Louisville KY, has an emerging underground comedy scene that is shaping up to be a legitimate contender to its underground hip-hop scene and comedian, Justin Tabb, is positioning himself to be the next national breakout comic.
Tabb is a member of Louisville’s Streatway Entertainment team and has been a professional comedian for three years. He was born in the Allentown, PA, but his stepfather was enlisted in the military so he spent the majority of his childhood relocating from state to state. That relocation process began to manifest into behavioral problems for Tabb during his younger years.
“Being a military child was kind of rough…moving around and all. I was a bad kid. I was always fighting in school and getting suspended. Being the new kid, I was always getting in trouble…I always felt that I had something to prove and always wanted to be the class clown, that was my thing.” – Justin Tabb
The unfortunate circumstance of not feeling like he ‘fit in’ anyplace essentially forced him to develop his comedic skills as a coping mechanism for his pain. In 1999, the family moved to Louisville, KY which would be their final destination.
Tabb’s professional comic debut began with the untimely death of his aunt in 2012. The two were very close and he was hurting deeply inside but relying on the coping mechanism he developed at a young age, he disguised his pain with humor.
“After my aunts funeral we’re all sitting in the back and I’m sitting there being the comedian trying to cheer everybody up…We were on my aunts back deck and me and my uncle were telling jokes, then everybody said you should really do stand-up comedy, your aunt would love for you to do that…Two months later, I got the courage up to go to an open mic at the Comedy Caravan and the rest is history.” – Justin Tabb
Following that open-mic debut Tabb became acquainted with entertainment manager, Lee Streatz, of Streatway Entertainment and the two forged a lucrative partnership deal.
“When we first met he [Streatz] said, ‘I’m going to make you somebody’. I did my first show with him…It was a comedy competition at Comedy Caravan called, the Best of the Best of Comedy, and I won it. The next weekend he took me to St.Louis. It was only my fourth show ever and I was headlining in St. Louis.” – Justin Tabb
After receiving a good response from the crowd in St. Louis, Streatz placed Tabb on a multi-city comedy tour which was headlined by Reginald Ballard (Bruh Man from the Martin Lawerence show).
The tour featured shows in Chicago, Cincinnati, St.Louis, Alabama and Tennessee. In addition, Tabb, Ballard (Bruh Man) and other comics from Streatway Entertainment filmed a ‘straight to DVD movie’ called “The Store” which sold out of the local Louisville Walmart stores on its first day of release.
When not touring on the comedy circuit Tabb focuses on expanding Louisville’s comedy scene. He headlined Kaotic Comedy at Club Legends for two months, and currently performs bi-weekly at the Gaslite Tavern, the Barasti Bar & Grill and the Comedy Lounge.
“Louisville has one of the biggest comedy scenes but because of the market that we’re in, it’s not being seen…Louisville should be where Atlanta is with their comedy scene…Atlanta has comedy seven day a week at different places and every show is sold out.” – Justin Tabb
Realizing that comedy is the gift that enabled him to channel his frustrations, Tabb takes time out of his busy schedule to speak to children at elementary schools and offer words of encouragement. One of his proudest moments was hosting ‘Joke Day’ at his daughter’s school.
“I speak at schools now. I hosted Joke Day at my daughter’s school so I got to go there and whole lot of kids were throwing knock-knock jokes at me…It’s definitely a good feeling to be able to go to schools and community centers and encourage kids.” – Justin Tabb
Up next for Tabb is a six city comedy tour which will bring shows to Columbus and Cincinatti, OH, Detroit MI, Evansville, IN, Nashville and Clarksville TN.
Tabb encourages residents of the city of Louisville to come out and support the Streatway comedy family at the Gaslite Tavern and Barasti Bar & Grill on alternating Wednesday nights, the Comedy Lounge on the first and third Friday’s of each month, and “Comedy Nights” on Saturday nights at the Barasti Bar & Grill.
He will also be performing at the “Stop the Violence” show on July 11, 2015, at St. Martin De Porres Catholic Church located at 3112 West Broadway street Louisville, KY 40211.
All proceeds from the show will go to a foundation to help stop the violence in Louisville. This show is dedicated to all citizens that have been affected by violence in Louisville.