As a lifelong Mets fan, Alonzo Bodden is eternally grateful to the city of Boston, so it’s safe to assume Bill Buckner will (maybe) always have a spot on his guest list. Bodden is also a big fan of the comedy scene that has come out of the city, and he’s bringing that fandom to Laugh Boston for four shows this week (June 14 to 16), and it’s business as usual for the comedy veteran — but for a topical comic, that’s not always a good thing.
For anyone familiar with his material, Bodden has long made light of the headlines, an approach to stand-up he favored following his Season 3 victory on Last Comic Standing in 2004. And while he does still find humor in the news, a certain amount of outrage has inevitably leaked into his thought process.
“Nobody finds it fucking insane that we are the only developed nation that has to train our kids how to act during school shootings?“ Bodden asks Vanyaland. A recurring guest on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, Bodden’s political nature intertwines his “real-life” frustrations in the current political climate with his time-tested brand of comedy, and when it comes down to it, the Queens native made the choice to change gears mostly out of pure curiosity.
“Before I did Last Comic Standing, I did a lot more personal material with stories and so on, but over time, the news became more interesting and funnier to me than my life. I mean, I still talk about my life, but I like to look at the news and see how crazy and angry we’ve become as a nation.”
Now, while Bodden finds immense pleasure in jabbing at the absurdity pouring out of Washington and beyond, he’s certainly finding it hard to find fresh angles on how to pounce on the ever-evolving saga of Donald Trump’s public display of buffoonery, as he feels that it’s already been done over completely.
“To me, Trump humor is boring now,” admits the host of the Who’s Paying Attention? podcast. “He’s just going to say something outlandish or stupid, or it’ll be a lie and we’ll find out we’ll later find out the truth. So it becomes redundant to mention Trump. As a comedian, I feel like I have to mention him, but it absolutely becomes redundant.”
With all of the political inundation, burning out doesn’t seem to be an option for Bodden, but it does help to have a release to separate from the chaos once in awhile.
Aside from his podcast, which Bodden likes to describe as “the real side of what I joke about,” his love for cars and motorcycles has given him an escape from the submersion of satire, and the hobby has even begun to burrow it’s way into the career path of the 25-year comedy veteran.
“I call those my escape vehicles,” says Bodden. “I’ve always loved riding, because it’s so relaxing to be alone in my helmet. The cool thing now, is that my love for cars now crosses paths with my career, so I’ve gotten to do shows like Jay Leno’s Garage, and I hosted a show called 101 Cars You Must Drive, so it’s always a blast to see how my hobby and my career have, in a sense, become one.”
As previously mentioned, Bodden is celebrating his 25th year in the industry in 2018, and it’s mostly surprising to Bodden himself that’s he’s been able to ride the wave this long, even if his longevity comes as no surprise after one look at his dedication and work ethic. Rest doesn’t seem to be an option for Alonzo Bodden, because not even he knows when his bread and butter might come back to bite him.
“Hopefully nuclear devastation doesn’t end the world before I get to Boston,” he quips, “or else we’ll just have to go ahead and cancel the shows, I guess.”
ALONZO BODDEN :: Thursday, June 14 to Saturday, June 16 at Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St. in Boston, MA :: 8 p.m. each night and a second 10:15 p.m. show on Saturday :: Advance tickets and info :: Featured image by Troy Conrad