When a comic picks a venue to record a set for an upcoming album, there’s often a home-court advantage element at play. At first glance, the Zoo Bar in Lincoln might not seem like a backyard for Danny Solomon, an LA-based comic who’s writing bits for a TV show ("Crashletes") that stars pro football player Rob Gronkowski. But, he said, “I'm kind of a half-Lincoln guy right now.”
Specifically, the better half -- about a year ago, Solomon married Natalie Anis-Solomon, who’s from Lincoln. He has since Valentino’s buffeted, Runza-ed and Amigone with her, and she has promised to bring a crew to the Zoo on Jan. 14, when Solomon will do two sets, the first at 7 p.m. and the closer at 9. Tickets cost $5 for what will be his first recorded special.
"I could use the support of the rest of Lincoln that doesn't know my wife," Solomon said.
Solomon has plenty of help on the bill. He’s on tour with Adam Newman, who, along with an array of appearances on late-night shows and comedy specials, played a self-loathing Ronald McDonald in a faux McD's ad on “Last Week Tonight.” You can stream Newman’s hour-long special, “Fuzzies,” on Amazon Prime. Solomon opened for Newman when that special was recorded in an Athens, Georgia, comedy club where Solomon used to work. (See, home court.)
Solomon’s connection to the Zoo predates his marriage. A little over three years ago, he opened for his friend and writing partner, Barry Rothbart, at one of the first Zoolarious Sunday night comedy sets.
“I opened for Barry and it was just way better than it had any right to be,” Solomon said. “It was such an awesome show. Brad (Stewart), the creator of Zoolarious, the host of the show, is the nicest guy and super cool to comics. The show was just incredible. I think there's just something about crowds in the Midwest where there's a nice mix of friendly and a little drunk -- that they just love what you're doing as long as you put some effort in it and you really care about comedy. They respond a lot better.”
Solomon’s from Kansas City, Missouri, and if you have Spotify, you can listen to him talk about the difference between his homeland and Los Angeles by comparing the ratios of Insane Clown Posse fans per gas station on a Comedy Dynamics compilation, “Coming to the Stage, Season 4” -- it’s also on Hulu.
That’s part of an 8-minute set, and his only recording currently available on the streaming service. But that will change soon after Lincoln. Solomon’s working with Rooftop Comedy to release the album, which will piece together the best parts of two sets that will be recorded by the same crew that recorded Stewart’s record, “You Don’t Say,” for Sower Records.
In preparation, Solomon has been honing his set for the past year, removing a joke about clowns and intimacy that relied heavily on wild hand gestures, for example. Physical comedy only plays so well on an audio recording.
Stewart will be hosting the two sets on Sunday night. And Solomon will be in a comfort zone.
“A lot of people get nervous for the comedian on stage, because it's sort of like a big thing for them and they sort of tighten up and worry that I'm doing well enough and stuff,” he said. “Don't worry about that. I'm gonna be fine. I have a fine career without worrying about how this album is gonna go, so come to the show, get loaded and don't yell at me or heckle or anything like that, and have a good, loose time. It'll definitely be worth $5, if not $6.”
Although there will be a recording in progress, guffawers, chortlers, snorters, hee-hawers and any other types of laughers are welcome.
"Maybe other comedians have pet peeves about that, but I like crazy laughers,” he said. “I think it only helps. You listen to the laugh and it sounds like you're killing, and you just let it go. Or you immediately start making fun of them and that gets everyone else going. But I don't want the crazy laughers to not come, because I just said I would make fun of them. They should still show up.”