After years of doing standup comedy, Tom Simmons feels he still has a lot to learn. "I'm getting refocused on standup," he states. "I've been listening to these interviews with [Jerry] Seinfeld and [Johnny] Carson. I'm pretty excited about doing the work. I had three or four years of 'Why am I not more successful?'" Simmons was worried that he was becoming embittered, but in the past few years he's worked more on writing. "Now, I'm going to focus more on the performing, which I haven't really done. I feel I've been getting by with one hand tied behind my back. Seinfeld and Carson say a lot of similar things. I feel like I've wasted 10 years of not working on that stuff." One of the projects that got him thinking a little differently was Kooks. It's a show he does occasionally with fellow comics Ryan Singer and Billy Wayne Davis. Singer likens it to the Coast to Coast AM radio show meets standup. Simmons has also been studying how current events can sometimes have a longer life-cycle in comedy. "After 9/11 President Bush said we were going to rid the world of evil," Simmons recalls. "And everybody jumped on that, 'Yeah, that's our goal!' We can't rid the world of evil. A lot of people tried that in the past, like Buddah, Jesus, Ghandi — and then we had W on the case!" 18+; 21+ later shows.
Aug. 29-Sept. 2, 8 p.m.; Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 10:30 p.m., 2012