Standup Nate Abshire mixes science, cryptozoology, and butt-hole humor into one magnificent set

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“I was always a troublemaker,” says comedian Nate Abshire. “I think that most people who knew me growing up were pretty surprised that I became comedian.” Not that he wasn’t funny. “I was always real mouthy,” he explains, “but I had crippling stage fright. I couldn’t even be in the spelling bee at school. When I first started doing standup, I was super scared.”

He eventually got used to making strangers laugh, but there are still some things he can’t do. “I can do an hour of comedy onstage, then go to karaoke afterward and not be able to do that.”

While he built up the nerve to do standup, Abshire worked in IT. “I transitioned into pizza delivery, because it fit my schedule for comedy better," he says. "It felt weird going into that industry in my late 20s.” It did have its advantages, though. “It’s great money and you can steal more food than you can eat, which is great. I fed me and my roommates on food I stole form the place I worked.”

In case the statute of limitations hasn’t run out, he clarifies: “When I say stealing, it wasn’t exactly that, but it sometimes was. Generally my belief is if you work in a restaurant you shouldn’t have to pay for food if you don’t want to.”

Onstage, Abshire discusses a variety of topics, but one of his favorites is science. “Math has never been my super strong suit,” he says, “but conceptually I’ve always been a big reader. Science is a hobby of mine is the best way to put it. I like reading books about science, but I don’t have a degree in it.”

Indeed, Abshire went to college for seven years. “I was trying to get a degree in a language I speak and I couldn’t muster up the gumption to go to class.”

Still, he’s curious about how the world works. “I find that having a firm understanding of reality is super important for me. I just learned about gravitational lensing, which I don’t have a joke about. But it’s the coolest fucking thing.”

He does manage to make science funny, though. “You have to find that point where reality separates from perception,” he says. “I try to find a way that people look at things that is either culturally accepted or is the norm, but is demonstrably incorrect. So, I’ve got a big chunk about cryptozoology.” That’s a faux or fake science, he notes. “It’s the study of undiscovered animals. Things like Big Foot and all that non-existent stuff.”

Abshire deconstructs the notion of such creatures. “For me, all of those animals fail the fundamental law of biology, and that is breeding population. That blows all of those theories out of the water. There’s not one Yeti.”

He uses the Loch Ness Monster as another example. “That’s the most severe example, because the Loch Ness Monster is one dinosaur living in a lake, which is obviously impossible.” But it’s not all science and deep subjects. “There’s a fair amount of butt-hole humor,” he insists. “I try to be as intelligent as I can without losing the grit of growing up a poor kid. I try to be as smart as I can without all the polish smart people feel they need to put on it.”

IF YOU GO:

Nate Abshire co-headlines with Bryan Miller

Acme Comedy Co.

708 N. First St., Minneapolis

8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Saturday

$18

For tickets, call 612-338-6393 or visit www.acmecomedycompany.com


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