Former Sony record promoter & official Jim Beam tour manager for Montgomery Gentry, Wix Wichmann, recently signed a record deal with Universal South. He’ll be recording two shows at Zanies in Nashville next week for this project. His cd, tentatively titled “I’ll Quit When Willie Quits” will be released in February or March. NashvilleStandUp caught Wix in between shots of Beam and was able to get him to answer a few questions for us..
When did you start doing standup?
First time on a stage was at the Red Lion in Chicago Wed Feb 24th 1999. I remember because it was 2 days before Bill Hicks birthday. I had been writing a while, but I hadn’t lost my comedy hymen yet. I’ll never forget the pounding in my chest.
What’s the worst gig you ever did?
Any benefit. You know you are there for a good cause and you can’t complain, but comics get shafted at benefits. Musicians can plug in and drown you out. Once I had to do 20 mins before Marshall Tucker at a benefit and it was horrendous. Not only was 4 out of 5 people talking, but the band was tuning-up over top of me.
What’s the best gig you ever did?
I got to perform at the Aladdin in Vegas for the Nite Club and Bar Convention. I got 15 mins in front of 8,000 and that was the first time I felt laughter ripple through a room.
You toured with both The Dixie Chicks and Montgomery Gentry, how is touring with a country band different from touring as a comic?
When I toured with the Dixie Chicks it wasn’t as a comedian, it was as a record promoter. But I think being around artists helps you learn what is expected of them. It’s also a great way to see if road life is for you. Touring with a band is different from touring as a comic, because with a band you do one show and you’re on to the next gig with a sober bus driver. As a comic, it’s usually 6 shows over 4 days and you can settle in more. They both have their pros and cons.
What’s it like to drink Jim Beam with Larry the Cable Guy?
It’s funny. He doesn’t drink a lot, so his tolerance is like a chick. The guy is naturally funny drunk or sober. Once we were forced to do shots that neither of us needed, and we were at Fiddle and Steel and as soon as the guy that bought them looked away, we dumped ours on the ground. Not 5 seconds later a drunk guy slipped in it. We laughed so hard I thought beer was going to shoot out my nose. The timing was like vaudeville.
What kind of stuff will we hear at Zanies Tues (Nov. 29) / Wed (Nov. 30) ?
As far as standup, unfortunately not that much new stuff. Even though I’m sick of telling the same 3 year old jokes, for the album taping with Universal South, I have to think of this as the first time anyone else has heard it. I am going to rip on Montgomery Gentry with some new stuff though. Also, world famed guitar virtuoso Jimma will be joining me on stage for a Smothers Brothers type thing. I’m excited about that.
What else do you have coming up?
I’m going to tour with Montgomery Gentry again next year, because my liver wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m also looking forward to working with Nashville Star again.
Anything else you want to say?
Come out Tues and Wed!
You can be there for the live taping of Wix’ cd/dvd! Buy your tickets now: Zanies, Nov. 29 and Nov. 30th at 8pm. ZANIES COMEDY SHOWPLACE, 2025 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37204. 615-269-0221. www.zaniesnash.com.
Check out Wix’ website at: www.4wix.com