Tuesday, 27 January 2015 08:58

Michael Kosta's sophomore stand-up album brings more edge to observational wit

Written by  Anya Zentmeyer
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Michael Kosta Michael Kosta

Michael Kosta
Dr. Grins, Grand Rapids
Feb. 12-14, show times at 5:30, 8, 9 and 10:30 p.m.
(616) 356-2000 or www.thebob.com

Before we get started, let’s get one thing straight: Michael Kosta’s new stand-up album, in his own words, “was written for, and designed to be enjoyed by, very attractive people,” and so by extension, this column was, too.

Just kidding.

In his latest release, Comedy for Attractive People, Kosta says on the track, “You’re Ugly,” “…if you’re sitting here right now and you’re going ‘I don’t really know if I like this guy,’ you’re an ugly piece of s**t, OK? It wasn’t written for you.”

Though Kosta’s new album still features the usual brand of self-aggrandizing humor his fans are accustomed to, age and experience color many of the punchlines in the jokes featured.

I’m not an angry comic by any means, but there’s definitely a little bit more angst in this album than what I’ve done in the past,” Kosta said. “It was just so exciting to be in such a fun creative, profession and now that I’ve been doing it a little bit longer, it’s not that it isn’t fun and exciting, but I’m a little bit more weathered, a little bit more experienced and have a little bit more awareness about the industry, and I think a lot of that observation and experience comes out in my jokes.”

An Ann Arbor native, Kosta spent his college years at University of Illinois, where he won four Big Ten championships for tennis and majored in public speaking. He spent two years as the host of Fox Sports Detroit’s CCHA All Access, for which he won the Michigan Emmy Award he’s pictured holding on the cover of his freshman comedy album, Champion (2009).

He began doing comedy full-time in 2006 and since then has landed his own Comedy Central Presents special, performed at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal and appeared on "Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Conan" and "Chelsea Lately."

If you look at the beginning of my comedy, it was pretty much a single guy on stage trying to get laid,” Kosta said. “Now I’m 35, a lot of my fans are married with kids, all of my friends are married. Everyone is kind of evolving, and myself and my comedy are included in that.”

He said his home state is still one of his favorite places to perform with the best audience for jokes like the one titled "Michigan Mentality." In it, Kosta jokes, “when it’s 63 in Michigan people are celebrating like it’s New Year’s Eve. Rooftop bars are opening, buckets of Corona for sale. …Three days later, we’re shoveling snow off of the tops of our cars.”

I'm from Michigan, obviously, so when I do those jokes in Grand Rapids it's always fun because these are people that completely understand and relate to me,” Kosta said. “I was just in Atlanta and I do jokes about Michigan and they like them, but people like them a lot more in Michigan.”

Kosta most recently took the Grand Rapids stage during LaughFest 2012 and when he performs at Dr. Grins Comedy Club at the B.O.B. this month, said audiences can expect a little bit of old stuff and a lot of new stuff, ranging in subject matter that includes “everything from relationships and sex to how stupid my parents are,” he said.

They’re getting dumber every day ... and the scary part is they care less," he said about his parents. "They used to care that they were dumb and now they’re dumb and they don’t give a s**t.”

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