Aisha Tyler Live

Aisha Tyler and me at the Wilbur in Boston after her show
If you don't know Aisha Tyler, I think you might just be living under a rock. I discovered her first through FX's brilliantly funny animated series Archer where she plays super spy Lana Kane. From there, I discovered her wonderful podcast "Girl on Guy" where she posts a weekly long-form interview on things guys love (think science fiction, good food, sports, bourbon). Aisha's fun-loving, conversational style draws out more of the real person and not just the talking points written by some faceless and feckless marketing intern. Some of my favorite interviews have included the two hour block buster interview she did with Chasing Amy director Kevin Smith where he interviewed her on SModcast then she turned the tables, interviewing him. Other outstanding interviews included comedian Ron Funches, Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe, comedic song and dance man Wayne Brady, actor/director Levar Burton, Chef Edward Lee, rapper Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, and most recently former Celtic Rick Fox

Listening to the podcast led me to Aisha's memoir Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation. A riotously funny end to every interview, Aisha asks her guests to share a story where they have been their own worst enemy. Most even discover some lesson, after the tears and the laughs of course. With chapter titles like "The Time I Cut Myself in Half" and "The Time I Killed a Hobo" and "The Time I Wore that Awful See-Through Dress" you get a sense of Tyler's self-deprecating humor. A driven individual who who never stops working, in Self-Inflicted Wounds Aisha mines her own life to find the humor that makes her so damn funny I not-so-secretly hoped she would replace Dave Letterman at the helm of The Late Show. My favorite stories? The ones about her father, whom she describes as a cross between Shaft and the Terminator. (At least that's how I remember her describing him.) Aisha Tyler is who she is because of this bad ass motherfucker. "My dad's approach to cultivating independence in a child was simple and straightforward: do as little as possible to make your child's life easier." I wish more parents were like this today.

Seeing Aisha live in Boston over Easter weekend was amazing. She was so hysterical I nearly fell out of my chair...twice. Her humor is not joke based, but rather a series of stories mixed with observations of human frailty, starting with her own. While she touches on all kinds of important issue in her humor - race, religion, relationships, growing up (old) - the insights are real just like the laughs. Her best bit of the night involved Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Sochi Olympics, the protest band Pussy Riot, and NPR icon Diane Rehm. Anyone who can apply the comedic tetris skills to a slay a crowd the way Aisha Tyler did in Boston really is a comic genius. In October Aisha is headlining the inaugural Maui Comedy Festival. Call me a stalker if you must, but I plan to be there. Check out the video below (which was used to open the Boston show) for a taste of her humor.