David R. Cohen is the former Associate Editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times. He is originally from Marietta, GA and studied Journalism at the University of Tennessee.
Evan Berke, grew up in East Cobb where his family are still members of Temple Beth Tikvah.
Evan Berke moved to New York in 2013 to pursue his dream of working in comedy. The Atlanta native and College of Charleston graduate doesn’t often get to come back to perform in his hometown, but on Sunday, April 9, Berke will appear at the Basement Theatre in Buckhead as part of a nine-city tour he is helping produce with fellow comedian Dusty Slay.
“I love coming to town with a guy like Dusty because it gives me an opportunity to introduce him to new fans,” Berke said. “When I come to town, just because you’ve seen me before doesn’t mean that you won’t have a completely different experience.”
Berke met Slay while in college, where they got into comedy at the same time. They would often tour together in the early days, once even performing at a fundraiser for Roswell’s Temple Beth Tikvah, whose members include Berke’s family.
Although Slay lives in Nashville now, the two try to get together to tour every so often.
“When I come back to Atlanta, my goal is to stack a show with people funnier than me so the audience and my friends and family want to keep coming back,” Berke said. “Dusty is as Alabama as it gets. His parents divorced when he was young, and his mom lived in a trailer park, and his dad lived on a farm. He’s also got the kind of comedy style that everyone can relate to.”
The 11-day, nine-city tour to promote Slay’s new comedy album, “Son of a Ditch,” which Berke co-produced, includes stops in Washington, Charleston, Jacksonville, Fla., Slay’s hometown of Opelika, Ala., and the final show in Atlanta.
Comedian Jordan Jensen also will be on the tour.
Although he got his start in standup, Berke has recently found himself more in the role of a producer and host/emcee. In addition to co-producing “Son of a Ditch,” he has produced short films and web series. He is also the resident emcee of Brooklyn-based storytelling event PechaKucha.
Berke also works on a film production team in New York with international creative agency MerchantCantos.
“Every night after work, I’m working on something,” he said, “whether I’m working on standup or with one of my friends to talk about a web series we’re shooting. But standup comedy is what got me into live performance.”
Among his comedic inspirations are Don Rickles, Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.”
“My personal comedy style is upbeat and energetic,” Berke said. “I like to have fun with the audience and keep the energy alive. My content touches on a lot of personal stories and anecdotes — mostly seen through the lens of a Southern Jew trying to hold his own in New York City.”
What: “Son of a Ditch” Comedy Tour
Where: Basement Theatre, 175 W. Wieuca Road, Buckhead
When: 7 p.m. Sunday, April 9
Tickets: $8 for students, $12 for general admission;