Memphis is known around the country for its lip-smacking good BBQ, its toe-tapping Blues and Rock n’ Roll music, and, of course, its knee-slapping hilarious comedians! In honor of the 4th Annual Memphis Comedy Festival this weekend, we’ve compiled a list of the funniest, most recognizable local comedian types working in Memphis right now!
"My word, I've got a rather severe case of the giggles!!!"
#7) Marquel (2Funny) Parram
“I can only tell you what I heard I did…”
Marquel (2Funny) Parram is one of the hardest working comedians on the scene today. You can find this Comedian anywhere there's an audience in Memphis, and I mean ANYWHERE!
“I wanted to get strong as a performer,” he said, “so I figured I need to practice in as many different venues and in front of as many different audiences as I could.”
Not only has Marquel performed stand-up at Memphis’s top venues, he’s performed on street corners, buses, trolleys, grocery stores, doctor’s offices, carpools, and even at the zoo!
“You know a joke’s not good when you can’t make a hyena laugh.”
Marquel has been on the Memphis Comedy scene for four years now and said he is ready to make the transition to full-time comedian. He has had semi-recent success opening up for the ducks walking at the Peabody. You can see Marquel (2Funny) Parram…well…anywhere!
Our number six pick is the wild Josh Feveret! Josh moved to Memphis from Chattanooga just three years ago. And since then he has shook up the local comedy scene. Josh has often made a habit of riding the lines of appropriateness when it comes to his standup sets.
“Comedians today have to be shocking in order to get any attention,” Josh said. “I may say things that might offend you, but that’s part of the art of standup.”
Josh did make local headlines recently when he briefly set himself on fire during one of his standup sets at the P&H café’s open mic night.
“I wasn’t getting any laughs that night, so I thought well… let’s kick things up a notch. In hindsight it probably wasn’t the best decision, but that’s what open mics are for. The paramedic did laugh a little when I asked her for a light before they took me to the emergency room, so I’d say the night wasn’t a complete waste.”
Josh will be opening for a local punk music band The Mindless Ripoffs this Saturday at Murphy’s bar.
“I thought this was a music open mic not a comedy one, but the host said I could do a few songs before you guys start.”
Thomas J. Freeman has been part-time musician in Memphis for the past 12 years. He doesn’t consider himself a comedian, yet will religiously show up to all the comedy open mics and shows in Memphis asking for stage time.
“Otherlands coffeeshop won’t have me back anymore because apparently you have to order something once in a while, which I am against,” he said. “Also they really only want you performing during the open mics, not to people trying to use the Internet.”
Thomas hopes to soon sell at least 10 of the CD’s he’s made of all originally songs he recorded in his sister’s boyfriend’s bathroom. The album is called “Echos by the Throne.” Buy it online here.
#4) Jessica Talbert
“I may not know a lot, but one thing I know for damn sure is that airplane fuel doesn’t burn hot enough to melt steel!”
Young, energetic, and fearless are three worlds that come to mind when you think of this up-and-coming Memphis comedienne. Some comics like to do impressions, others tell stories of their personal life experience, but comics like Jessica like to go more political.
“It’s easy to make people laugh. I mean look at the New World Order!” She said. “Our reptilian shape-shifting lizard overlords have been laughing at our ignorance for years. Wake up people!”
Recently Jessica has taken time off from her full time job as a blogger for ChemtrailsAreBrainControl.com to focus more on her stand-up career. Although she has yet to finish a complete set without the microphone being cutoff, she is releasing her first full-length comedy album called “Live from Hollow Earth.” You can see Jessica perform at the back porch of most bars trying to get you to stop drinking water. Also check out her Podcast, “Tinfoil Hat Thoughts” on the Shut up and Listen Network.
#3)Tim “The Biff” Johnson
“It’s Biffing time!!!”
This comedian has the largest and most loyal fan following in Memphis. His high energy comedy is a force to be reckoned with. It’s hard to find any comedy fan in Memphis that doesn’t enjoy a good “Biffing”. He is one of many headlining comedians working in Memphis, but what sets him apart from the others?
“It’s the Biff-Squad, definitely,” he said. “My fans are come out in full force waiting to get biffed, and what can I say? I always deliver.”
Tim Johnson has been doing comedy for 18 years now and has a career ranging from stand-up to movies to theater.
“The Biff has done Shakespeare before; the Biff can do it all.”
You can see Tim “The Biff” Johnson getting his Biff on at his comedy showcase at the Cooper Penny off Central Avenue the 12th of every month. Click here for official Biff Merchandise.
#2) DJ Tickle-Cheeks
“Goo goo…haaaa HAAA Ppppppffftttt drrrrrppp ma ma ma….”
Who said this list was only featuring stand-up comedians? You may not recognize his face, but you’d definitely recognize his voice! DJ Tickle-Cheeks hosts the #1 podcast in Memphis, “Nap Time; Snap Time” on the OAM Audio Network. DJ Tickle-Cheeks got his start in comedy when he ate spaghetti for the first time. Combined with a deep appreciation for dubstep music, DJ Tickle-Cheeks has built a strong following here in the city of baby blues.
“We cannot wait till he gains more control over his motor skills and is able to actually hold his head up to the microphone, then there is no stopping him,” said audio producer Gil Worth.
And finally we come to our number choice for best local Memphis Comedian...
It’s a horse guys, horses can’t talk.
As most of you know there is a horse that appears randomly in Memphis comedy clubs and venues.
“Oh shit, that horse is back” is a common phrases said by host and hostess at open mics and showcases.
“He just keeps to himself most of the time, which is fine when a show isn’t going on. But have you ever tried making an audience laugh when there is a 900lbs thoroughbred horse standing in the middle of the freaking room”, said one Memphis comedian. “He goes to like 80% of the shows in town, and he doesn’t even laugh! He just stands there knocking shit over.”
You can find the Memphis Comedy Horse at a majority of comedy venues in town.
And there you have it! The undisputed top 7 entirely made up comedians working in Memphis! If you'd like to see the real, hardworking, and funny local comedians in Memphis, this weekend’s Comedy Festival is the perfect place to start.
For a listing of shows, tickets, and venues go to MemphisComedyFestival.com. All joking aside, Memphis does have a very strong, very funny comedy scene and they deserve to be recognized. Go out and see a show and support local performers and artist. BE A PART OF IT!!!
Mike McCarthy is a standup comedian who is sometimes confused with Mike McCarthy the filmmaker and occasionally mistaken for the Memphis Comedy Horse. He is also a Wiseguy and contributor to Fly on the Wall.