Tyler Morrison: Fight Stories of a Savage Exile

November 1, 2019

Photo Credit

Stephen Elliott, Elliot Impact Media


Lara Smith


Lara Smith


I’ve been acquaint­ed with Tyler Mor­ri­son and his com­e­dy for sev­er­al years, but odd­ly we have nev­er had the chance to talk until now. His lat­est pod­cast, Fight Sto­ries, which he cohosts with come­di­an John Moses, is now in its sec­ond sea­son. Fight Sto­ries is just as the title promis­es: peo­ple from all walks of life telling their most mem­o­rable sto­ries of an ass-whoopin, be it theirs or the oth­er par­ty. I mean… who isn’t riv­et­ed by some­one spin­ning a yarn about the time they got their ass kicked, or bet­ter yet, the time they best­ed the bul­ly? Mor­ri­son and Moses inter­view come­di­ans, box­ers, hock­ey play­ers, MMA fight­ers, and every day peo­ple to give you the best tales of bat­tle. As Mor­ri­son puts it, The key to it is find­ing some­one who can tell a good sto­ry that’s charis­mat­ic.” With guests such as Ken Sham­rock, Dan Soder, and Vin­ny Paz, fight sto­ries is a must listen.

I actu­al­ly became famil­iar with Tyler Mor­ri­son on Twit­ter from #Hash­tag Wars for @Midnight and then start­ed lis­ten­ing to his pre­vi­ous pod­cast, The Rude Dudes, with comedians/​longtime friends, Jar­rett Camp­bell and Tom O’Donnell. The pod­cast seemed a nat­ur­al pre­de­ces­sor to Fight Sto­ries, because in addi­tion to a lot of com­e­dy talk, there were a lot of tales of peo­ple get­ting in brawls. But for all the fight talk and drunk­en tales, Mor­ri­son actu­al­ly got his com­e­dy begin­nings in a more for­mal setting.

You have to fail to become good, right? You have to be a loose cannon before you become a sniper. It’s the only way to refine your skill.
Tyler Morrison

Mor­ri­son enrolled in 2002, at the age of eigh­teen, in a com­e­dy pro­gram at Hum­ber Col­lege in Ontario. The year that he enrolled was a dynasty year” for the school and many of his class­mates are still work­ing in the indus­try with him today. Mor­ri­son described the stand up pro­gram as a sink or swim” expe­ri­ence, as his first time on stage was at Yuk Yuk’s Toron­to to a crowd of about 300. For­tu­nate­ly, he swam. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, his sec­ond open mic didn’t go as well, but he learned so much between the two expe­ri­ences. Like many comics, chas­ing the high of that first killer set kept him going. Not old enough to drink, his father would dri­ve him to open mics and shows, much like a hock­ey dad.” That’s right…Morrison had a sup­port­ive fam­i­ly back­ing his ven­ture into comedy.

Per­haps it’s that sup­port that has allowed Mor­ri­son the con­fi­dence to be unapolo­get­i­cal­ly irrev­er­ent with his style from the start. In 2004 Mor­ri­son was invit­ed to the Boston Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val where his mate­r­i­al end­ed up in a pan­el dis­cus­sion of what’s over the line” in com­e­dy. While many new come­di­ans might feel intim­i­dat­ed by such scruti­ny, Mor­ri­son was hap­py to defend his work, when told You can’t get up there and talk like that, only Chris Rock can do that.” 

Mor­ri­son respond­ed, How did Chris Rock become Chris Rock?” Mor­ri­son adds today, You have to fail to become good, right? You have to be a loose can­non before you become a sniper. It’s the only way to refine your skill.” Rec­og­niz­ing that can­cel cul­ture” has exist­ed for a long time, but has only been more empow­ered by social media, Mor­ri­son seems to push back with his mate­r­i­al, but nev­er stops hav­ing fun on stage. There doesn’t seem to be a minute in his last two spe­cials, Com­e­dy Exile and Sav­age, where Mor­ri­son isn’t grin­ning ear-to-ear to remind the audi­ence this is all in fun.

The key to it is finding someone who can tell a good story that's charismatic.
Tyler Morrison

With that abil­i­ty to be sav­age,” Mor­ri­son has made quite a name for him­self as a great com­e­dy roast­er, work­ing on the roast of The Iron Sheik and the roast of Ron Jere­my. His rapid fire lay­ered wit has made him a nat­ur­al for deliv­er­ing the sick­est of burns. His new spe­cial, still in pro­duc­tion, had such a mix of audi­ence ten­sion, from old men flip­ping him off to men turn­ing their heads away from their gasp­ing wives to crack up. Morrison’s abil­i­ty to lay­er jokes with so much word play the audi­ence almost needs a breather is one of the things I love about his stand up, but then again maybe we could all use a com­e­dy work­out. Tyler Mor­ri­son is two paces ahead of us and we all need to catch up.

Tyler Morrison