Dwight Simmons is coming home for an encore, and to let something things go. Namely some jokes that are starting to wear thin. At least for him.
Simmons will be recording his first stand-up album at Morty’s, one of the first clubs he performed at in Indy. The album, he says, is a way to document his bits and move onto new material. That older material first started to blossom in Bloomington was where he got his start as a comedian.
The Funny Bone opened during his sophomore year. In fact, he was on the first sound check when the club turned into The Comedy Attic that it is today. Now the 10 or so comics who got their start at the same time are all off doing great things.
“There is this unspoken competition amongst us,” laughs Simmons.
Who is winning?
“Right now I would say, I don't know if you have heard of him, this guy named Thomas Brady. I would say he is winning right now. But we are going to catch him.”
Simmons seems to be right on his tail. He has already put the notch on his belt of opening for David Letterman.
“When you think of Indiana you don’t think of a ton of famous comedians,” laughs Simmons. “I felt a sort of connection with him [since we are both from Indiana]. … We aren’t really on the map as far as comedy scenes go. But I feel like we have a really strong one there.”
According to Simmons his new material is going to be “a goof way to talk about social issues.” But those issues are hardly goofy. Things like police brutality, LGBT and women’s rights all fill up his time at the mic.
“Working in New York is easier because people are more liberal than in Indiana,” says Simmons “But that is also a catch 22. You don’t want to do bits with audiences that just agree with you. You kind of need a push back from the audience … You don’t want to just talk to the people that are on your side, that is the easy way out. … It’s kind of a win if you can get people who are on the edge to laugh and nod their head and say ‘yeah that’s a good point.’ I found that I liked that feeling almost as much as I like getting ridiculous laughs”