WORDS BY PATRICK STRAIT
If you have Twitter, you’ve probably heard of Tommy Bayer.
The comedian relocated from Minneapolis to New York two years ago and has been putting out a steady stream of videos on his Twitter to supplement his standup. This past August, he hit the viral video jackpot with his take on the TV show, The Bear, but the restaurant only serves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The video has been viewed more than 5 million times and attracted attention from folks like Chrissy Teigen and John Legend.
“It was nice hearing from my girl Chrissy Teigen,” says Bayer, who has absolutely never met Chrissy Teagan in his life. “Since the pandemic, we didn’t speak that much. It just happens, you know? When pandemics hit, you lose touch with people. So the nice thing about putting out my comedy videos is reconnecting with old friends like Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, and people like that.”
Even with the viral video fame that may have gone straight to his head, Bayer is back in town this weekend headlining two shows at the Comedy Corner Underground.
Despite being just 26 years old, Bayer has been performing standup for more than seven years, starting when he was still in high school. Since then, he went on to win the Sisyphus Funniest Person in Minneapolis Contest back in 2018 and has performed all over the country.
“Comedy in New York is really fun because it’s like comedy summer camp, but you don’t make any money,” he says. “Doing comedy in the Midwest is great because you can make tens of dollars out on the road.”
While he’s experienced a lot of life in the past few years—moving to New York, rubbing shoulders (on Twitter) with celebs, and going through a recent breakup—Bayer hasn’t allowed the grownup world to dim his sense of humor, which is equal parts brilliant and absurd.
“I did a show in New York where I put chocolate on my face and said I ate poop,” he says confidently. “That’s what you can expect from my show. I do highbrow comedy. My characters are like, ‘What if a guy ate a little bit of poop?’ Honestly, comedy is really dumb, and I think it’s good to treat it as such.”
Bayer says he hopes to come back to town a couple of times each year to try out polished material, but also has aspirations of trying other kinds of performing someday.
“I want to do a different kind of live comedy,” he says. “Maybe like a play or something else. I don’t really know. What I’m saying is I’ll definitely come back and perform, but it might be something totally different than standup.”
For now, Bayer is just enjoying being back in his hometown and taking in the sweet sights and sounds of gentrification.
“The best part of being back in town is catching up with buds, having my mom make me soup,” he says. “North Loop is pretty sick. My mom is staying there and I’ve been walking around like, this place was abandoned when I was in high school and now you have to make $200K a year to live there, so that’s pretty good.”
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