Just because January is historically the most depressing time of the year (and, let's face it, the Patriots' loss did little to alleviate New England's winter blues), that doesn't mean there isn't fun to be had. Keeping with their monthly tradition of bringing up-and-coming and hilarious comedic talent to their intimate venue, the folks at Johnny D's in Somerville have a whopper of a show in store for you this time. On Thursday, January 23, Johnny D's is thrilled to present the brilliantly off-beat Kurt Braunohler to its stage.
Fresh of off the 2014 Riot LA comedy festival, Braunohler is still riding high after last year's release of his critically-acclaimed debut comedy album, “How Do I Land?” which has garnered him praise from Under The Gun Review, Laughspin.com, and more. The album get its title from Braunohler's "Cloud Project,” in which he successfully raise $6,000 on Kickstarter to hire a pilot to write the words "How Do I Land?" across the Los Angeles sky (the resulting skywriting images went viral and featured on Good Morning America).
Braunohler recently took the time to speak with the Boston Comedy Scene Examiner about his life as the ultimate prankster and his upcoming Comedy Central digital series.
BCSE: Hey, Kurt. How are you?
KB: I'm good. How are you?
BCSE: I'm doing well, thanks. I'm really exciting that you're coming to Boston this week.
KB: I know. It's going to be really fun. I'm looking forward to it.
BCSE: Now, have you played Boston before?
KB: I've played Boston not on my own; but last time I was in Boston, I opened for The Hold Steady, I guess, not this New Year's Eve, but the New Year's Eve before. And then I did a show with Eugene Mirman, I think, like, a few months before that.
KB: I've never been to Johnny D's, so I'm looking forward to it.
BCSE: Yeah, it's a really cool, little venue. I mean, you know, they used to do just primarily music; but it's really cool to have a comedy show there.
KB: Yeah, everybody who I've talked to is like, "Oh, that's a cool spot." So, I'm psyched.
BCSE: Yeah, it should be really fun -- and it's all Kurt, so that's going to be fun.
BCSE: Yeah. Are you bringing anybody with you?
KB: Yeah, this awesome guy, Josh Gondelman.
BCSE: He's wonderful.
KB: He's a Boston kid.
BCSE: Yeah, one of the nicest guys in the world.
KB: One of the nicest guys and so f**king funny, too.
BCSE: Definitely. Definitely.
BCSE: So, how was Riot L.A.?
KB: Riot L.A. was awesome. We got to do this live show, Roustabout, which is kind of like my -- to launch my Comedy Central digital series.
KB: And it was insane. Like, we had a -- it was called The Grandest Finale, and so it was supposed to be, like, the best ending ever; but then all of the elements of the ending kept happening out of order and f**king up the show.
KB: So, like -- but in the first three minutes, there was a balloon drop of, like, 200 balloons into the audience and, like, a fan guy from, like, a used car lot went off onstage. And two smurfs came out and shot off, like, confetti cannons. And that was, like, in the first three minutes, and then it just got more insane from there. And it ended with us -- we hired a New Orleans jazz band, who then came out into the audience and then led the entire audience out into the street. And we marched through the streets to the after party, which was awesome.
BCSE: Oh, that must have been amazing.
KB: Yeah, it was really great.
BCSE: That's so cool. So, tell me about the digital series.
KB: Essentially, it's kind of like -- it's called "Roustabout," and, like, the definition of "roustabout" is, like, "one who doesn't have a permanent home or position-slash-one who creates trouble."
KB: And I think that's kind of like the idea of it. It's going to be part interview show mixed with part kind of inserting absurdity into strangers' lives. So, right now -- I mean we don't have final approval on this, but I think I might be actually jet skiing across the country and interviewing people along the way.
BCSE: That is awesome. [Chuckles]
KB: So, it has that kind of feel to it.
BCSE: Yeah, I mean just knowing some of the things that you've managed to pull off, that's going to be a great show.
KB: Yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. I just came from a meeting with those guys, and everybody's really excited, and so am I.
BCSE: Very cool. Congratulations.
KB: Thank you.
BCSE: And, yeah, last time we talked, your CD was just coming out; and I see since then it's been very largely raved about.
KB: Yeah, I was really excited. You know, nobody [chuckles] -- it's like you could easily release a record nowadays and have it disappear into the Internet super fast.
KB: And so I was happy that people actually listened to it and liked it. I was very excited to be on all those lists at the end of the year.
BCSE: Yeah, that's fantastic. Definitely, big congrats on that.
KB: Thank you.
BCSE: So, aside from the series, what's on the horizon now for you?
KB: Well, I mean the series -- well, I'm working on two, separate TV things that are under, like -- none of them are firm yet, so I don't want to jinx them. But I can tell you one is based on my podcast "Get Lost."
KB: And so I blindfold people and take them somewhere they've never been, and then we explore the space together. So, that's exciting. And so I'm working on some TV stuff, and then I'm going -- after I do my shows in Boston and in Providence, I head to London for a run there and then just kind of touring around. And I'm doing the podcast more and then figuring out how to do more shows like Roustabout, that are kind of super insane, live shows; then bring them around to the rest of the country.
BCSE: You must have the most fun of anybody. I mean --
BCSE: -- everything you do just sounds like it's so much fun.
KB: I mean that's kind of why I do it -- 'cause I just basically want to get paid to have fun.
BCSE: Well, you're living the dream, man.
KB: [Chuckles] Yeah, I am.
Braunohler has been a regular on Chelsea Lately and Bob's Burgers, and has also been hailed "a prolific stand-up comedian" by the Los Angeles Times. Just about anything the comedian touches turns into pure comedic gold, and it should be no surprise that Kurt's been featured in Variety's annual “10 Comics To Watch” list and named a “Comic to Watch” by Comedy Central and the New York Comedy Festival. Braunohler's brand of silliness and humor will teach you how to enjoy the little things in life far more. He also hosts the weekly Los Angeles comedy variety show "Hot Tub" with his comedy partner Kristen Schaal, and his podcast "The K Ohle" can be heard weekly on the Nerdist Network.
Dust off your winter blues this Thursday, January 23, as Kurt Braunohler headlines Johnny D's in Somerville! Tickets are only $18 and can be purchased in advance. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for this 7:00 p.m. show. Johnny D's is located at 17 Holland Street in Somerville, Massachusetts.