The Truth Hurts (My Sides): Comedian Christopher Titus Wants to be Honest with You
Often, the best stories are simply a stream of jokes that follow a timeline. The best
storytellers are the ones who amplify their own character traits to drive the plot, as opposed to depending on lies to embellish them. Titus' upbringing was plagued by alcoholism, mental illness and all manner of chaos. He mines his difficult past to fuel his act, finding joke fodder in true tales that draw the crowd into his world.
But a stand-alone, shock-value premise is the formula for repulsion, not interest, according to Titus. "'Well, hi, everybody. Welcome to the show. Thank you for coming down. You know, my mom killed herself.' You can't do that," he says. "You got to do it in a way that it's still funny. But you can take them to the darkness for a second, to a place where they're shocked."
Bringing the audience back from the abyss is the piece that Titus has perfected. He knows his craft and makes the audience a part of the journey, as opposed to just a witness in each performance. The risk is that some people aren't comfortable with brutal honesty.
"If everybody gets what I'm doing, if everybody gets it, maybe I've made a mistake somewhere," he laughs. "I didn't go far enough."
If you want to catch Christopher Titus live and in action he will be performing Thursday, May 8 at 8 p.m. at the Edison Theatre at Washington University.
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