By Ben Harsel
Watts does not come from a comedy background. He went to the Art Institute of Seattle to study art after high school, but soon transferred to Cornish College of the Arts to study jazz. It was there that Watts started playing in various musical groups, most notably with Maktub. His musical talents are certainly at the forefront of his routines today, as Watts works with looping technology to record drum beats and bass parts all with his own voice. Usually after he has these “a cappella rhythm sections” down, he goes on to showcase his extraordinary vocal range with 100% improvised lyrics and melodies. The best parts of these songs may very well be the way he suddenly stops them with the punch of a button and proceeds with his routine as if nothing magical has just happened. Please check out the video of Watts performing live at the PopTech Fest at the bottom of this article to see for yourself what I am talking about.
Watts had the privilege of touring the country with Conan O’Brien last year on the “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour,” where he warmed up the crowd each night with an opening set. After a few shows Reggie began to get some much earned recognition. Many people were probably just paying to see Conan O’Brien perform in his laid off fury, but slowly but surely word began to spread about the opening act, and buzz about this witty large afro man named Reggie Watts circulated throughout the Internet and around the country.
Currently, other than gracing various Earwolf podcasts such as “Comedy Bang! Bang!” and “Sklarbro Country” with his guest appearances, Reggie is taking his talents to IFC’s new show, “Comedy Bang! Bang!” which of course is the television interpretation of the aforementioned podcast. Reggie serves as the sidekick/one man house band to host Scott Aukerman. Seeing these two guys riff back and forth on the show is greatly entertaining and those who have IFC should check out the program. “Comedy Bang! Bang!” did a live show at SXSW in Austin this past March, and I’ve been kicking myself for not going to see them perform in the flesh while I was down there. Thankfully, there will be a nationwide live tour starting this July, which I hope not to miss.
Check out the absolutely surreal and positively amusing charm of Reggie Watts in the video below and enjoy the unique comedy.