"It's a mix between observational humor and me talking about awkward human interactions," says comedian T.J. Miller when asked to describe his set. "I do a lot of characters toward the end of the act." Indeed, Miller started off as an improvisational performer before following his heart and pursuing standup. In fact, he toured with the great Second City, but realized the limits of that brand of comedy performance. "Second City is about the only place you can make a living doing sketch improv," he notes. He still does some acting, having appeared in the TV series Carpoolers on ABC, as well as the J.J. Abrams-produced horror film Cloverfield. But standup is where most of his energy is concentrated. "I'm a comedian straight up, that's what I'm all about," he says. "I've been really fortunate to have forays into acting but that wasn't accidental. I have a foundation in acting, but my focus has always been comedy." 18+; 21+ later shows.
Oct. 21-24, 8 p.m.; Oct. 22-23, 10:30 p.m., 2010