Hot Hot Comedy
A peek behind the curtain with Orlando comic and room host Blake Butler
Blake Butler is a born-and-raised Floridian who moved homes and school districts on the regular, trading one potential stepdad for the next, sharpening his instincts for survival and thrival, growing a funny bone for a spine. At age 24, Blake is five years into his comedy career and hosting a room at The Falcon in Thornton Park every Tuesday at 9 p.m.
He is melting into the atmosphere — having no discernable distinction between himself and his surroundings — and at the very same time driven by principles that make all the difference in a make-it-or-break-it situation. These may sound like big, sweeping statements about a guy I’ve only met twice, but I know I’m right.
The part about his boundaryless magnanimity is obvious ten minutes into a conversation. Here we are in a corner booth at Tanqueray’s, a smoky bar in downtown Orlando on Orange Avenue. It is early February 2021. Some people are worried about the pandemic or the economy. Not Blake. He’s singing along loudly to
R. Kelley. He’s joking about his dad’s dead dad. He’s fist-pumping and high-fiving about ranked-choice voting (right there with you, buddy). He gushes, and when nobody’s looking, maybe sometimes he sulks. But only if he’s in a sulky environment.
The part about his principles I know from personal experience.
It was December 16, 2019, and I was crumpled in an awkward, knotty posture on the floor of The Other Bar on Wall Street. Before you go thinking drugs or alcohol were to blame, I’ll tell you I had a serious potassium deficiency that I didn’t yet know about, and I was terrified, slipping in and out of consciousness.
The event was Ken Miller’s Annual Toy Drive and Comedy Show. I had brought presents.
The friend who accompanied me took off — I know she truly had to leave but also I was now alone and couldn’t move from my lowly spot on the polished concrete. I was really pissed in the moments I had the wherewithal to recognize there was something to be mad about.
Thirty minutes or two hours passed and I was loaded onto a stretcher, carried to an ambulance, and transported to ORMC’s emergency room. But I was no longer alone. Blake, entreated by my friend to stick by me, followed behind in his car, stayed by my side in the hospital room, and very early the next morning drove me home. He was somber, respectful, and gracious. To me, he was an angel sent from heaven above.
So much time has passed, and having just spoken with him in person for the first time since then, my heart is full. And my Tuesday plans are set. I’ll be at The Falcon for his mixed mic: a series of ten-minute sets featuring comics, musicians, and poets. I hope to see you there!
Blake will be featured in my next article about the Orlando comedy scene — the link will be posted to my Instagram and Twitter when the story published.
In the meantime, it’s 10:23 p.m. and I’m raising my cup of decaffeinated coffee to Blake Butler’s mom. Lady, you raised a good man.