Cody Marley’s “Comedy Night In America” videos survey Nashville’s comedy scene

Cody Marley

Cody Marley
Cody Marley
Comedian and writer Cody Marley has been making people laugh — and occasionally, back away slowly — for two decades. A joke-writer for, among others, Jay Leno, Cody’s comedy has been featured in The New York Times, Time magazine and USA Today, prime-time and late night TV and has been broadcast in every major radio market in America.

As a stand-up, Cody is a favorite on the underground and alternative scene, mixing topical takes with bizarre observations that combine the pose of a hipster with the work ethic of a ranch hand — because Cody has been both. Long a “comic’s comic”, Cody has performed at the Bonnaroo Music Festival (or “that hippie thing,” as your grandmother calls it), and has worked with Mitch Hedberg, Brian Regan and Larry the Cable Guy, among many others.

If you caught a local comedy show in Nashville the week of March 4-10, 2012, you may have seen Cody on stage telling jokes and in the back of the room laughing and filming some video. Over the course of that week, he attempted to go to every comedy night in Nashville. He produced a series of corresponding shorts documenting the shows he visited and posted them online. NashvilleStandUp asked Mr. Marley why and this is what he said:

“I’m doing this because it’s fun. I started doing comedy in Nashville years ago and its growth interests me. I think it mirrors the city’s expansion and what’s going on in most other towns. Nashville has 10-12 comedy nights a week and, I’m guessing, a few hundred comics. I enjoy checking out the talent and the scene and staying connected. I travel a lot so I’ll probably do this in other towns. It’s not just in LA, Chicago or NYC anymore. With the Internet, like it has in music, I think you’re going to see a lot of garage band-like comics emerge, develop a following and make a solid living. Nashville? I expect somebody to bust out big here in the next 2 years. Who will it be? Let’s watch.”

Here are Cody’s videos:

March 4th: SmartyPants NerdCore Stand-Up Comedy Show at Steve’s (every Sunday)
“The first stop was tonight at Steve’s in East Nashville. Funny cats. Big fun.”

March 6th: Spanky’s & Bongo Java
“Tonight I hit Spanky’s (Antioch) and Bongo Java (Belmont). I went up
first at Spanky’s (8:30) and last at Bonjo Java (10:15). Both, a lot
of fun and both had about 15 comics apiece. Oh, except for me, all
different comics. They didn’t shuttle back and forth.”

March 7th: La Hacienda & Springwater
“Tonight I hit La Hacienda (Old Hickory) and the venerable Springwater
(Centennial Park). I went up first at La Hacienda (8:30) and at 10:40
at The Springwater. La Hacienda had about 8 comics and The
Springwater, a ton. Quite a hoot.”

March 8th: The Basement
“Tonight I hit The Basement and saw 2 music/comedy acts The Wolf
Sisters, The Gay Republicans and the comics of Corporate Juggernaut

March 9th: Kimbros
“Tonight I hit Kimbros in Franklin. 8-10 comics bringing the jest.”

March 10th: The Pond
“Tonight, I hit The Pond in Franklin. Watch and enjoy the magic.”

Visit Cody Marley online:
Cody Marley @ Facebook

Billy Wayne Davis releases self-titled album

Billy Wayne Davis is the thinking man’s hillbilly. With a combination of subtle, disarming intelligence and an unmistakable comfort on stage, he has the rare ability to win over every kind of comedy audience imaginable. Billy Wayne’s comedy really has no discernible category. He can be personal, shocking, political and absurd, but his ability to form an instant connection with audiences allows him to get away with anything and everything. For Billy Wayne Davis, no subject matter is off limits because there is nothing he can’t make funny with his trademark drawl and easy charm. He has worked with some of the biggest names in comedy, including Colin Quinn, Lisa Lampanelli, Louis CK and Mitch Hedberg and has toured as the feature act for national headliner Ralphie May. He has performed festivals, comedy clubs and theaters as diverse as Seattle’s Bumbershoot, The Ryman in Nashville, Comedy Works in Denver and the LA Improv.

Years ago, when B. W. Davis started showing up at the old Tuesday night open mic at The Bar Car in Nashville, he was instantly one of my very favorite people on the planet. He embodied everything I love about my best pals from East Tennessee: disarmingly laid back, completely unpretentious, naturally hilarious and smart as a whip. He was immediately one of the funniest comics to call Nashville home. After he followed up his tenure as house emcee at Zanies by going on the road with Ralphie May, he returned to Nashville a much better, road-seasoned comic. When he moved to Seattle, we started seeing him less often – maybe every six or eight months or so when his tours took him back around to his old home.. but his absence just highlighted his exponential growth as a comic each time he returned. Fast forward to January 2012, when Zanies extended his originally planned week of shows into a three-week residency. Sitting in the green room one night, I heard Zanies’ owner Brian Dorfman say, “He has gotten GREAT.” Yeah.. he has.

The material is original, unique, road-tested, and funny but Billy Wayne Davis’ self-titled debut standup album isn’t a perfect show. Davis is heckled several times – and each time he body slams the drunk, annoying morons with style, grace and wit. During track 18, “Feeding My Ewok,” somebody drops a glass on the floor and he reacts in the moment saying, “Did a Jew just get married? What happened?” This gets him a strange reaction from the Seattle crowd and he instantly calls them on it: “Why did you moan that? That’s what they do at the end of their wedding ceremony is they break a fucking glass. That’s the weirdest P-C shit I’ve ever seen right there: I just said ‘Jew’ with a Southern accent and you’re like, ‘Uh-oh. Oh God, I read about this! This is not good!’ That was weird.” and went right back into his bit.

This, to me, is a perfect example of what B-dub does: While in the middle of a well crafted routine there is a distraction. He addresses it with a funny line and is ready to move on.. but smelled a little bullshit in the crowd’s reaction and dove in to explore that. His off-the-cuff reference is smart, well timed, culturally-informed and misinterpreted. This line (and Billy Wayne in general) contradicts the standard stereotypical caricature so often incorrectly associated with anybody with a Southern accent. Davis handily exposes the hypocrisy and prejudice of the people who assume ignorance and racism where there is none.. and he gets laughs with every improvised line as if it’s a bit he has done for years. Turns out, he’s good at this.

Look, I could have scammed a free copy of “Billy Wayne Davis” no problem, but I bought it as soon as it was available for sale because I KNEW that it would be worth every god damn penny.. and it is. You should buy it right now:

Here’s a funny promo video Billy made for his new album:

Billy Wayne Davis from Billy Wayne Davis on Vimeo.

Follow Billy Wayne Davis online:

People are talking about Jesse Case in Portland

In other NashvilleStandUp alumni doing really well at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival news, Jesse Case was written up by Punchline Magazine as well:

“Jan Davidson, and Jesse Case increased their following with their short time in Portland as people continued to talk about their performances long after their shows were over.”

Jesse, are your ears burning? Then you should get that looked at..

Read the rest of the Punchline Magazine wrap-up at: LA comedy represents in Portland; a SoCal perspective on the Bridgetown Comedy Festival

PunchlineMagazine gushes over Billy Wayne Davis

PunchlineMagazine’s Meagan Kate is in Portland reviewing the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Here’s what she had to say about our pal, Billy Wayne Davis:

“I also got to see Billy Wayne Davis (finally), whose Southern charm made the audience warm to him immediately, and his material was on point. Also: he is adorable.”

You can read the rest of the write-up here, but that’s the only part that talks about how great NashvilleStandUp alum’s are.

UPDATE: wrote a short wrap-up of the festival and closed it with a quote from our pal:

Billy Wayne Davis got a laugh about the “Keep Portland Weird” slogan and its obviousness. “It’s like San Francisco going, ‘let’s keep the Bay here!'”

“Max the Hero” (with MST3K’ers Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett) to Screen at NY Television Pilot Festival

The animated comedy “Max the Hero” stars and was written by Mystery Science Theater 3000‘s and’s Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett. It was produced, directed and co-written by Nashville’s Mike Salva.

In the show, Max (voiced by Bill Corbett), is an accidental superhero who is kind of a lazy jerk. He never actually saves anybody. His jealous roommate, Stew (voiced by Michael J. Nelson), becomes his arch-rival. And they both injure their buddy Chip (voiced by Kevin Murphy) a lot.

We’ve seen it! It’s hilarious and well worth your time

Here’s a trailer, narrated by Nashville-based stand-up comedian / sketch performer / writer / heavy metal parody band The Dead Dead front man, Sean Parrott:

Max the Hero‘s 13 minute pilot episode will be screened at the upcoming New York Television Pilot Festival, where it is competing for $25,000 and a a development deal in the Independent Pilot Competition.

2009 Comic-Con International Film Festival (CCIFF) judge / KBPS Film Critic Beth Accomando called Max the Hero, “one of the handful of really outstanding films I saw that year.”

The firm has two screenings:

Wednesday, Sept. 22nd at 9:45 pm (tickets)
Thursday, Sept. 23rd at 7:30 pm (tickets)

Tribeca Cinemas
54 Varick Street

The award-winning short has previously been recognized by the Dragon*Con Film Festival as “Best Animated Comedy – 2008,” and as “Best Animation – 2008” by Rutgers Media Center’s Film and DV Festival. More about “Max The Hero” writer, director, producer Mike Salva can be found at, and on FaceBook.