Making fun of hip-hop is part of Steven Briggs’s act. “Rappers are proof that freedom of speech exists. Most of them just talk about booty...over and over. If they didn’t have a beat behind them, rappers would be homeless men.”
But rappers get the joke.
“I had a gig at the Orpheum Theatre in Idaho Falls and the Ying Yang Twins asked me to open for them.”
Comedy TV set
Like beatboxer Michael Winslow (Police Academy) and Pablo Francisco, who made a career using his mouth to spit ranchera music and death-metal, San Diego comic Briggs has done well fusing comedy and music. His beatboxing wrapped around rapid-fire lyrics has fueled a six-year-strong standup-comedy career.
“I opened for [L.A. rapper] Aceyalone in Las Vegas and for Unwritten Law at a one-day festival in Yucaipa.”
Now comedy is all he does. He’s entertained the troops in Kuwait. His first album, due out in June, has four music bits. He tells the Reader that album, Whiskey Dick, will be released by Uproar Entertainment (Richard Pryor, Brian Regan, Margaret Cho).
Briggs, 28, continues his music-and-comedy career with a Saturday show that mixes five local bands and three local comics. He says the all-ages show makes a point that music riffs and comic bits can mix.
He says the music/humor cross-pollination is healthy for comics who may want to get out of their comedy-club rut. “When you have 30 comics in one night, one after another, it all tends to blend together.”
But Briggs also knows mixing bands with comics can be dicey.
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“The good thing is that there is often a lot of energy at music shows and amped-up comedy goes great with it. The bad thing is that most of the time [music-show fans] don’t know that comedy is gonna happen. They say, ‘I came to see a band. What the hell is this?’”
Briggs says those fans can heckle. Or worse. “If it’s dead silence, you know its not going well.”
Organized by mod band the Bassics, Saturday’s Irenic show mixes local bands AJ Froman, Madly, Dani Bell and the Tarantist, and Marujah with comics Erik Knowles, Carlos Mendez, and Briggs.