At the age of 12, Jesse Joyce was inspired to become a comic by his uncle, who had worked in standup for a few years. "He sent me a tape of him doing an open mic at the Improv and I thought it was the coolest thing ever," Joyce says. He notes that some of his uncle's showbiz jobs were slightly less inspirational. "He was a clown in Ringling Brothers. It's the worst kind of road [work]. He was living on a train with a bunch of heroin-addicted clowns. Comedy on the road is much easier. You don't have to have the thought, 'Stay away from the polar bears.'" Joyce finally took to the stage in college, and in just over a decade he's amassed a slew of television appearances on network and cable; performed in 15 countries across four continents; and is starring in the indie comedy Stags, premiering in New York and L.A. this summer. He's sharply articulate, acerbic, and follows eloquent setups with barbed punchlines—distinct from but not dissimilar to his friend Greg Giraldo, with whom he wrote some of the late comic's most notorious jokes for the Comedy Central roasts. "Roast jokes are kind of mathematical, like a puzzle. I have Gary Busey and I have Snoop Dogg, how do I take them down at the same time? It's like solving a riddle." 18+; 21+ later shows.
June 22-26, 8 p.m.; June 24-25, 10:30 p.m., 2011