Social media and podcasts have given rise to a burgeoning post-80s comedy scene. And after the longstanding Tempe Improv announced it was closing its doors in June, it's good to see comedy is still finding a comfortable home in Phoenix.
Los Angeles comics Matt Ingebretson, Dave Ross, and Jake Weisman will make a satisfying contribution to the scene when they kick off their southwestern comedy tour at Space 55 on Saturday.
We caught up with Weisman to ask a few questions before he and the crew take the stage this weekend ...
What can comedy fans expect when they attend an alternative comedy show? Has the definition of alternative comedy changed since the '80s?
The term alternative is pretty broad, nowadays. I often don't even understand what [alternative comedy is] anymore. I think comedy is now pretty much just comedy.
Funny is funny and I think most people can see that pretty clearly. If anything, "alternative" comedy might lend itself to more risk-taking, whatever that might mean. Because alternative usually just means performing in something alternative to a traditional comedy club. So coffee shops, bars, basements, lofts, restaurants, whatever.
And I guess performing in an alternative setting might somehow have an effect on the content or style of the performance. Maybe there are more risks taken? I don't know, it tends to really just depend on the specific performer. that being said, what you can expect from our alternative show is three people who talk about things that are important and personal to them. So if that is alternative, then we are alternative.
What sort of feelings are dealt with in your act, specifically?
I think a common theme among our acts is dealing with insecurities we all feel as we become adults, and admitting to sadness. All three of us are physiologically males, but I don't think any of us feel like how men are portrayed in Marlboro commercials, if that makes any sense. We are all sensitive and we are definitely all interested in talking about that part of ourselves. also, i love cats.
Marc Maron often claims that comedy is a defense mechanism, and that "with me not at me" laughter inspires really funny people to keep getting funnier. Where would you say your jokes come from?
I try to write jokes about things I care about or am scared of. I think people relate to vulnerability on stage and I know that's what I relate to in other performers, so I try to be very open and reveal things. That Maron quote is great. I want to make sure nobody can make fun of me, because I am so very sensitive, so I try to say it before they can.
The show will kick off at 10:30 p.m., run attendees $10 at the door, and feature special guests Genevieve Rice and Jackie Orr.