Comedians I’ve Seen Live
To remind my future self I was once (kinda) cool.
On Saturday night, I’ll see comedian/podcaster Marc Maron perform live. This will be my second time seeing him onstage. I’ve seen Jim Gaffigan more though: three times, if I’m remembering correctly.
This got me thinking about how many stand-up comics I’ve seen in person over the past 20+ years — and how much money I’ve spent in the process (don’t ask).
But my tallying also made me reflect on how I’ve used these live appearances — as well as my familiarity with the comics and their work — in my professional life. For instance, I’ve published book chapters, encyclopedia entries, and journal articles* based on these performances, some of which have (presumably) helped me to acquire jobs.
I’ve also created entire college classes based on some of these comedians and their work: Stand-Up Comedy on TV and American TV Comedy: Sitcom, Satire, Sketch. In the near future, I plan to offer a course called Stand-Up Comedy Documented, which explores how the art of stand-up is represented in documentary films like Joan Rivers’ A Piece of Work, PBS’s Make Em Laugh series, and The Aristocrats.
So before I forget whom I’ve had the pleasure of seeing perform live and whose performances I suffered through (ahem, Mr. Watts), I made this list. And funds willing, I’ll add more names in the future.
*Some of my published pieces are linked below.