Nerds in Paradise Live

It seems Lisa Corrao and her band of rogue comics still have a score to settle with jocks everywhere, because tonight marks the third incarnation of her pleasantly geeky show, Revenge of the Nerd Comics. Returning for more punishment are the ever-lovable cast of geeks, Mike Lawrence, Patrick Schroeder, and Ivan Hernandez, but Corrao has also reeled in Last Comic Standing vet and pop culture wizard, Doug Benson, to headline the shindig. New Times caught up with Benson via phone from his hotel room in New York, where he pontificated on what it actually takes to star in a show full of vengeful nerds.

“Becoming a standup comedian is pretty much the ultimate revenge,” explains Benson. “Most standup comedians are nerds, they’re underappreciated, ignored, maybe even beat up in their early years. So once you make it, then it’s payback time.”

You could say Benson is getting his payback now. The comedian is a regular on VH1’s gossip/pop culture show Best Week Ever, where he regularly pokes fun at celebrity scandal, reports on Internet silliness, and does what he admits are terrible impressions of Harry Potter. Although critiquing YouTube videos and episodes of Tyra sounds like an awful dorky way to spend your time, Benson thinks the pervasiveness of popcult is blurring the line between what’s nerdy and what’s not. “Your average person knows way more about pop culture than they used to, so now you have to be an übernerd,” he says. “For example, in Florida you can’t wear bad sweaters, so you have to go with classics like tennis shoes and shorts with knee-high black socks. Even then you just fit in with all the old people, so you can’t win.”

Aside from waxing geeky on a weekly basis, Benson is also a spokesman of sorts for another group of underdogs: potheads. In 2006 he was crowned High Times Stoner of the Year, mostly for his part in co-penning The Marijuana-Logues, a live comedy show dedicated to the love of the green. But don’t worry, fans – even if Benson gets blitzed for his Wednesday night Revenge at Improv Paradise Live (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood), he still promises a great show. “I’m actually a very responsible stoner. I write jokes. I memorize my jokes. I show up on time. Most stoners think they’re way responsible even if they aren’t, but that’s part of the charm, right?” Right! Tickets cost $12. Call 954-981-5653, or visit www.improvftl.com.

Benson will also stay on at the Improv for shows on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tickets to those cost $18.
Wed., Nov. 21; Fri., Nov. 23; Sat., Nov. 24; Sun., Nov. 25, 2007

 
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