Joe Mande seems to have done everything he can to become famous. He’s billed himself as the “Drake of comedy.” He attempted to raise $1 million on Kickstarter for a celebrity podcast (he raised $30,000). He tried to become the face of LaCroix, but La Croix asked Mande to “please immediately stop misrepresenting yourself as an official spokesperson for LaCroix.” And he dropped a mixtape—his first comedy album, 2014’s Bitchface.
The stand-up (a writer on Parks and Recreation, The Kroll Show, and the new sitcom The Good Place) likes to poke fun at the idea of celebrity. Mande took to the Internet to prove to people how easy perceived popularity can be—he paid $400 to European hackers for a million Twitter followers—and Bitchface is filled with parodies of mixtape drops and shout-outs from RZA, Minnie Driver, Blake Griffin, and Amy Poehler. Mande also takes aim at privilege, calling out hate speech in stand-up comedy and pointing out how ridiculous it is that there’s still a restaurant called Souplantation: “It’s not even a play on words. All it’s doing is taking the name of a food and combining it with a word that makes everyone uncomfortable.”
Mande also has plenty of jokes about growing up in Minnesota—where he’s fighting a constant battle against freshwater in the form of lakes, humidity, and snow—and the perils of cooking with a wok. But he’s never too removed from fame: his Autumn Sixteen tour kicked off just days after news broke that Drake is postponing the remainder of his Summer Sixteen tour due to injury. If he’s not the Drake of comedy already, then he’s certainly giving it his best shot.
Joe Mande Mon 10/24, 8 PM, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, lh-st.com, $16.