STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Chris Killian

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Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Chris Killian! If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

Rooftop Comedy’s latest release is definitely one that will stay in my rotation for a while – which seems to be a theme lately, as the geniuses that man the Rooftop ship clearly know talent when they see it. This week’s case-in-point is the completely enjoyable and hilarious The Not Black Album by Nashville native, Chris Killian.

Killian is the type of comedian that is hard not to like – with his boy-next-door image and southern charm, he manages to get away with things that might land some others in an awkward position, particularly what he has to say about his Asian girlfriend.

“She’s Asian, so I make a lot of fun of her for being Asian,” he quips. “Because, who wouldn’t? Am I right?”

I was surprised to read that some actually thought Killian was making a racist joke, as (call me naïve) I’m pretty sure the overall joke has a higher meaning. Let’s get real – an Asian woman with tattoo sleeves dating a self-proclaimed Fry lookalike? Seems to me there’s a joke about dating up here somewhere (in his case, that is).

“Compromise is when she throws out options,” Killian explains, “and I get to pick from them.”

While some recent reviews paint a harsh image of Killian, referring to him as too green for a CD and offering up reasons for why he fails at being compared to the likes of Daniel Tosh and Lisa Lampinelli, I can’t help but feel some are jumping the gun on panning Killian.

The ‘shock’ moments are scarce on The Not Black Album, and the focus that is being placed on them drastically underplays how good the rest of the CD really is.  Killian’s material is both personal and observational, and perhaps the trick is being able to properly read the comedian. Killian’s story about why he hates Christmas ends with what could be the best familial insult ever.

“Have you ever been called a clitoris by your grandpa before?” he asks. “Doesn’t exactly make you feel like a man.”

Relatively new to the comedy world, Killian combines his stand-up with catchy and hilarious songs which he plays on his guitar – but rather than inundate you with both, Killian saves his musical humor for the end of his show. If there’s any doubt his tunes are catchy, consider the fact that two weeks later, I am still singing “Bieber Fever” in my head.

“I used to write the songs when I was in college just to crack my friends up,” Killian explains, “and I never intended to do anything with it, it was just a joke.  I just try to keep the music as icing on the cake – I don’t want to be known as a musical comedian, but it breaks up the monotony a bit, and I want the audience to feel like they saw a real show.”

While Killian is quick to cop to the usual time-tested comedic influences (Carlin, Pryor), he does cite one specific man with having the most influence on his comedy career.

 

“I’m a huge fan of Greg Giraldo,” Killian tells me. “He was the first guy I ever watched live doing stand-up, and I actually got to open for him right before he died. He was the coolest guy and helped me out more than a lot of people have. I still have text messages from me and him busting each other’s balls.”

Pick up your copy of Chris Killian’s The Not Black Album today at iTunes and find out just how funny the Nashville comedian really is.

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