A little more than a year ago, former WNFX 94.3 morning jock J LaLonde decided to take his act on the road and pursue the life of a stand-up comic. So far, he's survived—and he'll be coming back to Knoxville on Thursday, Oct. 4, for a performance at Preservation Pub. He'll be on a five-cities-in-five-nights run with fellow comedian Matt Baetz called "The Single & Married Comedy Tour." And he says he's a much different comedian than the one who started out last year.
"Things are better because my material is better," LaLonde says. "It took going to live a rough, broke life in New York City to understand more about myself and what I want my act to become. I felt like I was imitating a comedian a year ago while attempting to find my voice. I've found my voice and now I'm building my act on the road and in NYC to record an album."
LaLonde has also been reworking his delivery, veering away from the comedic staple of inconvenient truths ("I feel like that's the last thing the world needs right now—another loudmouth with opinions") and toward more personal material that might set him apart from other acts. "I searched deep into my crazy upbringing, like visiting my father in prison every week as a boy or dealing with a single mother who'd pay bills while working at a newspaper and selling lingerie on the side," he says.
Meanwhile, LaLonde and Baetz (who's made four appearances on The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson) have been co-writing material together, shooting sketches that play to their single (LaLonde) and married (Baetz) statuses. "We're pumped to be creating content on our own," LaLonde says. "If we don't, then I have to go live with my mother and Matt will be forced to watch reruns of Project Runway with his wife."