On a recent episode of their podcast, Deedar, Tucker and Garth — in their syrup-thick accents — discuss their group Halloween plans ("We oughta go as 'Double Dare' ... or we can all go as wrestlers … The host of ‘Double Dare’ … he does another thing where he shows you how ketchup gets made or chocolates”) and supporting a dating partner at an anime convention ("Who is Annie May, exactly?" "I think she invented cartoons").
“We play these amped-up kind of liberal rednecks. I wouldn’t say we’re political at all,” says Darrell Rollo, whose persona Deedar is one third of the comedy trio Catfish, with Devin Howard as Tucker and Devin Mullin as Garth.
“We’re like an ’80s party band ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ — all the shitty trailer trash stuff people love but without all the misogyny,” he says. “A lot of people take a look at us like, ‘Oh, these dudes are about to tell a bunch of misogynistic bullshit jokes and flirt with racism.’ No."
With their improvised live shows and “Spit It Out, Asshole!” podcast, the group’s “trailer-prov” plays into expectations of white, right-leaning Southern toxic masculinity, with tender-hearted riffing on their hopes, dreams, fears, keeping regular bowel movements, ’90 movie trivia, therapy advice (from watching “Dr. Phil”) and critiques of the patriarchy (“There’s so much done for male virility … Get a hobby”).
Later this year, the group will release an album stringing together a narrative of character-driven sketches while en route to the Crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi to sell their souls to the devil.
“Comedy to me is about building tension. If you don’t already know us there’s a bit of tension in the air like, ‘Oh shit, what did I just walk into?’” Rollo says. “When you do tell a joke when the tension’s hot it pops harder … ‘Oh, these are nice people. They’re just good-hearted party idiots.’”
The group returns to its monthly residency at Banks Street Bar with a Halloween-themed show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13.
Originally from Florida, Rollo bonded with Howard during a road trip to Colorado, with Rollo doing bits as “an amalgamation of everyone from my family reunion who are not like me” while Howard ran through a multitude of Southern characters.
“As a comic this is everything I’m trying to hide,” Rollo says. “As a southern comedian — especially one with an accent — I don’t want to come off as a Larry the Cable Guy or Jeff Foxworthy. You really try to beat all that out of yourself if you are from the Deep South, and be progressive and a normal comic and not play to the lower seats ... I spent a lifetime beating this out of me. He said, ‘No, we have to bring this to the stage.’”
As Deedar, Rollo is the “straight man” of the group, “trying to keep the stage as sane as possible,” while Tucker “is more childlike and blissfully stupid,” Rollo says.
Garth is the trio’s wild card, a Kratom-drinking, conspiracy theory-believing oyster shucker.
“There’s more people like us. There’s got to me more trailer trash dudes. I know them. They’re people from the South and they’re not shitheads,” Rollo says, laughing. “I’m just trying to find that audience and manipulate that, I guess.”