Comic Joe Mande made a promise when I interviewed him before his co-headlining gig at the Turner Hall Ballroom on Saturday night.
"I’ll try not to do the same stuff," he said about returning to Milwaukee for another stand up performance.
The folks at The Pabst Theater organization host Mande and stand up comic Morgan Murphy as part of an Alternative Comedy night at Turner Hall starting at 7 p.m. One of the things that pairs these two together, is that they also write for TV shows.
Mande is part of the staff behind NBC’s "Parks and Recreation" as well as "The Kroll Show" on Comedy Central, while Murphy has worked on a number of programs and most recently on "2 Broke Girls" on CBS.
"It’s cool I’m doing a show with Joe," Murphy said Friday before making her trip to Milwaukee. "I think we are more comics who write for TV shows than writers doing stand-up."
I asked both comedians about the two different skill sets, in how they are the same or different, and how they approach them. Murphy said that she may encounter a situation or come up with something and then see where it could apply to a character she is writing for or within her stand-up material.
"They totally overlap with the same sensibilities," Murphy said of where she comes up with the inspiration for writing a joke. "I will pick and choose where to put certain material."
For Mande, he tends to separate the writing for himself or for a different person’s voice.
"Stand up is all about opening yourself up," he said.
As a writer, I always find it fascinating where other storytellers find their voice and approach to delivering something to an audience, and for Saturday’s show, I don’t think those in the seats will be disappointed. Both Mande and Murphy are working on different bits, touring a few places while on hiatus from writing jobs.
"I’m trying out new material and doing older material I forgot I have done before," Murphy said, explaining that she’ll change things around to get a better payoff. She pointed out that a lot of stand up can be work, but she’s seeking that balance that doesn’t miss out on the fun.
Mande and Murphy are both cheering on the Bucks as they’ve been facing the Miami Heat in the playoffs. I wondered if it was for real or just comedy’s sake, as it seems our Milwaukee NBA team has little chance to advance from its 3-0 deficit in the best of seven series.
"I think that’s why I’m cheering for them," Murphy said after my comment of even though they have little chance of winning that they keep playing.
Mande said that he keeps betting on the Bucks, and a running joke on his Twitter feed is that he owes his bookie $1.3 million and counting.
"I love basketball as early as I can remember," Mande said. "I played until I wasn’t good enough to be competitive."
I asked when that was.
"7th grade," he said.
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