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Comedy star Theo Von and his mullet are coming to town

Theo Von is playing six shows at the Wilbur and Chevalier theaters this week.Beau Brune

To Theo Von, “white trash” isn’t a slur. It’s a badge of honor.

His stories about growing up poor in the South have made him a stand-up comedy star. They’ve also helped make his popular podcast, “This Past Weekend,” a destination for other comedians. David Spade, Whitney Cummings, and Bill Burr have all been guests, among many others.

Ahead of his six shows at the Wilbur and Chevalier theaters this week (five of which are sold out), the Louisiana native sat down for an interview in his podcast studio in Nashville. He talked about “This Past Weekend,” what it’s like trying to make it in Hollywood with a mullet and a thick Southern accent, why he obsesses about his childhood, and what Bostonians can expect from his “Return of the Rat” tour.


Q. What made you start “This Past Weekend” back in 2016?

A. I walked out of Joe Rogan’s one day, and I said “Man, I can do this differently.” And I just started in my kitchen. I started sitting there, talking. Telling stories from growing up. I was at this place with Hollywood where I was at my wit’s end. Hollywood always offers this diamond in the distance. “Come here, and you can have a chance.” But I got to Hollywood and there weren’t a lot of shows with anybody from my area, or with my point of view. Why don’t these people see me? They don’t want to see me. They don’t want to think that there can be a poor, white guy from the South who isn’t racist, and dumb, and the child of a ruby-cheeked Republican who drinks oil at night.

Q. Has “This Past Weekend” changed your relationship with fans?

A. It’s not like back in the day if you saw a celebrity on the street and you were a fan of them. With podcasting, it’s different. These are fans who know you. These are fans who you would probably become friends with. When someone’s like, “Hey, man, I listen to your podcast,” that puts me on a totally different level with them because we probably think about some of the same stuff. It’s been a gift because I’ve had people come and say things to me that I needed to hear that I wouldn’t have been able to orate for myself. That’s pretty cool.


Q. Why do you tell so many stories about your childhood?

A. I didn’t have a really good childhood. I didn’t feel good in my childhood. So it’s important to me to make it have some value. It adds a lot of levity to a childhood that didn’t have much levity. It’s almost like the kid in me is now riding in a safe adult vessel and gets to tell these things, and use his imagination, and have the freedom to share, and feel, and not be limited by somebody not wanting to hear him or the circumstances around him that don’t allow him to become comfortable to share what he wants.

Q. How have your childhood stories resonated with fans?

A. On our podcast, we talk a lot about growing up, childhood trauma, and that kind of stuff. I think a lot of people relate to certain things, and so they’ll bring pieces from their childhood that they share with you. So that’s kind of interesting sometimes because you don’t really know how to receive that. They say it’s for you, but really in some ways it’s for them. But that’s OK. I hold onto almost everything I’ve ever gotten.


Q. What can Bostonians expect from your upcoming tour?

A. I’m just now starting to evolve into a new place where I want to talk more about things I actually think about, instead of just telling stories. It’s bittersweet, kind of, because part of me loves some of the old stuff, and I don’t want to see it go. But part of me wants to see what else is inside of me. I’ve always been a late bloomer. I had trouble evolving in my thoughts, and feelings. And I think, finally, it started to happen. That will affect other spaces in my life, especially my work. The new stuff is good. It’s stuff people haven’t heard.

Interview was edited and condensed.


At the Wilbur, 246 Tremont St., March 5 at 7 p.m. (all other shows sold out). Tickets $35-$55. thewilbur.com/artist/theo-von