We Got Next co-founder Joey Welsh joined me on mic shortly after he performed at the Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, having earned the fest’s final spot by winning in their third annual Stand Up Comedy Contest.
Joey and I talk about the creation of We Got Next, their podcast, his firefighter and husband responsibilities outside of jokes, and is one of the only NBA fans in the Steel City.
This Friday at 8p in the Strip District, stop down to see We Got Next Presents A Slice of Comedy at Bella Notte ft. Joey and other Nice2See alumni Alex Homyak (Ep. 20), Seneca Stone (Ep. 35), and Brandon Schell (Ep. 64).
Never Fear Being Different (NFBD) founder & CEO Jordon Rooney and I met for the very first time on the mic doing this episode. We had an amazing and unique conversation ranging from his time playing professional football in Serbia, Brazil, and Poland, to his frustrations with society's need to fall in line, which led to the origin of NFBD. We talk about his early collegiate podcast experiences that helped him feel more comfortable speaking, then closed it up with how he approaches dialogue on race and culture with people that disagree with him.
Jordon is open and honest about the vision of the NFBD movement, and his viral success of his most recent videos Confronting Racism from the Charlottesville protests and Colin Kaepernick & NFL - National Anthem Protest.
NFBD looks to make an impact worldwide by spreading a positive message on self-awareness, overcoming our insecurities, avoiding negative attitudes and behaviors, and attempting to bring a realistic vulnerability to connect with people through social media and public speaking engagements.
After placing 3rd in the Pittsburgh Improv’s annual winter contest last year, Sam Leonard has shifted his priorities in 2017 towards bringing me and tons of other listeners a weekly podcast focused on our local comings and goings. Pittsburgh Local News with Sam Leonard recently joined Epicast’s family of shows where he dives into the news that effects the Steel City in a fun and humorous way.
We dig into Sam’s comedy choices. We talk about finding his voice on stage, then discuss his foray into journalism, and some of the feedback I’ve given him along the way. We then finish up with the topical Top 10 Halloween Costumes with my crusty co-host, Lunchmeat Grumblekraut.
Shortly before his departure for Chicago, improv darling Chris Franz and I got the chance to shoot the breeze about his comedy roots here in Pittsburgh. We talk of his Murrysville theater days, go over his intro to improv at Point Park University with his group "Slow Clap" then later independent group "Well Known Strangers".
Chris and I talk about making positive changes in his health, focusing on what you enjoy outside of comedy, and touch on how he will be sorely missed in our comedy community. Enjoy the "Windy City" good sir. We look forward to your visits and are, as always, rooting for your success from Western PA.
After successful iterations of her "Don’t Grab My Pussy" showcase in Rochester and Buffalo, Carnegie Mellon University alum, Kelsey Claire Hagen brings together comedians, poets, models, visual artists, business owners, and musicians this Sunday 7:00 PM at Steel City Improv Theater. Proceeds to benefit PAAR (Pittsburgh Action Against Rape).
I met Kelsey during the Burning Bridges Festival this spring and then again at Kelly O’s when she came through town this summer. I sold her an air conditioner.
For our third meeting, I was lucky enough to get to chat with her on the show. We talk about her recent host sets for Maria Bamford and Nikki Glaser, then delve into the uniqueness of upstate New York’s comedy scene, then she enlightens me on what the hell dramaturgy is and why she studied it.
Kelsey is energetic, honest, and passionate about the subjects she brings to stage. If you're in Pittsburgh this weekend, you should absolutely make an effort to get to Shadyside for a show that’s really "neat" --episode inside joke.
Episode 76 - Rob Speer
Rob Speer joins me on the mics this week to discuss his new weekly radio show on The Rivers Edge which is also available as a podcast, Damn Near Killed ‘Em.
We discuss his struggles with depression and mental illness, his time doing improv in Chicago and stand up in Memphis, and of course his involvement in my first open mic set.
Rob consistently has impressed me in his ability to bring levity to serious topics and structure sets to feel cohesive in a time when many peers don’t seem to focus on a through line to their act.
We talk about the Woodland Hills High School lunch table roasts where he learned to cut up with his friends and how much they've supported him through his first 6 years telling jokes. Our mutual love for the team at Apis where he's taped a number of his early episodes and I headlined Bee's Knees last November.
Ray's headlining Club Cafe this Saturday at 10p so we discuss set structures, different tools he's picked up to adjust in a set and how he's spending his days since quitting the job he's known through the bulk of his comedy career.
Check out the podcast No Weeks Notice
Starting comedy at 18, Terry felt called to bring his unique perspective to stage. Our conversation dips into a variety of great spaces including, viewing comedy as music genres, staying competitive with yourself and your goals vs. the other comedians, and how Pittsburgh and the surrounding counties may not have been ready (and still might not be) for his Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter bit.
Whether you know him from his video sketches, his time on morning radio, or his social media presence (@Tjonespoc) this conversation is one of my favorites since I started this show. I hope it gives you a new perspective on both Terry and my approaches to being a vessel for comedy and joy in this world.
Terry and I talk shortly after the one-year anniversary of taping his first hour, Limbo Negro, which if you have not heard by now I highly recommend it.
iTunes: Limbo Negro by Terry Jones
Spotify: Limbo Negro by Terry Jones
Andrew Dow takes over as the host of Pitt Tonight, the University of Pittsburgh's very own late night talk show. This Sunday they head into their first season without founder, Jesse Irwin at the helm. Andrew and I talk about the audition process, growing up Quaker, coming out, finding Ruckus, then close out the interview by breaking down the Top 10 Sitcoms and why I'm still a fan of The Office's Jim Halpert despite the recent negative press he's getting on my news feed.
Chris Alan grew up in my parent's hometown of Rochester, NY and began to take his comedy career seriously in my hometown of Dayton, OH.
Currently based out of Charlottesville, VA., Chris has worked with my former roommate, and last week's guest Iain Oldman as well, so we had plenty of shared life experiences/locations to dig into.
Chris hopped on the mic with me during his recent week in Pittsburgh. I got to see him perform both on the first Collegiates & Comedians showcase of the 2017-18 Pitt school year, and as part of the 4th Annual Pittsburgh Comedy Festival.
I loved getting to pick his brain on everything from comedy sensitivity, working with and without a plan on stage, and how he's been able to balance comedy with a military career for nearly 10 years.
Just ahead of his departure for Austin, TX my roommate for the last 13 months and I hopped on mic for a great conversation about Sylvester Stallone's lesser known great films, Texas airports and travel tips, weirdos and punks, working in the media during the era of Trump, planning to remain a vegan in the south, his comedy start in Virginia, summers in Canada and his experience at Point Park.
This week Jeff Holt, General Manager and co-owner of Hambone's Pub (the Cheers of the Pittsburgh arts community) is on the mic, sitting down with me for his very first podcast interview ever. We talk much about Hambones, the bar on Butler street where we all love to work and play. We talk about how he transformed the space into a haven for many performing artists from many backgrounds here in Pittsburgh. Jeff and his staff have truly created a place that feels like home for comedians, actors, musicians and even one rogue fortune teller.
But deep down inside this bar owner is an artist. Jeff opens up about his own artistic background of being a passionate and educated painter and sculptor. He has art on the walls to prove it. This was a great talk with a great guy.
If you haven't been yet, I'd recommend swinging by 4207 Butler St. during your next visit to Lawrenceville for a beer, a bite, a laugh or a song.
Also check out Unplanned Comedy's open mic, The Five & Dime every Monday Night.
Live from The Wind Up Space in Baltimore, MD as part of the Baltimore Podcast Festival's second year.
I was so fortunate to have lived and worked in Charm City from 2009-2013 and to be part of that community. After getting accepted to the podcast's first festival in my adopted hometown, I knew exactly whom from my past I wanted to bring on for a panel discussion, Jess Bizik, Jason Williams, Tammira Lucas. We talk about personal branding, working with empathy as the driving force, and feeling like what you're doing is for a greater good.
After giving me some of my earliest stage time in Pittsburgh, I was overjoyed to get the opportunity to finally sit down with DJ Kingsbury during his recent visit back to his northern Ohio/western Pennsylvania roots. DJ has been in Chicago for the last few years but recently opted for a Los Angeles address change. DJ and I discuss toxic masculinity, battling back from an overdose, and the desire/challenge to share oneself with an audience and really connect.
After being a recent addition to Pittsburgh's longest running improv troupe The Amish Monkeys, I was lucky to get the chance to chat with my former improv teammate Kevin Conley.
We chat about some of our favorite moments from our 2015 SCIT house team, Are You Afraid of the Dark? Also, Kevin reminisces about his short-form improv days in college, and we cover some of Kevin's very interesting show night pre-show rituals.
Last but not least, we introduce the first recorded Top 10 segment in Nice2See history.
If you like what we do here, subscribe, comment and vote for us for best podcast at Pghcitypaper.com. Voting is still open.
Neil Blazin & Justin Vetter launched their mobile pizza business, Driftwood Oven, two years ago this month. To celebrate their Cotton anniversary the boys stopped by the Unplanned Comedy Warehouse for a fun chat about their successes, comedy ties, culinary background, ingredients, and other famous duos in history.
Episode also includes the debut of our brand new Top 10 segment, as well as the podcast debut of my sidekick sandwich Lunchmeat Grumblekraut, the not so beloved sandwich from my monthly showcase The Home Club.
Make sure you vote for us in Pittsburgh City Paper's Best Local Podcast category. Click HERE and vote.
California Claims Another One!
Just before Eric Webb Jr's big move to Los Angeles, I got him on the mic for a final but fun chat here in the studio. We discuss meeting at The Wide Open Stage, I hear who his starting 5 is for the Pittsburgh Comedy scene, and we talk a little bit about his stand-up style that always endears him to audiences.
This Friday night in The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls... It's Ya Boi, Ian Insect, with shows at 8 & 10p, both being recorded for a comedy special. I felt it fitting to bump this episode a week from it's original slotted time since it's a collection of comedians that Ian had deemed 'Swive Official'. We all gathered at the table to discuss some shared history of PGH Comedy--- how it's doing well, where it can improve, and what it means to be 'Swive Official.'
Seated at the table were Ryan Garasich, Harry Gilliland, Ian Insect, & Brandon Schell. Go watch them be funny this summer.
Next Saturday, July 29 - Zhoozh 3/Hambones/8p
To commemorate Row House Cinema's screening of my film debut in Craig Quits His Day Job, showing this Sunday and Monday night, I wanted to share a chat with costar and love interest, Jordan Streussnig, and sound man extraordinaire, Chris Bell. We recount some favorite memories of our time together, and discuss the differences in looking for work in front of and behind the camera.
If if you live in the Pittsburgh area, please stop down in Lawrenceville this Sunday (7/16/17 6p) or Monday (7/17/17 7:35p). You'll see a great local cast of talented performers bring writer/director Eric Paul Chapman's vision to life.
Saturday, July 15 @ 10p Stand Up Get Down - Comedy Gameshow