Touring stand-ups ready to howl in new venue
by Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
A pair of ribald stand-ups will make back-to-back Amarillo appearances at a venue not otherwise known for comedy in the next few days.
Mo Alexander, a Memphis, Tenn., based comic, will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday at No Dogs Allowed, 700 S.W. 10th Ave., followed by an 8 p.m. Sunday show there by Austin comic JT Habersaat.
New owners Matt Hardie and Toby Brohlin are comedy fans and are looking to expand the bar’s offerings, said Shea White, an Amarillo author, former DJ and organizer of the Comedy Night with Shea series.
“We'd talked about doing some comedy there before but the old owners weren't entirely enthusiastic about the idea,” White said. “Now that Matt and Toby are in charge and into doing shows there, it seemed like a no-brainer.”
Alexander is back on the road after spending several months in the hospital last year recovering from serious injuries to his feet and from blood clots in his lungs.
“I dropped dead and was revived on Easter Sunday,” Alexander said, perfectly serious but still reveling in some mordant black humor.
Alexander said he was clinically dead – no heartbeat, no breathing – twice before doctors got the clots taken care of.
“I was seriously dead for two minutes,” Alexander said. “I woke up and my doctor was slapping me in the face, (saying) ‘Come on, bro, come back!’
“I was freaking out, but my whole motto in the hospital was that I’m not done yet,” said Alexander, who said he had weights brought in to his hospital room to work on his upper-body strength even before he moved over to rehab to regain strength in his legs.
“I was in the hospital bed for three months (and) my legs shrank down,” he said. “I came in with big, strong, African-American legs, and (left) with small, Kenyan runner legs.”
Now that he’s on the road to recovery, “my outlook is still just the same,” he said.
“I’m not done yet. I have more CDs to put out, more comedy to write, way more people to offend.”
Alexander will be making his Amarillo debut, but Habersaat will return to town to kick off his first major tour of 2016.
Habersaat, a former music journalist who runs a punk record label in addition to his comedy career, will release Misanthrope, a DVD/CD recording of a show recorded live in Dallas, in June. In addition to the material written for that show, he’ll also be road-testing other new bits when he returns to Amarillo.
“Working it out on stage is the fun part,” Habersaat said. “If you have the genesis of a bit, then it’s a matter of fine-tuning it until it becomes what it becomes. That’s equal parts scary and exciting.”
Though Amarillo is the launching pad for this tour, Habersaat has been sharpening his act already at some unannounced shows in Austin.
“My brain went dormant for the winter months, but when I got shows booked, I started writing stuff again,” he said. “It feels good to get that spark again.”
Though the comics won’t be performing on the same bill this time, they’re a mutual admiration society.
“Mo’s great,” Habersaat said. “He took us out for Memphis ribs. He’s a really great guy.”
The men have a similar sensibility, Alexander said.
“Even though I’m a large black man, I’m an old punk kid,” Alexander said. “We bonded.”
Cover is $5 for Alexander and $7 for Habersaat.