On Saturday, May 4, some of the Pacific Northwest's funniest people will take the stage at the Egyptian Theatre as part of The Stranger's Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy showcase. Andy Iwancio! Dan Hurwitz! Chris Mejia! Monica Nevi! Juno Men! Bernice Larson! Kermet Apio! And headliner Sam Miller! Plus, the whole night will be hosted by Emmett Montgomery, beloved weirdo, host of Friendship Dungeon and Joketellers Union, and one of 2023's Undisputable Geniuses.

It's going to be very funny! I hope you come! Tickets are available here! Exclamation points!

UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Sam Miller is unable to perform at Saturday's showcase. We are thrilled to announce that Dewa Dorje and Derek Sheen, two of our 2023 comedy geniuses, will now be joining us!

This week, ahead of the show, we're getting to know all the comics. Today we have headliner Sam Miller! If you've seen Miller perform, then chances are you know his deal. He starts many of his shows with the same line, "I'm Sam Miller, I'm 6-foot 6-inches, 360 pounds, I have two kids (one of them is on purpose), I've been married for 12 years, and I've been clean and sober for 15 years." He draws from his past—his addiction, being homeless, spending time in jail—and relates it to his life today to craft jokes that are as funny as they are relatable. He co-hosts The Tarp Report podcast with Jes Anderson of the Comedy/Bar and you can rent or buy his comedy special Sam Miller: Round Trip via Amazon. He's also headlining Comedy/Bar Thursday, May 16. Tickets are available here.

How does it feel to be declared an Undisputable Genius of Comedy?

I'm very honored. However, I feel a label like "genius," whether pertaining to my comedy or not, could easily and rightfully be disputed. What I lack in aptitude I make up for in attitude. I write incredibly dumb jokes, I deliver them exceptionally well, and somehow the universe has seen fit to occasionally give me accolades like this. 

The show is at the Egyptian, which is rumored to be haunted. Do you believe in ghosts?

I don't. And I checked. I used to stay up for three days at a time, and if anyone would have seen a ghost, it would have been me. But I've been wrong before, so I don't take any chances.

You are very open in your comedy about drug addiction, being homeless, and getting clean—even though you’re making jokes about it, and making people laugh about smoking meth from a light bulb, I’d assume that material also resonates with people in surprising ways. Do you get folks sharing their own stories with you after seeing you perform?

I was gonna be a super jokey funny man and answer all these questions silly-style, but I'll take this one seriously. I have the best fanbase in the world. They send me dope messages. Oftentimes people tell me how much it means to them to hear me being open about my history. They tell me that my comedy helps them get through hard stuff. And there is so much hard stuff, especially for folks with substance use disorders. I had no idea when I started my stand-up comedy odyssey that people would relate to me so much onstage and offstage. I love it. 

What has been the best thing someone said to you after seeing you perform? 

People say that I helped them get sober or stay sober or that the way I do comedy gives them hope to keep going. Also, a guy messaged me and said I made him shit his pants and he was waiting in the bathroom at the Garland Theater in Spokane for his wife to bring him new ones.

You have a podcast, The Tarp Report, with Jes Anderson from Comedy/Bar. I know Jes is a big Vanderpump Rules fan (same, tbh) so this question assumes that maybe some of her knowledge has stuck with you in any way. Fuck, Marry, Kill: Jax, Sandoval, and Schwartz? 

I just got off the phone with Jes and asked her to help me answer this. She said she was gonna message me but it's taking too long 'cause she's at work, so I'm just gonna wing it... 

One time, I was doing comedy in Tri-Cities at a place called Jokers. Jokers is a combination comedy club, bowling alley, arcade, sports bar, and casino. While I was in the area I decided to tour the Hanford nuclear reactor site. During the tour, they were like, "Don't go past any of the yellow ropes because there are still parts of the reactor that are dangerously radioactive." 

You see, usually, when I'm on a guided tour and somebody says some dumb shit like that, I make a jerking-off motion with my right hand, and I sarcastically say, "OK." And then I immediately look around, desperately scanning to see if anyone noticed my hysterical act of rebellion. But, seeing as how in less than 40 years more than 20 million uranium fuel rods were enriched in the building I was standing in, I thought I should take the "Hanford Rules" seriously. I imagine the Vanderpump Rules are very similar. But I still haven't watched 1 minute of the show. And I never will. However, I think anything that brings people joy is fucking rad, and I'm glad people like stuff. 

As far as Jokers in Richland goes:

Fuck the Bowling Alley
Marry the Arcade
Kill the Comedy Club

What’s your favorite place to see comedy in Seattle right now?

My favorite place to perform is Capitol Hill Comedy/Bar and my favorite night to perform is when I'm headlining in like two weeks on Thursday, May 16.

The Stranger presents the 2024 Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy Sat May 4 at the Egyptian Theatre, 8 pm, $25, 18+. Tickets are available here.

Read our other interviews with Bernice Larson, Chris MejiaAndy IwacioMonica NeviKermet Apio, and Juno Men.