A lot of comedians come at religion like, Oh religion is stupid, but I try not to do that, he says. I poke fun at it, but I still believe in it.
Asmus graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in religious studies the same month he started his standup comedy career. While some may say (himself included) that getting his degree was a waste, given his choice of career, Asmus has figured out how to use his extensive religious knowledge to become one of the most unique voices in comedy.
This weekend, the Woodbury native will record his debut album, The Prodigal Little Bitch, at Sisyphus, where he plans to air out his religious hot takes.
Ill be reading from the Bible or whatever, he says, laughing.
He isnt joking, however. Religion is something that really shapes the world in incredible ways, and people dont really know enough about it, Asmus says. I wanted to learn about all of the religions, and then I realized theyre all really the same fucking thing.
Though he says that he genuinely considered seminary school after graduation, his main motivation for pursuing a degree in religion was much less holy.
It was mainly just that I was really drunk and high in college and needed something to do while I continued to live my bizarre, lazy lifestyle.
The decision to choose comedy over the cloth has proven worthwile to Asmus, having been selected as a New Face performer at the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, and having his jokes showcased on Foxs Laughs and Kevin Harts LOL Network on Sirius XM. Despite his accolades, Asmus says the choice to finally record an album is more about the need to move forward than celebrating his past.
I had a huge backlog of material that Im kind of sick of telling, he admits. It loses vitality, and I dont want it to start to seem robotic. I want to get it out and prove that I wrote it so no one can steal it.
For those who have had enough religion during the holidays, Asmus says his show wont be all hellfire and brimstone.
I get really interested in religion and write jokes about it for a while, and then I completely lose interest and write jokes about sex or weed for a month, he deadpans. The religious stuff will be the second half, but the first half will have plenty of other stuff, too.
As for the future, Asmus says he has plans to bring his religion-heavy comedy to next years Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and hopes to have material nailed down for another album over the course of the next year. But dont necessarily hold him to those dates just yet.
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