By Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current Editor
About 10 years ago, John McIntire was asked by Pittsburgh Cultural Trust if he’d be interested in doing a live, late-night comedy talk show at the group’s Cabaret Theater.
“At that time, I was just starting to do standup comedy and was mainly known for interviewing people. So, I said yes, but it had a really bad name like, ‘The Pittsburgh Pundits,'” McIntire recalls. “At some point, I came up with ‘Dangerously Live,’ and that’s what it’s been for the past decade.”
John McIntire’s Dangerously Live Comedy Talk Show. Saturday, September 28. Brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave., Garfield. www.brilloboxpgh.com
This Saturday, September 28, at Brillobox, McIntire will present the 10th anniversary of his live show which is part stand-up comedy and part news-of-the-day interviews. It’s aggressive and progressive, but that’s who McIntire’s been since he arrived in Pittsburgh in the 1990s as the irreverent host of PCNC’s Night Talk. He can also be found doing on-air shifts for KDKA Radio. But Dangerously Live has been the main outlet for his humor and his political thoughts.
This weekend’s show will feature three guests with the amazing inability to not to say whatever pops into their heads. Stand-up comic, anti-bullying advocate and new Pittsburgh Current contributor Gab Bonesso has done this show many times in the past 10 years, but this weekend marks her first show back since 2016. Also on stage will be Allegheny-County Councilor Elect Bethany Hallam and myself. The event begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are $20 at the door.
It’s hard to believe now, but when McIntire started the show he thought national politics was at its zenith for providing pundits with ample material to skewer and lampoon.
“We had just come off of eight years of George W. Bush and were heading into the Obama years. I thought, ‘wow, things are really getting crazy,” he says. “But that seems like a ridiculous thing to say compared to what’s gone on in this country the past three years.”
While McIntire knows that a large part of the show will be spent talking about President Donald Trump, there’s no way to prepare too much material in advance. “Everyday, he does something even more stupid and outrageous than the day before. I might have a rough idea of where we’re going, but a whole new scandal could erupt by Saturday,” he said. Although, now that an official impeachment inquiry has been started, that will likely be a major topic of conversation.
McIntire says negotiating the comedy world following the post-Trump Apocalypse has been tricky. While most of his audience leans left to the point of falling over, there are a few who show up and are offended at the anti-Trump sentiment. And while his show has moved locations a few times in 10 years, he was actually forced out of the Oaks Theater in Oakmont because of complaints about his political humor.
“I guess there were some folks there who were really offended by some of the anti-Trump jokes,” McIntire says. “But that’s why I’m excited about the show at the Brillobox. They’ve always been great to me there; it’s like playing on your home field.