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September 10, 2013

Comedy: Burning boats with Nicholas Anthony

Nicholas Anthony has been just about everywhere in the decade he’s been performing as a stand-up comedian. He’s lived all over the United States and traveled to the Middle East to entertain our troops. The Minneapolis native (who lived for a time in Louisville) has spanned highs and lows in his career — from appearing on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” to a stretch of time he lived out of his car traveling from open-mic to open-mic, and to the release of his first album, Professional Child, last year.

“You have to decide what you wanna do and sail the boat that direction,” Anthony once said, late at night and bourbon-blurred. “And once you’re there, burn the boat … there can be no plan B.” Now having sailed his boat to Los Angeles, with hopes to break into television writing, Anthony returns to Louisville this weekend to perform at Comedy Caravan.

LEO: How’s it going out there on the left coast?
Nicholas Anthony: It’s great! I’ve finished a pilot, and I’ve got three other spec scripts floating around … but it’s a process, for sure. There are more brain surgeons in the world than there are television writers.

LEO: I heard you and Dave Waite are running a cool show out there.
NA: Yeah. It really just happened from us drinking in this really cool bar called the Blind Barber. We were there one night, and they told us, “You guys are going to have to leave or come over and play musical chairs with us.” We were just like, “All right, I guess musical chairs it is.” So we were there until the wee hours playing musical chairs, and eventually they found out we were comedians, so they asked us to organize and run a show for them. This is going to be our seventh show, and we’ve sold out every one — people from Andy Kindler to Todd Glass, from Rory Scovel to Bobcat Goldthwait and Kyle Kinane have all showed up to play.

LEO: What do you miss about Louisville?
NA: I’m definitely gonna hit Nachbar, Zanzabar — y’know, basically just stumbling through Louisville. The fact that the city is open until 4 in the morning is dangerous … but I definitely miss that. I’m jonesing for Ramsi’s, and I’m definitely going to hit up that fish place with the beignets (The Fish House). Tom Sobel always takes me to these weird little places — I love it.

LEO: Are you still up to par on your bourbon intake?
NA: Oh yeah, dude, I’ve been drinking old fashioneds. The craft cocktail thing is a huge craze out here in L.A. I don’t know if you all care about it in Louisville — but here it’s a hyper-trendy thing.

LEO: You haven’t been here in a year and a half. What can we expect from your show?
NA: A lot of new material. I’ve been writing a lot. Essentially what’s happening now is that I put out the first album, which documents the material that got me to become a headliner. And now the second album is less about having to hit the laughs and more about pulling my guts out on stage. I think it should be a natural evolution.