truly great it becomes a fun celebration of trust between the comic and the audience.

What do you like best about the St. Louis Comedy scene?
Everyone is working their ass off.  New material,  rewrites,  tags, out of town bookings.  Being accommodating to new or out of town comics.  As a comic who moved to the city,  the only discomfort I had was self inflicted.  I was accepted almost immediately and began working harder and harder to keep up.  The only issue we have is actually having too many talented comics here and not enough paid bookings to go around.  I’m not pandering,  I mean that.  Moving to STL,  I thought of it as a place I’d tolerate until I could move elsewhere. But I couldn’t feel more at home here with my peers.

We’re typing these questions up in a coffee house.  Is there anything you’d like us to tell the other people here?
Come to some goddamn shows. There is something for everyone, from straight stand up to variety and novelty shows to improv.  St Louis has a huge and growing comedy community.

Rank the following  in order of coolness.  Pirate, Ninja, Zombie, Robot.
Ninja.  I like the agility.
Robot.  I like the potential.
Pirate.  I like the lifestyle.
Zombie.  I like that they focus.

Cake or Pie?
Neither.  Ice cream cake! (Editor’s Note: This is literally a cake.)

Plug something. It’s why we do this.
Fatal Bus Accident is a great and surreal variety show. For stand up, Impolite Company is always fun

Here’s a video of Eric performing recently.  Book him for something.

St. Louis Comedy Profile: Bare Knuckle Comedy

st. louis comedy, bare knuckle comedy

st. louis comedy, bare knuckle comedyYou can’t talk about comedy in St. Louis without talking about Bare Knuckle Comedy.  The organization is one of the longest running comedy troupes in the city, producing podcasts, sketch shows, stand up shows, and shows that really can’t be easily described.  Tonight (Friday July 8, 2016) their anniversary show with Ron Lynch, at Foam Coffee and Beer. Continue reading “St. Louis Comedy Profile: Bare Knuckle Comedy”

St. Louis Comedy Profile: Stryker Spurlock

St. Louis Stand Up Comedy Stryker Spurlock

St. Louis Stand Up Comedy Stryker SpurlockOf all the stand up comics we asked to complete these profiles, Stryker Spurlock used the most words, and actually complained that he couldn’t self promote more.  He’s going to go far.  He’s part of a lot of projects in the St. Louis area, but can be found monthly at Contraceptive Comedy, a showcase he books and hosts.

Your Name
Stryker Spurlock

How long have you been performing stand up?
Started at age 15 in 2012 but only did 20 sets that year because I moved from California to Arkansas for a few months and had my life derailed. Started again in STL in February 2013. So three and a half years, really.

Who are your comedy influences?
Carlin and Hicks, Patton Oswalt and David Cross and Doug Stanhope are what got me into it. Now, my top three are probably Eddie Pepitone, Marc Maron, and Kyle Kinane. I traded out sets of angry white guys. I am deeply sorry.

Describe your worst experience on stage.
December of 2013, Danno’s open mic. Told one joke and was struck by utter despair at the fact there was literally no one paying attention and I was doing comedy to ether. Walked off. 47 seconds total.

Describe your best experience on stage.
Hottest crowd was probably at Boy Kisses in Minneapolis. Can’t think of a single defining one. I usually am unhappy about all of them for whatever reason. I’d say maybe when a new bit really works and feels authentic the first time I tell it.

What do you like best about the St. Louis Comedy scene?
I really think we have a handful of the most talented comics in the midwest, maybe even the country.  Amy Milton, Ben Johnson, Kenny Kinds, Milly Naeger before she decided to go to China for a year, Jeremy Hellwig, Eric Brown, Spencer Tegtmeyer, etc. That’s my magnificent seven. I wish I could just book them all on a Nerd Melt showcase and shove them in the industry’s faces.

We’re typing these questions up in a coffee house.  Is there anything you’d like us to tell the other people here?
Tell these guys to write more serious questions so I can talk about my self more.

Rank the following  in order of coolness.  Pirate, Ninja, Zombie, Robot.
Pirates are the coolest on account of they were real. Ninjas are real too but they were mostly land based, so second place. Zombies are third place because I love necromancy and the occult, two things which are *not* real. Robots can eat shit. We made them.

Plug something. It’s why we do this.
Contraceptive Comedy at Shameless Grounds is my monthly showcase. It’s the best show in town. If a better show comes along, I will improve mine immediately. Come to our three year anniversary showcase on July 30.