At just 22 years of age and with scantly two years of stage time beneath his belt, Sammy Arechar is already on the shortlist of the funniest stand-up comics in all of Milwaukee. His inventive and eclectic style finds him heaping punny witticisms that are years ahead of his age atop Hedbergesque absurdist concepts, not to mention beatboxing ability that would earn Rahzel’s stamp of approval. From October 16-26, Arechar will hit the road with three other Wisconsin comics…and a shitload of pre-show grillables, as The Hotdogs And Hamburgers comedy tour will perform 11 shows in six states over 11 days.
Before Arechar and company hit the road as part of a tour that combines belly laughs and barbequing, the comedic crew needs to raise the funds for tour necessities like gas, lodging, and condiments. Prior to Friday’s free Hotdogs And Hamburgers fundraiser/tour sendoff, Arechar told Milwaukee Record how the sausage that is this unorthodox tour was made, and what he hopes it accomplishes.
Milwaukee Record: Who had the idea for Hotdogs And Hamburgers, and when did it come about?
Sammy Arechar: Steve [Breese] and I have always wanted to go out on the road for a while. We were like, ‘We don’t really have anything going on right now.’ We had a lot of free time, and wanted to see other places. I’ve only been doing stand-up in Milwaukee, Chicago or Madison, and I’ve always wanted to go beyond those three areas, and check out different area. It was something Steve and I were talking about for a while, and we just got tired of only talking about it, so we started reaching out to people and venues to try to put together this tour.
MR: With it being called Hotdogs & Hamburgers, you’ll be grilling out before or after shows. Is there any outside hope it will make it a little easier to meet people in different scenes?
SA: Yeah, we’ll be doing that. I think there’s some pull in that, you know? It’s food and entertainment. Plus Steve and I love hotdogs.
MR: Are you planning to eat only those foods the entire tour in honor of the theme?
SA: Yeah, we’re going to be on a straight hot dog diet. It’s funny, we were trying to reach out to Klement’s and Usinger’s to see if we could get some sort of sausage donations to bring on the road and grill. We haven’t heard back from them yet [laughs]. This is all coming out of pocket, which is why we’re doing fundraiser shows this month.
MR: So the show is free, but you’re asking for donations? Also, did I see mentions of ‘Good Vibes’ being free?
SA: The good vibes are free. If you got a blue aura going on, we recommend you come to the show. We just want positive vibes. We’re doing pay what you can hot dogs and hamburgers before the show. It’s going to be a free show, but we’ll leave a bucket out or something and hopefully get some funds through that. The fundraiser is to accommodate gas, if anything happens to the van, lodging—if applicable, but mostly we’ll just be sleeping in the van.
MR: Can people donate hot dogs?
SA: Yeah, people can donate hot dogs. We’ll just make sure to refrigerate them right away. I hope they’ll be good in a month.
MR: What’s your outside hope for the tour in general? Is it just to get out there and experience some new comedy scenes, meet new comics, and try your material for new audiences?
SA: For the most part it’s to meet some new people and check out new scenes. If there’s down time, we’re hoping to go to some open mics in different cities and states and try some stuff out. I don’t get to travel too often, so it’ll be nice to be out of the state for once. I feel like there’s so much more for me to see, so I want to check out other places.
MR: It will probably help you develop your material too. You can be able to say, like, ‘Okay, this one doesn’t work in Iowa. This joke really sucks in Denver. This bit goes over well everywhere!’
SA: For sure. This will give me a chance to see what works and doesn’t work elsewhere, but mostly, this tour gives me a reason to make mix CDs again and check out all the Cracker Barrels out there. It might just be a thing where we just eat at every Cracker Barrel and skip all our shows.
MR: I’ve mostly just talked about you and Steve, but what about the other people that are coming? What do Nick Hart and Mr. JJ bring to the tour?
SA: Mr. JJ is solid. I like his stuff, plus he’s bringing the van. So that’s why he’s coming. Just kidding. He’s a very funny guy and he’s universal. He’s clean, so he can do family events and churches, but he can also kill at a bar. With Nick Hart, we thought it would be cool to have an out-of-towner come in. It’s not just Milwaukee comics; it’s four different comics with unique voices, all from Wisconsin.
To be honest, this whole tour just kind of happened on a whim. We thought it would be fun to go out on the road, so we started reaching out to people. I’m excited. What I want to happen for me—and I assume anybody else on the tour will say they same thing—is to make comedy a thing in which I can get paid to travel, meet new people, and lift people’s spirits.
The Hotdog And Hamburger Comedy Tour Fundraiser will take place Friday, September 12 at Riverwest Public House. Sammy Arechar, Steve Breese, Josh Ballew, Mr. JJ, Greg Bach, and Liz Ziner will perform. Yung Zucchini (Sammy Arechar) will DJ. The 21+ event is free (with a suggested donation for food and entertainment). Grilling begins at 6:30 p.m. BYO sauerkraut. If you can’t attend but wish to contribute, you can donate to The Hotdogs And Hamburgers IndieGoGo campaign.