- Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2016
It is a commonly held belief that few things are more terrifying than telling jokes in front of a roomful of strangers. Filmmaker Jordan Brady, director of the seminal standup docs I AM COMIC and I AM ROAD COMIC, ups the ante this month when he begins filming I AM BATTLE COMIC, a documentary that will take Brady and a squadron of stand-ups overseas to perform for troops serving in the US Armed Forces. Due to security, exact bases cannot be disclosed, but the Battle Comics will make stops in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain and possibly Iraq as well as other locations throughout Southwest Asia.
"There's an esprit de corps among comedians. We identify first and foremost as stand-ups and have each other’s back,” Brady observed. “Also, comedians speak in militant terms: you kill, you bomb. So stand-up is like the Service...without the actual danger part.” As he did in I AM ROAD COMIC, Brady will do double-duty as one of the comics performing on the tour. “I’m a commercial director, I have not been a working comic in more than a decade,” Brady said. “So, there’s an added layer of apprehension performing for an armed audience. Fortunately, my focus is on documenting these polished road veterans of comedy as they entertain our men and women in uniform.”
Vegas headliner Don Barnhart will be leading the the tour, featuring Jeff Capri from Comics Unleashed, Slade Ham from XM/Sirius Satellite Radio and Bob Kabota from Last Comic Standing going to remote bases, ships and pretty much anywhere there are troops (previously, Barnhart and his team have performed on flight lines, aircraft carriers, in huts and on flatbeds).
I AM BATTLE COMIC continues a filmmaking journey through the current standup boom that has made Brady the definitive biographer of the medium's modern era. 2010’s I AM COMIC was a virtual who’s who of standup comedy, starring Louis CK, Chris Hardwick, Sarah Silverman, Tim Allen, Roseanne Barr, Jeff Foxworthy, Ritch Shydner and 76 other comics. I AM ROAD COMIC had Brady Co-Headlining (with longtime friend and national headliner Wayne Federman) at Jack Didley’s in Kennewick, WA, where, two weeks prior, bouncers had tossed a patron out on his head, putting him in a coma. In the film, more than two dozen comics - including Pete Holmes, T.J. Miller, Marc Maron, Doug Benson, Kyle Kinane, Maria Bamford, Judah Friedlander, Jim Norton, W. Kamau Bell, Nikki Glaser and Alonzo Bodden - discuss the nuts and bolts of working the road in bars and clubs.
"This new documentary will examine how we serve our country, often setting aside our personal politics,” Brady concluded. "As a species, comedians love performing benefit shows, because it allows them to contribute to the greater good. Plus, it's more stage time." The tour of Southwest Asia runs March 18th - 30th. Follow Don Barnhart’s Battle Comics on Facebook, #ArmedForcesEnt.
About Jordan Brady
Jordan Brady began as a stand-up comedian, touring nightclubs and colleges in 49 states across America. Mr. Brady’s true passion is commercials. He has directed over more than 1000 national TV spots to date. Through his commercial production company, Superlounge, he directs ad campaigns for brands and agencies all over the world, recently working with Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart and Keegan-Michael Key. He has directed five features films, including the 2010 cult hit feature documentary I AM COMIC (Netflix, Showtime) and its follow-up, 2014’s I AM ROAD COMIC (Hulu). Mr. Brady also hosts the popular podcast RESPECT THE PROCESS, described by Special Teams film editor-turned-director Mark Nickelsburg as “The Rosetta Stone of filmmaking.” Brady’s guests over 100+ episodes have included Adam McKay, Morgan Spurlock, Mike Bigelow, Bobcat Goldthwait, Ric Cantor, McCann Worldwide Global ECD Bill Wright and Leo Burnett Detroit CCO Steve Chavez, Doner Detroit ECD Chuck Meehan and a recent two-parter with Marcus Nispel.