Steve Hofstetter comes to Western
IN 2006, Nov 09, 2012 (St. Joseph News-Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
at the height of Blue Collar mania, on the eve of the release of "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector," in the midst of sweeping "Git-R-Done"-ness, -- Steve Hofstetter crafted a comedy special called "Cure for the Cable Guy." The CD/DVD memorably featured a cover with a Larry the Cable Guy doll hanging by a coaxial cable.
In one fell swoop, Hofstetter became the newest rebel of stand-up comedy. In a comedic landscape that was getting dumber, Hofstetter was a well-spoken ideologue of counter culture with an Ivy League degree. As the two comics feuded, Hofstetter took a stand against the Cable Guy while positioning himself as the antithesis to America's most popular comedian. With the current rise of astute comedian's comedians like Louis C.K. and Patton Oswalt, it appears Hofstetter played some role in exposing the "Git-R-Done" epidemic.
"Embracing stupidity culture -- the pendulum is swinging away from that," Hofstetter explains. "I'm glad to have played whatever part of that I did."
Six years later, Hofstetter still relishes his role as one of the stand-up comedy scene's insightful punk rockers.
"I'm a social critic," he says. "My favorite thing to do is find a sacred cow and kill it."
You can see for yourself when Hofstetter performs at 8 p.m. Nov. 12 in Spratt Hall on the campus of Missouri Western State University.
Hofstetter considers himself a disciple of satirists like Bill Hicks, although he also admires observational humorists like Mitch Hedburg and Jerry Seinfeld for "speaking their truth, whatever their truth might be." Hofstetter actually got his start as an author and a columnist. He was the original writer for CollegeHumor.com and he also has written three books. For many years, the 33-year-old humorist wrote columns for the New York Times and Sports Illustrated and he even co-created "Hofstetter's Jerk of the Week," a very popular (but now defunct) satirical sports website that chronicled the misdeeds of athletes.
Hofstetter says he remains a huge sports fan, and he'll even drop a few sports-related jokes in his act every now and then (Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has taken quite a few of his shots), but it's not something that's a major focus for him.
"People don't usually get esoteric references. You know, I can't make an Endy Chavez joke," he laughs.
These days, he's roasting world issues like the "theater of airport security," the debate against gay marriage and the issue of over-population. He also reminisces about his childhood as a redhead and questions why most people honor their parents no matter how bad or abusive they might have been. But the bulk of his new material is comprised of funny but somewhat disturbing rants about religious fallacies and health problems.
"9/11 killed 3,000 people, but heart disease killed 600,000 last year," Hofstetter uses as an example. "Why aren't more people talking about this "
Hofstetter performs at hundreds of colleges throughout the year. He says he prefers college audiences because most of them have an inquisitive nature.
"My whole act is questioning the world around you and that's what college students are being asked to do," Hofstetter explains. "When people get older and they think they have it figured out, they might not want to hear from someone younger that they don't."
"I've often been the young whipper-snapper," Hofstetter adds.
That whipper-snapper has accomplished a lot in less than a decade as a stand-up comedian. In recent years, Hofstetter has appeared on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," CNN's "Campbell Brown," the syndicated "Comics Unleashed," E!'s "True Hollywood Story," Showtime's "White Boyz in the Hood," ESPN's "Quite Frankly," VH1's "Countdown," CW's "The Daily Buzz," G4's "Attack of the Show," Sundance's "On the Road in America" and a Barbara Walters Special on ABC.
He recently finished his sixth comedy album, entitled "Ginger Kid." Hofstetter says that "Ginger Kid" is the album/special he's most proud of. The special will be released in 2013, and Hofstetter is hoping this one reaches No. 1 on iTunes just like his last one (2011's "Pick Your Battles) did.
In the meantime, he'll continue to tour the nation's colleges and comedy clubs. If you're thinking about seeing him at Missouri Western, keep the following tidbit of information in mind:
"If you like easy face jokes about how white people and black people are different, you should not come and see me," Hofstetter says. "If you want comedy that's designed to shake people a little bit, you'll enjoy my stuff."
In other words, enter at your own risk.
Shea Conner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @stjoelivedotcom.
___ (c)2012 St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.) Visit the St. Joseph
News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.) at www.newspressnow.com/index.html Distributed by
MCT Information Services
[ Back To HTML5's Homepage ]