'I need that moment and that venue': Byron Bowers on why he uses comedy stages to talk about the tough stuff

The comedian opens up about why he's using stand-up to call for openness and honesty around hard to talk about topics.
Byron Bowers attends the Honey Boy premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

At first glance, Byron Bowers seems like he's taking a pretty tried-and-true path to becoming a stand-up comedian. He started out doing small clubs in Georgia, dealt with hecklers, built a following and then started touring with big names like Dave Chappelle and Hannibal Buress.

But what makes Bowers different is what he's talking about onstage. The comedian is using comedy stages to call for openness and honesty around stuff that's hard to talk about. He spoke to q guest host Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe about what it feels like to get personal onstage and why he's choosing comedy to do it.

"I need that moment and that venue. It just allows for a better dynamic," Bowers said about his different approach to comedy. His stand-up features talk of mental health, drug use and personal emotions.

You can catch Bowers on the show The Chi and the new movie Honey Boy. The comedian is also getting attention for his show at the Just For Laughs festival. 

— Produced by Chris Trowbridge

Download our podcast or click the 'Listen' link near the top of this page to hear the full conversation with Byron Bowers.

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