T.J. Miller is beaming. Fresh off the drop of his latest comedy special, he’s about to pause our phone chat to toast his wife when he gets some great news about a Christmas movie. And while film and TV are hitting for the comedian-turned-actor, he’s still very much attached to stand-up comedy and is focused on returning to his stand-up roots in the coming months and years, beginning with Dear Jonah, which is now available on YouTube.
While most comedians dream of Miller’s success on the film and television circuit, Miller is excited to be back on stage telling jokes—not just because of the pandemic induced hiatus—but because he’s now become more recognizable from his scripted entertainment endeavors than from the stand-up act that brought him show business success in the first place.
Over the course of our conversation, Miller reflects on his stand-up trajectory, the road to Dear Jonah, his eye toward the future of stand-up, and his hope for a future laced with organic, chemical-free buds that don’t induce too much overthinking nor too much lethargy.
High Times Magazine: Growing up in Denver, did you always know you wanted to be a comic?
T.J. Miller: I always liked cracking up kids in my class and would get in trouble for it all the time. I was usually in plays and would get a lot of laughs, but the first time I did high school theater—it was Dracula and I played the attendant for comic relief—and I remember that first huge laugh felt amazing.
I then pursued a lot of improv and actually stand-up comedy in a high school drama class. I credit my drama teacher Melody Duggan with being able to have the foresight to say “None of you guys will be able to do this for a living, but T.J. might be able to be a stand-up comic.” She was so cool. Nobody else was doing that at the time and I don’t think it happens a lot. Full Story