Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

January 6, 2014 at 10:58am

Nerd Alert! Comedian Matt Braunger in Tacoma and the return of NBC's "Community"

No word yet if Matt Braunger is bringing his tigers to the Tacoma Comedy Club Thursday-Saturday.

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One of the pleasures and pains of being nerdy about pop culture is that you will inevitably watch as certain people and things you love grow in popularity and visibility. Frequently, and unfortunately, the nerd will respond by then boycotting what he or she once loved ("I was there in the beginning, before they were a total sellout!" the nerd will yell, like John Lithgow telling Harry that he doesn't love him any more).

Personally, I'm always happy to see success come to things of which I'm a fan. Matt Braunger is a comedian I've been following for a while. With a boisterous and animated style reminiscent of Brian Regan, Braunger has been receiving a lot of attention for the past couple years, culminating in the release of his 2012 Comedy Central special, Shovel Fighter.

Coming out of a remarkably fertile scene in Chicago that also nurtured the careers of peers such as Pete Holmes, Kumail Nanjiani, T.J. Miller and Kyle Kinane, Braunger is a comedian still on the rise, and one that seems poised to keep getting better as time goes on.

MATT BRAUNGER, 8 and 10:30 p.m., Tacoma Comedy Club, 933 Market St., Tacoma, $10-$15, 253.282.7203


Speaking of the complicated relationships between nerds and the objects of their affections, we can't let another week pass without talking about the return of NBC's Community. The emotional roller coaster endured by nerds since the firing and replacing of Community creator Dan Harmon has been exhausting, both as a witness and as a participant.

Harmon ran the show for three seasons before being fired for the fourth, and subsequently rehired for the fifth - a bizarre series of events only shared by a small number of other TV showrunners, notably when Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels was replaced for five seasons in the early '80s, before eventually returning to pick up the pieces. After an admittedly crappy fourth season, Harmon returned to the show for its premier this past Thursday, and everything appears to be back in order.

Only time will tell if Harmon's importance to the show was overstated, but after two episodes, it's my opinion that Community at long last feels like itself again. One less thing to endlessly complain about on message boards (although you know there are plenty of commenters out there willing to give it the college try).

And I will see YOU on the boards when Nerd Alert returns. Until then, keep your feet on the ground, keep reaching for the stars, and don't ever mention Inspector Spacetime or the "darkest timeline" in nerdy company.

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