To Offer Sober, but Far from Sobering, Comedy to North County
Nerd Comedy’s Tim X. Lee is dedicated to creating alcohol-free entertainment for North County’s communities
Oceanside, CA February, 2023 -From champagne on New Year’s Eve to margaritas on Cinco de Mayo, many of the holidays celebrated in Southern California revolve around drinking culture. Comedian Tim X. Lee has teamed up with Oceanside Theatre Company to offer an alternative option for those in recovery, as well as those who simply want to enjoy a healthy laugh without the drink bill, by hosting the alcohol-free Nerd Comedy at the Brooks Theater on available holidays.
For April Fools’ Day Saturday, April 1 at 8 p.m., Nerd Comedy will feature headliner Rob Haze, an Atlanta-based comedian whose stand up has been featured on a variety of platforms including Comedy Central. On Cinco de Mayo, Friday, May 5 at 8 p.m., Nerd Comedy will feature Rene Garcia, an L.A.-based comedian, actor and podcast host who has appeared in TV shows, movies, and stand-up performances. Hosted by Lee, who opens the shows with his own stand-up routine, Nerd Comedy always ends with an interactive Nerd Olympics in which audience members compete to answer nerdy questions. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at OceansideTheatre.org or through the Box Office at 760-433-8900.
While Lee himself doesn’t drink or do drugs, he doesn’t consider himself “sober,” acknowledging that the word has a special significance in the recovery community. His commitment to providing sober spaces instead comes from what started as a mishap. When the City of Carlsbad double-booked his Nerd Comedy program with Cocaine Anonymous in the 300-seat auditorium, he suggested that the other group meet in the smaller rec. hall. However, it wasn’t big enough for the crowd of recovery participants. “There are hundreds of attendees to the recovery meetings every week and these are just the ones that realize they have a problem and are trying to stop,” he explained.
When a group from the Cocaine Anonymous meeting wandered over to the Nerd Comedy show, “the first thing they said was, ‘There is no alcohol being served? This is perfect for us!’” said Lee. “I found they were great laughers and had a wicked sense of humor.” Those in recovery have been through a lot, he observed, and a sense of humor is one of their coping mechanisms. Nerd Comedy and the recovery community turned out to be a good fit. People trying to avoid drugs and alcohol benefit from having entertainment options and Lee says he appreciates the sober audience. “They are harder to get a laugh out of than people who are drinking, but I feel they are better judges of good comedy and ultimately that makes for better art,” said Lee.
When moving shows to the 198-seat Brooks Theater in Oceanside, Lee was determined to honor his commitment to fostering a welcoming environment for those who benefit from alcohol-free entertainment opportunities. “I have been surrounded by drug addicts both personally and professionally for as long as I can remember,” said Lee. “The idea of providing some entertainment that helped them in some small way on their quest to stay sober resonated well with me.” The Oceanside community has responded positively to the opportunity, selling out the New Year’s Eve performance and filling three-quarters of the house for Valentine’s Day.
While Oceanside Theatre Company, the resident performing arts organization at the historic Brooks Theater on Coast Highway in downtown Oceanside, typically relies on alcohol sales before shows and during intermissions to support the non-profit, on Nerd Comedy nights the theater only offers non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. “We are always looking for ways to engage communities that perhaps don’t often get the chance to come together in spaces like ours,” said OTC Managing Director, Alex Goodman. “Tim’s brand of comedy has found an audience in Oceanside, and we are excited to continue to offer this series to people in recovery and folks who are otherwise not interested in drinking. It falls right in with our mission of providing a venue for expansion of artistic endeavors in North County. As we strive to find programming that will attract diverse audiences, this accomplishes several goals for us all at once.”
About Tim X. Lee -Before taking up comedy in 2002, Tim X. Lee was a biologist by training, Lee graduated magna cum laude from UC San Diego with honors in biology. He went on to complete his PhD at UC Davis. He spent years developing simulation and analytical models of population dynamics before he discovered that this bored him to tears. When he tried comedy for the first time the tears stopped. Lee has performed stand up comedy in California, New York and Melbourne and hosts a weekly nerd comedy show at the Harding Community Center in Carlsbad.
About Rob Haze— Rob Haze is a master of blending his nerdy interests with his comedic talent, making him a must-see act for anyone who loves all things geeky. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Rob Haze is a writer/performer on Sherman’s Showcase on IFC. His standup has been featured on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Late Show, Comedy Central, and Viceland. Haze’s previous credits also include the Sneaker Sketch show Sneak This on B/R Kicks. In 2019, Haze released his stand up album, Haze-o-pedia and has been hosting The Inconsistent Podcast with Rob Haze since 2022. His quick wit and clever punchlines will keep you on the edge of your seat, and his infectious energy will have you grinning from ear to ear.
About Rene Garcia –With a quick wit and a talent for making audiences of all ages laugh, Rene Garcia is a master of comedy. Garcia started his comedy career in Houston, Texas before moving to Los Angeles, California where he now resides. One of the most entertaining and energetic comedians in the circuit today, he has 15 years experience doing stand up. Garcia has appeared on MTV, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Showtime and HULU on Jeff Garcia’s stand up comedy special The Ten Dollar Ticket, as well as done acting work on ABC’s Castle and in Marlon Wayans’s movie Fifty Shades Of Black. The co-host of All Turns No Brakes, a NASCAR podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play, he has been labeled the Latino Jerry Lewis.
About Oceanside Theatre Company – Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC), the resident professional theater company operating the Historic Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside, is a focal point of the Oceanside California Cultural District (OCCD). OTC’s mission is to produce professional theatrical, visual art, and musical productions for the entertainment and enrichment of the community, present educational opportunities in the arts for children and adults, and provide a safe, state-of-the-art public venue for expansion of artistic endeavors in North San Diego County and greater Southern California. OTC produces a four-show mainstage theater season in the 198-seat venue, as well as a Music Series, play readings and various other events in the adjacent black box theater, Studio 219. An important part of OTC’s mission is inspiring and sharing the arts with local youth through the Youth Theater Arts Program, which includes Summer Theater Camps and Youth Theater Arts Outreach in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside during the school year. To learn more visit www.oceansidetheatre.org.
- April Fools’ Nerd Comedy Saturday, April 1, 2023 8:00 PM
- Cinco de Mayo Nerd Comedy Friday, May 5, 2023 8:00 PM
Brooks Theater 217 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at OceansideTheatre.org or through the Box Office at 760-433-8900.