Tim McIntire has been one of the most prolific comics in Boston for nearly a decade. He began his career in Colorado and honed his act on the road, working every comedy club, roadhouse, and speakeasy between California and Pennsylvania. After moving to Boston, he quickly became a fixture in the comedy scene, gaining notoriety for his Thursday Night Fights at the Comedy Studio, his edgy hosting job for the Boston Music Awards, and for his first comedy album, Poor Impulse Control. Since that time, he's released a second album (Scatterbrain), written for Nickelodeon (Fairly Oddparents), been featured on National Public Radio (Special Edition with Tom Ashbrook), performed at several comedy festivals (Boston and Chicago), and been on TV (Comcast Comedy Spotlight). The Boston Globe has called him a "comic on the verge of stardom," and the Boston Herald has called him "a breakout comic to watch." He is currently seeking representation for his first novel, "Suicide Lane."
Selected Appearances - Clubs
Comedy Connection (Boston)
Comedy Studio (Boston)
Nick’s Comedy Stop (Boston)
Dick Doherty’s Comedy Escape (Boston)
Comedy Works (Denver)
Comedy Nest (Montreal)
Funny Bone (Des Moines)
Comedy Corner (Colorado Springs)
Laffs (Tucson; Albuquerque)
Comic Strip (El Paso)
Selected Appearances – Colleges
Southern Methodist University
Colorado State University
University of Louisiana
University of Rhode Island
Earth, Wind & Fire
Tim McIntire - Jokes
Poor Impulse Control (2001)
CD Review/Feature Story
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Laughing in hell On his new CD, Medford comic Tim McIntire finds humor in every comedian's nightm...Laughing in hell
On his new CD, Medford comic Tim McIntire finds humor in every comedian's nightmare — the hell gig
April 13, 2006
In his 13 years as a stand-up comedian, Tim McIntire has played every kind of gig imaginable. There have been good ones, with crowds like the one that packed the Comedy Studio the last Friday in March for the release of McIntire's new CD, ''Scatterbrain." Then there are the kind of nightmare-inducing, confidence-shaking ''hell gigs" that no comedian can escape, the shows where the laughs are few and far between, if they even come at all.
On ''Scatterbrain," McIntire addresses the ups and downs of a working comic's life. The bulk of the album is all laughs -- solid material on everything from having kids to the war on terror, killer stuff from one of Boston's most reliable comedy veterans -- but it's the bonus track, the one labeled ''Nagasaki," that's getting the most attention. The nearly half-hour track is nothing short of a complete hell gig. Recorded at a country club function hall in Tyngsborough in 2003, the sounds that dominate the room are table talk and forks hitting plates -- and very little laughter.
''This is not like having a quiet set at the Comedy Studio," McIntire says of the track. ''This is bombing."
So why would anyone commit this to tape, much less release it to the general public? ''You get that little voice in your head that goes, 'if nothing else, at least you're going to have a story,' " says McIntire, of Medford. ''This is so surreal that it's funny. There are many nights where it's just a very beige-colored failure. The crowd doesn't particularly like you, and there's nothing particularly remarkable about the situation -- you just sort of die slowly. At least [the Tyngsborough performance] had the details to make it interesting."
Those details include the rush of food arriving to tables just as McIntire started his set, and a woman in a tank top, short skirt, and high heels walking around the room displaying a shotgun, one of the items being auctioned off to the gathering of big-game hunters. ''My favorite part of the whole thing is when you hear the guy call the toast on the glass in the back of the room [in the middle of my act]," he says. ''That was just sublime. That's when I knew they really didn't care that I was up there."
To some extent, these kinds of gigs are a necessary evil. Comedians need to get paid to survive, and club work isn't always available. McIntire, who cut his teeth in comedy in Colorado before moving to Boston in 1996, says he walked off a stage or two as a young comic. As a 36-year-old father of two, though, that option is less appealing. ''You're there to do it for money and you're like, 'You know what? I could really use four hundred dollars right now,' " he says.
There is at least one positive aspect to logging a few hell gigs. The more experience comics have working hostile crowds, the better they'll be able to keep an unruly crowd from becoming uncontrollable. And if there's one skill working comics need, it's the ability to think on their feet. ''When you get on Conan O'Brien and your first joke doesn't go the way you want it to, theoretically you've now got the tool to figure out what to do," says McIntire.
McIntire admits that it was the ''beige-colored failure" gigs that made him contemplate retirement a year ago. Instead, he decided to cut many of the potential duds from his schedule. ''I was just like, 'Why am I doing this?' " he says. ''If all you're doing is working gun shows or private retirement parties, then it's just a second job. You're sort of acknowledging you're not going to be on TV."
Now that he can boast a new CD, a redesigned website (www.reverendtim.com), and even a new stage name -- he has officially dropped the ''Reverend" part of his moniker -- McIntire is feeling better about his career. There might still be hell gigs lurking, but at least there will be fewer of them. ''I don't know if I'm doing anything that's more likely to get me noticed," he says. ''But at least when I'm driving home, I feel accountable to myself and I feel like I'm doing OK."
CD Review/Feature Story
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"If I wasn't funny, I don't know what I'd be doing. I certainly wouldn't have attracted such a cute ..."If I wasn't funny, I don't know what I'd be doing. I certainly wouldn't have attracted such a cute wife. I lucked out. She was a goth chick into comedians and I was a comedian into goth chicks."
It’s a similar message that you hear from a lot of successful comedians; that without their life on the stage they would be in jail or marketing. This time, it was said by Tim McIntire, a successful headliner and one of the most respected voices on comedy in Boston. I spoke to Mr. McIntire on the phone. He was at his stately McIntire manor in the one of New England’s most exclusive vacation spots – sunny Medford, Massachusetts. Both his kids had gone to sleep on time. He started by raving about some yoga relaxation game for kids that was helping them sleep. Then we went on to a Point-Counter-Point analysis of Dora the Explorer v. Blue’s Clues and why Wonderpets and Backyardigans totally rock. It’s the everyday conversation of new dads. It’s what their kids watch, so they watch it. When I used to see Tim perform, his material was right out of the Bill Hicks school of social commentary. Government was fucked up. New forms of execution for fat inmates should include walking up a flight of stairs. There was an inner monologue from the bus driver for Up with People who couldn’t take the singing anymore. Now, it’s reflective, includes a lot less profanity, and a helluva lot more about him and his family.
'I was definitely influenced (by Hicks) early on. I like to think not so much anymore."
"When I had my first son. It (change in material) wasn't a conscious decision at all. You know how life-changing that (birth) is. I just didn't care about some things as much anymore. I think my second disc, Scatterbrain; I'm much prouder of that disc than the other one. It’s more personal. When I was a younger comic, you had to be edgy and dangerous and talk about The Man! You'd rant and rave. I think it's a little more dangerous to be a little vulnerable on stage and talk about yourself. After the fact, I realized that. I just wasn't paying as much attention to the rest of the world. I was no longer very angry. I wasn't in a ranting place. I think it's kind of pathetic if you see a comic who's raving, then see them again ten years later and they're still raving. What, you haven't evolved or changed at all as a person? That's kind of sad. I saw this one comic when I first started doing comedy and I thought he was awesome. He would pace on the stage and smoke cigarettes and say, ‘Fuck this! Fuck that! Let me tell you something folks.’ Then, I saw him ten years later and it was the same thing. He was obviously older, paunchier. He had bags under his eyes. So, instead of being an angry young man, he's an angry middle-aged man.”
That doesn’t mean Tim has walked away from the outside world entirely without the odd jab or two. "Ted Haggard, head of the Evangelical Church, caught with a gay lover doing crystal meth. No one was happier hearing that than me. He ruined my home town. I'm from Colorado Springs where their mega church is. When they moved in, it ruined the city. They took over the city council and school board. When he got busted, I was doing an end zone dance here in Boston."
"I'm still pretty much a raving liberal. But, I'm a Colorado liberal. It's like being a Massachusetts liberal, but I like guns."
"Nothing surprises me. I'm glad that I've moved away from current events. It's harder to do now. When I was coming up, if something happened, I had all day to sit and write my jokes. If something happened on a Tuesday, there weren't any comedy shows 'til Wednesday night. So, I had almost two days to write some jokes. Not only would I be the first one doing it, but I had two days to refine it. Now, if something happens, you have 400 blog posts, a couple of YouTube movies, some MySpace bulletins. The possibility of being original, is much less likely. I'm glad that I'm not doing it anymore. It's much harder."
For someone like Tim, who has been a successful closer for so long, (He had been making a living entirely from it in Boston until they had kids. Suddenly, health insurance became a little more important.) it’s unusual that he recalls and seems to relish so many performances where he’s bombed. His new disc has an extra track which has him eating it for half an hour at a private gig for a hunting club. It’s fucking brutal. But, not as funny as this one: "Oh, man. I was opening for Martina McBride, country singer, not exactly my demographic at the Melody Tent on the South Shore. It’s a performance space in the round. I didn't know that going in. Half the crowd, at least, can't see my face. I'm doing unabashed, liberal political jokes for Martina McBride people. My first two, three jokes bomb, bomb, bomb. I hear this grinding of gears and the stage starts turning. It's a rotating stage. So, I do the setup here. Then the stage rotates. And I do the punch line over there. And it keeps rotating. So, I'm spinning & dying & spinning & dying. I had no idea it was going to spin. It went on for half an hour. Not one laugh. It was the worst thing ever. Watching these faces go past me, more incredulous and appalled every single time I came by. There's no one laughing so everyone can hear the ‘Grrrrrr’ of the thing."
So, how does a young comedian from Colorado end up in Boston? "There was no great strategy. I met this chick and I wanted to hook up with her. I had never been to Boston until I moved here. You can make a fair amount of money in Boston. The good thing about Boston is you can make a fair amount of dough and sleep in your own bed at night."
"You read on the internet from old comedy stand-ups in forums, all these guys know each other, from all over the country. But nobody from Boston knows them and they don't know anyone from Boston either. It’s because nobody leaves! DJ Hazard does road work. Kenny Rogerson does a couple of dates out and about. But by and large, people stay in Boston and there is no way for people to come in from outside of Boston to make money here. It's like this weird kind of pocket."
So, why stick around? Why not head off to LA or New York? "On paper, yes, because there is only so far you can go in Boston. I wish it weren't the case, but it's true. But, it's not just me now. I've got the wife and kids in tow. I think it would be a good thing, but even less likely than before."
"My crew. My peeps. It's changed it a lot. I stopped working for some of the sketchier agents of which there are plenty. Suddenly, I have a better option for a Thursday night. I'd rather hang out with my wife and kids."
"Once upon a time, it would be, ‘What, 50 bucks to drive up to Bangor and back? Sure! Absolutely! It's a gig!’ But now, why in the world would I do that? So, I don't spend as much time hanging out in the clubs as I used to. Now, if I'm leaving my wife at home and doing a $500 corporate gig, then, OK, that's good for the family. If I'm going to leave her at home to go to some wretched open mic and just hang out and drink beer, then I'm an asshole."
"I do better gigs. I try to be more selective. It's actually working out pretty well for me. Like they say, 'Once you say no to the bad gigs, you can say no to the good gigs.' It's the conventional wisdom that I had always heard, but never did. But, it's true. There are a few guys who are kind of sketchy, so I'm not going to work for those guys anymore. And low and behold, my calendar starts to show a better caliber of gigs.”
“There was a guy who was giving me most of my work and he was horrible. The shows were far away. The checks were always late, or wrong. But, he was giving me most of my work so I put up with a lot. I overlooked a lot things. So, I finally said, 'You know what? It's just not worth it. If I have to pick up another job, a shift at Blockbuster or something, I will do it.' They were just these wretched horrible gigs. I wasn't making much money. I was away from my family. In New York, you don't want to miss a show and find out later that 15 dudes got sitcoms that night. But, this ain't going to get me on TV anytime soon. What the fuck am I doing this for?'"
“Probably the best thing about Tim is his ability to mix the personal with the political. He's a socially aware guy, but he doesn't stick to any particular dogma. When he's struggling with an idea, he lets you see that, which is usually more effective than pounding away at an audience. And when you put that into context with his stories about the birth of his first son, you can see a human being reacting to his own life's events, and you get a better sense where that point of view is coming from.
You hear it said in sports all the time that the most successful teams do the little things well -- you don't get the Fastest Show on Turf without your offensive line getting in the right stance before the snap. That's maybe a bit of a belabored analogy, but it fits Tim. He knows the mechanics of what he needs to do to get an audience to respond, and he's faced every kind of audience imaginable. He's really become one of those guys young comics go to for advice.
He's also one of those rare people who can appreciate a band like Blue Oyster Cult without the irony. And, you know, that's pretty rare these days.”
– Nick Zaino, Boston Globe
Tim, who may or may not fear the reaper (see previous BOC reference) is a self proclaimed Spiritual Nerd. He is also the Reverend Tim McIntire. However, he’s not going by that name anymore on stage. "When I was The Reverend, I would try to be edgy, Mr. Politics. It was kind of a cool, little stage name. Now that I'm telling stories about my wife and kids, it's a little creepy. The Universal Life Church of Modesto, California. They will ordain anybody for free. I did it as a gag. Only later did I find out it was legitimate in all 50 states."
"I've actually done some weddings and stuff. I've married a few comics. None of them were quite normal. The first one was at a rest area in Maine, where the couple met. It raised some questions I thought it impolite to ask. I just did one where the guy was from England and the bride was some Wiccan chick. They had this big Wiccan alter set up with crazy burning incense, which I am definitely allergic to. I'm trying to go through their vows; and my throat is swelling shut and my eyes are swelling closed and I'm just thinking, 'C'mon, talk a little faster here. I'm dying!'"
"I don't know what to call myself anymore. But, when I saw my first son born, I felt the universe shift. It was like, 'Oh, so that's what it's all about. Now, I understand.' ‘God is love’ suddenly makes a lot more sense. All of those sweatlodges I did, all those mushrooms; really, all I had to do was have a baby."
"Now, I am actually optimistic about life. I'm more cynical about comedy. But, about the whole world, I'm more hopeful. Sometimes it (comedy) just seems so shallow. When it's done well, it's not. People say it's making a comeback, but I think it's making a comeback in the wrong way."
"People are talking about this renaissance of comedy that Dane Cook has kicked off. There is a renaissance of comedy contests, maybe. A lot of young, good-looking people with seven minutes doing comedy. I haven't really seen a renaissance of a lot good, thoughtful, interesting, creative stand-up comedy. They just did this Sierra Mist MySpace Contest. I didn't pay a lot of attention to it. But I saw something and thought, 'When did comics get so good-looking? Who gives a shit what the good-looking people think?' It's an offshoot of Comedy Central. You hear from people in the industry that people aren't young enough, thin enough, good-looking enough. If you're young, thin, and good-looking, why are you funny? You don't need to be funny. Being funny is for the rest of us. It's our crutch."
"In 8th grade, I was a total nerdbag, just fighting for survival in junior high school. Some girl wrote in my yearbook that I was the funniest guy she'd ever met. I did a couple of talent shows when I was around 17-18 in Colorado. They went great. Looking back, I want to claw my brain out. But, I was going to do an open mic in a legitimate comedy club. The night I went, the plumbing exploded. The club was closed. I didn't try comedy again for four years."
"I went to the College of Santa Fe, which may or may not still be credited. I was a theatre major. All I wanted to do was stand-up, but I really didn't have a clear idea of what that meant. I also went to the University of Colorado for a year. What a nightmare. I was in some weird black box play. There was this Iraqi director there. He'd written some play called, The Rape. I went out for it because it wasn't a comedy. I wanted to be a serious actor. I had the audition and he said, 'You are fantastic! I love you.' I said, 'Great.' He said, 'You are very funny. I am putting some comedy in this play for you.' So, I was the comic relief in a play called, The Rape. It was an incredibly depressing play about this woman who gets raped. He just tacked on my wacky character, who'd kind of wander across stage between the whaling and revenge to do something nutty with a couple of melons and a pig ."
"In Colorado Springs, there was The Comedy Corner. One club. Two in Denver. I started in '93. I got on about once a week. It was a cool system that I wish more clubs would adopt. They had an open mic. But, they also had a workshop for the open mic. You had to do a certain amount of workshops before you were allowed to be on the open mic. They taught you the basics: how to hold the mic, where to put the mic stand, make sure your punch line comes last. The open mic show had a lineup of six, then a headliner."
"I listened to a lot of records. I watched Letterman every night, back when he had comics on occasionally. I loved Bob Newhart, Mort Sahl, Shelly Berman, Cosby, of course. There was Kinison, Eddie Murphy's Raw; I loved that."
"When I got to Boston, I had just started headlining on the road out west; pretty sketchy road rooms really. In Boston, I didn't know anybody. So, I had to start over from scratch. On the plus side, I was the new guy in town and just happened to have 45 minutes of material. So I was new, but seemed like I was some kind of prodigy. That made it easy to get noticed. In Boston, if you start here, nobody will give you anything until you move away and come back. I was able to sell myself as a headliner. People gave me a shot. I had a few sets. It kind of stuck."
"In the Boston comedy scene, there are three separate scenes that never meet. On the one hand you have the 'old school', The Comedy Connection, Nick's Comedy Stop, and Giggles. All of which have a set roster of comics. All of them are very good. You have Mike Donovan, Tony V., DJ Hazard, Kenny Rogerson, Don Gavin. Great guys. Brilliant comics. They've been closing these rooms for fifteen years. It's your basic comedy show. Three guys. Tons of punch lines. Set 'em up. Knock 'em down. High energy. Loud. Great stuff."
"Then there's The Comedy Studio, the epicenter of the second scene; kind of like Catch a Rising Star in Harvard Square used to be. It's young, hip, brainier, a little more creative; the alternative comedy scene. There are also some off-shoot rooms, open mic's around town, where these comics work out."
"The third thing going on, which I think is pretty exciting, started with The Walsh Brothers. They're brothers and hilarious and saw Boston for what it was. If you're young and creative there's no future for you here. They went and got themselves a regular night at Improv Boston. It was them and five or six people helping them out. It was a free show. They actually brought free beer for people. Once a week, they had a totally new show; some sketch, some stand-up, some videos. They built a huge following in a fairly short period of time. They just got back from Aspen (Aspen Comedy Festival) and got representation, meetings in LA. There's another group called Zero, which is a bunch of Emerson kids. They have a regular show with sketch, stand-up, music, short films. There's the Untrainables, who have a show at The Paradise. It's weird. They're not even doing open mic's or other gigs. It's one show, once a week. They have total creative control and don't limit themselves to stand-up. It's great to watch. It makes me feel like a dinosaur. It's this intersection of stand-up, improv & variety show which lends itself to being developed by industry. You're not just telling jokes. You can act, edit film, do whatever. That seems to be the trend here in town. It's a pretty cool thing."
"The downside of it is they are insular groups reinventing the wheel on their home base. What I learned from doing shows on the road was chestnuts of old comedy wisdom from guys you worked with. I remember one of my first road gigs, the headliner chewed me out because I didn't wear a jacket on Saturday. I was trying to do this hip thing. He said, 'No, Saturday night is date night. They're going to dress up. You should dress up.' Another one, 'First show on Friday, the audience is coming from work, you should work clean. Second show on Friday, they've been drinking. You can be dirty.' It's like an apprentice system where wisdom is handed down from one generation to the next. These new kinds of shows, for all their creativity, they don't have dinosaurs in residence to hand down these little pearls. Then you hear about some of these kids playing out somewhere else and bombing miserably because they didn't pick up the basic competence they should've learned. It's a small price to pay for total control of your own show.”
“It's great to have this safe space to create in. But, part of being a comic is marching into hostile territory and having your ass handed to you once in a while."
"Sometimes people will come see me and love it. They come back three weeks later and be totally surprised I don't have a new 45 minutes. You show up all proud with two new jokes and they say, 'We heard a lot of that shit last time.' I don't think people think it's easy, but I don't think they know what goes into it either."
"I've had nights when it's just not there. I can hear myself saying the words but I am completely disengaged. I've had shows where it's the sound system. One time in Providence, I bombed for half an hour, dead silence. I came off stage and my wife told me the sound system was so bad she couldn't understand a word out of my mouth. She knew my jokes and couldn't understand what I was saying. That's what makes comedy awesome; that the possibility of bombing is always there."
"If you go in the club, and they have TV's on and they're talking, you don't give a shit about the show and don't worry about it. The ones where you go and everything's set up perfect and you still tank it; that's one you take personally."
If Tim set out to reveal more about himself and be vulnerable on his new CD, Scatterbrains, he succeeded. He pulls off the delicate trick of turning inward without losing his persona. He is still The Reverend. Now, rather than pointing the finger at others, he’s pointing it at himself. Instead of looking at obscure news stories and making them universal, he takes something universal, the birth of a child, and makes it his (and his wife’s, lest we forget). It’s smart and fearless. Mr. Hicks, this is Mr. Cosby.
Like Ophira Eisenberg, Tim spends a lot of time talking about siblings and parents. Similarly, at this point in his career, it produces the most laughs in his set. So, how does Tim deal with his folks on this matter? "They've been very supportive. They just can't listen to the second CD. My dad was begging to buy one from me and I said, 'You can have it, but I don't want you to take the plastic off.' I'm glad you're proud of me and I'm proud of it. But, if you listen to it, I can't be held responsible. My dad loves my show. Of course, when he comes, he doesn't see the same show everyone else sees. They've been very cool. Of course, my sister is a lesbian who lives with a black chick, so by comparison..."
"I love Louis CK. When I saw him at The Comedy Studio (in Cambridge, MA), I don't remember ever laughing that hard. I hate everybody. Either they're not as good as me, or they're better and I'm jealous. But, him... I was just pounding the table with tears streaming down my face. It was like I wasn't a comic, it was like going back before I was a comic and fell in love with the whole thing. I laughed my ass off over that guy."
"He's alternative in the right way. He's old school in the right way. Honest. Real. Just funny. We need more of him and less good-looking skinny people. If we were having a renaissance , we'd have more Louis CK's walking around."
"Well done stand-up comedy is tough. I think anybody can come up with five hack minutes and give it a go. If theatre is coffee, then stand-up is crack. It's better shit but it's also more dangerous. You have to be more in the moment. You have to connect with the audience on an even higher level. There's no fourth wall; they can talk back to you and it's perfectly acceptable."
"I made a guy cry at The Vault (a damp room for comedy in the basement of a restaurant on Beacon). I was hosting an open mic. There was a guy on the show who I didn't know. He just came in and sat down in the crowd with a friend. They’re talking the whole time right through other people's sets. I didn't even know who he was, thought he was just some shithead in the audience. So, I read off his name and he stands up to come up on stage to do his set. He gives me the 'pysch' fake handshake. He does over 20 minutes, filthy stuff, won't get off the stage. He comes off the stage and I take him into the vault and unload on him, 'Who the fuck do you think you are coming in here disrespecting me? Disrespecting the stage?' I just chewed him out. I was screaming at him and I noticed his lip starting to quiver. Big, fat teardrops start rolling down his face. So, I yell, 'You're crying? You disgust me! Get the fuck out of here!' He runs out of the room crying. After the show, I'm up at the bar and a woman comes up. She's one of his friends and apologizes for him. She knew he had done everything wrong and had it coming. Then she says the guy is basically autistic and this is his life long dream to try comedy. All I could think was, 'Oh, my god. I just made an autistic kid cry.'" (Probably not something for the Make-A-Wish Foundation reel.)
"You've got to be kind of damaged to be funny in the first place. I think humor is a defense mechanism. That's where it develops, right? They say comedy is pain. It's kind of a cliché, but it's true. People learn to be funny for a reason; maybe it's to get their parents' attention or keep from getting beat up. It comes from somewhere. I think that's why you see so many damaged souls try stand-up. That's why I think the good looking kids are phonies."
"Thanks for being patient with me and letting me ramble on like an old man. 'Kids today, they don't got no respect for the business.'"
[+ Show ]
"Reverend" Tim McIntire's Crusade To Revive Subversive Comedy By Nick A. Zaino Copyright Stuff..."Reverend" Tim McIntire's Crusade To Revive Subversive Comedy
By Nick A. Zaino
Copyright Stuff@Night 7.4.2000
YES, HE'S REALLY A MINISTER. And yes, he's really funny. In fact, he may be the world's funniest bald ecumenical comic. Every week, the Reverend Tim McIntire gathers his flock at the Comedy Studio on the third floor of Central Square's Hong Kong restaurant for the Thursday Night Fights, his personal mission, he says, "to bring mean spirited comedy back to Cambridge." The Fights pit two Boston comedians against each other in a series of competitions designed to unleash utterly vulgar comedic onslaughts just a stone's throw from the tranquility of Harvard Yard. But then, the everend Tim has always been pulled to the dark side.
With his new CD, Poor Impulse Control, McIntire hopes to recreate the vibe of classic subversive comedy albums. "That's what I always thought was cool about comedy albums," he says. "You can buy your rock and roll, your heavy metal, and you play it to give the finger to your mom. But when you've got a comedy album, when you got the Sam Kinnison album or the Lenny Bruce album, you waited until she was out of the house and you and your friends hovered around the record player, like a secret knowledge you weren't supposed to have."
We caught up with the Reverend Tim and his wife, Jenipher, at a sushi bar in Somerville.
What inspired you to create the Thursday night Fights? [Comedy Store owner] (sic) Rick Jenkins wanted me to do Thursday nights, and he wanted a political show, but there are about two political comics in town. So a political night would be impossible, unless you started grandfathering in blowjob jokes as political. So I had to come up with a way to trick comics into being political comics. I've always wanted an excuse to have an offensive sentence competition. I've had that in the back of my head forever. So I threw that in, and the rant was obvious. That's what they're supposed to be doing anyway. So I put that in to kind of warm the comics up. And then the news quiz is pretty logical.
What's the most offensive thing you've heard a comedian say? By the way, I'm pretty sure they won't let me print this part. The one that got me the most was Tony V's. "There's no point in making two retarded siblings fuck if they're not going to wear the costumes." That was pretty good.
Have you ever had anyone walk out of a show? I chased a table out once. There were these two guys, thick-necked, light-beer-drinking kind of guys. I don't know what they were expecting, but they obviously didn't like the fights, and commenced to chatting amongst themselves. So I started yelling at them until they left. And God approved of it, because they were so drunk that as they started to run down the stairs and tell me how badly I sucked, they tripped and fell down both flights of stairs from the Comedy Studio. Which was just exquisite.
Is there some sort of agenda to bring the issues of the day to people? Yeah. It's immediate because it's what happened that week. It's nice to have one night where you can go do something like the Vermont same-sex bill, which is important, but it's really only news for a week or two. With the Fight's, it's right there, it's immediate, and if you've got something about, maybe House Bill 305, it's actually cool to do it.
Is swearing mandatory? Yes, swearing is mandatory.
So you have to talk about issues... Swear about issues, exactly. In my head, whenever I picture the TV version of it, I think of it as people in jeans and T-shirts sitting around the roundtable for This Week With David Brinkley. Like we broke into the studio.
Have you had interest from TV? The producer who Rick Jenkins has an in with works in a division of HBO. I think he's in charge of developing new projects. So he saw the Tony V/DJ Hazard fight. The last we heard was that they were blown away by the tape. The same guy is associated with one of the former producers of the Montreal Comedy Festival. That may be a different direction. I actually prefer that - doing a live fight at the Montreal Comedy Festival.
Why make an album? On one level, purely egotistical, I've always wanted one. I love comedy albums, and I'm a comic, so I thought it would be cool to do one. And I'm hoping, perhaps with a CD burner and an iMac and a Web site, I can circumvent at least some of the industry and do it exactly my own way. I'd like to think that now is the time when you can totally start to dictate things on your own terms because you don't have to. I mean, I can totally produce, release, and distribute an album myself, and answer to nobody but myself.
What do you think are the all-time essential comedy albums? Bill Hicks, Relentless. Any Lenny Bruce, thought I've found he hasn't aged well. Richard Pryor, Live on the Sunset Strip. Steve Martin, Wild and Crazy Guy. [Turns to Jenipher] I don't know if I should tell this story, Aw, what the heck. We were still dating - this is how I knew I was going to marry her. Somehow we had ended up knocking boots during Steve Martin's Wild and Crazy Guy. And I knew we were going to get married because we both stopped at the same point and said, Wait a minute, I want to listen to this.
Are you legally a minister? There's a church in the back of Rolling Stone that'll ordain you for five bucks. The Universal Life Church of Modesto, California. The church has two rules - everybody should do what's right, and it's up to each individual to decide what's right. I did it as a goof, only later to find out that it's legit and enforceable, and I was in fact authorized to do weddings and whatnot.
How many marriages have you performed? Just one. I married a comic and his wife at a rest area in Maine on Route 4. I think somebody's mom must have said, "I don't care what you do, I just want a wedding." I boiled the ceremony down to four sentences, including "I now pronounce you man and wife." To make things worse, they made all the comics do comedy at the reception. So the family decided they hated me for endorsing this farce, so it was one of the hardest sets I'd ever had. It's like, "You just saw him in his capacity as a minister, now welcome the comedy stylings..."
And they're still married? Yeah. So far I'm batting a thousand. Find me another minister who can say that.
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And the champ is . . . Tony V by Robin Vaughan and The Boston Herald, February 11, 2000 After... And the champ is . . . Tony V
by Robin Vaughan and The Boston Herald, February 11, 2000
After 22 weeks of bouts between veteran local heavyweights, middleweight contenders and feisty up-and-comers, the Comedy Studio's popular Thursday Night Fights series finished its first season last week with a well-attended championship round. The packed house included both Studio regulars and a supportive showing of local pros, including Steve Sweeney, Julie Barr and DJ Hazard.
The belt went to Tony V., the heavily favored veteran headliner who was challenged in the final rounds by young newcomer Greg Rodriguez, a soft-spoken wit who stayed on his feet for five fights before finally succumbing to the seasoned champ.
``There's no shame in losing to Tony,'' said Rodriguez. ``I just didn't want to get steamrolled.''
``Greg was the definitive darkhorse, but he hung tough,'' said host Tim McIntire, who was invited to create the politically inclined series last year by Comedy Studio founder Rick Jenkins.
The goal of the battle, to be not only the funnier, faster, best-informed contestant but also the most offensive, proved no great challenge to champion ranter Tony V., who suggested that he'd probably have to leave town in disgrace if he was upset by a fledgling at the little indie club above the Hong Kong restaurant.
In the true up-yours spirit of old-school Boston comedy, Tony V., fully aware that two of the guest judges were from the Herald, dropped his pants to deliver his most offensive line (it can't be repeated here) while pretending to soil the comedy listings of this newspaper. Since neither judge contributed to that particular page of the paper, neither was offended. Nor, apparently, were the other judges (comedian and club promoter Dick Doherty and the Fantom Funnyman, an e-mailingcomedy-community crank who phoned in his vote), both of whom Tony V. attempted to alienate with targeted but cryptic barbs.
The real victory at the series' closer, however, was McIntire's. The series, he said, became so popular during its first season that ``people were actually getting together and figuring out strategy and placement.'' Toward the final rounds, he added, the comics also were becoming more creatively involved in the concept, getting together to rehearse such hilarious intro skits as last week's ``West Side Story'' bit preceding the rumble between ``a Puerto Rican and a guy named Tony.''
The Fights, which begin with a rough-and-tough heavy-metal/WWF-style intro video (``the idea was that the Studio was cute and clever the rest of the time but on Thursdays it got ugly,'' said McIntire), could become a nationally televised event in the future. A Los Angeles producer is interested in McIntire's demo video and might help to get the series on the air. Big-time prospects aside, McIntire said he already had gained invaluable skills in the course of hosting his first regular show.
``It was a personal challenge for me to have to come up with a solid five or 10 minutes of new material every week,'' said McIntire, whose quick asides liven up the proceedings. He also had to learn ``when to lead and when to let go,'' he said. ``As a stand-up, you're so used to doing things alone'' that it's not necessarily a natural skill to work spontaneously with others, he explained.
``It's a matter of trust. I wouldn't have to jump in and save someone like Tony V. - the guy's been on `Seinfeld.' But there have been times when people just choked,'' he said. ``So you have to be the sherpa, and just let them follow you."
© Copyright 2000, The Boston Herald
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FAN REACTION WASN'T FUNNY Robin Vaughan, Boston Herald April 30, 1999 When Boston comic Tim M...FAN REACTION WASN'T FUNNY
Robin Vaughan, Boston Herald
April 30, 1999
When Boston comic Tim McIntire said it was a tough crowd at the Kahlua Boston Music Awards ceremony, he wasn't joking.
McIntire, who co-hosted the event at the Orpheum with stand-up pal Julie Barr, said the crowd "decided right off the bat" not to go for the pair's comedic contribution, which began with a Sonny and Cher routine.
"Julie came out as Cher, and then six pallbearers carried me in, in a coffin,'' said McIntire. ``When you can hear, from inside a closed coffin, 3,000 people booing you at the top of their lungs, you know right away you're at the wrong gig.''
The duo went on with the sketch anyway - ``Sonny'' was propped up and ``Cher'' sang his parts on ``I Got You Babe'' while crouching behind the corpse. Though the crowd lightened up during the course of the event, McIntire said it was not destined to be their most glorious triumph on a local stage.
``No one paid their 50 bucks to see a comedian they never heard of tell jokes,'' said McIntire, adding that ``the people who came to hear Joey McIntyre sing are probably not the same people who enjoy dark satire.''
The crowd might have been more receptive if the hosts had been famous, McIntire said, but he agreed that music audiences and stand-up fans don't always overlap. ``I think there is a chasm between them, which is probably of comedy's own making, because the stand-up scene has gotten stale and relatively unexciting. An 18-year-old into punk rock probably isn't going to want to see a guy in a jacket and skinny tie standing against a brick wall telling airline jokes.''
McIntire said he sees a hipper profile in store for the American comedy scene, as edgier comedy continues to gain attention at fringe clubs such as Harvard Square's Comedy Studio, where he hosts the weekly Thursday Night Fights show. Locally, the Studio is "definitely the place to see riskier stuff. When industry people come through, they're spending more time there than any other place in town.'' (Brendan Smalls, whose animated show "Home Movies'' debuted this week on UPN, is a recent Studio showcase success story.)
McIntire's Thursday Night Fights show, as he described it, is often at least as darkly irreverent as the Sonny and Cher bit. "Basically, there are two comics onstage, I ask them questions about events of the day, and they debate each other,'' he said, adding that he encourages some bare-knuckled banter and extreme political incorrectness.
"For example, when the topic was CBS airing the Kevorkian issue, one of the questions was, `Who would you kill to get on CBS?'
"It's kind of like `This Week with David Brinkley'...if everybody showed up drunk.''
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The yuks start here Nine young Boston comics on the verge of breaking out By Michael Blowen, G...The yuks start here
Nine young Boston comics on the verge of breaking out
By Michael Blowen, Globe Staff, 09/19/99
Somewhere between the adulation and riches of a situation comedy and the humiliation and poverty of three minutes of stage time at a dingy, Sunday-night open mike, there exists a twilight zone for stand-up comics. It's a place of corporate gigs, occasional headlining, voice-over work, and, basically, trying to make a career in comedy pay for itself. To varying degrees, that's where all these comics find themselves.
The comics featured here are certainly not the best paid. But they're young, and of all the comics I've seen this year, they all seem to have a good chance of breaking through. Like comedy fans of earlier decades who claim to have seen Jay Leno at local clubs or Jimmy Tingle and Steve Sweeney and Lenny Clarke at the defunct Ding Ho, there are comedy patrons who, a few years from now, can say they saw Gary Gulman at Stitches or Brendon Small or Eugene Mirman or the Rev. Tim McIntire at the Comedy Studio at the Hong Kong in Harvard Square. Or Dwayne Perkins at Dick Doherty's Comedy Escape at the China Blossom in North Andover. Some will claim to have seen Katie Grady at Doherty's Salem club or Bradford Scobie at the Lizard Lounge or Steve Calechman at the Comedy Connection at Faneuil Hall or Brian Frates at the Improv Asylum. They, along with Lauren Verge, a terrific comic who couldn't make it to our get-together last week at the Comedy Studio because of an illness in her family, constitute a true renaissance in Boston comedy.
The rich variety of those on the cusp of national breakthrough is astonishing. Whether it's the courageous Mirman, whose experimental repertoire stretches beyond the beyond, or Rev. McIntire (he actually holds a ministerial document) carrying on as if he were a ref in the WWF or Grady, her coyness not quite softening her hard edge, the local scene has rarely been brighter.
Scobie, whose alter ego, Vance, of faux-lounge-act Vance and Lorna fame, is hysterical, and Frates, who recently took over the movie-hosting chores at WSBK-TV Ch. 38), can go toe to toe with anyone in the improv business.
Anyone who saw Perkins's recent set on Conan O'Brien's show realizes he'll be on to the big time in no time, and Gulman already has a situation-comedy development deal. Calechman, one of the hardest workers, whose sets have improved immeasurably in just six months, is destined to be a headliner, and Small is already an animated star in UPN's ''Home Movies.''
It's a remarkable lineup that should put to rest the ghostly burden of Boston comics past.
Rev. Tim McIntire
Born in Colorado Springs, Colo., and graduated from the College of Sante Fe in 1992.
Biggest Influence: Bill Hicks.
Favorite Comic: Bobcat Goldthwait.
Best Thing About the Comedy Business: ''Bringing laughter and joy to people's ... aw, screw it.''
Worst Thing About the Comedy Business: ''Having to watch how I answer this question so I don't get blackballed.''
Why Boston Is Great for Comics: ''Lots of clubs and lots of available spots ... nice mix of established acts and young energy.''
Why Boston Is Bad for Comics: ''There's a very narrow view of comedy here - a perception that there's only one way to do it. There's not as much creativity here as there ought to be in a city like this.''
This Week: ''Involved in a `hostage situation.'''
In Five Years: ''Getting sued for slander by Clyde Drexler.''
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Tim Mcintire - Nicest Man in Comedy Quietly revolutionises CD Market Tim Mcintire is a Boston b...Tim Mcintire - Nicest Man in Comedy Quietly revolutionises CD Market
Tim Mcintire is a Boston based comedian, husband and father of 2. And, after you have read this article, you will want to give him a hug.
Why? Because he singlehandedly revolutionised the way we should buy and sell digital media to the benefit of the consumer, artist and the environment, although nobody has heard about it. Even now, whilst Amazon, Sony, Google and the others are fidgeting around trying to work out over-complex print + digital delivery methods to ensure revenue, maximum customer reach etc, Mcintire solved the whole damn problem with a Paypal button. And he did it whilst being damn damn funny.
About 2 years ago, I came across “The Reverend” Tim Mcintire. I spotted his website almost by accident. The first thing I noticed was that Tim was hosting roughly half of his album “Poor Impulse Control” freely on the front page of his website, with an invitation to buy the album through Paypal (the CD would then come through the post.)
Being the kind of dude who would pay nothing for Radiohead’s new album, I senmt him no cash, downloaded the mp3s and cackled like a cock to the superb (self-produced) tracks Mcintire had to offer. A little Bill Hicks, a little weary father, a lot of charm. I though it was great.
A few weeks later, Mcintire released the remaining tracks on Poor Impulse Control for free on his site. The reason? Mcintire had sold out of the CDs, and from now on the whole shebang was free. He had an optional Paypal donation for “the beer fund”, other than that, I was free to help my damn self to this dude’s content. It was great.
So great in fact that Mcintire became the first comedian I sent a Paypal donation to. Nay, the first person ever. I sent through a donation (it automatically added postage, but I gave an amount that meant that even with postage, it was the amount I wanted to give him.)
It felt good.
Tim ended up contacting me, refunding my postage and apologising for this “error.” I immediately sent it back explaining that it was all for him. And that I thought he was great.
Tim brought out a new CD a few months later. I bought it immediately. When I got the CD through, there it was. An original CD of his first “sold out” release. For free. Because he’s such a dude. Signed? You betcha.
Enough of the anecdote. Let’s consider what Tim’s done in the CD marketplace. so to produce Poor Impulse Control, there were costs. Recording, printing, design, shipping etc. Being an up and comer, the CD riun was limited to enough copies to sell at venues, plus over the net. Once he was out of it, the physical CD has gone, but the content still remain, thanks to digital STUFF like the internets.
So right as he has made his return on the original invesment, the artist drops the cost of the product electronically to zero, gives a choice to pay and hosts it online for the whole world.
Now, with no outgoing costs (I mean he already pays web hosting fees), everything and anything the artist gets is pure profit. So even though some users will pay nothing for the content, the profit rises as the likelyhood of the sale slips away from 100% (CD order) to possible (download and optional payment.)
You only have to compare what Radiohead did recently. It works. And it’s good for the envieronment. And you have to remember that Tim did it first.
Meanwhile, Tim now offers full streams and downloads of BOTH albums on his site. The man is way ahead of even the most tech-savvy comedians out there.
Merry Christmas Tim! Here’s to you and yours.
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