published Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Get Off The Couch: Comedy, with and without clothes on

LISA DENTON: Hey, Barry, you’ve heard about that old trick to calm yourself for public speaking where you imagine the people in the audience in their underwear?

I like to start out that way, then ask the handsomest — and, by that, I mean bearded — men to move where I can see them better. “You, you and you … please move to the front please.”

I got the idea after I was asked to move to the back once, but that’s another story.

BARRY COURTER: I once had a friend who tried to be helpful and actually showed up in just his underwear. Needless to say, the effect was counterproductive.

LISA: There’s a comedy show Tuesday night at JJ’s Bohemia that puts a new twist in that trick. For the Underwear Comedy Party, the comedians will be in their underwear. And it’s possible that part of the audience will be, too. If you show up in your underwear, you get in free. Otherwise, the cover charge is $5.

BARRY: Cover charge … that’s funny. I could make some walking-around money by getting people to pay me to keep my clothes on.

Speaking of comedy, I was saddened last week to hear of Tim Wilson’s death. I liked him.

LISA: I saw him go on a tear once against Sen. John McCain that didn’t go over too well with The Comedy Catch crowd that particular night. He was definitely a take-no-prisoners act.

But I really liked his novelty songs. “Chucky Cheese Hell” actually includes the word “waller,” which any Southerner knows is what kids do in the plastic ball pit.

BARRY: I like to waller every chance I get. While we are talking comedians, Carlos Mencia is back at The Comedy Catch this weekend.

LISA: He’s doing six shows over four nights, starting Thursday, plus private meet-and-greets with fans for an extra $20.

BARRY: And, any of you wannabe filmmakers, the Local Hero Project is still looking for your short videos. There aren’t many rules — under three minutes, shot horizontally and focused on the outdoors — because the whole idea is to showcase where we live.

LISA: I like how they describe it: “from the serene to the extreme.” Meaning, you don’t have to cascade down a waterfall in a kayak. You can just show your family floating down the Sequatchie River or sliding on a piece of cardboard down the hill at Renaissance Park. That’s more my speed.

BARRY: Or just sitting on a log. They’ve added a contest component and will have some prizes, but the main idea is get out and do something. And tape it. You can learn more at

Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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