The wellRED Comedy Tour, featuring three hilarious Southern guys spinning some stereotypes to the left, comes to our neck of the woods on November, 29th at the Parlor Live at Lincoln Square. Bellevue.
Trae Crowder, Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester will take to the stage on the heels of their debut book, “The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin Dixie Outta The Dark” (available in digital platforms and in bookstores). Bring a copy to the show and they’d be happy to sign it. The book came about when a literary agent reached out to them after being a fan of the blog they were doing. The book is a smart, very funny and much needed antidote to the current Red/Blue divide. According to Trae; “At the end of the day, we tried to be fair. It’s about South in the ways in which they are shitty or need to be improved and we call ‘em out on it. And the opposite way too, as far as being proud of where we’re from and there a lot of things we should be proud of. We try to be fair. ”
Trae Crowder, a small town Tennessee native, went viral with his “Liberal Redneck” videos that found their way to You Tube and TV, not to mention several gay focused blogs and sites. Trae also has a video series that he does for the New York Daily News. His bio describes him as performing “his particular brand of Southern-fried intellectual comedy in the Southeast for the past six years” .
Drew Morgan, also a rural Tennessee native, is the “son of a preacher man…weaving his stories together with observations on culture, religion, and identity, he like Mark Twain on acid, or maybe just a confused Southerner pretending to have his shit together”.
Cory Ryan Forrester (CoFo), the Northern Georgia Southerner of the trio, started performing stand-up comedy at the age of 16. His bio states “CoFo has thoughts on everything from race to religion, politics and gender. He loves women and cheese. All dairy, actually.”
My conversation with these very funny guys got off to a bumpy start as within minutes Trae was telling me they were parking, that Corey was driving, followed by shouting “THIS IS A ONE WAY CORY! THIS IS A ONE WAY!” followed by screams (played up a bit for my amusement, I hope) and “OH MY GOD!” I assured them that I believed they were from the South and didn’t need to pull out the Dukes of Hazzard moves to convince me.
I first became familiar with Trae’s Liberal Redneck series via the gay blog “Joe My God”, so I thought I’d ask them about their gay following (none of the three are gay themselves, but all are very pro-LGBT).
Trae Crowder: I love on ‘em – they have been a huge part of all of this. We had had a lot of gay fans for every show we’ve done. The staff everywhere we’ve played tells u our crowds are the best to work for and around. That’s really cool when you hear that. Our crowd isn’t 100% gay, but we get a pretty good turn out. I’ve always been passionate about LGBT issue my whole life because of my Uncle.
Jeffrey Robert: Was he out?
Trae: I knew it. It was like an open secret type deal. I think everybody pretty much knew. I don’t know if he ever came out or whatever, I don’t know. I just know that as a kid, my Dad explained it all to me when I was about 8 or 9. Everybody pretty much knew I think. He is still kickin’ in my hometown in Tennessee.He recently moved back to my hometown to take care of my grandmother, his mother. I still talk to him fairly regularly.
Drew Morgan: Small town folks who are also gay and people who identify as gay rednecks are some of my favorite fans that we have coming out to show. They are super appreciative of Trae’s videos and super appreciative of what we are trying to do saying they are the south, we are the south, we are still here. We might not be the 60 percent who voted for Trump but we are still here.
Jeffrey Robert: How did you first learn about gay people? How did you become an LGBT supporter.
Drew: I think it was a natural thing. I grew up, like everyone my age, on TV. I was aware of what it was. In terms of my own life. on of my friends in High School was the Manager of every sport team I played on. I had thought he was gay and he eventually came out to us. It was rough for him. He came from a family that had a hard time with it and they didn’t support him. He didn’t do well at 17 or 18. His problems in his life were because they cut him off, not because he was gay.
Watching him go through that had a direct effect on me. I had never thought being gay was wrong or anything like that – but watching it, personally seeing it with one of my friends, had an effect on me. Not only is being gay not wrong, but we have to talk about it not being wrong. We have to educate people and make them realize kicking your kid out because he is gay, you know, it is not the right…it is not the Christian thing to do.
Cory Ryan Forrester: I was always, I guess, I don’t know what the term is – apolitical – like it was nothing. When I was a kid I found out about it literally because of Elton John. My Mom loved Elton John and she had gone to see him perform. Somebody from the church was like “You went to see EJ?” and she was like, “Yeah, why?” “Well, you know he’s gay.” Mom said “Okay, whatever” so I asked her what that meant. I always had a “who gives a shit approach?” Now I’m a, “Well, I do give a shit because I want them to be safe”.
The interview took place about a week after the election, so I wanted to get their take on it. They all agreed that the result had been a surprise, although they had also considered the possibility of Trump winning the Presidency. They had been recording their SiriusXM show “The Liberal Redneck Hour” earlier that day. Corey said he sat in traffic and didn’t hear much about it until he got home close to 11:00 PM EST when it was “…basically in the can. I was like Holy Shit – What the Hell and sat in my apartment drinking Shiner”.
Drew: Folks at home who almost always go right – hate him. Some of them said they weren’t gonna vote for him. I thought, surely it won’t happen. The thing is, I don’t know what white working people in Michigan are like. I probably know some things about them because of the people I grew up around, but he ended up winning the Rust Belt.
All three said the results of the election haven’t had much of an impact on their material, except for some minor changes. CoFo stated that since he goes up first, he acknowledges it because it is the elephant in the room. “As far as that goes, it hasn’t changed much of my material. I don’t do political as much as I do social and that shit ain’t changed”.
The guys poke fun at stereotypes, culture and quirks across the board – and it is scathingly funny. As a self-confessed NPR-listening, Prius-driving, espresso sipping stereotypical PNW liberal I love the laughs they get at the expense of people like me. I did want to know if they ran into problems and what it was like performing in front of a crowd of liberal, progressive folks with their own misconceptions about Southerners.
Trae: I want to say this is refreshing. Typically we get literally the opposite question. Especially from liberals who will ask, “How do you do in, say, Athens, Georgia?” “What is the crowd going to be in Athens are they going to tar and feather you?” No, those are our people. Liberal crowds respond well. They have a sense of humor, but there are some parts of my act, at least, where liberals might tighten up a little more. But they are fine. Still fun.
CoFo: We are in line politically, so we are allowed to shit on them because we are them.
Jeffrey Robert: Are there any stereotypes about people from the South, rednecks, the drive you crazy?
Trae: Well, honestly, no. Almost all stereotypes are based on a little bit of truth. Those inbred hicks and cooking meth in the trailers who hate gays and hate blacks – those people exist. Not gonna lie. My whole thing has always been just like any other stereotypes, ethnic or gay people or whatever, it doesn’t define us ALL, that is not ALL we are, as a region or whatever – that’s the attitude that bothers me.
Drew: Those stereotypes that you are a racist (are) the biggest piece of shit – but the people lump us together as a stereotype as cousin-fuckin’ hicks…
CoFo: Cousin fuckin’ – that’s been going on for centuries, I don’t know how we got the responsibility for that. Sometimes you got a hot cousin. You can fuck your third cousin.
I asked them if there was anything that they were looking forward to in Seattle. They mentioned the weed stores (and as a good citizen, I offered to give them a tour of those), beer and the really good chowder. I did to break it to CoFo that the coffee shops he had heard of where topless women serve you coffee had been closed down after finding out they served more than coffee. We did all agree that the South has better fried chicken and the best, most depressing songs in the whole world.
Three great guys with very sexy, charming accents and truckloads of intelligence and humor. Check out their videos, book and live show.
Parlor Live – November 29th
7:00 PM (Sold Out) and 9:00 PM
Trae Crowder – The Liberal Redneck on You Tube