Keith Malley is not your typical stand-up comedian. He does not grind it out at open mikes nor does he cut his teeth every weekend on the road. He does wax hilarious five days a week for over an hour on his long-running podcast, Keith and the Girl.
In an interview with Laughspin, Keith once told me that comics go up to him and say, “‘So you think you’re a stand-up comic?’ I say, ‘I know where this is going, so, no.’ They assume I said, ‘Yes,’ then start attacking. I get why becuase they think they had to work harder to get people to come to their shows. But they don’t count the hard work that I put in here every day.” Keith and the Girl is not some podcast that a couple of comedians decided to do once a week for 30 of their friends to listen to. KATG has hundreds of thousands of downloads each month where they can hear Keith’s view and opinion on the state of the world. And also hear him swear more than a sailor with a stubbed toe.
Once a year, Malley and his co-host Chemda (aka “The Girl”) host a weeklong event called “KATG Week,” when fans from all over the country travel to New York City for a week of stand-up shows, live podcasts, and social hangouts with their favorite podcasters. It culminates with Malley recording a stand-up special that he then sells to his fans on their website. His parents don’t appreciate his raunchy sense of humor. His father is a Man of God. So this year, for his 10th special entitled Good Clean Fun, he took his favorite bits from his previous nine albums and cleaned them up, removed the curses and racist jokes (to which his audience playfully boos when he makes this opening announcement), and did one hour of clean stand-up that he could properly send home to his parents.
The podcast pioneer has written and recorded an hour of new stand-up comedy every year, despite not calling himself a “stand-up proper.” His fans don’t care. They love him and his point of view and they pay to see him perform. Regardless of what the haters say, it seems like he hits most of the check points of being a stand-up comedian. Just like other comics, he talks about finding love and working at Applebee’s while making obscure movie references. Unlike most comics, his album is the #3 comedy CD on iTunes in the U.S. and #1 in Canada (as of this writing).
Comedians come in various forms: stand-up, sketch, improv, satirist, radio host. Keith Malley is a funny, passionate hard-working comedian. Whether or not you consider him a true stand-up is up to you. But you’ll have to buy his new album Good Clean Fun on iTunes or www.keithandthegirl.com to make that judgment.