TJ Young has performed in Athens for a decade now.
First honing his chops as a happy-go-lucky percussionist, he successfully parlayed his talents into a career as a happy-go-lucky comedian – who uses no percussion whatsoever. But there is more to comedy than punch lines. And more to percussion than making loud noises – lest we forget a little thing called rhythm. If nineties trance act, Snap! taught us nothing else, they left us with this: “rhythm is a dancer.” This bold and prescient claim has valid application in TJ Young, often found dancing at various Athens locales, rhythmically. However this is more of a passion than a true calling. For a living, he tells jokes in front of real live people.
Late last week, he answered some of ABH’s questions on the way back from Indiana, a state in the union. Wouldn’t you know it; some of his responses are legitimately funny. (JK, TJ; you had us in stitches, start to finish) We can’t wait for the show.
ABH: TJ Young…Who is TJ Young?
Teej: I am TJ Young. I was on tour in Indianapolis with the Beards of Comedy…I’m heading back to Athens to perform at LaughFest 2011. We were traveling in a Lexus. So, we looked like high-class business travelers…if that business was donuts and farts.
ABH: What is the most interesting thing you’ve seen on the road today thus far?
Teej: It was a tie between seeing a fireworks stand called “Sad Sam’s Fireworks”…Sam was a crying clown, not kidding. I don’t think you should buy anything explosive from a clown, and especially not one suffering from depression. And, I saw a “Jewish Hospital”. I’d never heard of such a thing, but I knew it was a Jewish Hospital because it said it in huge letters on the top of the building…and it had big curly ribbons dangling down either side of the building. Which I thought was a bit much.
ABH: What are some interesting things we can expect to see at the 2nd Annual Laughfest?
Teej: You can expect to see a unicyclist on fire and a sasquatch juggling babies. I mean you WON’T see these things, but you can certainly expect to. You’re an adult, do what you want.
ABH: Who is performing at the show this Wednesday?
Teej: Dan Telfer, Dave Waite, TJ Young, Chris Patton, Natalie Glaser, Matt Gilbert, Luke Fields, and Drew Dickerson.
ABH: Favorite television show currently on air?
Teej: Game of Thrones… it’s like if Tosh.0 wasn’t about internet videos and it was set in medieval times.
ABH: How has Athens helped you grow as an artist?
Teej: I think the biggest advantage that Athens has been is it’s size relative it’s concentration of artists. There are so many creative people packed in this smallish town that it challenges you to do two things… 1) To CREATE – You’re constantly reminded and inspired to create and explore because the atmosphere here is so music/arts focused and 2) To – PROMOTE – There is so much here that you also have to learn to promote yourself and your art in order to get noticed, which if you desire to make a living as an artist it an important skill to develop.
ABH: What musical act are you most excited to see at Athfest?
Teej: Some would say that picking ONE band you wanna see at AthFest is like picking which of your children is your favorite. But, I disagree. The difference between children and musicians is that most children can be trusted to dress themselves. But, I will pick a handful… The Agenda, The Shutups, The Chasers and in keeping with this theme, THE Reptar.
ABH: Great Picks Teej! We also love your new Beards of Comedy Video. Heatles 2.0?
(This article appeared in the Athens Banner Herald – Wed. June 22, 2011. Interview by Jimmy Sherfy, a great freelance writer in Athens and a friend of TJ’s for many years. Thanks, Jimmy!)