Toledo comic Keith Bergman releases live comedy album ‘Disheveled’Written by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The first time Toledoan Keith Bergman performed stand-up at an open mic, he was so nervous he almost walked out.
More than four years later, Bergman has released his first comedy album “Disheveled,” recorded during the comedian showcase “Two Buck Yuks” (produced by Bergman) last year at The Blarney Event Center.
The album, which he calls “highbrow stupid,” is available online and in physical form, something he said is nice, even though consumers seem to be moving away from CDs.
“It’s a little terrifying when you get boxes of them shipped to you,” Bergman said. “I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was going to put it out until after I heard it but the show went really well.”
Bergman said the album is a stepping stone. He plans to continue writing and hopes to keep improving.
Bergman doesn’t like to dwell on past mistakes but wishes he had got into comedy sooner.
“I wish I hadn’t made excuses or put it off because it’s something I’ve always wanted to be,” he said. “I’m having so much fun now and it’s going so well. It’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever done with my life.”
He said that he uses his career as an example for his kids to learn what it takes to make a career out of being creative.
Comedy has been part of Bergman’s life from an early age.
“I would listen to George Carlin before I even got 90 percent of the jokes,” Bergman said.
The hometown feel is obvious in “Disheveled”: the album opens with Bergman talking about the Polar Vortex last year which interfered with a lot of the “Two Buck Yuks” dates. He added that bad weather affected him while on tour this winter as well.
“You don’t create any kind of art in a vacuum; it’s definitely a product of where you live and where you travel,” he said.
Bergman selects his material (one track on his album is titled “Elderly Racists”) purposefully. In his act, he uses real-life experiences in a way similar to Louis C.K., one of his comedy inspirations.
“Having a lot of different things to talk about is good because you never know what kind of audience you’re going to get,” Bergman said. “With the elderly racists thing, that’s a whole topic that you could have a serious discussion about and [you] could really open a can of worms about why people think a certain way and how silly it is. That’s another discussion for another place. I feel like my job is to air that out and try to find the humor in it. It’s still a serious topic but maybe you can take some of the venom out of it by poking fun at it.”
The album name describes Bergman, he said, and the sketch on the album cover captures that spirit. He’s always got a “just rolled out of bed look” to him, which is never intentional, he said.
“Once I saw that little sketch with me and the coffee cup and everything, [‘Disheveled’] popped into my head,” Bergman said. “It’s just a word I’ve always liked the sound of. There’s certain times that I will use a bigger word or a weirder sounding word just because I like the way it sounds. And that word’s one of them; you know what that word means even if you don’t.”
In the future, Bergman would be open to doing something like “Two Buck Yuks” again.
The Toledo comedy scene is “surprisingly vibrant,” Bergman said. “There [are] actually multiple generations,” he said.
For more information, or to purchase “Disheveled,” visit keithbergman.com or Twitter.com/KeithBBergman.