The Mayor of Atlanta Comedy is coming to the Wormhole, and he is bringing along some of his very funny friends.
Joe Pettis bestowed upon himself the title of Mayor of Atlanta Comedy when fellow comedian Blair Socci called him that at a party while remarking on how many events he produces around the country.
Pettis is the founder of 1Up Comedy and has produced some of the best comedy shows in Atlanta. Rolling Stone Magazine called Pettis’s shows one of the "5 Cool Things to Discover in Atlanta," and his Resurgens Fest is the only comedy festival in Atlanta to feature exclusively local talent while raising money for the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence.
"Most of the shows I perform at are also shows I produce," said Pettis. "Seven or eight years ago, I became tired of waiting for someone else to discover me. I thought I’d just discover myself and start producing my shows and put out my own content."
One of Pettis’s most popular events is his monthly Underwear Comedy Party which he has held in over forty cities.
"I started it as a one-off at the Village Theatre in Atlanta as a joke between one of the owners there about whether or not I could convince comics to perform in their underwear," explained Pettis. "We put the show together and it was so fun that out of nowhere comics from all over the world were hitting me up for a spot to do it."
The event became so popular that even audience members began to show up in their skivvies.
"I don’t do it as much now because I’m getting closer to 40, so I’m trying to keep my clothes on as much as possible."
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Pettis has been performing comedy since 2008, appearing at several comedy festivals including Nashville Comedy Fest, Laughing Skull Comedy Fest, Burning Bridges Comedy Fest, and Sweetwater 420 Festival. He has also appeared on "Daytime Fighting League" on Adult Swim and "Getting Doug with High" on VPN.
Pettis has an affable, hipster stage presence and a giddy, stoner giggle that easily wins over audiences.
"Basically, I get paid for people to laugh at my mistakes,’ said Pettis. "Most of my jokes are about my life. I talk about the stupid mistakes I made and the silly hi-jinx I got involved with. Most of my career I’ve felt like I don’t need to write jokes because a lot of the time my life is a joke."
Many of his jokes focus on his youthful indiscretions like trying crystal meth (twice!), or getting thrown into Turner Field jail during a sporting event, or getting fired from Barnes & Noble for selling an erotic novel to the wrong demographic.
"I consider myself a semi-clean comedian, but then I have jokes about that, meth and stuff," said Pettis. "I lived a, not necessarily exciting life, but interesting life and for whatever reason that seems to translate to comedy."
The Joe Pettis & Friends show will feature several former Savannah comedians that now call Atlanta their home, including Derrick Marchel and Aaron Odem. Pettis also promises some surprise guests.
As a veteran event promoter, Pettis has had to adjust pandemic restrictions. The Wormhole show, for example, will require masks, and tables and groups will be separated from each other for safety.
"It’s been interesting," said Pettis.
"It’s like putting in ten times the amount of work and effort for one fifth of the payoff, financially at least. But one of the benefits is it seems like audiences really appreciate it. Atlanta especially, Savannah is a good example, too, where over the years I’ve found the audiences are really good and truly appreciate comedy, but even more so now. After people have been cooped up in their houses for months they’re even more excited than ever to attend a comedy show which makes it more fun for us."