Local comedian Steve Miller opens for Amy Schumer

It may seem a little biased that I am writing this, because Miller has been one of my besties since before he had tattoos. And don?t worry; he will be giving me shit for using the word bestie.


But even during our small Gaither High School drama productions and speech and debate competitions some (cough) years ago, I and everyone else who knew him knew he had that something. And everyone after high school knew it, too. Everyone at the bars we hung out at, mainly Fuma Bella and New World Brewery. Everyone else including his friends, his friends? friends, his friends? parents, his girlfriend and pretty much anyone who met him. He has IT. Unfortunately, sometimes, the insecurities took over.


?Here?s this one thing (comedy) I always thought I was good at and if I put it out there and everyone tells me you?re not funny, then what am I? Just fat with a bad haircut. I have to actually be funny cause if not, this is a real shitty life.?


Like many good comedians, Miller focuses some of his stage time deprecating himself, like the fact he was the non-molested Catholic altar boy in his family. ?It?s heartbreaking, you open up the paper and Father O?Malley slept with Timmy. Timmy?s a burn victim!?


But like many great comedians he relies on his intelligence to discuss more deep things: ?If you just tell dick and fart jokes, you aren?t going to remember it 20 years from now.?


He keeps it current by discussing the poor political climate of the United States and other social issues he relates to. Like being from Florida.


?If a dad leaves his kid in a car in front of a strip club, it happens in Florida.?


Working as video producer for the Bubba the Love Sponge show helped him get the experience that many comedians don?t get in the beginning. He performed on stage with the Bubba Show in front of huge audiences in the United States and Canada, at one time in front of 4,500 people. Though the material was based around the Bubba show, the stage experience was very helpful.


In October of 2011, he decided to scale back his day job and focus more on his own comedy. Currently, he bartends and slings barbecue at New World Brewery during the weekdays.


Since then, his nights and weekends are left open to travel to comedy clubs throughout Florida and focus on his own material. Unless he is booked at a comedy club, Thursday nights he does a live video podcast at 7:30 p.m. with Spanish for The Cowhead Show on cowheadtv.com.


Big picture Miller, of course, dreams large. Duh.


?The dream would to be able to perform at Madison Square Gardens or have a motion picture release of (my) stand-up.?


For now and for a while longer, as he hones his tools, he is satisfied being a traveling comic, getting paid doing what finally he knows he?s good at.


? I believe that I?m funny now, I believe I can walk into any room and do a solid job,? he said.


I believe it too, bestie. (Hush it, Miller.)


Steve Miller will be hosting for Amy Schumer all weekend at Side Splitters Comedy Club 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa, on Fri., April 20, 8 and 10:15 p.m., Saturday April 6, 8 and 10 p.m. For tickets got to sidesplitterscomedy.com/schedule.asp
Or call 813-960-1197.

Steve Miller was a comedy staple in the Tampa scene long before he got on a professional stage. He spent years throwing jokes and insults to bartenders, regulars and friends whether they wanted to hear them or not.

Miller has known he wanted to be a performer since high school, but it wasn’t until three years ago that he did something about it. He finally braved up and went to an open mic.

“For me, I can only talk about something for so long without doing it," he said. "And realizing I’ve become that guy that only talks about doing something. It became this thing where I can’t talk about doing standup anymore because it’s ridiculous that I haven’t done it yet. I don’t want to be that 65-year-old guy at the bar that says. ‘I could’ve made it in the NFL if it wasn’t for this bad knee.’ I didn’t want to look back and have that regret.”

After performing at open mics for about a year, he acquired gigs hosting regularly at local comedy clubs and has featured for some well-known comics. He opened last year for, among others, the greasy but loved Neil Hamburger as well as Jim Jeffries and Brian Posehn.

This weekend he is hosting at Side Splitters Comedy Club for Amy Schumer, a former Last Comic Standing darling and most recent Charlie Sheen Roast badass.

About The Author

Stephanie Powers

Freelance contributor Stephanie Powers started her media career as an Editorial Assistant long ago when the Tampa Bay Times was still called the St. Petersburg Times. After stints in Chicago and Los Angeles, where she studied improvisation at Second City Hollywood, she came back to Tampa and stayed put.She soon...
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