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Nick Kroll: Expect the unexpected

By James Hamilton

(Pssst- scroll to the bottom to see our winners of the Kroll ticket giveaway contest!)

There is something to be said for a good stand-up comedy show. Its’ a tale as old as time, and people, generally, know what to expect.

Comedian takes the stage. Audience cheers. Comedian makes a series of jokes, often insightful or self-deprecating, if not both. Audience laughs. At some point in the show, an audience member decides that, a) it’s not fair that only one person (the comedian) has a microphone and, b) they are actually the funniest one in the room, so they call out a thought, demand, or insult which is, without fail, unwelcome and disruptive. Rest of audience groans. Comedian makes joke at disruptive person’s expense, thus shutting them up. Audience laughs and cheers. Everyone goes home happy and follows the comedian on Twitter.

This Saturday at 9 PM, comedian Nick Kroll takes the stage for his stand-up show at the Civic Theatre, and, as any one of his continously growing number of fans will tell you, you should be expecting something more than your standard comedy show. Instead, these people will also tell you, you can expect something much, much more, as they excitedly cite Kroll’s outstanding Comedy Central stand-up special from 2011, Thank You Very Cool. Those same people will tell you (seriously, they won’t stop talking about him) that Kroll is far from your ordinary comedian.

If you were to fact check his adoring fans by taking a look at Kroll’s resume, you would indeed find an impressive body of work.  In addition to his stand-up work, he is best known for his role as Ruxin on FXX’s The League and as the lead of his solo sketch on Comedy Central, Kroll Show, which just completed its first season. He’s also made appearances on many of today’s top comedy shows (including Parks and Recreation, Community, New Girl, Reno 911!) and movies (including Dinner for Schmucks, Get Him to the Greek, I Love You Man).

In a phone interview, Kroll told NolaVie that his hour long set on Saturday will include jokes and stories as well as clips from the upcoming second season of Kroll Show. Specifically, one of the clips will feature one of Kroll’s most famous characters, Bobby Bottleservice, who he promised would be seen plenty in Season 2.

In addition to the staples of a Kroll show, he promised something more.

“I like to make the show unique to whatever city I am in,” Kroll said, adding that he usually takes time to chat with the crowd and take requests at the end of the show.

To be fair, Kroll’s fans aren’t the only ones buzzing about him these days. In addition to wide acclaim for Kroll Show and Comedy Central signing the show for a second season, Kroll is the talk of the comedy town. He was recently named one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch” and was selected as the 2013 “Breakout Comedy Star of the Year” by the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. He was also the standout performer at this year’s “Comedy Central Roast of James Franco.”

While Kroll is getting big time acclaim now, he’s been hard at work for over a decade.  And he’s now reaping the benefits of that work and loving every minute.

“I’ve accomplished what I had hoped to accomplish. I have a TV show with my name on it,” Kroll said. “I’m very pleased about that. But I’m also driven to continue to succeed further.  That’s who I am. I enjoy it. I just love doing comedy in various forms.”

Over the past few years, New Orleans has watched its comedy scene grow significantly, and local comedy fans are relishing that growth as big name alt-comedians begin to come to town more often; big names Moshe Kasher, Hannibel Burress, Todd Barry, Sara Schafer, and Eric Andre have all visited in this past year.

But in the case of Kroll’s show on Saturday, there is an excitement unique to his fans as they gear up for what they know will be an extraordinary show.

For Kroll, the feeling is very mutual.

“I’m lucky now because I get to tour only in the cities I like and they are places I like to visit,” Kroll said, citing New Orleans as one of his very favorites.  “One of the merits (of my work) is getting paid to go to a place like New Orleans and perform at a beautiful venue.”

Nick Kroll will be performing at the Civic Theatre this Saturday, December 7, at 9 PM. His opening act will be Austin’s John Ramsey, who Kroll appeared with in the Ramsey’s video, “The Early Works.”

Remember, just don’t expect anything ordinary.

Editor’s note: Now that we have you all itching to attend Kroll’s performance, we will announce the winners of our Instagram contest for free tickets to the show. And don’t worry, if you didn’t win, it’s not too late to buy tickets.

We asked you guys to get funky and ‘gram us your quirkiest images. Without further ado, here’s the weirdest of the weird (in no particular order):

Started from the bottom… Oh wait, I’m still here.


Yeah, why don’t you make yourself comfortable and sit on my face. 

Our only gif submission… Pinata love.
Pinata love

Pinata love

Someone’s gotta toughen that kid up…

The environmental sickling:


Saving trees one snot wad at a time.

Way to keep it weird, NOLA. 

Thanks to winners (in order of their photo appearances): Samantha Marrone, Mike Mauer, and My House NOLA!

James Hamilton is a writer, comedian, performer, and producer based in New Orleans.  Email him at or find him on Twitter @oldjoytree.


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