Brian Posehn quits pot, keeps telling jokes


Brian Posehn

By Alex Fiore

Amidst the dozens of bands playing Middlewest Fest this weekend, one man will take the stage with no instrument at all.

With just a microphone and a slew of jokes in tow, comedian Brian Posehn will perform at Otto’s Nightclub, 118 E. Lincoln Highway, at 8 p.m. tonight.

Posehn, 45, of Sacramento, Calif., is most recognizable from his work on The Sarah Silverman Program, HBO’s Mr. Show, and his 2008 Comedy Central Presents special.

Whether you’ve seen him or not, Posehn is known for his goofy comedy stylings and his love of heavy metal. He is in the midst of a countrywide tour, which includes several smaller college towns similar to DeKalb.

Posehn said he enjoys playing college towns because of the environment.

“That’s where the coolest fans are,” he said. “I appeal to people my age too, but it feels like that’s where the most fans are. In my experience, I have the most fun doing these rock clubs and small theaters.”

Posehn last played in DeKalb in November 2010, and said he is excited to come back.

“I had a great a great time last time,” he said. “That was one of the highlights of last year. That show was a lot of fun.”

Posehn’s act will be different this time around, thanks in part to a lifestyle change.

Posehn, who has become a sort of cult hit by telling jokes about marijuana, stopped smoking this summer, and the focus of his act has changed.

“I’m one of those guys where I talk about what I’m going through,” he said. “Now, I don’t do pot jokes anymore: I do quitting pot jokes.”

Posehn also became a father two years ago and has seen some of his audience change because of it.

“I have way more husbands and wives as fans than I used to maybe ten years ago,” he said. “It’s like the guy got his wife into me, and now they have kids. It’s kind of like this parallel thing.”

That is not to say that Posehn only performs for one type of audience. Besides smaller clubs, Posehn performs in bigger theaters and recently performed at the tenth annual “Gathering of the Juggalos,” a festival hosted by the horrorcore hip-hop group, Insane Clown Posse.

“It ended up being a fun show,” Posehn said. “It was rowdy and a strange experience. I’ve never gone on at 3:30 in the morning and done comedy that late.”

Posehn said he got some grief for doing the performance from some fans, but it didn’t phase him.

“People were like, ‘Hey I just lost respect for you for doing that,'” he said. “I was blown away by that. Those people aren’t true fans.”

Posehn has been performing comedy for over two decades and has seen the comedy world change. One of the newest tools for comedians is Twitter, but Posehn doesn’t use it to tell very many jokes.

“I kind of use it more for a promotional tool…but when I think of something I throw it out,” he said. “My act is never restricted to 140 characters. I tell more stories than I do quick little punches.”

Tickets for the show cost $20 and experimental rocker Gene Ween will take the stage after Posehn’s performance.


The show is restricted to people age 21 and older.