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Reggie Watts, Comedic Performer

Reggie Watts has really blown up since we first caught his mesmerizing alt-comedy/performance art/music hybrid as part of the Under the Radar Festival. In the past two years he's performed to increasingly packed rooms, released his first live DVD, and toured as the opening act for Conan O'Brien's comedy tour. And at the end of the summer he'll shoot a pilot for Comedy Central, which he tells us is a sort of "trippy variety show." This is going to be awesome.

Watts's witty, eccentric live act is as impossible to categorize as it is to forget, and you'd be able to experience it for yourself tonight if only his show at Le Poisson Rouge wasn't sold out! (If only you'd subscribed to our events newsletter, you would have known about this in advance!) In lieu of seeing Reggie in the flesh tonight, pick up a copy of his live DVD, Why S#!+ So Crazy?, which was edited together from three different shows at Le Poisson Rouge, Galapagos, and The Bell House. As a primer, check out his short video for "Fuck Shit Stack") below.

So you've been performing in big venues for the Conan tour. How does that affect your performance, as compared to when you're performing at much smaller venues in, say, Williamsburg? The main difference is just sheer size; 50,000 people as opposed to, you know, 50 people, 40 people. But you know audiences, as a collective, can just direct a good place to play. The audience can tend to be a certain way and Philadelphia was a good audience, Boston was an awesome audience, Tulsa was a great audience, Vancouver was awesome. It's like, with some places... it's weird. You can't tell the difference, but they're often quite subtle and there are so many factors that you can't necessarily say for sure whether whether an audience is good or not.

How was Radio City for you? Oh man, that was ridiculous. [Laughs] Yeah, it was fun! It was amazing. And I was like wow, it's Radio City Music Hall! My goal for that night was just to be more aware of where I was while I was performing. And so I kind of took that with me when I got on stage, and it really helped that that was a beautiful, beautiful stage.

Were you daunted or nervous at all about making this jump to such bigger rooms? You know, it's strange. In music, I'd played some large audiences; as part of a band we opened for Dave Matthews, then I was on tour with them, so 5-6 dates with Dave Matthews. So that was around 40,000 people. Then I opened for the Rolling Stones twice, that was about 50,000 people. So after about 4,000 or 5,000 people, it all is kind of the same in a weird way. It all becomes so many people you can't really feel the difference.

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