Tight Five: JT Habersaat
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Dubbed 'the godfather of punk rock comedy' by Chicago Now, and a recent 'comic ready to break big' by The Interrobang, JT has released three albums on the Grammy-winning imprint Stand Up! Records and is a constant tourmate of 'The Bitter Buddha' Eddie Pepitone.
A repeat performer at venues such as The Comedy Store and The Hollywood Improv, JT has appeared on Comedy Central, is a regular guest on the Doug Stanhope Podcast, and has acted as national support for the likes of Brian Posehn and Henry Rollins.
JT also curates the annual Altercation Comedy Festival in Austin, TX, dubbed by Vulture.com to be 'one of the best comedy festivals in the world', is the author of several books, and his new one-hour special will be released worldwide on 800 Pound Gorilla / Warner Music Group in early 2022.
Here's what's catching JT's fancy these days - in Tight Five Format!
Making Custom Action Figures
I stumbled into JT Customs during the nightmare of 2020, wanting to see if I could make a few as gifts for friends. Next thing I knew, I was in a Stephen King-themed gallery show in LA and trading art through the mail with Raymond Pettibon. I basically create one-off action figures of pop-culture folks, be it punk legends, horror movie creatures or just plain weird and funny-to-me designs. JT Customs is what I have branded it as, and it's wild to me that it has kind of taken on a life of its own as a legit side-career. Who knew?
His recent death was like a punch to the gut. I’ve been a disciple of his music for years, ever since I first heard ‘Bubblegum’ and it knocked me flat. I’ve always been impressed by his constant output of releases and now it feels like still never enough given his passing. Crucial late night musical genius. Check out his amazing book ‘Sing Backwards and Weep,' edited by my good friend Mishka Shubaly.
I recently filmed an interview for a documentary film on Bukowski for my comedy friend Tom Rhodes, and it totally re-sparked my love of Hank. He was such a relentless talent. Problematic at times for sure, but there is an uncompromising determination in his writing that really speaks to me. Long live the skid row king.
Hosting The Road Live
I gave up my long-running podcast The Road in 2020, having simply lost the interest despite a decent listening audience. Much to my surprise, I was approached to host a live, steaming interview format show dubbed 'The Road Live' a few months later. It's been a very exciting new challenge for me, and has led to some unexpected lasting friendships with artists I admire. Getting to have late night conversations with David Yow of the Jesus Lizard or Lydia Lunch is wild, and I feel lucky to have this fresh outlet.
I honestly wasn't sure it would happen. Quarantine knocked me hard, and part of me thought I just didn't want to be funny any more. Luckily my tourmate Eddie Pepitone is a genius, and once we were vaccinated and did some road dates my confidence and love of standup comedy quickly returned. I'm a nomad by nature, and man did I miss the road. For better or worse, it's who I am. My new special ‘Swamp Beast’ is just released on 800 Pound Gorilla Records and it feels like a return to life.
Top Image: JT Habersaat/Instagram