Brandon Judd is probably the pun master of the St. Louis stand up scene. His punk rock attitude and quick wit allow him to turn a phrase faster than a gunfighter in the old west could draw a pistol. He can be found performing all over the city.
Please give your name as you’d like it to appear?
How long have you been performing stand up?
5 years (I lie, but it’s close)
Who are your biggest comedy influences?
Paul F. Tompkins has had the biggest impact on me with his elegance and ability to make a seemingly innocuous situation hilarious. The Ramones are my second biggest influence. I know they’re not comedians, but they took dark subject matter like drugs and hustling on the street and turned them into 2 minute pop songs, which is a masterful accomplishment.
I was listening to albums from Paul F. Tompkins, Pete Holmes, and Jackie Kashian when I decided to try standup. I had been writing for years and never had the balls to do it. It was actually an episode of Pete Holmes’ podcast ‘You Made It Weird’ that had Matt Besser from Upright Citizens Brigade as a guest that prompted me to go to my first open mic.
Describe your worst experience on stage.
It was really a whole night. One of those marathon nights featuring 3 open mics and plenty of travel. I decided I was going to record my set at each one because I wanted to see what the crowd response was to the same set at different venues on the same night. The first open mic, which I drove 40 minutes to get to, had barely anyone in the audience. They hated me, it felt like. They only laughed at their friend, the cook at this fine establishment. The second one was long and unorganized and I didn’t feel great going up to a few people again. The third one was full and I was excited about it. This was a few years ago and I approached the stage with bravado only to have a heckler continue to question every single phrase I said. I got a minute or two into the set and just said that I was doing this because I wanted to and I didn’t have to entertain that guy. It made for a great video! The guy came up to me after and said he respected what I did. I told him I didn’t think he did. He bought me a drink. I accepted it and poured it into the trash can in front of him. He was a dick.
What’s your best on stage experience?
I had the pleasure of opening for Randy and Mr. Lahey of Trailer Park Boys fame at Pop’s in Sauget, IL. This was, I believe, the first standup comedy show they had hosted at the venue known for its rougher crowds. When I came out to the packed crowd of about 850 people, they immediately started chanting ‘RANDY AND LAHEY’. I stuck with it and believe I wont them over. There were still some hecklers, of course. I have a bit out emoji in my text messages and someone yelled something like ‘FUCK EMOJI’ and responded with ‘Sir, you must be able to afford a cell phone to use them’, which helped win the crowd. It made for a very memorable show.
What’s your favorite thing about the St. Louis comedy scene?
I like that it’s collaborative and open. Many people get turned off when they start out in comedy due to comedians. Some groups can be exclusive just like in goddman high school, but if you ask for help or advice, we will help.
Is there anything you’d like to say to the people sitting in the coffee house where we are typing up this list of questions?
You must say this out loud verbatim:
“None of you can star in the movie I’m writing. (Point at patrons) You’re not DiCaprio, you’re not Matt Damon! (In a calmer tone) You though! You are Halle Barry! (Back to anger) AFTER CATWOMAN! I’m taking my laptop and shoving it up my genius ass!”
…You have to shout ‘CREDITS ROLL!’ as you walk out.
Rank in order of coolness: Pirate, Ninja, Zombie, Robot
- A robot is the coolest because they care not for how you feel.
- Pirates are next because they look cool. I’ve never been on a pirate ship, but I’ve been on long road trips and it can’t be fun to be with that many dudes in cramped quarters for so long.
- Zombies are not that cool. They have no free will. Ah, but you say ‘Brandon, you ranked robots as the coolest’. That’s correct, because they are efficient at doing what they were programmed to do. If they were programmed to kill and eat brains, they’d do it better than zombies.
- Ninjas are the least cool. I know a lot of 8th graders will scoff at the notion, but actual ninjas as you see them on your throwing star package graphics are nothing like that.
Cake or Pie?
Paul F. Tompkins actually has a bit about this and his argument is that cake wins because you can’t front a pie. He is correct on that point, however, I despise cake. I’m a pie man. My grandma has been known to make two pumpkin pies for holidays, a pie to share and one pie for me to take home.