Jamie Kilstein on Performing in Phoenix, Panic Naps, and Politics

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So your a pretty vocal left-wing comedian.... What was the appeal of doing a show in Arizona? When I do shows in New York and Los Angels and Chicago, those are where like I have probably the biggest following, but the shows are more fun in places like Arizona or places like Houston. I feel like very liberal progressive cities can get jaded and, not apathetic, but, you know, they can see that shit whenever they want and their friends agree with them. Whereas when I go to Houston, there is laughter with this side of like, "You have to get me the fuck out of here. "

... Our radio show has such a huge audience... but the emails that make me the happiest are like the "Hey I'm a transgender Mormon vegan living in Utah. Thank you for convincing me that I'm not crazy."

So with this tour what I'm trying to do is see if I have enough people, if there are enough outcasts and artists and progressives and radicals and activists and vegans and stuff like that to be able to fill in [the theater] enough where I can tour these cities a lot. So it's kind of an experimental tour. I would rather come to these places that don't get that much attention.

When we spoke to Al Madrigal he said something very similar... Yeah it's not like I'm doing a show in front of an army of Jan Brewers -- you know, as much as that is a hilarious image. I'm just picturing an army of Jan Brewers. I would so much rather play a place in Phoenix, Arizona, where there are people who want to see me as opposed to some Brooklyn hipster co-op where they only want you to read from McSweeny's.

Will some of your political comedy in this show tailored to Arizona? I mean it's definitely not cheesy topical material like, "In New York we do this. In Arizona..."

Although I'm sure if i did that I would get a Comedy Central pick-up. But yeah, we actually talk about Arizona politics a lot. We have a Jan Brewer character we do on the radio that is probably our most beloved character that we do.

John [Frusciante]'s a really good improvisor but he's also a really good political comic, so what we've been doing on this tour is he'll do his stand-up then I'll do my stand-up and then the last half-hour of the show we talk to the audience about what's happening in their city or state, and we improvise and make a little movie about it.

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Katie Johnson
Contact: Katie Johnson