Stream Me Up Scotty is a series here at The Nerds Templar that focuses on films/shows you can watch on various streaming services. They might be projects that are exclusive to those services or just films/shows that recently started streaming. (We are nerds, we ripped off Roddenberry, but you try coming up with a catchy title using streaming that doesn’t sound like porn!)
I Am Road Comic is the latest documentary from Jordan Brady. I’ve never seen his other documentary I Am Comic, but you don’t have to in order to watch/enjoy this. I am a huge fan of stand up comedy. I’ve followed it for years. I’ve seen a ton of big name acts, have a lot of stand up on my iPod (including some comedians who are in this) and have a family member who is trying to get into the business. So needless to say, this was right up my alley.
Obviously the more you like stand up, the more you’ll like this, but even if you’ve never seen one stand up act, it’s still an entertaining and fascinating look at the journeys people take. Comedians you’ll see in this include Doug Benson, TJ Miller, Alonzo Bodden, Judah Friedlander, Nikki Glaser, Pete Holmes, Kyle Kinane, Marc Maron, and Jim Norton. Brady along with Wayne Federman give an in-depth look at playing lower level venues and what they pay and the entire process.
What I found fascinating is how some comics have the same opinion about “the road” and how others drastically differ. Some will tell you that you HAVE to play the road. That you become a better comic by traveling and seeing how other people react to your jokes. Then others will tell you that “the road” isn’t what people make it out to be and that once you can get off “the road”, do it. We are talking about some of the biggest names in comedy including Benson and Miller and even they can disagree on it.
It’s a very intimate look at the life of stand ups. Most people think it’s a great life and sure it has its perks, but Glaser talks about quitting drinking and Maron shares a story about a comedian who died. Federman and Brady show you the dive bar they play that just had an incident where bouncers put a customer in a coma. You really get a look at what goes into the daily grind, from doing radio & TV bits to promote the show to making sure you get your free breakfast at the hotel because you’re probably not getting paid that well in the first place. One comedian traveled by bus for hours to join them because he never played outside his area before.
I Am Road Comic is a peak behind the Wizard’s curtain. You hear stories about being away from home, not having a home because you’re on the road too much, struggling to even make $50 a show and more. There’s talk about dating and relationships because being on the road makes it quite difficult to be with someone. If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s truly like to be a stand up comedian, what it takes to earn your chops and the negatives that go along with it, I highly recommend I Am Road Comic.
I Am Road Comic is streaming on Netflix.