We all know "groupie" is just my nice way of saying "nerd." I'm a comedy nerd, a dork, a fangirl. And, luckily right now, there's a whole lot of other comedy nerds out there, too.
I've compiled this for us - a sort of comedy bucket list. But I also pulled these very disparate experiences together in one place for the casual fan to get a glimpse into just how very weird we are.
1. See The Greats.
Duh, but I figured I better start here before I got into the weird stuff. Louis CK, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr, Jeff Ross, Dave Attell, Brian Regan. See them all. as many times as you can.
2. Stay Past Close at Your Favorite Comedy Club
Ok, this one might take some doing and time... it certainly helps to be a cute girl and/or actually friends with the staff and management of said club. And mostly, it's just collecting empty glasses and wiping down menu cards. But once in a while, Craig Robinson shows up and wants to play the piano or Don Barris's closing set turns into a communal therapy session for the comedian couple who just broke up. And that's pretty damn cool.
3. See Ari Shaffir's Balls and Bobby Lee's Butt
These two body parts make appearances on stage and on podcasts a lot more than you'd expect. And you really haven't completed your comedy education until you've seen them both.
4. Go to a Curated Theater Show
These are basically the bread and butter of Largo in Los Angeles - Jeff Garlin and Friends, Pete Holmes and Friends... well, you get it... in new York there's Dark Lords of Comedy and probably many others I am embarrassingly unaware of.
But the point is that this is one of the most ideal environments to see comedy in - the crowd paid to be there, nobody's ordering or spilling drinks in the middle of sets, and the lineups are a bunch of killers who just happen to get a along great and are having a great time.
5. Get Drunk with Kyle Kinane or TJ Miller
Like seeing Ari & Bobby's bits, this is not as difficult as it may seem...
With Kyle, he's got this work ethic that combines with his "I'm no better than anyone else" attitude so that he'll do little shows in bars with no ego and sit around having a few beers when he's done. And don't despair if you're outside LA, Brian Crall of the Sacramento Comedy Spot has a great tale of almost throwing up on the man.
TJ, on the other hand, is just completely unpredictable. He once rolled up to the Laugh Factory in a stretch Hummer and invited a bunch of people to hop in. Alternatively, you can just hit up his bi-monthly show at The Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood, where the free and free-flowing beer can get this checked off, at least technically.
6. Go to An Open Mic or Two
Any comedians reading this will think I'm crazy to send fans to the comedy version of hell. But, first off, some of them are not soul crushing exercises in talking out loud to yourself. Sadly, BrewCo is now defunct, but there are some fun nights still at Hollywood Hotel and Echoes Under Sunset, not to mention the club open mics.
Second, for people who really get comedy, it's a neat experience to peek behind the curtain and watch someone construct their thoughts into proper jokes.
7. Support Your Favorite Podcast - and Find New Ones
The first part is kind of a begging PSA - Podcasts are FREE entertainment produced (often) by people who usually get paid for hours of their time, so if you like them, throw them a bone - donate, buy some merch, use the Amazon link or at least help bump 'em up in the iTunes ranking.
And explore! everyone has a podcast now, which isn't as awful as it seemed three years ago when it seemed like everyone had a podcast. Now, basically everyone does, which makes it an amazing extension of stand-up and storytelling. If you like a guest on one podcast, you can go check out theirs, just like you sometimes find a new favorite comic featuring for your favorite headliner.
8. Go see an offbeat show
Push the boundaries of what you know as stand-up. There are amazing storytelling shows like This is Not Happening and Two Headed Beat, on-the-spot shows like Set List and Improvised Stand Up Show, and then stuff that's all over the map - Picture This! Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction, Doug Loves Movies, The Walsh Brothers Show, Barris-Kennedy Overdrive, Impro(VS)tandup and so many more than I can name.
All of these shows work different comedy muscles and offer their own kind of fun and often a glimpse of a different side of your favorite performer.
9. Check out a comedy festival
While comedy festivals vary from bloated corporate industry events to pretty garbagy collection of mediocre local talent you could see on any other night of the year, many of them are an amazing way to get a taste of the kind of talent density enjoyed by Angelinos and New Yorkers. Just days and days packed with tons of great comedy at a very reasonable price.