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Weeks in Review: Wagons West

Two weeks ago I was at Skyline in Appleton, Wisconsin.  I absolutely love this club.  Todd Glass talks a lot about what makes a club good is when they pay attention to the details.  Cliff at the Skyline is so hyper aware of the details.  It was a really fun week.

Lewis Black loves the club so much that while he was in town for a theatre show, he stopped by the club and made a video introduction for the show telling the audience, in his Lewis Black way, to be quiet and respectful of the show.   It works.  Those audiences are amazing.  They’re smart, quiet and buy a lot of merch!  I completely sold out of all the CDs I brought with me.

This past week I had one of the most fun experiences a comedian can have.  I hit the road with one of my closest friends.  My buddy Steve Lind and I went to Rochester, Minnesota together to perform at Goonie’s.  Again, another great club!  Mark that runs it maintains that fine balance of being laid back, but also running a super tight ship at the same time.  He’s a great guy.  The audiences were smart, quiet….but didn’t buy as much merch….step it up, Rochester!

Here’s the greatest part of performing with a friend….getting to riff back and forth both off stage and on.  Steve would foreshadow my jokes and I’d call back to his and I think the audience knew they were getting to watch two friends having fun.  They seemed to enjoy being part of that.  And we enjoyed them too!

We also went to the Spam Museum together.  Just me and Steve…the audience wasn’t invited….although that would’ve been fun if we invited everyone to meet us there!  Were I alone on the road, I would’ve gone out to maybe go to the movies, but chances are I would’ve stayed in the hotel the entire time.  Having a friend there means taking adventures.  Adventures mean better opportunities to riff on the city with the audience.    Hm, maybe I’ll see if I can write an article comparing Spam and Comedy like I did last week with Houdini and Comedy.

What I’m saying in a long winded way is that I had a blast!  This weekend I’m working with Scott Gillespie at Wisecrackers in Merrilville, Indiana.  I did a bit of research on him.  Maybe “a bit of research” sounds bigger or more ominous than it should.  I Googled Scott and I think this is going to be a fun time.  He seems to be following the same path that I am in being a midwest guy who is trying to spend as much time in LA as possible while maintaining roots here.  We seem to like a lot of the same guys too.  I think this is going to be another great weekend.  If you’re in the area, swing by.  And thanks to everyone from the past two weeks!

 

On Writing with Bob Phillips and Steve Lind

One of the best tools a comedian has is their friends.  I can’t think of anything more important than having a tight group who you can bounce ideas off of and get honest feedback from.  Honesty is the key in that.  I’m lucky enough to have Bob Phillips and Steve Lind around.  The three of us get together, help each other punch up our material and most importantly tell each other when things aren’t working.  The last time we got together, I picked their brains about the writing process.

Bob Phillips, Steve Lind, Mike Bobbitt backstage at Joey's Comedy Club

Mike: How do you guys come up with your premises?  Will you wait for something to happen or can you sit down and force yourself to write?

Steve: I used to force myself to sit down and write.  Now I wait for a premise to happen.

Mike: So now everything comes from real life?

Steve:   All my stuff comes from real life pretty much.

Bob: More and more is coming from real life.

Mike: Bob, but you’re more of an observational comic.

Steve: But isn’t that real life?

Mike: Well, yeah, but abstract observational I guess I mean.  Not really abstract, but more pop culture.

Bob: Yeah, but that’s real life though.   It’s just not my personal life.  Lately I’ve been trying to find the things, and let them come, that make me feel strongly one way or another and find out why.  I’m angry about something, why does that make me angry?  Okay, where’s the funny in that?  Okay, do other people feel that way and think of this as odd or weird?

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My interview with Mike Bobbitt!

Mike Bobbitt is arguably one of the funniest, if not the funniest comedian working in Detroit.  In his eight years in the business he’s already performed in numerous comedy festivals and worked with some of the biggest names in the business.

The remarkable thing about Mike Bobbitt is that he’s able to walk the fine line between speaking to a very specific crowd while maintaining a level of accessibility to the masses.

Mike currently wrapped production on the television show that he and his wife wrote.  I had a chance to talk to him while he was in Madison, Wisconsin.

Mike, let me start by saying you look really handsome.

Thank you!

You manage to be both cute and cuddly and ruggedly handsome at the same time.  That’s quite a feat.

I appreciate that, but this is already starting off a little weird.

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What do teachers make?

Cheers to all the teachers! Without you, we would be nothing.  You are all heroes. Plus, doesn’t he look a little like comedian Steve Lind?

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