Travis Tate is speeding through the comedy ranks in Utah right now. A relative newcomer to the comedy game, you can’t go to a show at a one of the Wiseguys clubs during any given weekend and not see “Mr. Wiseguys” performing. Most likely you will see him either hosting or as a guest comic for some of the biggest local and national comics around.
You can now add headliner to his title as this week he will headline (on Thursday night) for the second time this year and at the bigger WVC venue. He will have a gaggle of new material to delight and entertain you with. Plus he is hard working and a really nice guy. So you should probably go, because it will make everyone involved a better human being.
Travis offers a refreshing and relatively clean prospective on comedy that even your everyday senile elderly homeless man can enjoy. I guess that is a rather small demographic to include, but I wouldn’t restrict it just to that. He is really appealing to the masses.
Describe yourself in 10 words or less?
Well to make a long story short I’d say that.
Being a Postal Worker, how would you go “Postal” on the Post Office? Guns and knives are not allowed.
There is nothing that I could do to the U.S. Postal Service that the U.S. Government hasn’t already done. The Post Office is basically tied up in Buffalo Bill’s basement waiting to be turned into a lady suit. Only Jody Foster can save us now.
A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
“Before you even ask I’m wearing this because I lost a bet. I’m here because it’s court ordered”.
What got you started in stand up comedy?
I was always a bit of a class clown, because making people laugh is a great way to get attention. For as long as I can remember I have liked SNL, and stand up TV shows. My earliest influence was probably Bill Cosby. He still remains one of my favorites.
Who are your biggest inspirations in comedy?
Obviously Cosby, then people like Mel Brooks, Steve Martin, Jonathan Winters, Buddy Hacket, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Louie C.K., Bill Burr, Brian Regan, and Jim Gaffigan.
How long have you been doing comedy?
Who has been the biggest help for you in your comedy career?
First of all Keith Stubbs has allowed me to get on stage at Wiseguys, and that has been huge. He’s also given me constructive feedback from time to time. There are great comics in this market that have given me advice like Scott Tim Thorn, Jerry Mabbott, Spencer King, Marcus, Guy Seidel, Jay Whittaker, Key Lewis, Greg Kyte, Steve Soelberg, Josh Fonokalafi, Andy Gold, Rodney Norman and Jamie Maxfield.
What is the biggest obstacle you have had going from the opening and hosting to headlining?
The biggest obstacle by far is bringing a crowd. It’s really weird to promote yourself, and it kind of makes me feel like a dirtbag to throw myself into peoples faces everyday. But it’s just as important as being funny. It is a business afterall. Building time for me is a work in progress. Writing jokes is one of my favorite parts of comedy.
What advice would you give comics that are trying to prepare to headline gigs?
I would just say, Work Your Butt Off.
What can we expect different this time from the last time you headlined back in June?
I’ve got 15 new minutes that I didn’t have last time. Plus I’ve added pyrotechnics and a jaw harp.
You have had the opportunity to open and host a lot at Wiseguys. Who are some of your favorites that you have been honored to perform with?
I have been really lucky to work with some really great comedians like Tom Green, The Sklar Brothers, Dave Coulier, Cash Levy, Lisa Landry, and Ryan Hamilton.
What was one joke that you have told that has stood out the most?
I have a joke about gay guys trash talking each other that I’m very proud of because it’s not mean at all, and it often gets a second wave of laughter.
What do you think of the local comedy scene? Good and bad?
I think we’ve got a great local comedy scene. One of the best things about it is the opportunity that we have to open for big time touring comedians. We truly are very lucky to get the quality time in front of big crowds. The bad in my opinion is an attitude that we as comics aren’t responsible for selling shows or bringing people to the shows. If the biggest name comics in the country have to buy advertising and go on talk shows to sell themselves then a no name scrub like me had better be doing it too.
What would make it better?
Growing the scene will make it better. I think if someone from SLC can make it big that would do nothing but help the scene.
Who are some of your favorite local comics?
All of the guys that I named for helping me along are favorites of mine. Some other guys that I really enjoy are Jacob Leigh, Paul Sheffield, Spence Roper, Marty Archibald, Seth Tippets, Abbi Harrison, Christian Peiper, Mike Grover, Dylan O’Neil, Natasha Mower, Wallace Fetzer, Jackson Banks, and Aaron Woodall. I probably forgot someone, so if you didn’t see your name hear just type it in. Jordon Mazziotti
What shows do you have coming up?
I currently have a headlining show on October 24th at 7:30, at the West Valley Wiseguys. It’s only $5 and should be clean enough to air on primetime TV. But don’t bring little kids because clean can still have adult themes.
How can people connect with you?
@travistatefunny on twitter or you can friend me on Facebook.
I am so proud of you. I knew our family was destined to provide the world with at least one pro comedian. This amount of material couldn’t possibly go without notice. Break a leg Nephew.