Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tom Simmons knows why peanut butter hates you

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Comedian Tom Simmons returns to Atlanta tonight for a series of NYE weekend shows at the Laughing Skull Lounge. The former Atlantan cut his teeth on the national stand-up circuit in the early aughts via RV with his very patient-sounding wife:

"If you're going to be in comedy, you have to love that three-hour drive to Birmingham," Simmons told CL in a 2004 cover profile. About 20,000 comedians work nightclubs and open-mic nights across America, but they don't spend most of their hours telling jokes. Most of the time is spent schlepping from city to city to tell their jokes, not to mention coping with jet lag, junk food and loneliness along the way.

That's why Simmons and his wife, Serena, decided to make themselves at home on the road. Rather than crash in cheap hotels or the bare-bones condos that clubs sometimes provide for comics, they drive an RV christened "Rick" from town to town. As Simmons says in his act, they decided to go from living out of the suitcase to living in the suitcase. "We make it work partly because, one, we're soul mates, and two, I have to be extra nice, because she can literally take the house and leave me."

In 2009, Simmons was crowned winner of the San Francisco International Stand-Up Comedy Competition, and last year released his fourth comedy album Keep Up, which was produced, edited and engineered at Atlanta's Patchworld Productions. In his review of the album, CL contributor Noah Gardenswartz said, "Simmons' greatest gift as a comedian is his ability to deliver a serious message, cleverly disguised as a witty tangential thought. Take for example, his musings on global warming: 'The damn planet is fighting back man, and it is kicking our ass. It started a few years ago with the shark attacks. Then the mosquitos started giving us encephalitis, and then the birds got the flu, and the cows got mad, now the fucking peanut-butter is after us.' ... Keep Up wonderfully demonstrates how much Simmons needs the stage, and how much society needs him on it."

Tom Simmons. Dec. 29-Jan. 1. $15-$20. Laughing Skull Lounge, the Vortex Midtown, 878 Peachtree St. 877-523-3288.

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