In this week’s “All Up Ian Your Business”, I catch up with Tom Russell, the current caretaker and host of an Atlanta Tuesday night comedy institution, “Limerick Junction Comedy”. Limerick Junction is a weekly open mic that has passed through a few hosts over its 7 years, including Michael Albanese, currently in New York, who started the mic almost by accident. Albanese recalls, “It was a music open mic for I want to say 20 years. I was drinking there one night and they didn’t have more than 1 or 2 musicians sign up, So I did stand up. They asked me to come back and eventually we switched it to comedy night”.
Tuesday nights are busy for comedy in Atlanta with weekly open mics and monthly showcases happening all over the city and Limerick is a staple for Atlanta comedians trying to get in multiple sets in a night and audiences up for the guts and glory of a true stand up open mic. Tom took over the host and show running duties in 2016 and his frenetic energy has altered the DNA of the show into one where audiences are treated to the weirdest and newest jokes in the scene, free popcorn, stiff drinks, the occasional drop in and an end of night lightning round where comics vie to squeeze in one last minute of stage time. Tom is also an incredibly unique voice (literally and figuratively) in the Atlanta Comedy scene, so check out the interview and then check out the show Tuesdays at 10pm.
About The Show
Show Name: Limerick Junction Comedy
Frequency: Every Tuesday at 10PM
Location: Limerick Junction: 822 North Highland Ave.
What makes your show different and fun?
The show is different in many regards in that one never knows how it will go, will it be soul-crushing or validating? Either way it is a fun time for those that drink, smoke, and enjoy free popcorn.
Name drop any “drop ins”?
Clayton English, Quincy Jones (though he may never drop in, again), Rob Haze, Gilbert Lawand (this may indicate my standards of who is a drop-in) I’ve been told Ron White has dropped in, but that is more of a faith-based fact.
What makes a great audience member?
Those that know exactly when to shut up and when to speak. Like a child. Open-minded enough to be polite for bad comics and engaged with good ones. This is a pipe dream, though. We are all people, so maybe just a person that pays their tab, tips, and is polite for the show.
Tell us a lie that will entice people to your show.
I as the host, am never stressed at the beginning, and truly create an atmosphere of calm and fun that sets the tone for the rest of the show. Also I buy wine for audience members.
About The Show Runner
How long have you been doing comedy?
Four and a half years
Who are your Current comedic influences?
Bill Burr, Patrice O’Neal, Colin Quinn, Doug Stanhope (notice how I try to bury him), Larry David
Who were your Childhood comedic influences?
Sebastian Maniscalco, Dan Cummins, Jeff Foxworthy, Brian Regan, Jim Gaffigan
If your comedic style was a flightless bird, what flightless bird would it be and why?
An ostrich: aggressive but standoffish, impractically niche, and always a poor substitute for the regal cassowary.
Why live comedy?
The best live performance one can do. Stand-up is your words and your performance immediately being judged by a group of strangers. It is one of the harder forms of relating to people, but its easier than actually talking to them.
Ask yourself a question here:
Did you do too much research to answer the flightless bird question?
Answer that question here:
Describe your show in 3 words:
Intimate, enabling, and a two-hour jamboree of out-of-place maliciousness and hilarity
If your life was an Infomercial what would it be selling?
A thundershirt that wards off past regrets and illogical stress. Also allows the user eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Best beverage to pair with your show?
The Pickle Back shot: whiskey with a pickle juice flavor, the whiskey burns, pickle juice tastes nasty and sour, but when it’s all said and done you realized you enjoyed. Though you will get a DUI.
If you farted into a wormhole and it connected to the face of any person in all of time space, who would you want to smell your fart?
Nancy Grace, see her exploit my scent.
Favorite Local Comedian:
Jarrod Harris and Evan Fowler
Salty or Sweet or Sour or Bitter of Umami?
Umami, fun to say and I like soy sauce and canned meat.
“Yes and” is to Improv as _____ is to Stand Up Comedy “
“I’ll leave you on this”
‘90’s Kim Deal or anytime Viggo Mortensen
No, I meant Celebrity you want to see crushed.
Gwyneth Paltrow (We get it you’re better than us!)
Least favorite trend in social media?
That we have to use it at all.
Other than stand up comedy, what makes you laugh?
People getting hurt, cats being scared, porn parodies, Obama laughing at the baby Pope
Complete this statement, I love _________ but It really hurts my _____________?
“Jager”, “relationship with everyone around me”
Tell us one last thing that will make everyone love your forever, be specific:
I tell people my favorite movie is “Apocalypse Now,” but it’s really a tie between “Green Fingers” and “Armageddon.”
That’s it for this weeks “All Up Ian Your Business”, thanks for reading and supporting Atlanta Comedy. Check out all of ATLtoDO for the best fun, funky and sometimes free stuff to do inside the fruit loop (We used to call the perimeter the fruit loop). I’m hosting BackStory at Relapse every Thursday in March, doors 7:30, show 8pm. It’s a comedic story telling and conversation show where I interview comics as they tell funny, weird and sometimes incriminating stories on stage in an hour and is always free AF. Just get out and go see some live comedy. You deserve it.
Author: Ian Aber
Ian Aber is a writer and stand up comedian out of Atlanta Georgia, His comedic style mixes stand up and fast paced story telling, drawing the audience into his outsider view of the world. Smart. Engaging. Energetic and Sweaty are all words used to describe him. Ian is one of the producers of Date Night, every second Tuesday at Argosy, Teen Dream: A High School Themed Variety Show, Back Story : Comedic Storytelling and Conversation every Thursday at Relapse Theatre at 8pm and Surrogates : You Tell The Jokes & The Comedian Pulls The Strings monthly at Relapse Theatre.