Jt Habersaat Holds Fourth

October 2, 2022

Photo Credit

Melissa Leavenworth


Valerie Lopez


Richard Goodwin


Com­e­dy Wham is get­ting long in the tooth, in the best way, mean­ing we get to open the doors mul­ti­ple times to some of our favorite guests. This week is one of the rare four-peats”, with JT Haber­saat sit­ting down for his 4th vis­it since 2018 to tell Valerie Lopez all about this year’s upcom­ing Alter­ca­tion Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val, his new album, and a new book. And tour­ing with world famous Eddie Pepi­tone. And action fig­ures.

Haber­saat, as one can already tell, stays quite busy, and obsess­es over the details of every­thing he pro­duces or takes part in. In the first 10 min­utes of this episode, I already know more about the pro­duc­tion of vinyl records, lead times, the newest and best plants” (as we new­ly-expert folks call vinyl…making…places). Of course, the medi­um is mere­ly a car­ri­er for the con­tent, and in this case the con­tent is Habersaat’s newest album, Swamp­beast. (Avail­able now in all worlds ana­logue and dig­i­tal, so hop to it.)

To just survive on the road is doable...but the more streams you have of stuff, the more it’s doable
Jt Habersaat

We can’t touch on the top­ic of records with­out talk­ing a bit about labels, and Haber­saat wax­es (I promise the puns will stop) at length about both his for­mer (Stand Up! Records) and new (800 Pound Goril­la Records) homes. Stand Up! Records (with which Haber­saat has 3 pre­vi­ous albums), with own­er Dan Schlis­sel, is an insti­tu­tion, and by all accounts Schlis­sel is an amaz­ing pro­duc­er and pro­mot­er, han­dling many tasks solo.

800 Pound Goril­la Records proved to be a bit of a dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence, with a stel­lar per­former ros­ter, and a team work­ing all of the pro­mo­tion angles, includ­ing man­ag­ing social media pro­mo­tion. For a details guy like Haber­saat, see­ing the machine in action, and new venues being opened (like Sir­iusXM), the com­pre­hen­sive cov­er­age is no doubt end­less­ly sat­is­fy­ing.

To just sur­vive on the road is doable,” Haber­saat says, but the more streams you have of stuff, the more it’s doable”. To that end both Haber­saat and Pepi­tone now have Patre­on pages, and con­tin­ue to expand to more plat­forms and medi­ums; one must pay the bills to have the time and means to put on the shows we love to see.

Valerie refers to Habersaat’s first ses­sion with us as a mas­ter­class” in all things comedic (and the busi­ness of com­e­dy), and that is how Haber­saat approach­es every top­ic cov­ered. Not sat­is­fied with being an expert on vinyl? He gives a mini-les­son on roy­al­ties on dig­i­tal stream­ing plat­forms, fol­lowed by back­ground busi­ness prac­tices on some of the play­ers, and touch­es on a hand­ful of things in between. All of this was basi­cal­ly an answer to how’s the record going?”; with inter­views, as with com­e­dy, Habersaat’s fas­ci­na­tion with…well, just about everything…and desire to share it shines through.

I always say my brain is like my best friend, and my worst enemy, all in one
Jt Habersaat

Which leads us to Alter­ca­tion Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val, Habersaat’s cre­ation and shrine of shar­ing his love of com­e­dy and per­form­ers with the most ded­i­cat­ed com­e­dy fans. The 2022 line­up is amaz­ing, and that’s before we get to the secret per­former”, a first for the fes­ti­val this year. Haber­saat is excit­ed about the con­cept and the as-yet-unnamed guest, and hopes to con­tin­ue it in future years. Want to know who it is? You’ll find out at the fes­ti­val, the night of the per­for­mance, with the unveil­ing hap­pen­ing along­side oth­er fan favorites like Pepi­tone and our friend Vanes­sa Gon­za­lez (stay tuned for a three-peat appear­ance from her com­ing next week).

I haven’t for­got­ten that we teased men­tion of a book ear­li­er, and — for the time being — it remains a mys­tery, with Haber­saat not giv­ing up more than it’s com­e­dy relat­ed”. I always say my brain is like my best friend, and my worst ene­my, all in one,” he jokes, not­ing that the book is yet anoth­er way to keep the mind occu­pied and the anx­i­ety down. He’s still cre­at­ing his amaz­ing one-off action fig­ures as well, anoth­er pur­suit that we cham­pi­on (both for his men­tal health and our col­lec­tion-crazy selves).

Sure­ly that’s all for Haber­saat at the moment? If you nod­ded sage­ly, you’ve not been pay­ing atten­tion in the least. He’s got mul­ti­ple show dates sched­uled (on his own and with friends), both new and re-sched­uled events thanks to our friend COVID. It’s a packed agen­da, and Haber­saat (in a rare admis­sion) sug­gests he’ll col­lapse for a week” after; of course, the next words out of his mouth are more upcom­ing dates and events.

As Valerie wraps, the thing that stands out most to me is still the com­ment about the mas­ter­class”. I think I opened 20 brows­er tabs as fact and triv­ia and sto­ry spilled from Haber­saat, and def­i­nite­ly didn’t catch them all. Between his albums, books, and of course Alter­ca­tion Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val, the inescapable fact is that he’s some­one who loves to share what he knows, the things he acknowl­edges are blind spots, and finds the angle for fun­ny in each top­ic, mun­dane or oth­er­wise. It’s the epit­o­me of a learn­ing expe­ri­ence, and a mas­ter class in every sense of the word.

Maybe we should start a year­ly course with JT Haber­saat? We’ll let you know when and where reg­is­tra­tion opens; for now, get out to Alter­ca­tion Com­e­dy and start your homework.

Listen to the podcast episode to hear these words and more from Jt

Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val 2022 tick­et, badge, per­former info is avail­able at alter​ca​tion​com​e​dyfes​ti​val​.com

Fol­low JT

Jt can be seen, heard, and read:

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JT Habersaat