Jt Habersaat: Toying With Comedy

October 26, 2021

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Jt Habersaat

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Valerie Lopez

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Jt Haber­saat and I have 1 thing in com­mon: we have a bizarrely intense work eth­ic. COVID affect­ed each of our lives dif­fer­ent­ly of course. Haber­saat was stopped dead in his tracks from con­tin­u­ing his incred­i­bly packed road tour­ing. I sim­ply got to stay home more often. After the mics were turned off from record­ing our 2nd pod­cast episode togeth­er (released in 2019), Haber­saat revealed that he’d just land­ed get­ting to open for the incred­i­bly tal­ent­ed Eddie Pepi­tone, a cult-like fig­ure in the com­e­dy world. 

From Fall 2019 until the gears ground­ed shut in March of 2020, Haber­saat was liv­ing the life of tour­ing and open­ing for Pepi­tone. And it was great. Even in such unex­pect­ed places as Wichi­ta, Kansas, where the duo endured a snow­storm and a bro­ken down rental car heater to per­form in a packed room on a Sun­day night.

Per­form­ing with Pepi­tone was (and con­tin­ues to be, as they’ve since resumed tour­ing togeth­er) a thrill. Eddie is such a force of nature on stage that – as a com­ic fan – I feel real­ly lucky that every night I get to watch him just wind up and go.”

Eddie (Pepitone) is such a force of nature on stage that--as a comic fan--I feel really lucky that every night I get to watch him just wind up and go.
Jt Habersaat

2020 held so many promis­es for Haber­saat, beyond the tour with Pepi­tone. There was the com­e­dy album he was set to record as well as the poten­tial for an even big­ger, bet­ter, Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val. As we all know too well, now, none of it happened. 

For Haber­saat, it was a forced con­fronta­tion of things he may have been putting off. He was very open about restart­ing ther­a­py and find­ing dif­fer­ent uses of his time when forced to sit still and unable to plan any­thing. To com­mem­o­rate renew­ing his ded­i­ca­tion, Haber­saat lit­er­al­ly set fire to his calendar. 

The oth­er, sur­pris­ing aspect of his shut­down life” was how he threw him­self into mak­ing art. Haber­saat says of the piv­ot: I just did­n’t think about com­e­dy at all which was real­ly hard to do but also in a sense I just dove into this oth­er art stuff and just start­ed sculpt­ing and painting.” 

If you fol­low Haber­saat on Insta­gram @JTCustomToys or the ded­i­cat­ed Face­book page for his cus­tom toys, you’ll find immense joy in the cus­tom action fig­ures he cre­ates, all with a unique theme. Among my favorites were his Shin­ing themed action fig­ures. I was­n’t the only one tak­ing notice, Haber­saat was invit­ed to dis­play his hand­i­work at a Stephen King themed art show all the way in Cal­i­for­nia last June. And while that is quite cool, the list of notable names who’ve got their hands on Haber­saat’s one of a kind action fig­ures (which seems so dimin­ish­ing, they are ART) include David Lynch and Pat­ton Oswalt.

(During 2020) I just didn't think about comedy at all which was really hard to do but also in a sense I just dove into this other art stuff and just started sculpting and painting.
Jt Habersaat

Oth­er new ven­tures that took up Haber­saat’s time were a live talk show called The Road Live! where he talks to oth­er per­form­ers (comics, musi­cians, and artists) about life.…on the road. The talk show streamed live for much of 2020 and ear­ly 2021, but will be live and in per­son at the 2021 Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val. Don’t miss it: Haber­saat is an engag­ing con­ver­sa­tion­al­ist, so con­sid­er it a punk rock Oprah-esque talk show.

Speak­ing of Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val: due to the return of live per­for­mance, Haber­saat was all set to bring the fes­ti­val back to its usu­al haunt, Kick Butt Cof­fee (north-cen­tral Austin) at its usu­al time, late Sep­tem­ber. How­ev­er, anoth­er promi­nent fes­ti­val, usu­al­ly held in April, decid­ed to claim late Sep­tem­ber so for 2021, Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val was bumped to late Octo­ber instead, and specif­i­cal­ly, Hal­loween week­end. While Haber­saat was­n’t thrilled with the last-minute bump, he admits the Hal­loween aes­thet­ic kind of works with my brand a lit­tle bit”. We’re look­ing for­ward to it. 

Among the new things to expect (in addi­tion to The Road Live), there are some kick­off shows at oth­er venues includ­ing a Secret Friends Show at The Creek and The Cave on Tues­day Octo­ber 26 and Movie Mock­ery at The Ball­room. Things com­ing back to the fes­ti­val are many of our com­e­dy favorites — Eddie Pepi­tone, Bri­an Posehn, past guest John­ny Tay­lor, The McCue­wans Brunch, Mo Alexan­der, and so many more! The fes­ti­val runs from Wednes­day to Sat­ur­day night with the tra­di­tion­al clos­ing of the fes­ti­val with live music by The Beaumonts.

The Halloween aesthetic kind of works with my brand a little bit.
Jt Habersaat

We’re also part­ner­ing with Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val to bring you a dig­i­tal events cal­en­dar avail­able at www​.com​e​dy​wham​.com/​a​l​t​e​r​c​ation . Check it out to stay cur­rent on who’s per­form­ing which night.

2022 promis­es to be a big year for Haber­saat. His live album will final­ly get taped in Decem­ber of 2021 and released in the Spring of 2022, he’s already book­ing shows with Pepi­tone, more art, more Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val, and just more! I’ve already set a cal­en­dar reminder for ear­ly sum­mer to make sure Haber­saat can fit me into his cal­en­dar before the 2022 Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val. It’s one of my favorite recur­ring con­ver­sa­tions of the year and it’s always a sur­prise what Haber­saat has up his sleeve. We’re here for it.


Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val 2021 tick­et, badge, per­former info is avail­able at alter​ca​tion​com​e​dyfes​ti​val​.com

To see the dig­i­tal cal­en­dar of the fes­ti­val — head to com​e​dy​wham​.com/​e​v​e​n​t​s​/​a​l​t​e​r​c​ation

Fol­low JT


Jt can be seen, heard, and read:

  • Pod­cast — The Road Pod­cast with JT
  • Com­e­dy Albums — Hos­tile Cor­po­rate Takeover (Standup Records)
  • Fes­ti­vals — Founder/​Coordinator of Alter­ca­tion Fest
  • Book — Killing it 


If you’d like to sup­port our inde­pen­dent pod­cast, check out our Patre­on page at: Patre​on​.com/​c​o​m​e​d​ywham . You can also sup­port us on Ven­mo or Pay­pal — just search for ComedyWham.

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JT Habersaat