The title "hardest-working man in show business" gets tossed around lightly at times, but it is certainly an appropriate moniker for local creative Josh McLane. Not only is McLane a highly respected drummer around town with bands such as Hombres, Heels, and Special Agent Cooper (just to name a few), he's also a sturdy presence in the burgeoning local stand-up comedy scene.
But wait, there's more! He's also a podcaster, radio host, pro-wrestling ring announcer, independent film writer/producer/actor, and show promoter. How does he keep it all together?
"I enjoy doing a lot of things," McLane says. "I get bored easily. Comedy is a main focus, but so is playing music and making sure my wife isn't tired of it yet."
McLane started doing stand-up more than seven years ago on a dare from local comic Mike Degnan, who said McLane was "funny enough" to get up at an open-mic. By his own admission, McLane's early forays into comedy were somewhat one-note ("I was just screaming at everyone," he says), but he has since developed a more nuanced, heartfelt approach to his performances and is now easily one of the scene's unique and most consistently funny voices.
On Wednesday, McLane will tape his first stand-up comedy record live at the Hi-Tone. The event is called "The Don't Be Afraid of Josh McLane Comedy Special," named after the successful monthly show "Don't Be Afraid of the Comedy, Memphis" that McLane hosts at the venue. The idea was born out of yet another dare — this time from Katrina Coleman, a fellow Memphis comedian who released her own debut album, Womanchild, last year.
"Josh has emerged as a reluctant mentor and role model to the other comics with the longest-running and strongest showcase in town," Coleman says, who will serve as host for the show. "His stand-up is somewhere between a hellfire-spouting evangelist for reason and a chain-smoking stitch."