Kurt Braunohler is clear to land | Comedy Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Kurt Braunohler is clear to land 

The stand-up isn't shy about taking a good joke to the streets (or to the sky).

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Kurt Braunohler

Kurt Braunohler

Mandee Johnson

Kurt Braunohler goes above and beyond to get his jokes out there. At his shows and on his website, Braunohler polls his audience for his next big idea. For instance, which is a funnier billboard post: "Hello, my name is Board, Bill" or "Happy Birthday, Brian! (Giant Brian, not regular Brian)"? Recently the comic addedhis own octagonal retort to a stop sign in his neighborhood ("No YOU stop!"), and last March he crowdfunded enough money to have the message "How do I land?" skywritten above Los Angeles. The prank, which garnered him national media attention, provided the name of his debut album, out last year on indie record label Kill Rock Stars.

And on How Do I Land? Braunohler shares even more. It's with a bizarre charm that he reminisces about being breast-fed till he was five, then pretending to have Tourette's till he was ten, which is, coincidentally, right when he picked up smoking. In one great bit he plays revealing subconscious thoughts he claims to have recorded in his sleep—"The most unbelievable thing about Ghostbusters is how much power the EPA has . . . The best way to never forget is to name your dog 9/11." His stand-up reflects his hosting style, which was seen on the short-lived improv comedy game show Bunk on IFC and now can be heard on his podcast, The K-Ohle. The line between the real Braunohler and his absurdist persona is often blurred, but he's all the more entertaining for it.

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