T.J. Miller Review

Author: Alex McLaughlin

To any fan of comedy, T.J. Miller is a name that you’ve started to hear more and more in recent times as he’s risen to the forefront of entertainment. Miller is a star of HBO’s Silicon Valley and has appeared in box-office hits including Deadpool, Cloverfield, Big Hero 6 and How to Train Your Dragon. To no surprise, his show, part of the 20-stop ‘Meticulously Ridiculous Tour’, at the Barrymore Theatre this past Monday was sold out with a lively, packed audience.

After a couple local comics warmed the crowd up, the main show kicked off with T.J. Miller’s wife, Kate Gorney. Her performance was musical rather than comedic and comprised of three witty songs including a rendition of “These Boots”. While entertaining, however, her act seemed out of place among a group of stand-up comics and was likely on stage because she is married to TJ. Nonetheless, her bit was great in its’ own way as TJ danced in the background and she sang with an amazing voice.

The next to perform was Nick Vatterott, a stand-up comedian from Chicago whom arguably led some of the best laughs of the night. He worked well with hecklers in the crowd and elicited some very confused laughs at his non-linear comedy style. I enjoyed his set tremendously and would love to see his stand-up again the next time he is back in Madison.

After Vatterott, T.J. Miller finally took to the stage wielding a double-sided battle ax.  Miller delivered a laugh out loud performance filled with improv, prepared material, and interaction with the audience. Miller spoke about going on State Street and sympathized with locals in the audience annoyed with the university students. At one point, Miller asked the audience to name an influential person in history with someone shouting “Steve Jobs!” followed by another yelling “Hulk Hogan!” thus opening a door of comedic opportunity for Miller to equate Wisconsinite mentality to those two responses. His set was unconventional yet fantastic, filled with great build-up and crafty jokes.

Miller’s ‘Meticulously Ridiculous Tour’ will conclude in his hometown of Denver where he will be filming an hour long HBO special produced by Funny or Die. The Silicon Valley actor’s show was hysterical and unconventional. For a comedian that has not typically been the main character in his acting roles, this show was a great experience to see the type of stand-up that launched Miller’s rise to comedic glory.