Tomorrow night, comedians, friends, roommates and ragtag group of rapscallions Alex Grubard, Joey Dougherty, Lou Misiano and Tommy Touhill bring you three shows in one: Comedy Bonfire at The Fire. For seven greenbacks, you get a stand-up showcase hosted by Alex (featuring Ryan Shaner, Mary Radzinski and Dave Topor); a live taping of the Trailer Trash Podcast (with Joey and Tommy as guests); and to close the night, the ComeDIYorDIE open mic hosted by Lou. Here they are answering some questions about Comedy Bonfire, comedian-produced comedy shows, and living together:
WitOut: Alex, you used to do a different show at The Fire, right? What’s bringing you back?
Alex Grubard: It was called All Ages Comedy. Why you gotta bring up old shit? The Fire is a simple, solid rock venue so their showroom is separate from the bar. We thought Northern Liberties could use more comedy. Also it’s down the street from the house we live in so it’s easy to get to for all of us. What Joey doesn’t understand is that some of us don’t have bikes.
WO: Is this going to be an ongoing show? And if it is ongoing, will you always do the three-shows-in-one format?
Lou Misiano: March 26th is a one-off show to start out, but the idea is to keep the three shows for $7 aspect. It’s a comedy night at a rock venue. The shows could change, sure. We’ll likely first play around with the 11PM time slot, but who knows what kind of unique but done-to-death show it could wind up being? What Tommy doesn’t understand is that there are plenty of open mics and no one will miss one that doesn’t exist yet.
WO: You live with the other three producers of this show. What’s it like living in a house full of comedians? Do you think working with the people you live with will put any stress on your home life?
Joey Dougherty: Living with comedians is great as long as you’re also a comedian. Non-coms are always like, “Why does every ‘touring comedian’ seem more like a ‘homeless person crashing on our couch for two weeks?’” What Lou doesn’t understand is that comedy is hard, shelter is harder.
WO: The open mic portion of the show is called “ComeDIYorDIE.” Can you explain why/how you feel a DIY aesthetic/attitude lends itself to stand-up comedy? What do you like about independent comedy and comedian-produced shows?
Tommy Touhill: There’s pros and cons to doing things yourself. There are four of us running Comedy Bonfire so it’s more like just a great pun to call it an open mic. Stand-up comedy does have the benefit of making comedians feel like individuals and a part of a community at the same time. Writing and performing stand-up comedy is about as DIY as you get, but finding people who you work well with is important. A comic’s ability to bounce around projects and try different things with different people besides performing alone on stage is a powerful resource. What Alex doesn’t understand is that it’s more than an image; it’s a business model.
WO: Please pick a soundtrack for the evening using only songs that have the word “fire” in the title and/or lyrics written around the theme of “fire.”
“Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash
“We Threw Gasoline on the Fire and Now We All Have Stumps For Arms and No Eyebrows” by NOFX
“If You Love Someone Set Them On Fire” by Dead Milkmen
“Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis
“Firestarter” by Prodigy
“Light My Fire” by The Doors
“Fire On The Mountain” by The Grateful Dead
“Lake of Fire” by The Meat Puppets
“I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen
“Sleep Now In The Fire” by Rage Against The Machine
“Sex On Fire” by Kings of Leon
That Billy Joel song.
“Into The Fire” by Bruce Springsteen
“Fireflies” by Owl City
“Dig For Fire” by Pixies
“My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” by Willie Nelson
‘Comedy Bonfire’ is this Tuesday, March 26th at The Fire (412 E. Girard Avenue). Show starts at 8PM. Admission is $7.