Remembering Brian E. Kiley

Brian E. Kiley

Brian E. KileyAs most of you have heard, Nashville comedian and former School of Laughs student Brian E. Kiley died at the hands of a drunk driver last weekend. He had just worked with John Reep (of Last Comic Standing fame) who he had opened for several times on the road before.

Brian started in the classes in January 2007 with a really special group of folks. He was the kind of student I really enjoy. He actually did all of his homework, re-wrote jokes, e-mailed and called me for insight, etc., As a teacher/mentor I knew all of my tips would be at least listened to and explored. I’m definitely not always right, but Brian took advice and tested it. Making his adjustments and making it work.

When I wanted to teach a Business of Comedy class, Brian taught me how to put together a Power Point. When I had new writing classes start, Brian was one of several former students who were always game to volunteer their time to help me get them their nametags, workbooks, etc., so I could focus on getting class started.

More than once he made notes to give to me to help make the classes better. He constantly was providing encouragement and guidance to new students and open mic comics as well.

School of Laughs' 1st graduation show 2007
School of Laughs’ 1st graduation show 2007

He had been over to my house, met my family and remembered my kid’s names. He helped my wife organize a 40th Birthday roast for me at Zanies that was really special.

We worked several shows together outside of Zanies. He was getting better and better on stage every time I saw him. He could kick off a show with great energy and could keep a show going just as well. I’m sure over time he would have continued to grow, learn and worked his way up the comedy ladder.

I can’t explain how bad I feel for his family – a recent marriage that came with a daughter that he just adored. I felt partially responsible for his fate, having helped him get started in comedy. He wouldn’t have been out that late, on that road, that day if he had stayed home and just kept to his day job. We all know that accidents like this can happen at any time to anyone. I just wish it wouldn’t have happened to Brian.

What I do know is that in the short amount of time that he devoted to comedy he made a ton of friends, entertained a lot of strangers and gave everything 110%. Brian will be missed by many, and I think if there is any bright spot in this tragic ending, it’s that he always had a positive attitude in a sometime dark profession.

Brian left the stage for the last time Saturday. But I believe his memory will be around for quite awhile to come.

Funeral services are set for Saturday February 23 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints
107 Twin Hills Drive, Madison, TN 37115

Visitation will be 12:00 – 1:00 PM, Service at 1:00 PM.

Burial will follow at Christ Church Memorial Gardens 15354 Old Hickory Blvd Nashville 37211

Brian E. Kiley - spotlight

Brian E. Kiley killed by drunk driver in NC this morning

Brian E. Kiley
Brian E. Kiley
Brian E. Kiley
September 9, 1974 – February 17, 2013

I’m very sorry to report that in the early morning hours of Sunday, February 17th, 2013, after his show in North Carolina our friend Brian E. Kiley was killed by a drunk driver.

Raleigh, NC’s News & Observer reported:

A fatal wreck involving two cars closed eastbound Interstate 40 near N.C. 54 for more than four hours, according to a news release from the Durham Police Department.

At about 3:40 a.m. Sunday, a Honda Civic driven by Raul Herrera, 31, of High Point swerved into a Nissan Maxima, said Durham Police spokeswoman Kammie Michael in a news release.

Both eastbound vehicles went off the interstate and overturned, and both cars were totaled.

Herrera has been charged with driving while impaired and was taken to a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, Michael said.

The Maxima’s driver, identified as Brian Edward Kiley, 38, of Goodlettsville, Tenn. died at the scene. There were no passengers in either car.

Interstate 40 has reopened and the accident site – just east of the Exit 273 interchange in southwest Durham County – cleared.

Traffic had been rerouted off I-40 at exit 273 and on to N.C. 54 from 5:15 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. while authorities investigated the scene.

Brian’s widow, Amber, posted on facebook: “To all my family and friends, this morning I lost my eternal companion. Brian was the best man, husband, father, and saint I knew. There is not a piece me that doesn’t hurt right now, but my continuous comfort is that he is in a good place. I hope that every woman will be blessed and loved as much as I was by their husband. I love you my darling for all eternity.”

Please remember Brian’s family during this incredibly tough time.

Brian E. Kiley funeral arrangements are as follows:

Sat Feb 23

Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints
107 Twin Hills Dr
Madison, Tn 37115

Visitation will be 12:00 – 1:00
Service 1:00

Burial will be at:
Christ Church Memorial Gardens
15354 Old Hickory Blvd
Nashville 37211

One of Brian’s stand-up video clips on YouTube:

UPDATE (Feb. 18, 2013 – 10:50 am):
– Zanies has agreed to do a benefit show for Brian’s widow. When we have a date set, we’ll let you know.
– JJ Brent contributed to a lovely write-up about Kiley’s passing at the Durham Herald-Sun.
– Facebook and Twitter have been a constant stream of love and support and sorrow about this tragic loss from other comedians, fans, friends and family. Jon Reep posted on Facebook: “I’m so sorry to report that my good friend and comedian Comedian Brian E. Kiley was killed by a drunk driver. He just featured for me last night in Newton. I’m at a loss for words. I’m so sad right now. Please keep his wife and family in your prayers. RIP Brian! He was a good comedian and a Great Human being.”
– People are asking what they can do to help Brian’s family. I’d say give them your love and support right now.. Let’s give them a chance to determine what their needs are and how we can best help them.

UPDATE (Feb. 19, 2013 – 9:30 am):
WSMV, NewsChannel5, WKRN, The Tennessean and the Scene have done stories about Brian.
– Donations can me made to the Brian E. Kiley Memorial Fund c/o Southeast Financial Credit Union

The NewsChannel5 piece:

UPDATE (Feb. 19, 2013 – 6:12 pm):

Brian E. Kiley funeral arrangements:

Sat Feb 23
Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints
107 Twin Hills Dr
Madison, Tn 37115

Visitation will be 12:00 – 1:00
Service 1:00

Burial will be at:
Christ Church Memorial Gardens
15354 Old Hickory Blvd
Nashville 37211

Moo’ves like Haggard (by Jon Reep & Zach Selwyn) video features Brian E. Kiley

still shot from the Mooves Like Haggard video

still shot from the Mooves Like Haggard videoA few weeks ago in March when Jon Reep, Zach Selwyn and Brian E. Kiley were doing a week at Zanies, the trio shot a music video for a parody to a Maroon 5 song. Here’s how they describe it:

This is a country spoof of the song “Moves like Jagger”. It’s called “Moo’ves like Haggard” and it’s about a chick who looks like Merle Haggard in a dress. We are in NO WAY making fun of Merle Haggard. We love him! He’s awesome! This is just about an imaginary chick who LOOKS like Merle Haggard. Written by Jon Reep & Zach Selwyn. Music by Toby Semain. Directed by Zach Selwyn. Edited by Jesse Selwyn. Chic played by Brian E. Kiley.

NashvilleStandUp asked Nashville’s own Brian E. Kiley how it happened and this is what he said:

“The two planned to shoot the video for the song in Nashville to take advantage of the country music scenery and themes. Originally Reep was set to play the part of the women himself. When he arrived in Nashville and realized he was working with me again, he instantly knew that casting a 300+ pound man as the woman would make the video that much funnier and he offered me the part. His description of the video was so hilarious that I didn’t even flinch at the idea of being seen in drag, doing some embarrassing things. It was one of those moments where the comedy overpowered the ego. The next two days were spent filming at Zanies and on Broadway in Downtown Nashville inspiring shock and awe in the passers by. The rest is comedy history!”

Here’s the video:

Download Moo’ves like Haggard on iTunes

12/20/2010 N’Sup Showcase TONIGHT

The Showcase @ Zanies Comedy Showplace – a showcase of the funniest comedians based in the Nashville area, plus guest sets from traveling comics, and Chad Riden’s IRON COMIC comedy competition with jokes written on the spot based on audience suggestions. Follow and reply to @IronComic to play along at home.

The show is hosted and produced by’s Chad Riden. The December 20th show lineup includes: Indiana’s Brent Smalley; former Nashvillian, now Knoxville-based Riley Fox; Nashville to Chicago transplant Ben Bergman; Nashville’s gift to Seattle Billy Wayne Davis; PLUS Nashville’s Brian E. Kiley, Mike James, James Austin Johnson, Johnny Q. Amish, Renard Hirsch, Gary Fletcher, “Happy Birthday Gary“‘s Sean Parrott PLUS a musical sketch from “Glasses 2 Glasses”, and Los Angeles’ favorite former Nashvillian Jesse Case will be headlining the event.

I can’t find any clips of Jesse Case online, but here’s a clip of Billy Wayne Davis from RooftopComedy:

The Showcase featuring Iron Comic
Mon., Dec. 20, 2010
doors open: 6:30pm
showtime: 7:30 pm

Zanies Comedy Showplace
2025 8th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204

$5. available at the door, online, or at the Zanies box office at: 615-269-0221

Facebook event:
Monday, Dec. 20, 2010 – 7:30 pm

More info about the N’Sup Showcase @ Zanies is available at:

Nashville comics to compete in Laughing Skull Festival

Now in it’s second year, the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival has announced the comedians  who have been selected as participants, including several names familiar to Nashville comedy fans.

The brainchild of Atlanta’s Marshall Chiles and‘s Steve Hofstetter, the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival features a 25-city, two-day first round, followed by a five-day event in Atlanta. Comedy industry from all over the US and Canada will participate to help find, expose, and give work to some of today’s top emerging comedians.

Traveling to the Stardome comedy club in Birmingham (November 16th – 7:30 PM) will be: Chris Killian, Donna Carter, Brian E. Kiley and Chad Riden.

Among those competing at Sidesplitters in Tampa (November 17th – 8:00 PM) will be former Nashvillian Kendra Corrie.

The comics making the trip to the Comedy Catch in Chattanooga (November 17th – 8:00 PM) include Nashville’s Paul Curtis.

Congratulations and good luck to everybody!