Indiana Daily Student

Comedian inspired by IU experiences



Comedian and IU alumnus Brian Watts said the people in Los Angeles are prettier, cooler and have vintage threads rather than sorority T-shirts.

Yet, he returns to Bloomington tonight to perform a double feature as part of Bear’s Place Ale House and Eatery’s  Comedy Caravan.

Watts, who describes his style as a mix between Demetri Martin  and Steve Martin, said he has performed on the stage at Bear’s Place before.

“The first time was my debut and this will be my second debut – you can only debut twice,” he joked. “Right after I graduated, I did a show at Bear’s Place and it was the first time I ever did comedy. I called the guy up and I said, ‘Hey, will you let me on stage? I’ve never done it before.’ For some reason, he let me on, and then ever since then I have been doing it.”

As an undergraduate, Watts studied film and telecommunications. After graduating in 2008, he now lives in Los Angeles. Along with performing comedy once or twice a week, he said he has a blog, works as an extra on movie sets and picks up other odd jobs.

Watts joked that his role as an extra has made him recognizable to fans at IU.
“When I am around campus and everything, it kind of sucks because people are always asking for autographs,” he said.

Watts added he has also managed to use skills he picked up working for IU to land jobs in Los Angeles.

“I’ve been a tour guide since I’ve been out there – and actually, I was a tour guide at IU,” he said.

The native Hoosier said he recently landed a gig as a zombie tour guide.

“They are having a haunted hayride festival for the first time ever in Los Angeles, and being from Indiana, I do know how to drive a tractor,” he said. “I have been working a lot of random jobs and it is just fuel for my material.” 

Watts said he has also used his experiences as an IU undergraduate in his routines.
“I made fun of all the people that lived in Smallwood and you can’t go wrong with that,” he said. “To be honest with you, I did live in Smallwood for three years.”

Comedy Caravan at Bear’s Place has been around for more than two decades and comedians perform every Monday and Saturday night. The program’s host, Stephanie Wagner  said many prominent comedians have graced their stage.

“We do have comedians right off of Comedy Central, ‘Last Comic Standing’  – lots of really well known comics,”  Wagner said. “Pretty much if you are a comedian now in 2009 you’ve had to come through. If you are a comedian at all, and you make money as a comic, you’ve played at Bear’s Place at some point in time.”

Leah Neumann, an IU alumna and a current manager at Bear’s Place said the program is a great way to start the week and spend a Monday evening laughing.
“Comedy Caravan is definitely a tradition here,” she added.

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