Theatre Review: Piled Higher and Deeper Comedy


“Scientist Turned Comedian”, written and produced by Tim Lee (part of the KC Fringe Festival): seen July 29, 2011

I was this close to being a math major.

I was a bit of a nerd growing up. (Heck, still am a nerd, although it’s more of a geek now.) I did well in all of my classes, but was especially good in math and science. Calculus was what stopped me, as I had no clue what I was doing, even though I did it very well.

Tim Lee starts right into his stand up comedy, explaining the different people you will see in long white lab coats – being either scientists, doctors, or the makeup people at the mall. His humor comes from getting his PhD in biology, and somehow going into comedy. As a result, his humor has a decidedly scientific bent, from mentioning Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle to a long form math problem that involves Lindsay Lohan.

Tim Lee. Photo by Richard Sutton

Many of his jokes remind me of an online comic I read entitled Piled Higher & Deeper, not only having ‘generic’ humor but academic humor as well. He intersperses his regular stand up with a ‘lecture’ on the various scientific properties explained with pop references (cat videos, for example) in a hilarious PowerPoint-esque presentation that even makes fun of those types of presentations.

While it was chuckle-worthy, and I did laugh out loud quite a few times, his regular stand up was a little weaker.

It wasn’t bad, and if only science and math had been this fun in high school, I may have stayed a math major.

The 2011 KC Fringe Festival is over, but you can see some of his comedy via YouTube (and buy his DVD) at Definitely worth checking out if you like academic humor.

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