Denver standup Scott Shaffer heads to KC for comedy special taping at The Ship

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Show flier for White Noise Machine. // Courtesy of Scott Shaffer

Scott Shaffer is bringing his observational style comedy back to KC with a new comedy special being filmed at The Ship [1221 Union Ave] on May 18th. 

Shaffer has opened for other comedians like Nate Bargatze, Nikki Glaser, Andrew Santino, and many more. This time, Shaffer is excited to have created his very own show that he has been able to curate every step of the process.

The Pitch spoke to Shaffer about the special, how he has coined himself a White Noise Machine, and much more. 

The Pitch: How does it feel to be filming your special at The Ship? 

Shaffer: I’ve never even been to it yet. It’s kind of weird. But I’ve got a buddy who’s in a lot of bands, so he hooked me up with this place. He was just like, I promise you, you’ll like it. 

It seemed like the kind of place I was going for. I didn’t really want to be at a comedy club. I feel like that’s kind of a tough place to film a special, and you only get one shot at this thing. And so I figured the cooler the background, the cooler the venue, the better the special will look

A lot goes into filming a comedy special. How excited are you to bring it to life finally? 

I started in Kansas City, but I don’t live there anymore, but it is where I lived for ten years and launched my comedy career at Stanford and Sons. It just means a lot to me that I could do this live special recording in the city where it all began.

How did you get started in comedy? 

Oh, honestly, I don’t know how many comedians you ever talked to, but like, pure ego. 

People think they’re funny, so they go for it. And then I feel like most comedians almost lie about it, though. I think they want it to seem like a romantic story like, ‘Oh, my friend signed me up for an open mic’ But that is such bullshit. My friends didn’t care whether I was on stage or not. I don’t think people want to just say, Oh, have a slight ego and I like attention. I thought I could be funny enough to make drunk strangers laugh.

Do you have anyone that you’ve taken inspiration from over the years?

My two favorite comedians are Chris Rock and Daniel Tosh. And I just remember growing up and watching comedy way too early because I couldn’t understand the adult sense of humor I think I was just laughing because everyone else was laughing. Chris Rock was the first comedian I understood a joke because it was like I was finally 14 years old and had at least two brain cells I could rub together. 

There’s one of these things about Daniel Tosh. He says some pretty wild stuff. Sometimes his jokes are great, but then he just sits there and smiles at you because he knows you did not expect him to say exactly what he just said. The opposite of that is Chris Rock, who is he’s very poignant. And he’s very observant about things in a real-life area. 

Once I started at Stanford’s there was a whole bunch of comedians that I met. And I’m not going to name names, because there’s a lot, but you just like, learn from that because I’m new. They’re seeing me kind of like, make the same mistakes every other comedian makes at the beginning.

Once I realized there was a bit of an art form to this and people had some tips that were really helpful. 

Where did the title White Noise Machine come from? 

I wish there was a better story to it than what actually happened. Onstage I have kind of a pacing, manic presence. And my friends have always known me just to be a loud person in general. And so I didn’t have like a whole bunch of good nicknames or names for this special. And then finally, a friend of mine said something about a white noise machine and I turned around and very loudly screamed “I am the white noise machine!”And in my mind, I was like, “Oh, I don’t need a joke for that. It’s just the title.”

What are you most excited about for this show?

I’m excited about the whole process of it in the sense that by trade I’m a graphic designer so I love that I’m able to piece it all together exactly how I want it, it’s not like someone else is calling the shots. A production company is coming from Cincinnati to film the whole thing. Like, I get to choose what my backdrop is, I got to choose the venue I got to choose what I’m gonna wear on stage. I get to choose who is opening for me that night. And it’s just yeah, I just decided that this is kind of going to be my own—very, very much my own thing.

If you’d like to see Shaffer and his ego perform on May 18th, make sure to grab your tickets soon.

Categories: Culture