WORDS BY Patrick Strait
Whether he’s on land, sea or screen, there is no comedy audience that Mike Brody isn’t prepared for.
“You’ve got to be versatile,” says Brody, who has been performing comedy locally for more than 20 years. “They [different types of shows] are all a different muscle. You can be on a cruise ship for a bunch of spring break people, and then you go back and you’re doing a gig for a carpet association. And then you go to the comedy club where it’s more your usual straight-up comedy stuff. No matter where I’m performing, I just try and think of how I can still be myself.”
This month, Brody will be back on dry land and headlining Laugh Camp Comedy Club in St. Paul, alongside local standout Shyloh Blake.
While he’s happy to be back on his home turf, Brody has spent a good chunk of his summer on cruise ships, performing for crowds that are very ready to cut loose.
“The cruises are fun because you get to meet people from all over the world,” he says. “Sometimes I’m with the passengers, sometimes I’m with the crew. So I get to meet people from England or India, and then I get to swim in the ocean. I love it.”
But sometimes, they cut a little too loose.
“I’ve had trips where I got heckled on the Sunday show, and then the guy comes up to me Wednesday to apologize,” he says. “That definitely doesn’t happen in the clubs.”
While his career sometimes sounds like an extended vacation, Brody has earned his comedy stripes over the past two decades. His material is as eclectic as his audiences: Whether he’s talking about his wife and dogs, past struggles with substance abuse and recovery, or butterflies, Brody continues to expand his perspective and give audiences new perspectives into his life.
“I don’t think there’s ever an end to topics,” he says. “I don’t ever stop having stupid things pop into my head when I’m walking around.”
To date, Brody’s Dry Bar Comedy special, Not Afraid of Butterflies, has been viewed over half a million times online, and has released two very successful albums. But the true testament of Brody’s talent is in his ability to connect with not just any comedy audience, but every comedy audience.
“Comedy audiences are comedy audiences,” he says. “Maybe the venue influences people when they’re there, but people are still people. I’ve been doing comedy a long time, and I’ve had practice connecting with audiences no matter where they are or who they are. When I was new, I didn’t know how to connect like that.”
Aside from the Laugh Camp shows, Brody plans to get back on the road, both locally and outside of Minnesota, this summer and fall. That is, unless he needs to escape COVID by boat.
“[Last month] I was scheduled for a weeklong cruise,” Brody explains. “And my wife got COVID while I was gone. Since I wasn’t exposed, I picked up another cruise for a week because I couldn’t go home. I think I might be the only person who went on a cruise to avoid COVID.”