"I've never been a fan of timeline lying," says comedian Big Jay Oakerson. "Like, 'I got pulled over on the way here tonight.' Never been a fan of that. I've done it, but you don't need a timeline for a joke." Fourteen years into standup, Big Jay has emerged as one of our foremost storytelling comics. "It's kind of a combination of storytelling mixed in with talking to the crowd. I do that a lot." It's those crowd interactions that will often spark a story from his vast repertoire. However, he could just as easily be inspired by something that really happened that day. "I'll be driving, and a hilarious '80s song will come on the radio and I'll think, 'How can I plug singing part of this song into what I'm going to do onstage tonight?'" Storytelling requires the audience to take a journey, though occasionally they're not on board. That doesn't bother Oakerson. "One of the greatest milestones I hit as a comedian," he explains, "was when I realized I wasn't afraid of the silence onstage, and still owning the stage. I now have no fear of any kind of awkwardness onstage; I embrace it." 18+; 21+ later shows.
Sept. 5-9, 8 p.m.; Sept. 7-8, 10:30 p.m., 2012