Interview: Jeremy Burke
We team up with Braun to talk to the comedian about his favorite Built to Perform possession
In a high performance world, Braun creates innovative designs built to last seven years. For the Built to Perform series Braun profiles 15 innovative guys in an intimate look at their life passions and the unique objects of design and durability that power their life.
The creative idea behind the comedy brand Loud Village reads like a riff on the classic one-liner, "A man walks into a bar", except the bar has been exchanged for a taco stand—but not just any taco stand, The Best Fish Taco in Ensenada. The man behind the brand is comedian and Upright Citizens Brigade alum Jeremy Burke, who launched Loud Village as a brand that merges alternative stand-up and music in a series of events. Originally a regular customer of Best Fish Taco, Burke teamed up with the owner, Joseph Cordova, to host one of the most dynamic comedy nights in LA, featuring both up-and-coming acts and appearances by such recent headliners as Aziz Ansari and Patton Oswalt. Both the event and its taco venue have gained cult notoriety, propelled by Loud Village's viral shout-out video entitled "Fishy, Fishy," which parodies rapper Kreayshawn's hit song, "Gucci, Gucci."
Adopting a punk rock ethos, music also plays heavily into the spirit of Loud Village's events and skits. With a record collection compiled of more than 200 albums, Burke's Built to Perform prized possession is a testament to his drive and the creativity that fuels it.
Who did you find funny when you were growing up?
My dad was always the funniest guy in the room. Both my parents have a great sense of humor, actually. I definitely get a lot from them. Growing up, I loved watching sketch comedy. Mr. Show With Bob & David and Saturday Night Live were my favorites.
You went through the sketch/improv program at the Upright Citizens Brigade. What is one piece of advice that you gleaned from that time which still holds true for you?
Yes, UCB is a wonderful place. I highly recommend them for anyone interested in comedy. Their motto will always stick with me—and that's "Don't Think." It's amazing what we let our minds get in the way of sometimes.
What's the concept behind Loud Village and what inspires the skits? What do you think makes a video go viral?
It's basically the fusion of alternative music and alternative comedy. There are so many parallels between both worlds. To me, it makes perfect sense to pair the two. It's like they have a ton of mutual friends and Loud Village is just the party they come to. An idea for a sketch can literally come from anything. Everything is funny. I feel like mostly, a video going viral is a right time, right place type of deal. What worked last time doesn't always hit again. The Internet can be pretty bipolar sometimes. Your best bet is to just make what you think is awesome.
Loud Village hosts a comedy night which combines alternative music and alternative comedy. What do you look for when you're bringing on a performer?
I check out other shows around town and see what's going on. Los Angeles is the best place to be for this stuff. When I book my shows, I always make sure we have some great up-and-comers as well as the bigger names. It's really cool when you watch someone go from opening the show to being one of the headliners in just a year.
What inspired the idea to feature a comedy night at the Best Fish Taco in Ensenada?
Best Fish Taco is, like, two blocks from my apartment and I would go there pretty much every day because the tacos are that good. Through my borderline addiction, I became friends with the owner. He is quite the character and always up for a good time. So when a friend and I wanted to shoot a sketch there about fish tacos, he was all about it. That video ended up racking up over a million views through a couple sites. He was on board with everything after that. When I decided I wanted to do a live comedy show there, it was on like two weeks later. It's also the best neighborhood in LA for a show. Los Feliz is where everyone in comedy lives.
I wanted to have a show that I would want to go to. Comedy Night at Best Fish Taco is a free show that anyone could come to. It has more of a DIY punk show vibe than any traditional comedy venue. Since it's outdoors, we've had many people accidentally walk in and now they're regulars. It's more of a party than a comedy show.
Your Built to Perform prized possession is your record collection. How big is your record collection and how long have you been collecting for? Why is your record collection your Built to Perform possession?
I have a couple hundred records in my collection. I used to be very interested in my dad's records in our basement growing up. When I moved out to LA and got my own place and record player, I became obsessed. Soon after, I was spending all my money at Amoeba Records. I still can't walk into that place without buying something. The idea of vinyl is so cool to me. The music is literally carved into each record. My record collection, specifically Tycho's Dive, is my prized possession because it represents my creativity. I listen to that record and I'm in the zone. It's not just about the physical records themselves. It's about music being a gateway to another world that you can only access while listening. Anything from writing to working out to just hanging around the house—you put the right record on and you're somewhere else.
In one sentence, tell us why you couldn't live without your Built to Perform possession.
Without music, life would be boring.
Images by James Ryang