Blue-collar comedy is red-hot right now — witness the rise of Trae Crowder, aka “the liberal redneck,” whose left-leaning political rants, filmed on his phone and delivered in a deep twang from his rural back porch in East Tennessee, went viral and culminated in a national stand-up-comedy tour and a book, The Liberal Redneck Manifeseto: Draggin’ Dixie Outta the Dark. (Now endorsed by New York Daily News, and sometimes obliged to film his monologues from hotels on the road, Crowder noted in a recent clip, “you can tell I’m not home on account of you can’t hear raccoons [making love] in the background.”)
Another buzzy comedian is Darren Knight, aka “Southern Mom,” who does a side-splitting, affectionate interpretation of a Deep South mom and wife dealing with fighting kids and a husband who refuses to use the GPS, among other infractions. (Knight has said he bases the character on his own mother and grandmother.)
Before there were Crowder and Knight, though, there was Julie Scoggins, who made a name in the male-dominated comedy field delivering her own observations in a thick, booming Southern accent with a fine shake of tough-girl salt. A 6’2” former trucker, avid motorcyclist, and purported charm-school graduate, Scoggins started her stand-up career relatively late in life, and claims Phyllis Diller as a major influence.
Her work isn’t political, though — her wit covers everyday topics, giving her material a wide appeal. In a skit called “Thou Shall Not Geez” (as in “geezer”), Scoggins talks about her efforts to resist aging. When her husband suggests she needs a chain to keep track of her reading glasses, she delivers a well-timed glare and says, “Nothing is more ‘Mee-Maw’ than glasses with a chain. The day you see me wearing glasses with a chain, do me a favor and buy [me] a Jitterbug phone.”
Julie Scoggins appears in two shows this week, November 18 and 19, 8pm on the Main Stage, Gutbusters Comedy Club at Hendersonville Community Theatre (229 South Washington St.). www.hendersonvilletheatre.org. $15. 828-692-1082.