Comedy with a cause

by Dege Legg

"Dirty Jokes/Clean Gulf" will help clean up the mess with laughs tonight.


(Tim Landry)

Comedy with a cause hits downtown Lafrayette tonight. Comedians Zach Broussard and Tim Landry are returning to Sadie's for a night of comedy under the banner of "Dirty Jokes/Clean Gulf." This time the laughs have a good cause. Broussard and Landry team up with Zachary Sims to bring their edgy, alternative comedy to Sadie's on June 25. All of them are fixtures on the comedy scene here in Lafayette and abroad and all comics on this night will donate their cut of the proceeds to recovery efforts in the Gulf. To hell with BP, you know? Should be rad. Cover is only $5. Go. I caught up with Zach, now living in New York, for the Posthaste Q&A.


History of Zach Broussard in five words, more or less.**
Only good at being snarky.

If not working in comedy, what else would you be doing, career-wise?
Did my dad write these questions? My lack of real marketable skills makes this one tough. I was always jealous of history teachers. That seems like a fun gig.

Comedy seems like a tough gig – one mic, no guitar to hide behind, just you up there. How do you handle hecklers?
As a comic, you have a microphone. You're amplified, and on a stage. Hecklers shouldn't stand a chance. I try to find a fun way of reminding them that I'm the one who knows how to tell jokes. I'll sometimes ask them a sincere question, and when they go to respond I'll yell, "This is my time!"

Worst heckler ever?
There was this giant group of Russians in the back of a bar I was working. They didn't speak English, and they were just yelling things at the comics in their native tongue. It was like my own little Cold War. I ended up just making fun of them to everyone else in the audience. I remember saying that if you broke that large group of Russians into two, there would just be a smaller group of Russians inside, à la Russian dolls.

When science fails us and our spiritual leap of faith stumbles, what can one do when attempting to divine the great mysteries of the universe?
When I'm feeling lost, I just watch Woody Allen movies. He goes through every possible concern surrounding the human condition in each film. It's the cheapest therapy you could get.

Word Association:
Bill Hicks -  Cigarettes
Emo Phillips -  Haircut
Lenny Bruce -  Cops
Steve Martin -  Jerk
Richard Pryor -  Explosion
Seinfeld -  Hello, Newman
Don Rickles -  Hello, Dummy

Best comedy gig ever?
I just did a show in Toronto at this place called Rivoli. It's Toronto's biggest alternative comedy room and it's where the Kids in the Hall started out. That sort of blows my mind. The crowd was very smart and completely on board.

Worst gig ever and/or how do you tell jokes to an empty room?
I did a show at the Funny Bone in Baton Rouge once, and it was absolutely the worst show I've ever done. The entire crowd was in camouflage, and I mostly told jokes about video games. I'm still glad I did the show, even though I mostly just got blank stares. There's a sick part of me that still likes to hear myself talk, no matter who's listening.

I'm worried, pissed, and freaked about the future of the gulf coast. Hit me with your latest BP joke.
Kevin Costner spoke to a congressional panel about ways to stop the oil spill. His idea is pretty drastic. He recommended covering the spill with every known copy of The Postman.

In your experience, what kind of jokes historically go over well with audiences and which almost always tank?
Unfortunately, dirty jokes work. My personal rule is that the joke has to be more clever than it is dirty. As long as it's clever, I don't really mind.
In my experience, white people just can't tell jokes about race. No matter how good their intentions might be or how clever the joke is, audiences won't go with you on that.

Besides going to do battle with The Mermen, on what occasion is it most appropriate to wear turquoise?
If you're getting drafted by the Miami Dolphins.

Jim Morrison claimed to have the spirit of an Indian Shaman living in his "fragile, eggshell mind." Who or what lives inside Zach Broussard?
Inside of me there is the spirit of an old woman that absolutely loves antiques.

2012. Blind date with disaster or metaphysical upgrade?
This year I've committed to my craft more than ever, and now I'm happy but very poor. Disaster and metaphysical upgrade might actually go hand-in-hand.