Stand-Up Comedy Showcase – SLUG Magazine
Over the past five years of stand-up, I have been fortunate enough to meet many creative and hysterical comedians, including the four comedians scheduled for SLUG’s next localized showcase at Urban living room Dec. 16 (doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m.), sponsored by Major brands and Uinta Brewery. After a long and painful hiatus due to the pandemic, the show is finally back live and in person! We couldn’t be more excited to share these funny and wonderful people with all of you.
Stand-up is an individual sport. What is said on stage is the result of one person’s ideas, which is often what makes an average comedy open mic sound like a roller coaster of personalities and themes. Dallas Briggs takes a fairly straightforward stand-up approach. He would tell you he’s just telling jokes and the meaning of those jokes is just being funny. “If someone saw my act and said it was really poignant or something, I would probably consider that person to be an idiot,” he says. “I would probably be upset if they liked me. “
A lush to envy, Briggs can almost always be found with some sort of seltzer in hand, telling jokes or otherwise. His confused and lucid reflections have an impact that some would call reminiscent of Norm Macdonald, but Briggs the stand-up approach is not as casual as you might notice. It’s cynical, and as such, it doesn’t have a specific process for finding material and doesn’t write in a particular way all the time. “It’s a major obstacle to being a good actor,” he says.
“If someone saw my act and said it was really poignant or something, I would probably think of that person as an idiot.”
Sam Poulter is a familiar face among Salt Lake City comedians. His career is the longest of the group, spanning eight years since the end of 2013. He believes that “there is nothing like laying an egg while the sun is rising on the horizon”. With a rather elongated and dark style, Poulter will lay this egg with its entire life story inside right on your head. A more nonchalant approach to material development, Poultry just wait for divine inspiration, lying down or going bird watching.
Tanner Nicholson views comedy as a tool for interpreting the world around us in a way that adds lightness to what can be an otherwise messy place. “Comedy is, in my opinion, our best way to talk about difficult topics – racism, mental illness etc. – without getting too brutal, ”he said.
From another perspective, Jordan Harris is a force to be reckoned with. Harris has a very energetic and bawdy style. His approach to finding material is not much different. “I live my life and if I find myself laughing really hard at something, I write it down and come back to it later,” says Harris. “I’m also a ‘fuck and find out’ approach, where I record myself telling an open mic story and finding the laughs that way.”
“Comedy is, in my opinion, our best way to talk about difficult topics – racism, mental illness, etc. – without getting too blunt.”
Briggs may seem like a lover with a penchant for making his own hot sauce – and he is – but he’s also a skinny caveman who will pick a bone with anyone for any reason. Briggs started doing stand-up in late 2017 – “I don’t really remember why, but it was probably some fucking stupid reason,” he says. Since then he sprayed the audience with a mixture of non-sequences and harsh contradictions.
Unlike Briggs’ dry approach, Poulter apologizes for being histrionic from the start. his comedy weaves a verbal tapestry of experience and drug abuse, family trauma and a violent love affair with trains in a dull style of absurd confessions. “I try to keep an air of, like ‘don’t hug me’ about this,” he said. Poultry is a talented writer whose jokes have a literary quality about them, especially in his more autobiographical material. He recounts his life from childhood to father-in-law through endearing, intelligent and sometimes uncomfortable observations.
As a day labor and delivery nurse, Harris has a unique perspective on life itself. His stories and funny observations on the job will make you laugh and remind you that you are a disgusting little ball of mud that has crept into the sun just as crudely as we will let its rays. Despite his self-proclaimed rude, grown-up content, Harris has a clear ring of joy that permeates all of his work – a welcome change from the more cynical and anhedonic attitudes of most comics. For someone with a job as messy as theirs, joy is an appropriate tool for hope. “You don’t have to have a trauma in your life to be funny, but it sure helps,” she says aptly.
“You don’t have to have a trauma in your life to be funny, but it really helps.”
Nicholson’s comedy mixes up stories and jokes inspired by his life, some of which include encounters with exuberant patrons at the bar where he works, Johnny is in second—Stories about working in a youth correctional facility and observations on race and culture. “There are so many different ways of being Black that it’s impossible to count them,” he says. Nicholson’s stage presence is inextricably linked to a cheeky and thoughtful outlook. At several shows that I saw Nicholson sure, he takes dizzying pleasure in recounting the events of a perfectly strange or drunk stranger. With each story, members of the audience feel like they know something they won’t hear anywhere else. Nicholson would describe his comedy as “good enough to get fucked every once in a while” – a truly Herculean feat among comedians. We fear and respect him above all else.
Briggs opened for names like Rachel Feinstein and Paul Virzi and can be seen at provincial shows around town and at Wiseguys Comedy Club, often. You can also find him on Twitter @thedallasbriggs and Instagram @dallasbriggsy. You can see Nicholson at the open mic that he hosts every Monday night at Johnny is on the 2nd floor. You can also follow him on Instagram @funnymanntann. You can see Jordan Harris on December 9 on Provo uncensored. Follow her on IG at @jordanleilaniani for more updates and upcoming shows! You can also follow his stand-up comedy production page on IG at @buxomandbawdy, where she produces and hosts local shows with her partner in comedy, Rachel rothenberg. You can find out more about Mr. Poulter on his addiction podcast and other related topics called Junkyland, what he does with the actor Andy gold. Follow him on Instagram @ sampoulter69.
Come see these talented and wonderful people at Urban living room December 16! Bring your vaccination records or a negative test; masks are mandatory and be ready to laugh! I’ll be your host for the evening. I just can’t wait to see these comics play and I hope you neither!