The comedian, writer and actor, best known for his work on “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Chappelle’s Show” and the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, will bring the Kurt Metzger Comedy Tour to The Wormhole on Jan. 13.
“I started doing stand-up 18 years ago in February,” Metzger says. “I was in college. I was 12 when I became aware that stand-up was a thing people did.”
Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, Metzger became an ordained minister at the age of 17. He gave up the religion when he started doing comedy.
“I did my first stand-up at The Stress Factory in New Brunswick, N.J.,” Metzger says. “And there was a comedy club on South Street near my college where I did stand-up.
“I was hooked on it,” he says. “If there is something you are able to do, try it. It kind of picks you.”
After performing mainly in the Philadelphia area, Metzger moved to New York City to perform in the comedy clubs there. In 2006, he performed on Showtime’s “White Boyz in the Hood,” followed by Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” in 2007.
Metzger’s first Comedy Central special, “Kurt Metzger: White Precious,” was released in 2014. A year later, he was a semi-finalist on “Last Comic Standing,” where he won the best joke award with a bit about Mohammed Atta.
Metzger has appeared on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and VH1’s “Best Week Ever.”
A native of Ohio, Metzger was always in trouble at school.
“I wasn’t a bad kid,” he says. “I came from a strict religious background and was always in trouble, although for stuff that wasn’t that bad.
“I had a miserable kind of childhood background,” Metzger says. “Because of the stress of that, I started trying to play for attention from my friends.”
Nothing is funny to Metzger.
“That’s why you’ve got to make jokes,” he says. “Everything is tragedy all the time. My jokes are based on pain — my own, I guess.”
Metzger considers himself a comedian first and a writer second.
“I feel like more of a comic,” he says. “I just wanted to do stand-up.
“If you are a comedian, you kind of are a writer, if you come up with stuff and ideas,” Metzger says. “You can observe something and make it interesting.”
Working with Amy Schumer was a positive experience.
“She was my friend for a little bit,” Metzger says. “I used to have a big crush on her.
“Her sense of humor is similar to mine. We clicked comedically. When she was making a pilot, she needed me,” he says. “She and (comedian and head writer) Jessi Klein came up with the idea for the show.”
Klein and Metzger were Schumer’s writing team at the time.
“Jessi and I were the yin and yang of it,” Metzger says. “What I liked about it was that it was not so much trying to be a ‘chick show.’
“It has an even split in viewership between men and women,” he says. “I like that. I think she was smart about that.”
Metzger is happy where he is in life.
“My only goal was not to get up and go to a job I hate,” he says. “I kind of got that.
“The whole first eight years of comedy were my worst. But why should it be easy to get a job like this? It shouldn’t be.
“There is no reason anyone should be allowed to be a stand-up comedian,” Metzger says. “It should be hard.”
After eight tough years, Metzger refused to give up.
“I didn’t have a choice,” he says. “It came as a byproduct of wanting to be funny.
“This was like the one thing I couldn’t screw up,” Metzger says. “It’s a calling. I know people who stopped doing it who I thought were so funny, and some who aren’t funny who are still here.”
Appearing with Metzger is the comedian and political satirist Barry Crimmins.
“This guy is like a hero,” Metzger says. “He’s a really good front guy.
“He’s a survivor,” Metzger says. “You wouldn’t expect him to be a funny guy, but anybody who knows pain is funny is a funny guy.”
Metzger has never played Savannah, but is looking forward to it.
“I really do like playing the South a lot,” he says. “It’s almost earned it and has less assuming people. I even like the hipsters better there.”
IF YOU GO
What: The Kurt Metzger Comedy Tour
When: 8 p.m. Jan. 13
Where: The Wormhole, 2307 Bull St.