Kurt Braunohler Interview: Getting His White Butt to Montreal

Kurt Braunohler Kurt Braunohler

I saw Kurt Braunohler perform at Off-JFL two years ago and laughed so hard I almost had to leave. He was performing on Stand-up/Strip-Down (a show that will be sorely missed this year) and had a joke about a wet cough on an airplane that was this perfect storm of well-crafted-meets-spot-on-delivery-meets-unexpected-punchline. Upon hearing it, my date and I dissolved into these wildly disruptive choke-guffaws, so beside ourselves that we barely heard the rest of his set. Braunohler is the kind of funny that makes an impression long after his ten minutes are over; the kind of performer you go home and immediately watch on YouTube, then follow on social media. The kind you freak out over when you hear he’s coming back to your city.

On July 16, Kurt Braunohler hits Montreal with an hour-long show of his own called “The Inevitable Whiteness of Being”, which plays at Theatre St. Catherine from July 16-19 and then The Wiggle Room from July 20-25.  The blurb describing the show is as disjointed as one might expect from a comedian who has committed his career to “inserting absurdity into stranger’s lives to make the world a better place”; topics covered include hot air balloon pilots, beaver tails and “figuring out what moths ate before sweaters were invented”.

On the phone from his home in L.A., Braunohler describes his show as “whimsical but also serious at times,” promising that “something major happens at the 40 minute mark.” When asked about the title “The Inevitable Whiteness of Being”, Kurt explains that, among the more rogue topics covered in the show, he also talks about white privilege, especially with regard to what’s currently going on in America. And Braunohler is certainly well-versed in the good ol’ US of A, having just finished driving a huge butt from Las Vegas to New Jersey. That’s right, a 14-foot tall, 15-foot long, 8-foot wide butt traveled 3000 miles in six days as part of a pilot for Comedy Central called “Better. Dumber. Faster. with Kurt Braunohler”. Highlights of the trip include the cop who pulled them over, then let them go without giving them a ticket because “it was his first time pulling over a butt.” Lowlights include the crabby toll booth operator in West Virginia who was reluctant to let Kurt pay for the five cars behind him because she didn’t want to say, “Don’t worry, the butt’s got you covered.”

Called “a prolific stand-up comedian” by the Los Angeles Times, Kurt has performed his whip-smart comedy on stages across the world. He has been featured in Variety’s annual prestigious “10 Comics To Watch” list, and named in Time Out New York’s list of 50 Funniest New Yorkers. He has an album, a half-hour Comedy Central Special, a podcast on Nerdist called “The K-Ohle with Kurt Braunohler” and has done late night spots on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Conan, and Late Night with Seth Meyers.

If you like weird comedy and can allow yourself to sink into random, out-of-nowhere observations and no-context-necessary jokes, then Kurt is for you. VICE called him “the closest thing we have to a real-life Willy Wonka”, and you remember how trippy THAT ride was. Don’t overthink it – just get on board and enjoy the absurdity.

Check out Kurt Braunohler’s show as part of Off-JFL. He appears at the Theatre ST. Catherine on July 16-19. 10:30 p.m. Tickets $21-24. He also performs at the Wiggle Room from July 20-25. 7:30 p.m. Tickets $21-24. Get tickets Here.