Comedy – Milwaukee Record http://milwaukeerecord.com Music, culture, gentle sarcasm. Fri, 19 Oct 2018 19:40:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://milwaukeerecord.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/cropped-mrapp-32x32.jpg Comedy – Milwaukee Record http://milwaukeerecord.com 32 32 Mike Burns, the comedian behind @DadBoner, talks to us about the Detroit Lions http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/mike-burns-the-comedian-behind-dadboner-tells-us-why-he-loves-the-detroit-lions/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/mike-burns-the-comedian-behind-dadboner-tells-us-why-he-loves-the-detroit-lions/#respond Fri, 05 Oct 2018 20:49:08 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=56939 Comedy fans know Mike Burns as a hilarious stand-up comedian, author, and host of the Power Moves With Mike Burns podcast. The rest of the world knows Burns as the creator of @DadBoner, the popular Twitter account that chronicles the life and times of a fictional Michigan man named Karl Welzein. Much like his online […]

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Comedy fans know Mike Burns as a hilarious stand-up comedian, author, and host of the Power Moves With Mike Burns podcast. The rest of the world knows Burns as the creator of @DadBoner, the popular Twitter account that chronicles the life and times of a fictional Michigan man named Karl Welzein. Much like his online alter ego, Burns also has a strong connection to Michigan. Though he now calls Los Angeles home, the Saginaw native still clings to his Midwestern roots, including his love of the Detroit Lions.

Before the Packers play Detroit this weekend, we asked Burns about his past as a Lions fan, how he feels about Green Bay, where he was during the “Rodgers to Rodgers” Hail Mary, and why he keeps watching the Lions after so many tough seasons.

Milwaukee Record: How long have you been a Lions fan?

Mike Burns: When I was a little kid, I was a 49ers fan. In most of my mid-80’s birthday photos, you’ll see me in a Joe Montana jersey. I thought Joe Montana was a cool sounding name and, thus, he was a cool guy. I guess I didn’t become a Lions fan until later in life when I moved away from Michigan and wanted a connection to home. Also, it became possible to actually watch Lions games.

MR: What are some of your favorite Lions memories?

MB: Most of my Lions memories are of me sitting in my grandparents’ living room with my dad, uncle, and grandpa—clad in his Lions golf shirt—Little Caesars “Pizza! Pizza!” smells in the air, excited to watch the game. Then, inevitably, the Lions would be blacked out on television because the game didn’t sell out because the Lions sucked and no one wanted to go to the Silverdome. But the 49ers would be nationally televised because they were awesome, so I became a Joe Montana fan.

Other than that, my favorite recent Lions memories are of watching Lions-Packers with my Wisconsin buddies at The Holloway bar in Los Angeles, screaming at the TV.

MR: Who is your favorite non-Barry Sanders Lion of all time?

MB: Billy Sims. I had a Billy Sims beach blanket when I was a kid. Like Joe Montana, Billy Sims is also a very cool sounding name, which goes a long way with an eight-year-old. What’s even cooler, his full name is “Billy Ray Sims.”

MR: The Packers-Lions match-up has been fairly one-sided, especially lately. How do you feel about the Packers and Green Bay as a whole?

MB: I absolutely love my Wisconsin people and it’s nice to live vicariously through them when the Lions suck and don’t make the playoffs. I don’t hate Green Bay at all. Watching Rodgers throughout his career has been a privilege. Good football is good football.

MR: Have you ever been to Lambeau Field?

MB: I have not, but It’s on my bucket list. Literally just talked to my girlfriend about it yesterday.

MR: Where were you during the Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary? What was your reaction? Should I even be asking you about this?

MB: I was in the previously-mentioned bar with said Badger buddies. I dropped to my knees. I was screamed at by them and ridiculed. Hard. Thing is, it doesn’t sting that bad anymore. Lions fans have built up emotional calluses. We have a saying, “Lions gonna Lions.”

MR: Who’s your least favorite Packer of all time? Why?

MB: Randall Cobb. Drafted him late my dynasty league this year. Balled out the first game on my bench then took a shit when I started him. Dropped. So I no longer like Randall Cobb.

MR: What’s the life of a Lions fan like? There have been some great seasons in the ’90s, but it’s probably been pretty tough sometimes. What keeps you watching and caring?

MB: I’m a RedZone junkie. Fantasy football keeps me going because that’s the priority. But you have to be able to laugh at the Lions. I watched the Jets Monday Night Football game this year at happy hour with four Michigan pals. We chuckled our dicks off at the absurdity of how smoked the Lions got. You gotta lean into it.

MR: The season is still pretty young. What’s your prediction for Sunday and for the rest of Detroit’s season in general?

MB: I’m hoping for a shootout on Sunday. Packers are pretty banged up though, so who knows. As for Detroit’s season, you’d be a fool to not just assume it will be garbage. That’s the discipline. Anything better than garbage is a great surprise. Doesn’t mean I don’t have love, but sometimes you have to accept that your team is a fuckup. We’ll see if Matt Patricia decides to increase Kerryon Johnson’s workload and stop wasting time giving the rock to [LeGarrette] Blount.

MR: Anything else you’d like to say about the Lions, football in Michigan, the Packers, or anything at all?

MB: God bless football, the Midwest, beer, and brats on a crisp autumn day with your favorite sweatshirt on. I’m an October baby, and for me, it doesn’t get any better than that. And if you have time, subscribe to Power Moves With Mike Burns on the podcast listening service of your choice. I think you’ll dig it.

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Conan O’Brien (and friends) will perform at Riverside Theater November 30 http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/conan-obrien-friends-riverside-theater-november-30/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/conan-obrien-friends-riverside-theater-november-30/#respond Wed, 26 Sep 2018 15:42:47 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=56536 Though his stock may have fallen slightly since that whole Tonight Show/move to TBS debacle, Conan O’Brien is still a beloved comedy institution. Dude has been so funny for so long, it’s easy to overlook that these days he’s best known as an old guy who doesn’t know how to play video games. But whatever: […]

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Though his stock may have fallen slightly since that whole Tonight Show/move to TBS debacle, Conan O’Brien is still a beloved comedy institution. Dude has been so funny for so long, it’s easy to overlook that these days he’s best known as an old guy who doesn’t know how to play video games. But whatever: the forever awesome O’Brien and some forever awesome comedian friends are hitting the road for a tour dubbed “Conan and Friends: An Evening of Stand‑Up and Investment Tips.” That tour will make a stop at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater Friday, November 30.

“The idea that I hit the road for seven weeks was pitched by my wife, with the full backing of my children,” O’Brien says in a press release. Joining O’Brien will be Ron Funches, James Veitch, Taylor Tomlinson, and Flula Borg. Reserved seating tickets are $59.50 and $75, and go on sale to the general public Friday, September 28, at 10 a.m.

Also: INAPPROPRIATE!

And yeah, here’s O’Brien and Funches playing Dragon Ball Legends:

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Live On Air brings stand-up comedy to Riverwest Radio http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/live-on-air-brings-stand-up-comedy-to-riverwest-radio/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/live-on-air-brings-stand-up-comedy-to-riverwest-radio/#respond Tue, 25 Sep 2018 13:45:01 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=56490 Though Milwaukee doesn’t currently have a comedy club to its name, the lack of a traditional venue that’s fully dedicated to hosting stand-up shows has resulted in motivated comedians and creative producers bringing showcases to unconventional and, at times, quirky locations. Lately, some of the city’s best stand-up shows have taken place at craft breweries, […]

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Though Milwaukee doesn’t currently have a comedy club to its name, the lack of a traditional venue that’s fully dedicated to hosting stand-up shows has resulted in motivated comedians and creative producers bringing showcases to unconventional and, at times, quirky locations. Lately, some of the city’s best stand-up shows have taken place at craft breweries, in bars, at a bowling alley, and in the basement of Grand Avenue. Starting this weekend, a brand new stand-up showcase will add to that by bringing Milwaukee comedians to yet another new platform: live radio.

On Saturday night, the first “Live On Air” will make its debut on Riverwest Radio‘s airwaves. Starting at 10 p.m., a group of comedians at Riverwest Film & Video will perform in front of a small audience, but their set will also be broadcast live on 104.1 WXRW. Local comedians AJ Grill and Carter Deems, who also produce a scripted radio show on the station called BadTV, are responsible for the creation of this interesting showcase, and they’ll serve as the show’s hosts. Already familiar with the space and the staff, Grill felt Riverwest Film & Video would be an ideal spot for comedy.

“There are a ton of stand-up shows at traditional bars and small back rooms,” Grill says. “We want this show to be different and be a cool, fun thing that when people think about comedy in Milwaukee, they think about this weird late night show in this little film and video store that doubles as a community radio space.”

Though FCC regulations were a concern, the hosts say “Safe Harbor Hours” (that span 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) allow for slightly more coarse material, should comedians choose to go a dirtier or more offensive route.

“During this time, the station can broadcast ‘indecent material,’ which is cool, I guess,” Deems says. “My most indecent joke is about zip-off cargo pants, but this will allow the other comics to not have to censor their material too much.”

Live On Air will take place the last Saturday or each month. The first showcase features Deems and Grill, along with Eric Smith, Raegan Niemela, Rich D’Amore, and Chris Schmidt. Listeners can tune in at 10 p.m., and people are encouraged to come to the station to watch the show in person.

“I’ve never heard of any other comedy shows like this, so hopefully it will be a cool new thing that people will want to check out,” Deems says.

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Kevin McDonald of ‘The Kids In The Hall’ will teach a sketch comedy workshop in Milwaukee next month http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/kevin-mcdonald-of-the-kids-in-the-hall-will-teach-a-sketch-comedy-workshop-in-milwaukee-next-month/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/kevin-mcdonald-of-the-kids-in-the-hall-will-teach-a-sketch-comedy-workshop-in-milwaukee-next-month/#respond Mon, 24 Sep 2018 16:02:26 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=56391 How much would you pay to spend two days learning about the inner workings of sketch comedy from Kevin McDonald? If you said $300, you’re in luck! Saturday, October 6 and Sunday, October 7, the legendary actor, improvisor, and member of The Kids In The Hall will teach an intense and immersive 14-hour sketch comedy […]

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How much would you pay to spend two days learning about the inner workings of sketch comedy from Kevin McDonald? If you said $300, you’re in luck!

Saturday, October 6 and Sunday, October 7, the legendary actor, improvisor, and member of The Kids In The Hall will teach an intense and immersive 14-hour sketch comedy workshop at Mojo Dojo Comedy in Walker’s Point. During the two sessions (10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. both days), the member of the seminal Canadian comedy troupe “will teach you the KITH method of using improv as a writing tool for developing your sketch work.”

It won’t just be learning the nuances of sketch writing from a Kids cast member in an intimate class setting, however. Mojo Dojo warns interested parties that “Kevin will probably bore you with Kids In The Hall anecdotes” during the workshop. Space in the workshop is limited, so don’t sleep on this rare opportunity to perfect your craft with help from one of sketch comedy’s most respected talents.

If you’d rather watch McDonald perform than learn from him, he’ll be doing stand-up and joining Mojo Dojo improvisors for a show called Canton at Urban Harvest Brewing on October 6. Tickets cost $15.

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Listen to Pete Holmes talk about staying at Comedy Cafe’s “shitty ass” condo http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/listen-to-pete-holmes-talk-about-staying-at-comedy-cafes-shitty-ass-condo/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/listen-to-pete-holmes-talk-about-staying-at-comedy-cafes-shitty-ass-condo/#respond Thu, 13 Sep 2018 05:55:29 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=55978 About two and a half years ago, we wrote about Aaron Rodgers going on Pete Holmes’ great  You Made It Weird podcast and telling the comedian about the time he saw “a UFO” in New Jersey back in 2005. Since that podcast was posted, Rodgers led the Packers to approximately 500 miracle wins and Holmes […]

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About two and a half years ago, we wrote about Aaron Rodgers going on Pete Holmes’ great  You Made It Weird podcast and telling the comedian about the time he saw “a UFO” in New Jersey back in 2005. Since that podcast was posted, Rodgers led the Packers to approximately 500 miracle wins and Holmes became the star of Crashing, a semi-biographical HBO show that chronicles the comic’s path in stand-up. With season three on the way, it appears Holmes still has tons of material left to use for the show.

Holmes recently had fellow comedian (and Milwaukee native) Tom Clark on his podcast. Though the nearly two-hour conversation touched a number of topics, the discussion made its way to comedy, and each of their experiences at clubs in Wisconsin. Clark talks about starting out at The Safe House, being taught improv by Dan Harmon, and performing at bygone local clubs like Funny Business (later Stooge’s) and Club Comedy. Eventually, the conversation touches on the now-shuttered Comedy Cafe.

“I used to do a lot of shows in Milwaukee with John Roy, too,” Holmes says. “I would be jealous because in the paper, they didn’t show photos of the emcee. So it’d be like ‘The Comedy Cafe’ and it’d have a little photo in the middle. So it’d be John and a big photo of…I’m trying to remember who was headlining. Oh, Jim Florentine did it once. And then Doctor Dirty.”

Holmes also recalled the Cafe’s famously dingy comedy condo where performers stayed.

“And [we] stayed at that shitty ass condo,” Holmes says. “There were so many carpets! So much carpeting, and so many stains. And that bed.”

Comedy Cafe gets off easy compared to the Skyline Comedy Club. The comedians follow their Milwaukee condo discussion with some remarks about the Appleton club’s accommodations. Holmes wasn’t a fan.

“The emcee bedroom didn’t have a door. It was just a curtain. I forget who it is—somebody had a story about listening to the emcee having all this sex with people because you didn’t have a door. He’s just fucking in the living room, basically.

“Boy, I remember getting to Appleton, and I think that was the last condo I stayed in. Not that it was bad—I mean, it was bad. I got there and I was just like ‘Oh no!’ Like, I think I went out and immediately bought a handle of vodka because I was like, ‘If I’m going to stay here, I’m going to have to be drunk at night.’

“I’d come back. No one else was staying there. It was like laptop. Vodka. Because it was too sad. It was depressing. I don’t want to bad-mouth it. It’s a great club. The condo is, you know, basic.”

The Milwaukee and Appleton comedy club talk starts around the 24-minute mark. It’s not all condo-bashing, though. Clark has an awesome story about being heckled by Mitch Hedberg at Comedy Cafe. He talks about performing with Harmon and Rob Schrab as part of The Dead Alewives improv troupe, and he has extremely kind words about the “Milwaukee Collaborative” (The Underground Collaborative).

You can listen to the full episode below.

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12 (more) notable comedians with Wisconsin roots http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/12-more-notable-comedians-with-wisconsin-roots/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/12-more-notable-comedians-with-wisconsin-roots/#respond Wed, 05 Sep 2018 05:51:49 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=55319 Back in early 2016, we previewed a doubleheader by South Milwaukeean-born comedian Jackie Kashian and Milwaukee stand-up Tom Clark by acknowledging the accomplishments of those two points of local pride, as well as nine other hilarious humorists with Wisconsin roots. Since then, a new crop of comics with local affiliation have made the state proud […]

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Back in early 2016, we previewed a doubleheader by South Milwaukeean-born comedian Jackie Kashian and Milwaukee stand-up Tom Clark by acknowledging the accomplishments of those two points of local pride, as well as nine other hilarious humorists with Wisconsin roots. Since then, a new crop of comics with local affiliation have made the state proud in the realms of stand-up, sketch, television, film, podcasting, and more. Oh yeah, we also realized we missed a few people.

This week alone, Los Angeles (by way of Wisconsin) comedian Nate Craig will perform a free show at The Underground Collaborative as he prepares to record his new album. Sunday, Madison’s own Nick Hart will chase his recent Conan set with a headlining performance at Lakefront’s “Keg Stand Up” showcase. They’re not alone, though. We’ve rounded up a dozen comic talents with strong Wisconsin ties.

1. Ben Kissel
Anyone who has listened to even a few episodes of Last Podcast On The Left is is likely aware that one of the wildly popular murder/comedy podcast’s host, Ben Kissel, has strong Wisconsin roots. The now-New York-based podcaster, comedian, and political pundit grew up in Stevens Point before winding up at UW-Milwaukee, where he graduated with a degree in political science. Before Last Podcast On The Left sold out Turner Hall last July, Kissel talked to Milwaukee Record about his stand-up start while living here, being tipped in weed by people in Riverwest when he was in college, and why the Midwest might play a pivotal role in the incubation of some serial killers.

2. Charlie Berens
In late 2016, Los Angeles (by way of Elm Grove, Wisconsin) actor, writer, and Emmy-winning host Charlie Berens first made his mark with viral voiceover videos imagining what it’d be like if Titanic‘s Jack Dawson and Bane from Batman hailed from Wisconsin. More recently, Berens rose to regional notoriety as the host of Manitowoc Minute. Through more than 30 episodes and a few on-site extras, the weekly Wisconsin-influenced news segment has garnered millions of views on YouTube and Facebook.

Along the way, Berens’ viral popularity through his northwoods-accented character translated into ticket sales for live shows. Last year, the multi-faceted comic who brought “keep ‘er movin” into wide local circulation toured much of the Midwest, including a pair of sold-out shows at Turner Hall. Berens will return to Milwaukee in November for a stop on his “Oh My Gosh” tour at Pabst Theater. Not bad for a kid from Elm Grove. Hear a long-form interview with Berens about his Wisconsin upbringing and more HERE.

3. Dave Theune
Chances are you’ve seen Dave Theune‘s work and you don’t even realize it. The mustachioed character actor’s distinct look and deadpan delivery have earned the former Milwaukee improvisor loads of work on countless network sitcoms and a few films. Theune’s parts might top out at Stage Manager, Coach, and Someone’s Dad, but he’s constantly working and always funny, no matter how larger or small the role may be.

4. Gareth Reynolds
Though Gareth Reynolds is a writer, actor, improvisor, and regularly touring stand-up comedian, the Brown Deer native is known to listeners throughout the world for his utter lack of historical knowledge. The Los Angeles-based multi-hyphenate is a co-host of The Dollop, a popular American history podcast that’s landed him a book deal and has brought him to perform in Iceland, Australia (four times and counting), and throughout the United States. On top of his budding career as a historical podcast personality and his frequent stand-up performances, Reynolds wrote on the latest season of Arrested Development and has appeared on shows like New Girl, The Goldbergs, and Maron. Though he left Wisconsin, his home state hasn’t left him. He’s a huge Packers fan, so much so that he has the team’s logo tattooed on his bicep. Hear Reynolds talk about his local roots HERE.

5. Ian Roberts
Comedy nerds likely recognize Ian Roberts as one of the founding members of Upright Citizens Brigade. Not-as-informed comedy fans likely still recognize him from his recurring roles on his sketch troupe’s eponymous Comedy Central show, as well as regular parts on Reno 911!, Arrested Development, Key & Peele, and cameos in roughly 500 other TV shows and films (Step Brothers, Anchorman, and Parks & Recreation among them). As respected and recognized as Roberts is, few are aware that one of the first chapters in his long, fruitful comedy story occurred right here in Milwaukee. After graduating from a small Iowa college with a theater degree in the late ’80s, Roberts moved to Milwaukee, where he was involved at the flagship ComedySportz. Following that short-but-memorable stint here, he moved to Chicago to study under Del Close. There, he met his UCB cohorts Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Matt Besser. The rest is improv history.

6. Jeff Cesario
As one reader reminded us after we posted the first round of notable Wisconsin comedians, we totally missed Jeff Cesario. Our bad! Turns out the Kenosha-born comedian we snubbed produced shows with Garry Shandling, Jerry Seinfeld, Hannibal Buress, Russell Brand, and Dennis Miller. Moreover, he appeared as himself on The Larry Sanders Show, voiced “Marv Albert’s Head” on Futurama, and wrote the screenplay for…uh, Jack Frost. Okay, forget Jack Frost. Cesario has made a steady living as a comedian, writer, and producer since the ’80s. Plus, how many people on this list can say they performed just a few feet from Johnny Carson?

7. Joel Hodgson
Outside of Chris Farley, there are few (if any) sources of Wisconsin comedy pride that loom larger than Mystery Science Theater 3000. It’s no secret the seminal series’ creator Joel Hodgson has strong roots in Wisconsin. The Stevens Point native made sure to parse numerous references to his home state in the series. Though he’s no longer in front of the camera in the show’s recent Netflix reboot, Hodgson is still thoroughly involved, so who knows how many Menards and Packers references await?

8. Nate Craig
Nate Craig
has come quite a way since leaving the Badger State. Since moving to L.A., the Wisconsin-born comedian has become one of Bill Burr’s go-to openers, he’s amassed a wealth of TV credits on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle and Tosh.O, he’s written for Ridiculousness and A Prairie Home Companion, and will be a recurring character opposite Emma Stone and Jonah Hill on an upcoming Netflix series called Maniac. Though his acting and writing résumés have grown a great deal through the years, Craig is still a stand-up comedian first and foremost. The comic will return to his native state for a free September 6 show at Underground Collaborative, where he’ll perfect new material that he plans to record on his new album.

9. Nick Hart
Though he originally hails from South Carolina, Nick Hart is now considered among the funniest folks in his new home of Madison. The 2017 Madison’s Funniest Comic winner has opened for the likes of Dave Attell, Marc Maron, Bobcat Goldthwait, Kyle Kinane, and countless others on stages throughout the country. Last month, Hart made both Madison and Wisconsin proud when he performed on Conan. Sunday night, he’ll headline Milwaukee Comedy’s “Keg Stand Up” showcase at Lakefront Brewery.

10. Sammy Arechar
Perhaps this one’s more speculative than some of the others on this list, but it’s only a matter of time before Milwaukeeans are going to proudly proclaim “he’s from here” in reference to Sammy Arechar. The locally-born comedian (and guest at two different ill-fated Milwaukee Record Taco Bell-related journeys) quickly worked his way up the Milwaukee comedy ranks before moving to Chicago in 2015 at the age of 23. Now just 26, Arechar has appeared alongside Lizzo on MTV, DJed a Zucchini Festival, and opened for an impressive cast of known comic commodities that includes Garfunkel And Oates, Moshe Kasher, Matt Braunger, Hampton Yount, Josh Fadem, Ari Shaffir, and many more. If you didn’t know him when he lived in Milwaukee, learn the name now because he’s bound for bigger things.

11. Todd Holoubek
Who doesn’t know and love The State? From 1993 to 1995, the 10-member troupe brought sketch comedy to exciting, new, and all-around absurd territory. The influential MTV show helped inspire an entire generation of aspiring comedians, while also launching the careers of The State’s cast members. While most in the group still act, direct, write, perform stand-up, and podcast regularly, Todd Holoubek (from Ixonia, Wisconsin) stepped out of the spotlight following the seminal sketch show’s premature cancellation.

Following The State‘s end, Holoubek turned his focus to academics—occasionally resurfacing to be part of the Reno 911! movie, The Ten (directed by his The State co-star David Wain), and the troupe’s 2009 reunion shows. Last we heard, Holoubek was teaching in South Korea. Who told us that? It was Todd’s brother, Brian, a Milwaukee artist who owns Heavy Rotation, runs the Urban Garage Sale, and built a Thump A Trump game.

12. Trixie Mattel
Milwaukee-born drag queen Trixie Mattel first came to national consciousness by finishing sixth on season seven of RuPaul‘s Drag Race. Since the reality show put her on the map in 2015, she’s kept busy performing throughout the world, acting (including a cameo on FX’s American Horror Story), releasing a country album, and co-hosting The Trixie & Katya Show on the Viceland network.

Despite her packed schedule, she opted to return to the show that helped launch her career by competing in season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, which pitted the local legend against nine other past participants. Once the dust (and glitter) settled, Trixie Mattel was victorious. Shortly after claiming the title, the reality show star, actor, musicians, drag queen, and comedian delighted Turner Hall with an uproariously funny hometown stop on “Now With Moving Parts” tour.

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Judd Apatow will do some Election Night stand-up at Turner Hall November 6 http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/judd-apatow-will-do-some-election-night-stand-up-at-turner-hall-november-6/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/judd-apatow-will-do-some-election-night-stand-up-at-turner-hall-november-6/#respond Tue, 04 Sep 2018 15:00:19 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=55342 Has anyone defined the past two decades of comedy more than Judd Apatow? Nope. From writing and producing ’90s classics like Heavyweights and The Cable Guy, to directing modern-day classics like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, Apatow’s sensibility has been—and continues to be—everywhere. Recently, the filmmaker chronicled his return to stand-up with the appropriately […]

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Has anyone defined the past two decades of comedy more than Judd Apatow? Nope. From writing and producing ’90s classics like Heavyweights and The Cable Guy, to directing modern-day classics like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, Apatow’s sensibility has been—and continues to be—everywhere. Recently, the filmmaker chronicled his return to stand-up with the appropriately titled Netflix comedy special Judd Apatow: The Return. Now, he’s scheduled to make a stand-up stop in Milwaukee.

Yes, Apatow will do some stand-up at Turner Hall on Tuesday, November 6. Reserved seating tickets are $32.50 and $50, and go on sale to the general public Friday, September 7, at 10 a.m. Coincidentally, the show is on Election Night. We imagine Apatow might have something to say about the State Of Politics Today.

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Joe Pera talks with us about filming in Milwaukee, fish fry, The Blueberry Tour http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/joe-pera-talks-with-us-about-filming-in-milwaukee-fish-fry-the-blueberry-tour/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/joe-pera-talks-with-us-about-filming-in-milwaukee-fish-fry-the-blueberry-tour/#respond Tue, 07 Aug 2018 15:14:08 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=54069 In a harsh and ever-worsening world, New York actor and comedian Joe Pera’s Adult Swim program, Joe Pera Talks With You, is a subtle shot of positivity and a welcomed weekly 11-minute respite from the difficulty and negativity that seem to envelop modern existence. Over the course of the program’s nine near-perfect episodes in its […]

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In a harsh and ever-worsening world, New York actor and comedian Joe Pera’s Adult Swim program, Joe Pera Talks With You, is a subtle shot of positivity and a welcomed weekly 11-minute respite from the difficulty and negativity that seem to envelop modern existence. Over the course of the program’s nine near-perfect episodes in its first season, Pera helped viewers pick out the perfect Saturday breakfast, he spoke about the wonder of minerals, he taught us to dance and to fall in love with The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” all over again, he restored his soul with a fall drive, and he soothed us back to sleep with sheet music.

In short, we think it’s a fantastic show, and not just because most of it was filmed in Milwaukee. Pera will return to Milwaukee with co-stars/comedians Connor O’Malley and Dan Licata on Saturday to perform a sold-out show at The Underground Collaborative as part of the cast’s Blueberry Tour. Prior to the show, Milwaukee Record spoke with Pera about shooting in Milwaukee, how the city was selected as the primary filming site, his appreciation for fish fry, and what people can expect to see at this weekend’s show.

Milwaukee Record: The show has seemed to have a really good reception, some awesome reviews, and—with everything else happening in the world lately—it’s a rare, much-needed dash of positivity. 

Joe Pera: Oh, thanks. I’m glad you think so.

MR: What has it been like to see people getting something from your show and reading or hearing nice things?

JP: We spent a lot of time and energy on it and I put everything into it that I had, so it’s nice to see that people like it. It would’ve been a little upsetting if they didn’t. But like I said, we did everything that we could to make it a good show, so it feels nice [that it’s appreciated].

MR: Another reason that I especially enjoyed it was that you filmed a lot of it right here in Milwaukee. It’s been cool watching episodes and recognizing [Copper Kitchen] diner, and Leon’s, and the church you were in, and a bunch of other local landmarks.

JP: Yeah, Copper Kitchen was great. I really liked shooting there and everywhere else we shot was very nice. It was very easy to work in the city and we really had a nice time being there the amount of time it took to shoot the show. We were there from mid-October through the end of December.

MR: So what did you do while you were here? I’m sure the show took up most of your time and you were on set a lot, but what were some other things you did while you were here?

JP: Honestly, it was mostly work while I was there, but I tried to get to as many fish frys as possible. I went to the Bucks game with [co-star] Gene [Kelly], which was a nice evening. I walked around. We stayed downtown, so whenever I needed to think, I’d walk up and down the river. It’s just very pleasant there. I’d take a drive up along Lake Michigan. That was nice because I don’t get to drive in New York, so if I needed to think, I’d take my rental car and just go drive and wander around. There were a lot of nice drives in the fall. It was a nice time to be there.

MR: I really enjoyed that you were able to make the largest Wisconsin city appear like it’s the U.P. with the wintry scenes and locations you picked.

JP: We shot at a Brown Deer school. They were very nice to us. We shot in a bunch of neighborhoods and everyone was so nice. We got really lucky. I’m glad you think it captured the feel because a lot of Milwaukee doesn’t feel like the U.P., but enough of it as a setting does, so we were able to make it work. It was nice because we were able to drive up to the U.P. when we needed, and we were also able to work with a lot of Milwaukee people on the crew and a lot of additional crew from Chicago. It was a nice location.

MR: I know it probably wasn’t your call, but why did production ultimately decide to film in Milwaukee?

JP: Well, Connor O’Malley was a producer and Marty Schousboe directed. They’re from Chicago and they know a lot of the improvisors from there. Basically, we needed a place where we could go to the U.P. when we needed and also have access to a lot of talent and infrastructure and television industry people, so Milwaukee was just the perfect fit. Chicago was so close, and the U.P. was just a drive away, too. There’s a wide variety of settings in Milwaukee and it’s a big enough city with enough film production going on that it made the choice easy.

MR: I want to backtrack a little bit if that’s okay. You’d mentioned you went to a lot of Friday fish frys. What were a few of your favorites?

JP: I think my favorite was Alioto’s. I went there the most. There’s a bunch that I haven’t been to, but that was the favorite on that I had while I was there. I’m sorry to everybody else. Clifford’s, the one place where we shot the wedding episode, they had a good fish fry, too.

Some of the people that came in from New York, they didn’t know what a fish fry was. It was strange that even some of the people from Chicago weren’t as aware. I grew up in Buffalo and that was always a thing on Fridays, so it was strange to have to explain to people what it was.

MR: Speaking of fish frys, I watched your Seth Meyers interview and you’d mentioned that you had to recast your Nana in the show because your actual Nana, unfortunately, passed away. You said you scouted Friday fish frys for a replacement, but did you ultimately find her at a fish fry?

JP: We ended up casting out of Chicago, but me and our producer Katie went to Alioto’s and we just asked people, and tried not to interrupt their dinner, but we asked them if they would be interested. We talked to a lot of nice people. It was a nice way to meet a lot of people. Some of them looked like they could potentially be my grandmother and we would as them if they would potentially be interested. I wish we could’ve used more people that we met.

I like working with non-actors a lot—that’s what my grandmother was—and I think real people have interesting things to say. The way that they perform is not as overthought as actors sometimes, so I really like working with people that I know and I thought [looking at fish frys] would be a good way to do that. Unfortunately, we had to get through production so fast that we weren’t really able to do it that way. But it was worth a shot and it was fun to meet a lot of people.

MR: I know that you’ll be back for a night in August for “The Blueberry Tour.” Can you talk about the background of the show a bit? I know there’s some regulars in the series that are also doing stand-up. What should we expect to see?

JP: Well, everybody wrote on [Joe Pera Talks With You] and was in it, but it’s me, Jo Firestone, Connor O’Malley—who plays Mike Melsky—and Dan Licata—who plays the radio DJ and also wrote a bunch of the episodes. We had some free time and we wanted to do some stand-up. Luckily, we’re able to go to Milwaukee. I’m excited to come back. I want to stop by the Marriott Residence Inn and say hi to Sharita and hopefully catch up with some of the people who worked on the show, too.

I’ve been to Milwaukee in the summer a long time ago, but we were there in the fall last year, so it’ll just be nice to see Milwaukee in the summer because everybody kept telling us about the street festivals and how nice the lake is. All we experienced was a pretty cold fall. It’ll be nice to get to perform there and hang out for a day when it’s actually nice out.

I think it’s going to be a pretty enjoyable show, and also, me and Dan Licata built a computer that can beat the stock market. We’re going to bring it with us on tour with us and share stock tips with the audiences.

MR: So it’s an investment in people’s future if they go.

JP: Exactly.

MR: I know the fate of another season is up in the air and you’re not sure if the show will get renewed, but if you get picked up, do you think you’ll return to Milwaukee to do some shooting?

JP: I think so. I hope so. I think it was the best few months of my life. It was stressful, but yeah, I had a really great time there. I really hope to.

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Colin Quinn discusses his heart attack, transcendental meditation, taking risks on stage http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/colin-quinn-discusses-his-heart-attack-transcendental-meditation-taking-risks-on-stage/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/colin-quinn-discusses-his-heart-attack-transcendental-meditation-taking-risks-on-stage/#respond Wed, 01 Aug 2018 05:10:02 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=53767 nown for his thick Brooklyn accent and dry wit, comedian and writer Colin Quinn has been in the business for more than half his life. Besides performing standup, the opinionated Quinn was a regular on Saturday Night Live from 1995-2000, hosting “Weekend Update” and portraying characters such as Joe Blow and caricatures of actors like […]

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Known for his thick Brooklyn accent and dry wit, comedian and writer Colin Quinn has been in the business for more than half his life. Besides performing standup, the opinionated Quinn was a regular on Saturday Night Live from 1995-2000, hosting “Weekend Update” and portraying characters such as Joe Blow and caricatures of actors like Robert DeNiro.

Quinn has appeared in a plethora of films and television shows, including Night At The Roxbury, Trainwreck, Girls, and The Larry Sanders Show. He’s written and produced several TV specials and series, including the Jerry Seinfeld-directed off-Broadway show The New York Story, Unconstitutional, Long Short Story, and Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn.

The comedian will kick off his “One In Every Crowd” tour and headline the Milwaukee Comedy Festival at Turner Hall on Friday, August 3. Milwaukee Record caught up with the down-to-earth, 59-year-old Quinn to talk about how he bounced back from a heart attack in February, his years of transcendental meditation, and why it’s important to take risks on stage.

Milwaukee Record: You’ve been doing standup since 1984, when Reagan was president. Has politics always been a major focus of your standup?

Colin Quinn: Yes and no. Human nature is what politics is. I don’t like to think as politicians as “different” from us—we’re the same. In my standup, I focus on “the human soul,” as we Irish like to say. I think I would have made a good pope.

MR: Being Irish, were you raised Catholic?

CQ: Yeah, I was, but my family, we were kinda half-in, half-out.

MR: You grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and your neighborhood has provided much of your standup material. Do you still live in New York?

CQ: I live in Manhattan. I’ve lived here forever, and I love it. Things have changed, but everything changes—can’t do anything about that.

MR: Besides politics, history seems to make up a large component of your stand-up. Would you consider yourself a history buff?

CQ: Now I would. History magnifies what’s going on in the world today. That’s why I like it. Human nature never changes.

MR: Twenty-eighteen is a challenging time for comedians. How do you stay funny and relevant without crossing the line?

CQ: You can’t really be funny and be sensitive. However, you can’t be careless and just throw material out there. You’ve got to make sure jokes are phrased just the way you want them. Now, there are lots of Orwellian forces at play here—you’ve got to be careful. Some comedians don’t like to talk about certain things, and that’s fine. Still, I feel with comedy, you have to take risks or it doesn’t mean anything. You’ve got to go all the way. And sometimes, when you’ve got a weird crowd, or one that’s not reacting, you’ve got to go for the jugular. It can get ugly, but that’s how it’s got to be.

MR: Who are your favorite comedians, past and present?

CQ: I was raised on the masters—Carlin and Pryor. But today? Everyone I know. There are hundreds of talented comedians out there. I’ll watch lots of short stand-up and think, “That’s good.”

MR: You suffered a heart attack in February, but seemed to bounce back very quickly. How are you feeling these days?

CQ: When I had the heart attack, though, it was a shock. I thought, “Wow, I’m going to die someday.” But I had three stents put in my heart, so the blood flows correctly. I feel good these days.

MR: I read that you practice transcendental meditation. How does this help you with your stand-up?

CQ: It helps with my focus. Even if TM turns into a sitting-up nap, I’m happy. I do it twice a day for 20 minutes. I’ve been doing it for years. Now I feel like I have to do it every day. It’s like an extortion racket. Sometimes I get greedy with TM and want some results—like visualizing winning lottery numbers or something. I’m not in this for non-material spiritual purposes [laughs].

MR: Without giving away any spoliers, of course, what can fans expect from your latest comedy tour?

CQ: I figured out where we were as a country, where we’re at, and where we’re going. What more could people ask for?

Colin Quinn’s standup comedy show “One In Every Crowd” will take place Friday, August 3 at Turner Hall at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

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Colin Quinn will headline this year’s Milwaukee Comedy Festival http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/colin-quinn-will-headline-this-years-milwaukee-comedy-festival/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/colin-quinn-will-headline-this-years-milwaukee-comedy-festival/#respond Fri, 13 Jul 2018 12:00:20 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=52838 When the lineup was announced for the 13th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival last month, the impressive and eclectic list of stand-up comedians, improvisers, and sketch troupes taking part in the five-day, 13-show affair—August 1-5—had one notable omission. Who would be performing at the festival’s “Headliner Show” at Turner Hall? Since expanding a portion of the […]

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When the lineup was announced for the 13th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival last month, the impressive and eclectic list of stand-up comedians, improvisers, and sketch troupes taking part in the five-day, 13-show affair—August 1-5—had one notable omission. Who would be performing at the festival’s “Headliner Show” at Turner Hall? Since expanding a portion of the event to the massive ballroom in 2015, Milwaukee Comedy Festival has booked nationally-known comedians like Brian Posehn, Jen Kirkman, and Michael Ian Black to highlight the festivities. Today, the festival added Colin Quinn to that list.

The veteran New York comedian, actor, and former Saturday Night Live cast member will bring his decades of experience and his inimitable comedic style to Turner Hall on Friday, August 3. The longtime Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn host, “Weekend Update” anchor, and Trainwreck co-star’s Milwaukee Comedy Festival appearance will be part of his “One In Every Crowd” tour. The show comes roughly six months after Quinn suffered a heart attack that forcing him to postpone his March 2 performance at Turner Hall. He’s Colin Quinn and he’s coming to Milwaukee on August 3. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show cost $29.50 and go on sale at noon today. Single-day passes (excluding the Turner Hall show and other special events) cost $16 in advance or $20 at the door. All-Access passes are $60 and include admission to all shows.

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