Local standup Mike Brody celebrates CD-release
It seems like Mike Brody never runs out of things to say. At 34, the local comic is a ball of nervous energy onstage, frantically bouncing from one hilarious anecdote to another.
Brody, who also works as a booker at Rick Bronson's House of Comedy at the Mall of America, has been plodding around the national and regional standup circuit for 12 years. This Thursday, he'll reach a career benchmark with a CD-release show for his debut album, That's Not What I Meant, at the Joke Joint Comedy Club in Lilydale. Produced by Rooftop Comedy productions, the album is a 40-minute jaunt that takes you through Brody's wandering neurosis. Equal parts self-deprecating and good-natured ribbing, it's chock-full of personal tidbits that cover everything from his small-town Iowa roots to a particularly contentious Facebook fight he had with an AC/DC cover band.
For someone who has spent a good chunk of his adult life surrounded by comics, Brody's relatively clean and relatable sense of humor is a surprisingly far cry from all of the familiar clichés some assume about contemporary comedians.
"Some comics like to be subversive towards people, and I just don't enjoy that. I want people to leave feeling like they had a good time, not like I hurt their feelings," Brody says. "I don't scream at people, I mostly just scream at myself. I am neurotic. I think about things constantly, I can't turn my head off."
Unlike so many aspiring and established comics, Brody wasn't dead set on becoming a standup at an early age. After watching a (much less funny) friend attempt comedy at an open mic in Cedar Rapids in college, Brody decided to give it a try. Soon, he was emceeing for Penguin's Comedy Club. However, he insists he got the gig due to his subpar competition and not because of his own comedic prowess.
"Finding a real job was intimidating to me; writing the resumes and all that stuff. And so basically doing comedy was the only thing that made sense. It was the only thing I was good at," he says.
For the last three years, Brody has managed bookings for the Rick Bronson's House of Comedy. While the job has its advantages, he admits that it comes with its own kind of personal and professional hurdles.
"Every comic I've ever worked with assumes that I like them or think they're funny," he says. "I've kind of had to turn myself off to it. This other booker once said to me, 'What do you call a comic who books rooms? Friendless.' But I like the job, and I like the fact that I can make sure comics who deserve work get it," he says.
Considering he's been on the circuit for so long, Brody's plenty qualified to dole out advice. But one trait in particular seems to stick out the most: persistence.
"All comics question whether or not they're insane for doing it. And you are insane. It's a crazy thing to do, and the odds are not good. But for me, I knew it was going to take a long time to do and I knew I just had to put my head down and follow through, and so far it has worked out," he says.
IF YOU GO:
Mike Brody CD-Release Show
8 p.m. Thursday, May 17
Joke Joint Comedy Club
801 Sibley Memorial Hwy., Lilydale; 651.330.9078
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