The last time we talked to Trae Crowder back in 2016, the Tennessee-born stand-up comedian was starting to ride the wave of viral video fame thanks to his incredibly popular “Liberal Redneck” videos that showcased Crowder’s cranked up stance on the hot political topic of the moment.
The past two years for Crowder and fellow comedians Corey Ryan Forrester and Drew Morgan — otherwise known as the wellRED Comedy — have been filled with sold-out stand-up gigs across the country, a best-selling book “Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin Dixie Outta the Dark,” and a number of media appearances ranging from ABC’s “The View” to HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” to several programs on 24-hour news networks like MSNBC and CNN.
For Crowder, the only thing that compares to his surprise of the notoriety is the disappointment of what the trio have yet to accomplish.
“Sometimes, I don’t necessarily feel that I am necessarily to the level that I’d like to be,” Crowder said. “Obviously, it’s been a pretty insane two years for sure, but, at the same time, there’s still a lot of things that haven’t happened yet that we were hoping for.”
What was he hoping for? Well, that wellRed Comedy could use the viral video buzz and stand-up comedy success and parlay it into televised stand-up comedy specials or maybe even a TV series, he said.
While the mainstream media exposure has increased, Crowder, Forrester and Morgan keep hitting the road while Crowder still dons his “Liberal Redneck” persona quite regularly for videos focusing on whatever recent political news hits the headlines.
“When it comes to the videos, I very much feel obligated to cover big things when they happen,” he said.
It’s rare that recent events make their way into Crowder, Forrester or Morgan’s material on stage, but Crowder said they are certainly going to be keeping an eye on what happens this coming November in the 2018 mid-term elections and hope to score some liberal victories during the Trump administration.
“Obviously, I hope things go a certain way and whatever part we can play in it is cool,” he said. “I’m going to be along for the ride and pay very close attention to what happens.”
While having an eye on the political landscape, Crowder and company still are focusing on the next level in their comedy careers, which is in large part what brings them to Comedy Off Broadway in Lexington this Sunday. wellRed Comedy will perform two shows (6 and 8:30 p.m.) that will be recorded live for a comedy album it plans to release in 2019.
They will also be recording some video footage for comedy clips they plan to distribute on social media and hopefully parlay into a stand-up comedy special down the road. Crowder said he’s managed to play plenty of rooms across the country and the decision to film at Comedy Off Broadway was that it felt like home.
“Lexington is up there in terms of people coming in out of the woodwork, rural Kentucky and smaller towns driving in and like people we grew up with. Because of that, they typically get the jokes and the whole thing with us,” he said. “It’s also one of the best experiences with what we consider ‘our people,’ the highest example of our people.”
If you go
WellRed Comedy Live Album Recording featuring Trae Crowder, Corey Ryan Forrester and Drew Morgan
When: 6 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9
Cost: $30 for 6 p.m. show. 8:30 p.m. show is sold out
Where: Comedy Off Broadway, 161 Lexington Green Circle