Emily Winter and Chris Calogero are coming to Memphis all the way from New York City to sling jokes at Midtown Crossing tonight. Emily currently writes for TV Land, has been a script judge for NBC and has press profiles, featured memes and videos sitting out all over the place. She also created and hosts Backfat Variety, a monthly comedy show in Brooklyn. Chris produces and co-hosts Not Quite Midnight, a standup comedy and talk show that has a featured video on funnyordie.com Memphisisfunny.com got a chance to talk with Emily and Chris about their upcoming show at Midtown Crossing Grill tonight.
Hey Emily, Chris, thanks for talking to us, and thanks for coming to Memphis! Have you been here before?
Chris: Never been to Memphis before, but it was always a city that had an appeal to me. Feels like a really COOL place because of it’s music history. Very excited to poke around here and have some fun.
Emily: Never! I’m really excited!
We’re really excited to have you both. Emily, you have a pretty extensive resume writing for television, how does that affect your live performances?
Emily: Writing and performing are different skills that go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other in standup. Writing gives joke a backbone, but the best performances are when comedians are in the moment and not afraid to stray from their material based on what’s going on in the room. So I guess I’d say it’s really important to be able to write a great punchline, but it’s also important to be able to sell it.
Chris, if Not Quite Midnight is any indication, it looks like you really enjoy the nuts and bolts of comedy and standup. What do you think are the benefits to being a kind of “comedy scientist?”
Chris: Oh that is kind of you to say! I think what I like about it is getting to the bottom of what makes a specific comedian tick, I want to know where they come from in terms of their life and comedy. I am very fascinated by the tracks comedians take because there really is no set path for a comedy career. I think it benefits me to take in all aspects and different approaches because it expands my brain on how to new ways to get to something funny.
Both of you, what can the Memphis crowd expect to see from the two of you on the show?
Chris: CHAOS! No, no kidding of course. I think we both bring a sense of fun to the stage, we look like we are enjoying ourselves up there and I think in the ways we both do comedy it really lets people into who we are and how our brains work. Maybe a lil’ bit of chaos too.
Emily: Chris is a really thoughtful comedian. He’s an optimist, but also a thinker. I’m really in awe of his comedy. My hope for my comedy is that it has a strong point of view that also resonates with people who aren’t exactly like me. I’m a Brooklyn feminist with purple hair, but one of my favorite shows was when I lived in Miami and a group of women in 6 inch heels and nightclub dresses told me they related to my set.
Last thing – what’s one thing you definitely want to do before you leave Memphis?
Chris: I think, for me, it is between getting a good dose of Elvis or getting some good pulled pork up in me. If I do one of those things I will leave Memphis feeling satisfied, alive, alert, and sweaty.
Emily: I want to see The Peabody Hotel ducks. From my understanding, these ducks live on the roof and emerge from the elevator to red carpet fanfare every day at 11 AM. I could only dream of a life like that. I like the idea of a duck who knows he’s better than me.
Chris and Emily are performing in Memphis tonight at Midtown Crossing Grill at 8 p.m. with Harold King, Mark Brimble and Curtis Rambo.