Archive for west coast

The road to Portland

Posted in Beards of Comedy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2011 by Joe Zimmerman

Slacked on my daily update but Andy posted for San Francisco and Santa Cruz on the Beard site.

-Notably, we stopped by Rooftop and Annie hooked us up with Andy Wood from the Bridgetown Festival, who was randomly in Santa Cruz. We didn’t have a special guest, so it was another nice coincidence in a string of small world connectors.

The drive to Portland involved an amazing view of Mount Hood – a huge white behemoth that dwarfed everything on the horizon. I guessed that it was between four and twenty miles away, and everyone proceeded to laugh at me. They laughed right in my face. A big SUV full of bearded dudes, laughing at my poor judgement of distance. Justin (from Atlanta magazine) said it was at least 100 miles away, if not a lot more.  All I know is that ten minutes later, it was nowhere to be seen.

Sunday in San Francisco involved a bizarre two-hour radio spot.  At one point we realized there was a random Asian guy in the studio. He appeared high, and middle-age, and when the host asked who he was, he just smiled and laughed. Nobody knew who he was, as both parties had just assumed he was with the other. I’m not sure he even knew English.

(Three Hours Later)

It’s dark now, and the giant mountain is in front of us again, blocking out the moon. We must have circled back.

* **
Here we are at the Hoover Dam. Andy and I played the game, “who can stare over the bridge railing the longest without panicking from fear of heights” and we both lost.

Portland tonight is the only free show of the tour, 8 pm at the Beauty Bar with special Portland guest Richard Bain.


Day 3: Las Vegas – George Maloof and his Icelandish A capella Trio

Posted in Beards of Comedy, Humor Column with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2011 by Joe Zimmerman

Early on in our show at Beauty Bar, Julie (our publicist from Better Than Nothin’) pointed out that George Maloof, of the Maloof brothers and owner of the Palms Casino, was right outside. I figured it couldn’t hurt to invite him in.
“Are you George?”
“Beards of Comedy inside. You can come in free.”
(As if the owner of the Palms would care about a ten dollar cover).

The bouncer interrupted, “Oh, he’s got frequent flier miles here.”

Stupid bouncer, you live here. I only come to Las Vegas once, ever. Let me have my Maloof moment.

George said he was waiting for a “group,” which I took to mean he wasn’t coming in.

I went back inside thinking, “That’s cool I spoke with a Maloof brother,” before realizing, “No, that’s not cool at all.” I barely spoke to him. He didn’t give me money. I didn’t get a picture. Nothing. Fortunately, there would be a Maloof encore.

The Beauty Bar is a standing room only rock club and as the show progressed, the crowd of fifty spiraled toward rowdy. There was a magician/burlesque group up front who were loud and heckle-y. They were Kris Angel fans, and I wish I would have remembered that I randomly have Kris Angel’s number. I could have called him, handed them the phone, and yelled “mind freak! But I didn’t think of it, and they remained unimpressed with our lack of magic.

I went on last, as George Maloof walked in with three sparkling women. He approached the stage:
Maloof: “Can my friends sing?”
Me: “Who are your friends?”
Maloof: “They are an A cappella trio from Iceland.”
Me: “Sounds great.”
Maloof: (hands me one-hundred dollar bill)
Me: (I like rich people)

I introduced “the Charley’s” to a smattering of applause. The performance was awesome, and by “awesome,” I mean here a picture from their website:

I watched side stage, and was thankful that my set was going so well. I snapped some pics to document my new closer:

Afterward, George bought two Beard t-shirts, and asked me to plug the Palms. That’s when I realized we had just picked up a fourth sponsor: George Maloof of the Palms Casino, Sacramento Kings, and various other wealthy things.

Sponsor update:
Brown Paper Tickets
Rooftop Comedy
TrueShip Software
The Palms Casino

Everything I hoped for from that initial encounter happened, and it makes me happy to know that Maloof might wear a shirt with my face on it.

Today is TJ’s birthday and we are headed through the desert to Los Angeles for a show at Meltdowd, with guest Kyle Kinane. Kyle’s CD topped the charts this year, he filmed his Comedy Central presents, and he is an all around comedy beast. So come out, or tell a friend, or send TJ a birthday poke.

Blurry proof of George Maloof:

West Coast Coast Tour Day 2 – Scottsdale, AZ

Posted in Beards of Comedy, Humor Column with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2011 by Joe Zimmerman

Well, it didn’t take long for us to depart from our strict Walmart Supercenter budget of peanut butter and honey sandwiches. After the show we were hungry, and that was that. We were joined by our Scottsdale guest comic Mike Kennedy, his girlfriend Colby, and my Davidson golf teammate Dan Koernke (who lives in Scottsdale).

We ate extravagantly and as I finished up my seven dollar draft, I began to wonder how we would afford the luxuries of eight more cities. On queue, I see my golf teammate sign for a big long bill. It was a very generous move, and by the end of this tour, I’m sure it will play a critical role in our survival. It’s also the first time I’ve ever had a peer do the “I got this” move. I thought that was only for bosses and older people. This means I must have reached the age where we do things like that. I’m just not sure I have the “I got this” move in my arsenal, but at some point I will need to pay it forward. Either that or only eat dinner by myself, while watching Battle Star Gallactica on Netflix.

Dan sells software for TrueShip, so I’m pleased to announce we’ve added TrueShip as a tour sponsor. Trueship is not aware of this, so I’m not allowed to do that. Nonetheless, our sponsor list is looking impressive:

-Brown Paper Tickets: for all your online event ticketing needs ( for all your stand up comedy content needs (We are featured in their Daily 8 frequently this week, and there is an interview with me posted in their blog section, BTW).

-Trueship Software: Fast, Fully Integrated, Shipping Software ( I’m don’t know how it works, but Dan is my teammate and a Division 1 Athlete (like me) and therefore a good person. I have faith that TrueShip is game changing software that will take your company from good to great, or average to good, or bad to average, or bankrupt to American bank.

After a lovely post-show eating binge, Andy & Dave were quick to point out that the rest of the restaurant thought we were a big table of bears, hitting on a twink. I didn’t know what that meant, and learned that “bears” are big burly gay men with beards, and “twinks” are good looking, well dressed, beardless gay men. I’m less concerned that we came across as “bears” hitting on a “twink,” and more concerned that we know that vocabulary.

I’m writing from inside our Chevy Tahoe, on the way to Las Vegas, and we’re not far from the Hoover Dam. The Las Vegas show is at 10 PM at the Beauty Bar, which is a rock club that doubles as a martini lounge and nail salon. It’s been a while since I had a martini, and even longer since my last manicure.

It was good to hang out with Phoenix comedian Mike Kennedy, who was very funny, and also an avid golfer. Check him out at for all your Arizona comedy needs.

I’ve never seen more giant cactuses in my life. Cacti? No, cactuses. Forests of enormous cactuses’s.

Beards of Comedy West Coast Tour Blog

Posted in Beards of Comedy, Humor Column with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2011 by Joe Zimmerman

I’m leaving Asheville in six hours for a massive west coast swing with the Beards of Comedy tour – twelve shows in twelve nights, in ten different cities. We are flying into Albuquerque, where we pile into a mini-van rental, and cover 3,000 miles before flying out of Seattle on the 31st.

My plan is to document the fun/anxiety/panic/exhaustion/claustrophobia/disasters with a daily blog. While I travel a lot, this trip involves more than usual. People have been asking if I’m excited. I wish that I could be excited, but right now I’m just worried about the layover in Denver. There are so many logistics to figure out – the driving, the shows, the parking, the hotels, the radio interviews…and all in markets where we’ve never been. We have at least two drives through the night, AFTER we just did a show, to get to radio/TV the next morning. I just mapped it out and fainted. I was then revived, and after three hours of research, figured out how to do a screen shot (on my new Macbook Pro!):

Lots of Driving in a mini-van

I think you can click on it to make it bigger, but if you can’t see the stops, they are: Albuquerque, Portales, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Reno, Portland, Kennewick, Seattle.

Several folks have also been asking how the hell we put this trip together. Well, it was entirely our publicist – Julie Seabaugh, who is based out of L.A. She started with a few bookend gigs, and then filled in every single day, and even created good routing. Then our college agent was able to add the college gig at Eastern New Mexico State up front.

The only thing we have to do, is get there, and then hope that we get big enough crowds to cover the cost of airfare, van rental, hotels, gas, more gas, food, tolls, luggage fees, more food, more gas, speeding tickets, coffee, gambling, trivia prizes, dessert, parking, parking tickets, breakfast, snacks, gas, and things I’m not thinking of. The Beards are like Hobbits, in our five-six meal-a-day regiment.

Also, it won’t just be four Bearded dudes in a soccer mom van rental, it will be five. Joining us is Justin Heckert – a journalist from Atlanta Magazine who is writing a long form article on the journey. It will be awesome to have him along. It will also be a long-ass length of time for me to be on record. All sorts of embarrassing things could come out. So perhaps to quell my fear, I’ll say some embarrassing things right now:

-I listen to nothing but Hootie & the Blowfish
-I wet the bed regularly
-My favorite movie is every Ashton Kuchar movie
-I’m gay
-I’m super gay

Okay, so whatever I reveal to Justin, it can’t be worse than this right? Perhaps one of my daily blogs will be an interview with Justin, where I ask him what it’s like to be a journalist from Atlanta Magazine, traveling with the Beards of Comedy tour. It’d be like, an interview within an interview – pretty meta right? Right guys?

Eastern New Mexico State College tomorrow night. We’ll be at the airport at 4 am, and then have a three hour drive after we land at 9 am, so if you plan on attending, please bring energy drinks. Also, I’m not really gay.

January West Coast Tour – Beards of Comedy

Posted in On Stage, Some sites I enjoy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2010 by Joe Zimmerman

From January 19th to the 30th, the Beards of Comedy (I’m on that) are heading out west, and doing so in an aggressive fashion, hitting twelve shows in twelve nights, in ten different cities. This will be four bearded dudes crammed into a van, digging through our wallets for gas money, and attempting to tackle these logistics in a comical fashion.

Below are dates, times, venues, and ticket information. Please help us share ourselves with the world by passing this info along to friends, family, or just people with beards who may or may not live in the following cities (or just anywhere out west).

1/19 – Eastern New Mexico State College – Portales, New Mexico

1/20 – Scottsdale, Arizona – Martini Ranch
9 PM Show (Doors at 8 pm) $10 Tickets –

1/21 – Las Vegas, NV – The Beauty Bar
10 PM Show (Doors at 9) $10 tickets –

1/22 – Los Angeles, CA – Meltdown w/ special guest Kyle Kinane
8:30 (doors at 7:30) – $10 Tickets

1/23 – San Francisco, CA – The Purple Onion
7 pm Show (doors at 6:30) – $15 tickets

1/24 – Santa Cruz, CA – Don Quixote’s
8 PM show (doors at 7) – $10 ticket reservations at 831.603.2294

1/25 – Reno, NV – Tonic Lounge
9 PM show (doors at 8 pm) – $10 at

1/26 – Portland, OR – Beauty Bar
Free show – 8 pm (doors at 7) – reservations (free) at

1/27-29 – Kennewick, WA – Jack Didley’s
8:30 Showtimes – $5-7 tickets reservations at 509.585.5665

1/30 – The Seattle Undergound – Seattle, WA
Show at 8 (doors at 7) $10 tickets at