7 Questions with Nore Davis

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by Ryan Meehan

Nore Davis – the young refreshing face of comedy – delivers an energetic performance filled with witty quips and sharp punch lines, combined with an amazing stage presence. Edgy and clean, Nore tells it like it is, speaking to audiences everywhere. Davis is a comedian for the masses, relating to everyone from teens to the mature adult, delivering original content, and leaving no topic unturned. From relationships to family, race, and politics, Nore brings a comedic talent that has been refined in front of countless audiences on the world’s biggest stages. His most recent credits include Boardwalk Empire on HBO, Inside Amy Schumer and The Ruckus on Comedy Central, Nickmom’s Night Out and Gotham Comedy Live on AXS TV. Davis was one of the Fresh Faces at Just For Laughs Montreal 2014, and we are pleased to have him as our guest today in 7 questions.

RM: What was the first joke you ever wrote, and what was it about the joke writing process that intrigued you to keep going? Was it mostly the reaction that you got from people after you told the joke that kept you motivated, or did you fall in love with the writing process right away?

ND: Hard to remember but my first joke I ever wrote, had to be about high gas prices. Yes, it was! The joke went, “I don’t blame the government for high gas problems, I blame whoever changes the sign at night!” then I talked about how the gas attendant would carpet ride up to change the sign like Aladdin. Pretty racist, but it worked. My writing does come from a place of annoyance, frustration & anger. Those emotions fuel me and I’m lucky it comes out funny…from time to time. My cousin also said, the more anger I get the more funny I become, like if Bruce Banner got anger and turned into Chris Rock instead of the HULK!

RM: What topics do you try to avoid discussing onstage in order to prevent yourself from alienating an audience?

ND: I’ll discuss any topic, only if I have a personal experience, strong premise, punch line and delivery about it. Don’t believe in talking about a topic JUST for shock value.

RM: I noticed that you’ve appeared on “Gotham”, which is one of the greatest programs on television when it comes to watching live standup…What is it about that room that makes it so great for comedy; and how are they able to get that energy to translate through the screen so the viewer at home feels a majority of what’s going on in that room?

ND: That room is magical. Well, any room is magical when it’s filled with energetic people that trust you. I love taking the audience on a journey. When they allow me to do that? Then it’s ‘ALL ABOARD’ for the audience and the viewer also.

RM: Do you ever think of yourself as a “black comic”? What percentage of your material could be considered racial humor?

ND: No. I consider myself a “comedian”. Rock, Chappelle, O’Neal and other African American greats paved the way in stand-up for young black comics like myself to NOT have to state or warn the audience “I’m black” before I start my act. Comedy club audiences are very progressive and smart. I never underestimate them. TV audiences? not so much but I digress.

RM: What was the best part of the whole Just For Laughs Montreal experience? Do you think it’s difficult to stand out at a festival like that where there are so many comedians present, even when you are one of the Fresh Faces?

ND: The whole festival was the best part. I describe the JFL as Six Flags Comedy Great Adventures! Every show was like a ride that you can’t wait to experience and I had a FLASH PASS!! Such a thrilling experience.

It was more difficult for my confidence. It’s hard to feel funny when Bill Burr, George Wallace & the whole cast of Brooklyn Nine Nine are chillin in your hotel lobby! *wipes forehead full of sweat* But nonetheless, I was there for a reason. I was selected to perform my style of comedy and that’s an honor within itself. So I flushed the toilet full of my throw-up, wiped my mouth, went out there and tried to have the best set of my life.

RM: Back on July 27th, you posted to Facebook “Comedy is fan-fucking-tastic. That is all!” Do you ever have days on the road where you feel the exact opposite? In other words, do you have sort of a love/hate relationship with comedy, or do you for the most part feel that it’s pretty consistent?

ND: OH GOD, YES!!! Comedy and I play a love/hate tug of war most of the time but I live by a self-made motto that keeps me grounded and focused. “The highs in my career make the lows worth it!” So there could be a month or two with low moments such as bombing, frustration with a joke, the business, etc then BOOM! One great set or good news will make you want to kiss comedy face-off.

RM: What is the most bizarre thing that’s ever happened to you while on stage? Looking back on the incident, would you have handled it differently?

ND: Most bizarre thing that happened to me was at Crackers in Allentown, Pa. A drunk heckler rushed the stage while I was performing screaming “My phone! My phone! Give me, my phone” I can’t make out what his saying or what’s going on. Felt like I was trying to understand a toddler. So I’m like Sir, what’s wrong with you? He reply “Your funny but you have my phone!” I start to get scared cause I don’t know what’s going on and my cousin is in the back who is 6’2”, 220lbs and about to knock this guys out in my defense. So I scream, Sir, I don’t know what you want, I’m the only black person performing in a club called Crackers and I don’t know anybody here!!!” The owner of the club was holding my cousin back the whole time saying “No. Calm down. Nore will work it out” and I’m on stage thinking “Please my cousin handle this!!!” The crowd erupts with laughter. Then the drunk toddler man points to the stool and behold, his cell phone was under the stage stool. I gave it to him, he sat down and didn’t hear a word from him after that. Weird. He was like a big baby finally getting some milk. Then I just continued my act and had a good set. After the show, his friends were laughing because I didn’t know this but before the show they planted his cell under the stool as a prank. My cousin and I were upset at this but we didn’t want any more trouble from the big drunk baby and his friends. Again man, the highs in my career make this LOW worth it.

RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2014 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?

ND: Look out for my first debut comedy album with Rooftop Comedy coming out Fall 2014. I’m recording it at the Comic Strip Live Aug 23 & 23rd. I just shot an hour special with New Wave Entertainment that will air on BounceTV in 2015.

Official Website: http://www.noredavis.com/

Nore on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nore-Davis/57573973959

Nore on Twitter: https://twitter.com/noredavis

Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.

Meehan

7 Questions with Jason Sutton of Brother Trouble

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By Ryan Meehan

The only “trouble” brothers Mark and Jason Sutton are about to encounter in the near future is the head-spinning dilemma on how to cope with the side-effects of super-stardom in country music. Lavish caravan of tour buses, hit music, world-class venues, millions of fans –count the ways Brother Trouble are about to face the ‘realities’ of life…Endorsements from world-class entertainers like Kenny Chesney don’t come every day, but they did come to this brotherhood. “We had the Big Star competition goin’ on, and these guys were by far the best,” Chesney told a throng of screaming supporters as Brother Trouble blew all the competition out the doors on Chesney’s much publicized “Next Big Star” national talent search. With the praise, the brothers landed a $25,000 paycheck and the hallowed ground onstage of opening spot on the closing dates of Kenny Chesney’s jammed to the rafters, Poets & Pirates tour. A far cry from the Sutton brothers early career experience of singing for tips on the Honky Tonk circuit. Fresh on the scene in Nashville just a few short years ago, Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon put gas in their tank—both literally and creatively—when the brothers landed the rarified spot of a regular gig–allowing them to showcase their original music in one of the town’s hottest clubs. “It was like a chance to ‘go viral’ with our sound and songs,” noted Jason in a recent interview with Ellen Barnes of Gibson.com “It was one of the biggest tourist spots in Nashville and the weekend audience would take our music back to Texas or Illinois or wherever they came from.” “Nobody today is just one genre,” notes Mark in talking about the amalgamation of early influences the brother’s developmental musical chops paid homage to. Cutting their teeth early-on on the Myrtle Beach club circuit the brothers showed flashes of a creative heritage that included influences like Hank Jr.’s hard-edged honky-tonk, with pop-tinged shadings of Alabama. A shaker of Joe Walsh riff-and-hook laden blues made love to the southern fried rock of ZZ Top, 38 Special and Skynyrd. What emerged from the sands of South Carolina summers was a very unique sound that Brother Trouble solidly owned. Today, songs like Summer’s Little Angel, and Get It, Get It have pre-built a fan base for the brothers’ distinctive sound and musical vibe long before the thought of ‘radio impact’ ever had a chance to cross their minds. What has impacted with their audiences is their uniqueness. Brother Trouble has consistently stamped their brand on a free-wheeling approach to music that authentically brings the too often missed bona fide ‘kick-back and party down’ fun roaring back into the fabric of country music. With rarefied success just ahead, the Sutton brothers have hit the re-set button on a fresh wave of energy in country music! They’ve officially left ‘trouble’ in their dust, and Jason Sutton of Brother Trouble is my guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

7 Questions with Bengt Washburn

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by Ryan Meehan

Bengt Washburn was born in Salt Lake City, Utah but grew up in a large Utah town (1,200 people) as the fifth child in a small Mormon family (7 children). Bengt is married to an officer in the United States Air Force. They have lived in 6 different cities over the last eleven years. Most recently he moved to Springfield, Virginia (Washington D.C.) after living in Stuttgart, Germany for 3 years.  Bengt is a former winner of the prestigious San Francisco International Comedy Competition. He has been seen on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Live at Gotham on Comedy Central and most recently Conan on TBS. He was invited to perform at the Vancouver International Comedy Festival, The Boston Comedy Festival, the Aspen Laff Festival and Gilda’s Laugh Fest in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He’s been heard on NPR, PRI and Bob and Tom. All three of his comedy CDs can be heard playing on XM Sirius radio. Most people who know him would say Bengt is a logistically impaired ditz, but his comedy is described as intelligent, surprisingly universal considering the content matter and profoundly funny. We just so happen to have him our guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

7 Questions with Brad Wenzel

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by Ryan Meehan

Brad Wenzel is most known for his bizarre, one-liner comedy. His youth and unique writing style combined with his dry delivery, set him apart from many up-and-coming comedians. Audience members have told him he sounds like Bill Clinton, Jimmy Stewart, and JFK. Currently based out of Michigan, Brad began doing stand up in the Fall of 2010 after taking Bill Bushart’s comedy class at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle. After being successful in a number of local contests, he got his first taste of national success in 2012 when he was selected by Ricky Gervais as a finalist in the Conan Just Sayin’ Contest. In 2013, Brad made his festival debut at Laughfest in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Later that year, he took first place at The Cleveland Comedy Festival. 2014 has been going well for Brad. This year he has performed at the Limestone Comedy Festival, was a finalist in Funny or Die’s Road 2 Oddball Contest, and was one of the New Faces at the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.  We are delighted to have him as our guest today in 7 questions.  Continue reading

The Deep Six: Why Getting Weird Al Yankovic to perform at the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show might not be such a weird idea at‏ all‏

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by Ryan Meehan

As die hard sports fans, we’d all like to think that we have no real opinion on the Super Bowl Halftime Show. This is the time that we use to relieve ourselves from all of the Busch Heavy that we drank in the first thirty minutes of the contest, and perhaps type up a few first half wrap-ups. But in reality, like it or not it is part of the experience. Over the past couple of weeks, a petition started by Ed Ball of Washington over at change.org has been getting a lot of attention.  Ball supposedly drafted the petition while intoxicated, but the purpose of this petition is clear as day:  He wants the National Football League to get Weird Al Yankovic to perform at halftime of Super Bowl XLIX this February in Glendale, Arizona.

I used to listen to Weird Al a lot when I was younger.  We used to get the tapes and copy them for each other, and Al was a seemingly never-ending source of entertainment.  “Dare to be Stupid” was one of my favorite albums.  Eventually my tastes progressed towards much darker subject matter, and there was a certain passage of maturity that came with saying “I don’t listen to that stuff anymore”.  Nevertheless, I still respected the guy and the career he was able to put together with an accordion and wire-rimmed glasses.    Continue reading