For 18 months, stand-up comedian Michael Faverman and filmmaker Jason Simas have been touring the country together. They've been to 15 cities, including Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. They've been part of the San Francisco Comedy Competition and the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. They've collected 14 original pieces from musicians around the United States, and they've worked with some of the best-known comedians in the world. The result is Road Dog, a unique documentary showing at The Funny Bone December 19.
"We wanted to make a film about the sacrifices and challenges of making a living on the road as a stand-up comedian," says Faverman. "It's been a struggle, but it's been so incredible!"
And their enthusiasm is contagious. Not usually a fan of documentaries myself, Faverman and Simas are so passionate and excited about the film that I got excited just talking to them.
"To me it's all about laughter," says Simas. "People need laughter. These guys do that for us. They make sacrifices to make a living out of laughter."
The film centers on the experiences of Faverman as he tours the country taking his comedy to center stage. However, guests include some 75 other stand-up comics who made contributions to the film, including a few giants of the industry like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Dom Irrera and Gary Shandling.
"They're the narrators of the story," explains Simas of the big names in the film. "These are guys who are already truly great, but we also wanted to focus on what it takes to get there. The soul of the film is about the struggle, the dreams and the soul of these comics."
As for why Boise is the first city on the Road Dog journey, Faverman says he had no doubts about where he wanted Road Dog to debut.
"I love Boise," he exclaims. "I'm considering moving here. I picked Boise because I know what a creative, artistic city it is. I really respect the arts going on here."
Both Faverman and Simas will be on hand to meet folks and introduce the show at the Monday night screening of Road Dog.
"It's going to be so much fun," Simas assures to me. "We'll see you there!"
And they will, documentary fan or not.
In closing, Faverman continues to gush about Boise. "It's a really cool city, full of genuine, loving people," he says. Well, it takes one to know one, right?
Road Dog shows Monday, December 19, at The Funny Bone Comedy Club, 405 S. 8th St. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the film starts at 8 p.m.