Comedian Joel Byars has been performing for a decade, and marked his 10-year comedy anniversary with the release of Trophy Husband, his first comedy special which dropped yesterday. Joel hosted a “Super Joel Sunday” watch party on Facebook with fans who pre-ordered the special (which I did) taking questions and sharing some behind-the-scenes stories.
Byars is leveraging the audience for his podcast Hot Breath! towards the special by discussing his process on the show, including an upcoming Q&A episode with the director of the special. So be sure to subscribe to the show if you’re curious about the process.
The special covers topics like his southern upbringing, marriage, and how today’s kids compare to the rest of the world. It’s clean enough that I played the special with my six-year-old in the room without having to worry about her learning any new words. Some particular highlights are when Byars discusses the stresses of wedding planning, and the end of the special where Byars plays a sports coach rallying a team using a rousing speech full of the titles of his favorite books.
Trophy Husband is a solid debut special from a guy who’s a working road comedian, dedicating a lot of his time to helping other comedians make their way in the world. Byars said his motivation for doing the special himself was to, “inspire others to take action and pursue their own dreams.” That might sound a little corny, but if you spend some time listening to a few episodes of Hot Breath you’ll get a sense of just how sincere Joel is about helping others. And if you’re a comedian, I highly recommend it. It’s fun listening to podcasts where Famous Comedian interviews Other Famous Comedian about their Incredibly Successful Careers, but on a practical level I think you’ll get a lot more out of a guy who’s a decade in and still figuring it out talking to comedians in about the same boat as they give each other practical tips.
Joel reached out a few months ago after finding The Humor Weakly through our post about self-releasing a comedy album. Trophy Husband was self produced and released by Byars, and at the time he was looking for the best way to proceed. I’m currently self producing and releasing my own debut comedy special, so I’ve been watching Byars’ process with Trophy Husband closely. I’ve also reached out to him a few times with questions about the process of self-releasing his special, and he’s always been open and incredibly helpful.
You can order Trophy Husband through Gumroad, which is an incredibly easy to use service that lets creators of all sorts sell things online. It’s easy for both sellers and buyers to use, so much so that I’ve decided to use it for the release of Good Grief as well.