Brooklyn-based comic Reggie Watts toured the country opening for Conan O'Brien and has appeared at summer festivals like Sasquatch. But in August he'll embark on his first headlining trek, bringing his improvisational comedic and musical style to theatres nationwide.
We chatted with Watts about what fans can expect from his tour. (We heard about his favorite things, too).
If your shows are all improvisational, do you ever rehearse?
Well... [laughs]... I'm a little lazy when it comes to rehearsing. I don't really like rehearsing. So, I guess I improvise because I hate rehearsing so much [laughs]. I try to stay away from it. It's a bad habit.
You perform on Conan often and your appearance in Central Park in June was filmed for an upcoming Comedy Central special. Do you get nervous still?
Absolutely. I'll definitely get nervous before, especially if it's Conan or anything on TV, because, yes, I'm still improvising. And I'm hoping I'll stay on time and be energetic enough to be appealing to people. I'll definitely be worried about that and get a little anxious. I like walking onstage because all of a sudden it's just happening.
Are any two Reggie Watts performances similar?
They're usually very different. I would say if you came to every single one of my shows, you'd probably notice a few similarities, like a certain concept might be kind of similar. But other than that, no. I try to keep them fresh and different.
When did you discover your improvisational solo style?
Well, I did basically what I'm doing now in high school [Watts grew up in Great Falls, Montana]. In drama class we had competitive dramatics meets. My teacher was cool and she let me improvise whatever I wanted. It was a really great opportunity for me to go to these meets at different schools around the state and practice. I'd have ten minutes to do my thing. I'd invent some song structures, then maybe I'd put some fake underwear on inside my pants and then pull it out as a gag.
What's making America laugh these days?
That whole awkward thing got really huge. It borrows the idea from The Office in the UK. It's introducing Americans to that style of awkwardness, which is hilarious. And now we have Parks and Recreation taking inspiration from that, as well as It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Bored To Death, and Weeds. People are just laughing at awkward moments ... [a few seconds of silence] ... [laughs].
Reggie Watts tour dates:
8/12, Chicago, IL (Mayne Stage)
8/13, Chicago, IL (Mayne Stage)
8/14, Boulder, CO (Fox Theater)
8/15, Los Angeles, CA (Largo)
8/16, Los Angeles, CA (Largo)
8/17, San Francisco, CA (The Independent)
8/19, Portland, OR (Helium Comedy Club)
8/20, Portland, OR (Helium Comedy Club)
8/21, Seattle, WA (Neptune Theater)
8/23 Washington, DC (Woolley Mammoth Theater Company)
8/24, Washington, DC (Woolley Mammoth Theater Company)
8/25, Washington, DC (Woolley Mammoth Theater Company)
8/26, Washington, DC (Woolley Mammoth Theater Company)
8/27, Brooklyn, NY (Afro Punk Festival)