T.J. Miller Brings Lingering #MeToo Baggage to Brea Improv

T.J. Miller in Silicon Valley, courtesy of HBO.

With Chris Hardwick holding court at the Irvine Improv this weekend, one wonders if the comedy club chain’s bookers tried to up the #MeToo ante by sliding T.J. Miller into the Brea Improv.

What’s next? Shuttling Louis C.K. between Brea and Irvine so he can middle at each gig?

Hardwick, who is in Irvine Friday and Saturday nights, was of course able to return to his AMC Talking Dead shows, other TV hosting gigs and have his name reinstated by the Nerdist empire he created after his ex-girlfriend, Chloe Dykstra, declined to participate in the company investigation of her allegations that he emotionally and sexually abuse her, something he vehemently denied.

Chris Hardwick, courtesy of Improv.com

Miller, who has been dealing with his own #MeToo accusations, brings his “Touring in Perpetuity” tour to Brea Friday through Sunday despite recent cancellations.

The most recent canned Miller show was at Gasa Gasa Nov. 10 in New Orleans, where a club rep confirmed some local comedians had objected to the booking due to the sexual misconduct allegations against the headliner. One of those comics, Mary-Devon Dupuy, told The Advocate that the club was unaware of the accusations.

Miller’s scheduled Sept. 21 tour stop at State Theatre in Easton, Pennsylvania, was also cancelled, although no reason was given and all ticket purchasers were refunded, according to the venue.

T.J. Miller, courtesy of Improv.com

In December 2017, the Daily Beast reported the allegations that Miller sexually assaulted his college girlfriend multiple times. The comic, who famously left HBO’s Silicon Valley at the height of the show’s popularity, released a statement with his wife denying any wrongdoing, claiming his anonymous accuser was “using the current climate to bandwagon and launch these false accusations again.”

But that same month, adult film star Dana DeArmond tweeted that Miller had sexually harassed her while filming Comedy Central’s Mash Up.” A film critic and former friend of Miller also accused him of sending a transphobic email, and his former Silicon Valley co-star, Alice Wetterlund, tweeted that he had been “a bully and petulant brat” on the set.

Miller denied Wetterlund’s accusations while on SiriusXM’s Jim Norton & Sam Roberts show, calling her the one who was hard to work with and dismissing her criticisms as an attempt to get headlines. And before a hometown Denver crowd earlier in the “Touring in Perpetuity” run, he addressed the 2017 allegations, the Denver Post reported.

He referred to his accuser as a “stalker from college” with mental health issues who believed “Kate (Kate Miller, the comedian’s wife) stole her life.” He accused the media of saying whatever it wanted without Miller being able to take recourse. He described darkness taking over, substance abuse and a subsequent breakdown.

The Post went on to report that “the end of the rant … was met with applause,” and that the conclusion of the set produced a standing ovation.

If you are a fan who believes the comic and wants to get even more of Miller than you’ll see on the Brea stage, you will be happy to know that those shows are among the “Touring in Perpetuity” stops where you can buy VIP tickets, according to his website, which promises this special access:

Shows with a VIP Icon next to the dates have VIP Tickets available that includes an autographed Polaroid with T.J., a hearty conversation and a fortune told, the opportunity to buy a signed bottle of his line of four different flavors of hot sauce he developed with his family friends the Lins, who are purveyors of the finest homegrown hot sauce under the moniker “The Scoville Bros.” He worked on it with them for a year and a half- so he’s very proud of it. He’ll work with you to find your flavor profile and get you hot and happy, and 2 limited edition Emoji Movie shirts for $300 a piece!

T.J. Miller at Brea Improv, 180 S. Brea Blvd., Brea, (714) 482-0700; improv.com/brea. Fri., 7:30 & 9:45 p.m.; Sat., 7 & 9:30 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. $25; $50 (VIP); $75 (per person in four-seat premium booth).

Chris Hardwick at Irvine Improv, 527 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, (949) 854-5455; improv.com/irvine. Fri., 7:30 & 9:45 p.m. and Sat., 7 & 9:30 p.m.; $30 & $80 (per person in four-seat premium booth).

OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.

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