As temperatures drop and darkness falls earlier, Race to the Coffin Comedy fights seasonal depression by hosting nationally touring comedians Shane Torres and Cliff Cash on back-to-back nights.
Torres, who has scored two recent appearances on Conan, spoke recently with CP by phone from New York.
Torres first visited Pittsburgh with Duncan Trussell in 2015 and found what he calls “a good beer-drinkin’ town.” When here, he usually hangs out with local comic John Dick Winters. Unlike Anthony Bourdain, the pair are more likely to frequent “dive bars in Troy Hill” than Superior Motors. Coincidentally, Torres’ second Conan appearance went viral for his defense of Guy Fieri and criticism of Bourdain, “who looks like the kind of dude that would be mean to dogs.” Yeah, Torres was roasting Bourdain long before the celebrity chef drew some locals’ ire.
Torres is a liberal from Texas, but politics may not even come up at his Nov. 10 show at Club Café. His act, he says, is “not terribly political because there are other comics who can do political comedy better.” But if it’s political comedy you crave, Cliff Cash hits Hambone’s on Nov. 11.
Cash is a Southern liberal who enjoys talking politics and culture. He also spoke with CP by phone from New York. I asked Cash if he could pinpoint any environmental factors that caused him to lean liberal. “My mom talks in tongues and my dad was a pharmacist,” he says. “We were raised very conservative Southern Baptists. Sometimes when you shit on your kids, you end up with the opposite of what you were shooting for.” The liberal comic’s brother authored a novel called A Land More Kind Than Home, and his sister is a lesbian and a holistic nurse.
Cash got into comedy after a tough year wherein he lost everything in the subprime-mortgage crisis, his father and his dog passed away, and his wife was unfaithful. But remember, the secret formula to great comedy is tragedy plus time.
Whether you want to hear Cliff Cash prove that adage, or have Shane Torres dissect lighter subjects, there’s a show for you this weekend.