Jesse Joyce On The Addictive Nature Of Comedy
Written by J.T. Ryder
The wide-eyed, boyish stare lends an almost sweet natured naiveté to the one time Centerville resident, Jesse Joyce. Yet his comedy rambles from the innocent observations of a open-hearted young soul before traversing into a more personal darkness that most of us, while we may not have ventured there ourselves, have gazed over the edge of. The frank and direct nature in which Jesse narrates a story draws the audience into the quirky and sometimes raw spectacle of the human condition.
Jesse is almost a hometown boy, growing up in Centerville from the fourth grade through the eighth grade, delivering the Centerville Times newspaper and generally enjoying the suburban life. His life since that time has taken him all over the world, most notably to an Irish convent for a year. He now resides in New York, traveling extensively appearing on the Bob and Tom Show, making numerous television appearances, including Comedy Central and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He has also traveled the country with comedians Mark Lundholm, Kurtis Matthews and Pat Dixon in what has been dubbed The Comedy Addiction Tour which is a darkly edgy look at the world of addiction and recovery.
J.T.: What is The Comedy Addiction Tour and how did you get involved?
Jesse: The Comedy Addiction Tour is a new national tour of four sober comics doing a brilliantly funny, dark, edgy ninety-minute show about our addictions and recovery. I think it’s a really interesting show because it is a much more visceral theme than other tours tackle. The tour opens officially at the end of August in Northern California, but we’ve been test marketing it so far in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Destin Florida and New Orleans. The response has been amazing.
J.T.: You style of comedy is very personal and anecdotal. Do you ever feel that you have revealed too much of yourself to the audience?
Jesse: I don’t think there’s such a thing as revealing too much of yourself. Stand up, when it’s done well, is all about presenting yourself as real as possible. And this Addiction Tour is about as honest as I can be. I’ve always said nothing really terrible ever happens to a comic, from getting dumped to dealing with alcoholism… it always can be mined for great material. Also, the more vulnerable you allow yourself to be, the more license you have to point the finger at everyone else… you kind of point out that you have flaws too and the audience is a lot more willing to let you be vicious about everything else.
J.T.: Besides The Comedy Addiction Tour, do you have any other projects or special appearances that you’d like to talk about?
Jesse: The tour is keeping me pretty busy and we’d ideally like it to become an HBO special. In addition to that, I pop up on Comedy Central now and again and I’m on Bob and Tom every couple months. I just wrote jokes for the Flavor Flav roast (on Comedy Central) and I think that it should be pretty brutal and funny. I wrote a show that’s kind of a The Daily Show about history that has garnered some interest. It looks like I’ll be going to North Africa this Christmas to do shows for the troops, and other than that, just maintaining my crazy road schedule traveling all over, meeting great people and loving the fact that I’m doing what I always wanted to do since I was a kid.
This article was originally published in the Dayton City Paper on july 24th, 2007