Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011 | 12:13 p.m.
- The Beauty Bar, 517 Fremont St., Building A, Las Vegas
- 21+ $20
Comedian Bryan Bruner is coming home for the holidays (plus a show at Beauty Bar on Dec. 23) and he’s got a new comedy album, "Welcome to Djibouti," under his belt. Read on to hear about his album and experiences in the Big Apple since he left his hometown of Las Vegas to spread his comedic wings.
So you’ve been in New York for more than three years. What do you miss most about Las Vegas?
I miss the desert. It sounds crazy but I miss riding my dirt bike. I miss the open space and the elbow room of Las Vegas. I miss the way things are set up so you can get around. The casinos are so new and big and everything’s so old here and packed on top of each other.
Tell me about your segment on the Travel Channel’s "America Caught on Camera" that aired this month, about some hecklers at a Las Vegas show. What happened?
It happened in Boomerangs Bar. This dude heckled me and I brought him up on stage. I had been doing comedy for only about six months. I brought him up on stage and started making fun of him but it wasn’t like I was even mean. It was kind of a weak response. I think I made fun of his pants and then sent him offstage. Maybe a minute or two later, I’m back into my routine and in my periphery, I see this large object coming out of the light and it was the dude’s buddy shoving me at like a hundred miles an hour. He pushed me into the big screen TV, an older one that was really deep. It was recessed in the wall and I got wedged in between the TV and the side of the wall. I’m holding onto the mic and the guy’s yelling at me but because I’m still holding onto the mic, it sort of uncorks me from the wall and you could literally hear my butt go “pop.” People finally figured out it wasn’t part of the act.
How did that affect the path of your career?
I quit doing stand up for six years after this. … It was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was about 21 and I was having a really hard time writing things that weren’t just stupid boner jokes. I needed to grow up, learn, become scarred and figure out life so I can write the better boner joke.
Is there any certain type of joke you always try to work into your act?
Yes, but I don’t think it’s always the same type of joke but more what kind of mood I’m in. If I have a show at a hipster bar in Brooklyn and I know those guys won’t like NASCAR, I’ll do NASCAR jokes. And 9 times out of 10, those guys will say they loved it. That’s what it is- whatever my audience is, I like to do something that they wouldn’t be used to. I don’t want to pander to them; I want them to take a walk down my path. That’s why they invited me, to let me tell what I know, love it or hate it.
Who is your favorite comedian today?
Aww man, that’s like asking me to pick my favorite punk rock song. It just kind of depends on what I’m feeling. When I want to get hit with real, dark stuff or I want to get bummed out, I’ll listen to Doug Stanhope. I say that in a positive way. When I want to get shaken up I’ll listen to him. There’s a lot of new people out there. Kyle Kinane is great. Ian Bagg’s always been one of my favorites. I like people who tell stories. I’ve even been going kind of retro a little bit with some old Cosby records to see how he tells his story. I always have time for a Dave Attell bit. Mike DeStefano is great to listen to. … I like the edgier guys. I like the guys who will turn off a church group. And that’s why I love to go to Vegas because they like that kind of stuff.