With the Milwaukee Comedy Festival starting this week, we thought what better way to welcome it then by interviewing some of the top talent that is performing at the festival! Today we talk to Elijah Holbrook, a 25 year old comedian from Appleton, Wisconsin who moved to Milwaukee last year to pursue his career in comedy.
When: 3rd August
Where: Underground Collective, Grand Avenue Mall
Price: $15 online, $20 at the door
Hello Elijah! Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 25 years old and I’ve been doing comedy for 4 years. I started in Appleton, Wisconsin and just moved to Milwaukee last year to continue pursuing comedy. I grew up with two older brothers and three younger sisters. Out of all my siblings I’m the only one who did not go down the path of getting married, buying a house, starting a family. They think I’m crazy for what I want to do and I think they are crazy for what they are doing.
How did you get into stand up?
I started doing stand up after I dropped out of college. I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life and spent most of my free time depressed and watching stand up specials on Netflix. I started writing jokes, pacing around the living room of my one bedroom apartment with my fist mock holding a microphone performing to a coffee table of empty beer cans. A friend suggested an open mic I could go to and the next week I did it. I bombed my first time up, but I knew I could do better and kept working on it. I eventually started getting laughs and was hooked.
Tell about the show you are bringing to the Milwaukee Comedy Festival?
I am doing a stand up set. A lot of my jokes are based on my childhood growing up in a very religious family and attending private schools. I also talk at length about ant farms and occasionally mix in some word play and observations about the mad world we all live in.
What are your favorite things about performing to an audience and why?
I love the feeling when a show is going really well and I click into my set and can feel exactly how to deliver the next joke to keep the momentum going. It’s a phenomenon I have described before as the feeling of surfing on a wave. I think I enjoy being in front of an audience because I’m pretty quite and reserved in most other aspects of life, so the stage is my moment to say what’s on my mind.
What have been the highlights of shows you have performed previously?
I recently performed on a show with Mr. T’s daughter. I don’t think I need to say anything else here.
What other comedians groups do you find inspiring and why?
I’ve really like Rory Scovel recently. His delivery and stage presence make his material almost indistiquishable from riffing. It seems like everything he says is off the top of his head. I only hope I can one day make my material feel as in the moment as that.
Who else are you looking forward to seeing at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival and why?
I’m excited for a lot of the Milwaukee comics on the festival. I’m honestly looking forward to finishing my set and watch Mike Berg and Ton Johnson who are on the same show as me. Those guys are two of my favorites. Also the 11pm show Saturday at the Underground Collaborative has some great Milwaukee comics. AJ Grill, who was kind enough to help me move, and Carter Deems, who is a popular battle rapper and he mixes it into his stand up brilliantly.
You have a show called the Wisco show- tell us a little about it?
The Wisco show is a monthly late night talk show in the same style of the Daily Show or Last Week Tonight. Our show focuses only on Wisconsin news and includes segments such as “the criminal of the month,” “County of the month,” and a sports update which is written by me and I know nothing about sports. My friend and hilarious comic, Tyler Sitar, and I have been putting it on at a bar in Neenah, Wisconsin for over two years and post all the episodes as podcasts on iTunes and Stitcher.
And finally – in three words, why should people come to see you at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival?
Please Please Please!
If you want to find out more about Elijah you can follow him on Twitter @elijah_holbrook or on Instagram @idontrememberyourname
If you want to find out more about Wisco Show visit thewiscoshow.com