This gentleman has a sense of humor and little sense of shame, something you might have picked up on if you've seen his stand-up performances at the Laughing Skull. When he's not offending audiences or encouraging couples on first dates to make out in front of an audience, Mike Albanese is juggling a host of extracurriculars.
We're particularly taken with his involvement in the Beard & Stache Bar project, which lends a healthy sheen to the roughest of facial hairs. Then there's the upcoming Battle of the Beards, hosted by Mike himself. Needless to say, Mr. Albanese has quite a few tricks up his sleeve. And one of them does actually involve making a first date couple to round first base in front of a crowd.
SCOUT: Hi Mike! Start off by telling us a little bit about what you do, and why.
MIKE: I am a jack of all and master of few. Standup comedian, entrepreneur/hustler, mover, shaker... and mostly, broke. (I took this directly from my online dating profile.) And I have a baby niece that is far too cute for her own good.
SCOUT: What got you started in the comedy world?
MIKE: Growing up, I was always awed and inspired by standup comedy. I watched and listened to it all the time. All the greats like Carlin, Pryor, Cosby. But the one that I remember watching the most was Dana Carvey's 1995 HBO Special Critic's Choice. I watched that special over and over as a kid. As an adult I started doing standup because of one of my best friends, Bob Place. He has been doing comedy since he was 15 and he got me to go on stage when I was 18 in Athens. I bombed miserably. I attempted it a few times over the years but in the last 2 I have put my full time energy into writing and performing as much as possible.
SCOUT: We're curious: give us the lowdown on ATL's comedy scene, in your opinion. Best venues? Favorite performers? Next big person and/or thing?
MIKE: Atlanta is one of the best comedy scenes in the country! Comics can get stage time 7 nights a week, multiple times most nights. And audiences aren't getting bored because we have such a diverse comedy scene with so many talented writers and performers. It is always fresh! My home club, the Laughing Skull, is one of the best in the country! Very good place for someone to cut their teeth. Atlanta comedy vets The Beards of Comedy are releasing their 2nd CD on Comedy Central Records and local powerhouse Comedian Landry, who is a beast on stage and a must see, just won the 2011 Boston Comedy Festival. Atlanta is about to blow up on the world comedy stage!
SCOUT: Have you ever made anyone pee in their pants [from laughter] before? Would you like to?
MIKE: Never made anyone pee their pants that I know of. That would be pretty sweet, though. I have angered and walked a few out. Actually just last week at the Laughing Skull I got a couple on a first date to have their first kiss to the cheers and adoration of a sold out crowd! They got pretty graphic and made out, tongue and all. That was fun to instigate. I hope those crazy kids make it. But they did meet at a bar (she's a bartender), so I imagine their relationship will go about a month or two before jealousy sets in because of all the guys hitting on her before he rages out of control and sets her car on fire.
SCOUT: You've got a very beardy event coming up on the horizon at Highland Inn. Want to tell us a bit more about that?
MIKE: Sure would! I'm the poster child for shameless promotion; case in point... December 3rd at the Highland Inn Ballroom, I'm producing the event of all events! The Battle of the Beards! A facial hair contest of epic proportions. A bunch of different categories to enter, food trucks, bands, comedians, celebrity judges [cough cough, Kevin Gillespie from Top Chef: LAS VEGAS cough], artists and so on. Its gonna be a great time! I highly recommend it. AND, ladies can get in on it with the newly added BEST LADY BEARD category!
SCOUT: Any more events or other plans in the works that we should know about?
MIKE: I am in a standup group aptly named Cabbagetown, as an homage to where we all met and wrote a tv show together. We just filmed our first stand up special at the Laughing Skull this month that will be part of a documentary/comedy special about our group. It, along with our first CD, will be out the first part of 2012.
SCOUT: Finally, give our readers the lowdown on where they can learn more about you and stay updated on your goings-on...
MIKE: I have a website where I have some videos and my show schedule updates. I twitter about 3 times a year #hashtag it would be a waste to follow me. I don't thing I did that right, but regardless both my Twitter and Facebook handles are BIGMANMIKE.
Michael Albanese's Upcoming Shows
Michael Albanese's Videos