Comedians Show ‘n Tell–ADA Celebration

Join hosts Nina G and Mean Dave on Thursday, July 16 at 7:00pm/19:00 (PST) for Comedians Show ‘N Tell–Americans with Disabilities Act edition! Nina and Dave will be joined by Jim Lebrect (Crip Camp director), Nic Novicki (Loudermilk) and Michael Beers (Comedians with Disabilities Act).

Join us Thursday night!
Warning Adults Content and Language!!!

FREE SHOW! Virtual Tips are appreciated on Venmo at @NinaGcomedian



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Show and Tell Flyer featuring the comedians discussed in the text.

The Comedy Time Capsule: Documenting Comedy Through COVID-19

On Sunday March 15, 2020 Alameda County in California began to phase in a quarantine by ordering all bars and restaurants to close by 9:00 that night. LuckiIy was able to squeeze in one more show that was booked in the early evening at a brewery in Fremont. A little over one week earlier I purchased a journal where I was going to record and reflect on every set I would have in 2020 in an attempt to be more intentional about my comedy and focus on becoming better. A couple weeks earlier I had just celebrated my tenth year in stand up comedy and my memoir, Stutterer Interrupted: The Comedian Who Almost Didn’t Happen, came out in 2019. With this behind me my goal was to focus on comedy. On the cover of the pink journal that was embossed with “2020/2021” I wrote in a black bold sharpie “365 Reasons To Quit Comedy.” After a decade in comedy and as a life long fan of stand up, I know that every time you are on stage there is something that can happen in yourself or in the audience to make you want to flee. Most people would, but if you love comedy it is like you have the opposite of learned helplessness – you fail yet still persist and you don’t always know why.  My plan was to document each time I went up and every show I attended as an audience member.

My first entry in the book was Tuesday March 3 when I attended the album release for Larry “Bubbles” Brown at the Throckmorton in Mill Valley. That first week I would question why I hated certain open mics, how my new “long vagina” jokes worked with an all female audience and observed that I could make the audience call-and-respond to my new “gluten free communion joke.” All in all it was a successful week of comedy.  My Uncle Fred’s funeral was also that week as he had passed away in the hospital the week before surrounded by his family. The funeral was held at the church with family, friends and the Italian Catholic Federation all in attendance.  Although my dad was there, my mom wasn’t. She has all kinds of lung issues and was recently diagnosed with squamous lung cancer. Although she does not have many symptoms of cancer, we all thought it was better that she stay at home so that she didn’t catch this new sickness that was going around. Naturally after the service, we all left the church to celebrate his life at my aunt’s favorite restaurant. Who knew that Uncle Fred’s timing was so perfect. He was able to have his family at his bedside and full service (which he would have loved), something that might not have happened a week or two later.

The week of March 8 (Sunday) I went to a few mics but there were warnings about holding events. Shows started to get cancelled.  Upon getting on stage I would bring wipes and wipe down the mic before doing my set. The Blue Lagoon in Santa Cruz had already thought of this and sanitized the mic between each comedian on March 12 when I performed. That week at the Punch Line in Sacramento, one of my favorite all time comedians, Emo Philips, was performing. Knowing that this might be my last chance to see live comedy that didn’t involve me, I traveled the 200 miles round trip to see what would be my last club show. I have been a fan of Emo since I was in middle school. The first fan letter I ever wrote was to him and I still have the autograph picture along with multiple phone camera photos from previous shows. That night in my journal I wrote a couple favorite jokes that he had including this one:

“Me and the other two comics are like the 3 Muskateers..because we prosecute French Prostitutes.”

I also remarked in the entry that Emo did not greet his fans as he normally did. He said that he could not because he is 64 and in that age group who had to be careful of the Corona virus. Although he added he wasn’t “heat wave old.” I stayed for both shows and messaged Emo on Twitter that I appreciated him coming and how funny he was.

Then the next day that was it. I did my set in front of 15 or so people at a brewery and then after less than 10 times on stage to enter in my journal I am forced to quit comedy. When I wrote this, it is May 23 and my journal that I vowed to write after every set is bare.

What has been happening since the quarantine….

Once the quarantine started I attempted to quickly regroup. My intention with the journal was to continue to improve myself as an artist of stand up comedy. Without a live audience I doubted that this could happen but I looked at other avenues. Since then I have done a few open mics and showcases online and started a “show and tell” style show with my co-host and friend Mean Dave. All of it made me wonder where comedy was going for myself and the United States. As I broadened my perspective, I saw that people from all over the world were all experiencing the same phenomenon…fear of disease and dealing with the isolation of a quarantine. I started doing research on how humor was changed after other pandemics but could not easily find research on the topic.

Stand up comedy is in its infancy when compared to other art forms (maybe even in it embryonic stages!). There are paintings on walls that date back before Christ but what about a person on a stage telling jokes as an art form? Some might say court jesters or vaudeville could be the origins, but as far as I am concerned stand up comedy didn’t start until the late 1950s/1960s with comedians like Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce and Dick Gregory. They changed how comedy was delivered and received. And since the birth of modern stand up comedy, we have not had a pandemic that impacted the general population. As a life long comedy nerd I saw a need (and an obsession) to document what was happening.

That is how I came up with the Comedy Time Capsule where I interview comedians about their experiences pre-COVID, during COVID and what changes they predict will happen. Collecting their oral histories has been fascinating for me. Some of the questions have included:

•Can you do stand up comedy on Zoom and other internet platforms?  Do you need a live audience?

•How do you know you are doing well if you are doing an online show?

•How will our profession and art form change once we are able to do live comedy in person again?

•Will the sensibilities of humor change because we are collectively facing more fears of sickeness, actual sickness, death and interruptions of the traditional grieving process (due to lack of death rituals)? Will our humor get darker?

•What has the impact of the quarantine been on creativity?

•For newbies, what is it like to have your first year of comedy hijacked by a pandemic?

As I have been interviewing comedians, their own personal histories come to the foreground and COVID and the quarantine seem to play a less significant role. Everyone has a story and the Comedy Time Capsule is capturing exactly this.

I am up to over 1000 minutes of interviews at the time I write this and plan to document this experience until I can go out night after night telling jokes at dive bars, comedy clubs, colleges and whoever else will have me. I long to get onto a stage. I miss being around smart, funny and often strange people who occupy the stand up comedy world. Until then I am grateful that they lend me their stories.

All interviews will be posted at  “Virtual Tips” are greatly appreciate to support the captioning and editing of videos on Venom: @NinaGcomedian (look for the Doggie Diner head)!


Comedians Show ‘n Tell (May 7)

Join hosts Nina G and Mean Dave on Thursday, May 7 at 7:00pm/19:00 (PST) for Comedians Show ‘N Tell! Nina will be joined by Serena Gamboa, Jon Ott and Anthony who will show and tell about something they have in their house that is special to them. The panel will then ask them questions about their item. SUPER FUN WAY TO SPEND A THURSDAY NIGHT!
Warning Adults Content and Language!!!

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Comedians with Disabilities Show ‘n Tell

Join hosts Nina G and Mean Dave on Thursday, April 30 at 7:00pm/19:00 (PST) for Comedians Show ‘N Tell! Nina will be joined by Michael Beers, Coral Best, Jade Theriault and Mike Bucci who will show and tell about something they have in their house that is special to them. The panel will then ask them questions about their item. SUPER FUN WAY TO SPEND A THURSDAY NIGHT!
Warning Adults Content and Language!!!


Stuttering Show ‘n Tell to Benefit AIS!

Join Nina G on Thursday, April 23 at 5:00pm/17:00 (PST) for Comedians Show ‘N Tell! Nina will be joined by Kristel Kubart, Marc Winski, and Gina Davis and special co-host, comedian, Mean Dave who will show and tell about something they have in their house that is special to them. The panel and guests will then ask them questions about their item.  Come hang out with us!
You must register for the show at

During the Show and Tell the audience will have an opportunity to donate to the American Institute for Stuttering to raise money for online speech therapy.

From the AIS website:

AIS was founded in 1998 by Catherine Otto Montgomery, a talented and much-loved speech-language-pathologist who worked with people who stutter for over 30 years. Aware of the great need for universally affordable treatment options, specialized professional training, and increased public education about stuttering, Catherine transformed her private practice into a non-profit center dedicated to meeting these needs.

As a therapist, Catherine promoted the use of integrated treatment protocols that address both the overt symptoms of stuttering as well as the underlying emotional and cognitive components. She developed an intensive therapy program that addressed stuttering holistically, recognizing the complex nature of the disorder.

Early on, AIS became a powerful voice in Washington, calling for an increase in government support for stuttering research. AIS was instrumental in successfully persuading Congress to introduce groundbreaking legislation, and a State of the Science Conference on Stuttering followed. As a result, the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders launched targeted research initiative on stuttering.

AIS remains dedicated to carrying on the legacy of its founder, striving everyday to help people who stutter to “Speak Freely, and Live Fearlessly.”


Comedians Show ‘n Tell on April 16, 2020

Join Nina G on Thursday, April 16 at 7:00pm/19:00 (PST) for Comedians Show ‘N Tell! Nina will be joined by Alyssa Westerlund (Clusterfest-San Francisco), Inoch Ino (Oakland Storytelling Show), and Iris Benson (DNA’s Comedy Lab-Santa Cruz) and special co-host Mean Dave (San Francisco, Punch Line)who will show and tell about something they have in their house that is special to them. The panel and guests will then ask them questions about their item.
Warning Adults Content and Language!!!

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Comedians Show ‘N Tell with Nina G

Join Nina G on Thursday, April 9 at 7:00pm/19:00 (PST) for Comedians Show ‘N Tell! Nina will be joined by Chris Storin, Rudy Ortiz, Sean McKenzie and special co-host Mean Dave
who will show and tell about something they have in their house that is special to them. The panel and guests will then ask them questions about their item.
Warning Adults Content and Language!!!

It is going to be so fun!

Log onto to Zoom at:


Nina G Connects with Comedians! Live Zoom 3/26 at 7pm (PST)


In her inaugural debut, Nina G spends time with comedian Michael Beers from Missoula, Montana and Mean Dave from Union City, California. Join the Zoom link for an intimate and funny hour of comedy where talk about everything from growing up with a disability, 12 step recovery and pop culture. The Zoom link is open to all who would like to join. Just keep in mind it is 7pm Pacific Standard Time. Set your watches accordingly!


Michael Beers is a comedian and Disability advocate living in Missoula, Montana. Michael is a favorite headliner and keynote speaker for conferences and colleges across the country. He won the Norman G. Brooks comedy competition at the Hollywood Improv in 2005 and was the winner of the 2003 Brickwall amateur comedy competition in Spokane, WA. With his roots in activism and storytelling, Michael seamlessly weaves his perspective into stand-up comedy to educate audiences about diversity and disability.

Mean Dave is a comedian from the San Francisco Bay Area with a rock and roll style for any occasion or function. With a wild, intelligent approach to material about modern day life, Mean Dave has performed regularly at the San Francisco & Sacramento Punch Line, Cobb’s Comedy Club, and Rooster T. Feathers in Sunnyvale. As someone in active 12-step recovery, Dave helps audiences to break the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction. Through his work in The Comedians with Disabilities Act, he teaches audiences how being in recovery qualifies him for the ADA while also continuing to be an ally to the greater Disability community.18118787_10212488702237560_7355787328751610753_n

Something to Consider on International Stuttering Awareness Day…

It’s that time of year again! That’s right, October 22nd is International Stuttering Awareness Day! As a person who stutters, 10/22 represents something very near and dear to my heart. In my career as an author, comedian, and educator, spreading awareness is the common theme that drives all my work. But what does “awareness” really mean? Most people are “aware” of stuttering: they know what it is; they know that it exists. But beyond that? How stuttering affects our lives, how it affects the way we interact with other people—the really important stuff—those things rarely enter into the mainstream discussion. So, in honor of International Stuttering Awareness Day, I thought I’d make a quick list of things I think we should all be aware of. I encourage other people who stutter to add to this list in the comments, sharing some of your experiences. I certainly don’t speak for all of us!

1. Beware Completing People’s Sentences

The name of my new book (shameless plug) is Stutterer Interrupted. Why did I pick that title? Yeah, it’s a reference to the Wynona Ryder thing, but, more importantly, it’s a reference to the fact that we are always being interrupted! It typically goes something like this:

“I would like p-p-p–”

“Pumpernickel? Pizza? Pasta?”

Like the picture says, “I stutter! You’re gonna have to wait for all my brilliant ideas.” Having someone guess my next word makes things uncomfortable, which makes it harder for me to communicate. Plus, their guesses are almost always wrong! Things will go smoother if the listener just waits for the person stuttering to complete their thought. We love attentive listeners!

2. Beware Unwanted Advice (on Stuttering)

Unless I’m asking for it—or better yet, paying for it—I don’t want any tips on how to “improve” my speech. I’ve gotten unsolicited recommendations for “miracle cures” that range from homeopathic remedies to sexual acts to divine interventions. And let’s not forget that timeless classic, “just slow down and breathe.” Usually, the advice-giver’s credentials consist of “my third cousin once-removed stutters… or wait, was it Tourette’s?” Occasionally, they turn out to be an actual medical practitioner or speech therapist, but that doesn’t make it any less inappropriate. There is a time and place. And that time and place is probably not at a wedding where the person who stutters is supposed to be having fun!

3. We Don’t Need to Be Fixed

That’s right! It is up to every individual to decide how they want to speak. Some people may choose to engage in therapy to manage their stuttering. Others may not. It’s a personal choice. I personally don’t feel the need to be fluent (i.e., able to speak without stuttering). My speech patterns are a part of who I am, resulting from a difference in my brain (or neurodiversity, as many of us call it). There are many types of people, which means many types of communicating.  A person who stutters can communicate with the same clarity and effectiveness as anyone else. We just happen to have a less common way of doing it. Which brings me to my next point…

4. We Are Part of the One Percent (Not That One, the Other One)!

People who stutter make up only 1% of the adult population. Incredibly, only one fourth of that one percent are women! That’s why I refer to myself and my stuttering sisters as unicorns… because we are rare and elusive things of beauty! There are downsides to being a mythical creature though. Since we account for such a small part of the population, we don’t get a lot of representation in mainstream culture. You have to scour the ends of the Earth just to find a good stuttering role model on TV. If a person who stutters does appear in popular media, they are usually depicted in a gimmicky way that isn’t really empowering. That lady on Oprah who “cured” her stutter by wearing headphones for five minutes? Sorry, that doesn’t really do it for me. Growing up in the 1980s, the closest thing I had to a role model was a cartoon pig who didn’t wear pants. Yeah, I wish that was a joke. One of the best ways to spread awareness is through honest representation in the media… so let’s have more of that, eh?

5. There Is a Stamily Out There

Because people who stutter are few and far between, it’s an extra-special kind of awesome when we run into each other out there in the world. Sometimes it’s almost like finding long lost family, or “Stamily” as many of us call it. Growing up, I always felt like I was alone. I never knew there was such thing as a stuttering community. When I finally discovered that community, it changed the trajectory of my entire life. I was no longer alone. I suddenly had role models. I realized I could do anything, even be a stand-up comedian. I just wish someone had made me aware of it sooner… so you better believe I’m going to talk about it for Stuttering Awareness Day! There are so many amazing organizations around the world that support and bring together people who stutter: The National Stuttering Association (US), The British Stammering Association, The Indian Stammering Association, just to name a few. The International Stuttering Association even hosts an online conference in October, in honor of International Stuttering Awareness Day (check it out HERE). Many organizations also hold conferences and conventions that you can attend in person. I am not exaggerating when I say that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without these conferences. To be surrounded by nothing but Stamily for five days is simply mind-blowing—there’s no other way to describe it.

For a partial list of stuttering/stammering organizations all over the world, please find it HERE.

For T-shirts that say “I stutter! You are going to have to wait for all my brilliant ideas!” at:

Thank you for reading this! And for celebrating International Stuttering Awareness Day! ❤

Photo and ballonery by Michael James Schneider

Insights from a stuttering comedian with dyslexia. These are my unedited thoughts. Grammar and spelling doesn't count on blogging, especially since it did I would never post!