Nashville isn’t recognized as a hotbed for comedy, necessarily, but it should be — aside of being home to the Wild West Comedy Festival — which brought the likes of Doug Benson, Tig Notaro, Hannibal Buress and Lewis Black to town over a week in April — we have a strong and growing local scene that spreads beyond well-loved Nashville comedy stop Zanies.
One of the (well, former) locals who’s gone on to comedy notoriety well beyond our borders: Nate Bargatze, who’ll be back in Middle Tennessee on Friday, May 29 for a show at the historic Franklin Theatre.
He apparently calls Los Angeles home these days, but he’s also clearly proud of his roots — the first line of his bio is, “I’m from Old Hickory, TN and I love the Vanderbilt Commodores”... plus see his T-shirt, above.
We have lots of reasons to be proud he hails from here, too — you might’ve caught him on a bunch of shows, from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to Conan, but maybe the best representation of how hilarious Nate Bargatze is is his debut one-hour comedy special, Full Time Magic, which premiered recently on Comedy Central. Check out a snippet here:
The best-known comedy stop in Nashville, Zanies’ stage brings out a variety of great touring acts week to week — next month, actress and comedian Janeane Garofalo and Saturday Night Live cast member Jay Pharoah are on the schedule.
The East Room in East Nashville hosts regular comedy, but maybe the best way to jump in there: weekly Spiffy Squirrel shows, held Sunday nights kicking off at 6:30 p.m., with a mix of local and touring comedians. Extra bonus, since comedy shows can often be a bit heavy on the wallet: The cover’s just $5, but the talent’s worth a lot more.
The High Watt on Cannery Row (the smaller sister to the Cannery Ballroom and Mercy Lounge) hosts music more often, but it’s become a regular home to live comedy too, with Corporate Juggernaut bringing great touring acts and locals to the stage regularly. Earlier this month, they brought Emily Heller — another hilarious touring comedian you’ve probably seen on Comedy Central — to that cozy stage.
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