March 1, 2024 – Chaderossa, Stanhope, TaosComedy, Broken Records

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We officially broke ground on my Earthship tire wall in April 2023. (I started writing an update about this here, apparently, but it never left the draft stage.) This is such a big deal for me. It’s oriented properly, lines are down. Tires are being pounded. This is the footer. This is the foundation. The Groundwork. It’s a huge task, but it has started. I need help. If you want to hang, help or just learn about any of this, give me a yell. It’s a labor intensive project and I am primarily working alone. That is my biggest disappointment: I thought when I started posting this stuff online my dirtbag friends would come out of the woodwork and join me. I fully expected to be running a weird comedy sex cult by now and it just hasn’t happened. WHATEVER YOU GUYS.

Here’s a video:


Chad Riden on the Doug Stanhope Podcast #542

My friend / hero Doug Stanhope recorded a podcast with me talking about all of this and I tell the story of how I got to Taos, New Mexico from Nashville, Tennessee (spoiler alert: I-40 West). Check it out:

If any random Stanhope fans want to come visit and hang or help build, please give me a yell. Cool weirdos are welcome.


Please follow everywhere at @TaosComedy

TaosComedy) is blowing up like you knew it would. The monthly show at The Burger Stand has continued to bring new people into the fledgling scene. We almost always have people signing up who have never done comedy before. We have comics driving in from around New Mexico and out of state. We are building an audience of comedy fans who love what’s happening.

I have a new weekly show at Soldado’s in Taos where I work out new material and invite comics from all over to drop in and do a spot. It’s a fantastic new venue and they are very supportive of what we’re doing (which is all I need). If you do comedy and I haven’t seen you before, this is a great way to get in front of me and get booked on other things.

Oh yeah, TaosComedy is producing other things! We now have a monthly in Red River, to compliment the Burger Stand headliner gig. I hope to add other shows in Angel Fire, Questa, and Eagle Nest so I have a run of shows around The Enchanted Circle for my booked comics. Please follow everywhere at @TaosComedy.


The Taos News recently published an article about what we’re doing. The journalist, Jeans Pineda, met up for a beer and chat at Burger Stand before one of my shows and it was a fun talk. When I got to the venue that night, I was scrambling to get everything going and I forgot / didn’t have time to change out of my “Two Peaks Chad Riden” costume / street clothes into my trusty ole tuxedo. I don’t always wear it at shows anymore but Jeans was coming to take photos and I wanted to NOT look like I live in a GD school bus in the desert. I make great effort to start shows on time and it was showtime and I was still slumming in my hoodie and jeans.. so we played the Doc Severinsen “Tonight Show / Johnny’s Theme” / SPiFFY SQUiRREL comedy show intro music and started the show. I ended up changing clothes on stage during my set. This was ridiculous and showy and dumb but I didn’t know what else to do. Also I like doing crazy shit at the start of the show so anybody who is late misses something people will talk about for a while. The photog got there after I was all Spiffy’d up and took some fantastic photos and now also I have an OnlyFans. SUBSCRIBE NOW, I’M POOR! When I went to Burger Stand later that night for a post-show beer the people there had already heard about it and were asking me WTF. Taos is a small town. I love it.

We’re building something here. A comedy scene. An Earthship. A comedy club kiva. A cult?


'Broken Records' #BrokenRecordShow documentary promo image

I accidentally started a cult previously. In 2015 broke the GUINNESS world record for the “LONGEST STANDUP COMEDY SHOW – MULTIPLE COMEDIANS.” #BrokenRecordShow was a non-stop 184 hour, 16 minute long stand-up comedy show that more than doubled the previous record. The show featured over 100 comedians, including surprise celebrity guest sets from Hannibal Buress, Eric Andre, Rory Scovel, Nate Bargatze, Luis J. Gomez, Keith Alberstadt, Jon Reep, Ahmed Ahmed and Killer Beaz. More important than the celebrity guests, though, was the mission to unite and uplift the Nashville Comedy scene as a whole. In every community, cliques form naturally. People gravitate to like-minded people and form little groups and large communities get segregated. This show was purposefully inclusive to EVERYBODY who qualified to perform. Younger comics who were not eligible to get on stage helped as volunteers and supported the show by being there, laughing.

Sometime around day three or four I realized we had people chanting “WE ARE 10!” at times to rally around whoever was on stage (you have to have at least ten audience members at all times). We had intentionally worked to set a ‘comedy summer camp’ vibe and boy did that work. My complaint was that the only time hundreds of comics ever get together is for dumb tv show auditions where adversarial competition is the tone and you get 30-seconds to three minutes to wow some dumb tv producers who don’t give a shit about comedy at all. We wanted to draw our comedy buddies together for an awesome week long hang, where experimentation and comedy and risk taking was prioritized. Zero competition in a subjective art form. Support and encouragement. We weren’t chasing Hollywood, we were bringing Hollywood to US. It WORKED. It worked too well and a very cult-y atmosphere developed. It was super fun.

We said it was “the greatest dumbest thing we’ve ever done.” I didn’t want to ever stop the show. I kept threatening to move down the road to an abandoned bowling alley and kick in the door and keep the show going there. “They can’t beat our record if we never stop the show!” Well, saner heads prevailed and we stopped the show at 4:20 am, April 20th, 2015. What’s the only thing dumber than doubling a world record? Beating your own world record by 5 minutes every year for the next three years. Guess what we did? We ran #BrokenRecordShow again, now as an official part of the Nashville Comedy Festival in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The record currently stands at 184 hours and 31 minutes.

Stonecastle Productions filmed a documentary called “Broken Records” about us in 2016. My verbal agreement with them was: you get full access, make whatever you want, give me all the raw footage so I can edit together my own thing, independent of yours. I hired another film crew to do interviews on the back deck and ran 7 of my own cameras in the venue. They ended up making a 22-minute short as a proof-of-concept that they wanted to shop around and see if anybody would fund a feature. That went nowhere and they submitted it to film festivals. It’s kind of been in limbo forever.

I’ve been frustrated because it’s good but nobody’s seen it. At some point I tried to get the rest of the footage from them but they deleted the source files and repurposed those hard drives. I asked them if I could post their finished piece on YouTube or submit it to Amazon Video but they asked me not to. Yesterday the director texted me and let me know it is now streaming on, whose review says:

Barry Simmons’ short documentary, chronicling the ambitious attempt of a group of comedians led by Chad Riden to break the Guinness World Record for the Longest Stand-Up Comedy show, delivers an engaging and insightful look into the world of aspiring professional comedians. The film, featuring talents such as Carter Glascock, Joe Kelley, Josh Wagner, and DJ Buckley, not only showcases snippets of the record-breaking event but also delves into the personalities behind the microphone.

I have mixed feelings about the doc, because it focuses on ME. The point of the show itself was US. All of Nashville Comedy working together to do something bigger than any one individual. Something impossible to do without everybody’s help. Something epic to raise all boats together. I understand I can’t control somebody else’s creative vision and documentary films need to focus on a story and my idea for what it should be doesn’t matter. I am happy it is now finally public. There’s still a bigger story to tell though.

The first Nashville Comedy Festival in 2014 (then called the “Wild West Comedy Festival,” as it was co-produced by Vince Vaughn) had exactly TWO Nashville comedians in the lineup: Mike James, working as house emcee at the Zanies shows, and ME by accident. Marc Maron recorded a live WTF at The Belcourt with Vince, and then did a stand-up show at Zanies. We’re friends and whenever Marc would come to Nashville we’d pal around. Once, on the defunct “Beards and Bullshit” podcast, Marc said something about how “when I’m in Nashville, I just run around town with Chad Riden.” It’s coffee, record stores, guitar shops, food, show, repeat. This time was no different. I hung with Vince Vaughn and Marc at the Belcourt. When it was time for the Zanies show, Marc and I walked in the back door and somebody associated with the festival saw me and said, “what are YOU doing here?” Marc said, “Chad’s my guy. he’s opening.” This person was visibly upset. Marc was confused and so was I. Marc said, “wait, I thought he was YOUR GUY, too. What’s the problem?” “We’ve already got an opener.” “I don’t know him. I know Chad. Cut your guy’s time and give Riden 15 minutes right before me.” It was like Marc was asking them for their kidney. I did the show and it went great because Marc’s crowds fucking love me.

Later I was talking about this situation with Brian Dorfman (co-producer of the festival, of Zanies and Outback Concerts) and I mentioned that this was weird to not have more Nashville comedians involved with the Nashville Comedy Festival and Dorf said, “you’re right but I can’t put some open mic’er up in front of Bill Burr at the Ryman Auditorium. This is your whole thing with NashvilleStandUp – this is what YOU do. Figure out how to get stage time for these guys without ruining the whole festival.”

So when Nashville comic DJ Buckley came to me with a handful of publicity stunt ideas, breaking the Guinness world record for longest show multiple comics hit me immediately as the solution. If the problem is not enough stage time, here’s a way to have way too much stage time. With the previous record being 80 hours (just three days!) we could double that and do a week long show, starting before the fest and ending after it’s over – eclipsing the entire GD festival. That’s what we did.

The East Room was the home to ULTIMATE COMEDY, Brad Edwards’ stand-up / sketch / video / variety show which had been running sporadically here and there, most recently at The Building behind Drifter’s BBQ. Once I saw how supportive and wonderful they were, I moved my long-running Sunday night show (“Mikey’s Sunday Night Comedy”, and before that “SmartyPants NerdCore Comedy,” and before that “The Sunday Stand-up Showcase Showdown And Stuff”) and re-branded it as “SPiFFY SQUiRREL comedy show.” We’d been doing that every week at The East Room for a couple years and had a great relationship with them. DJ and I pitched the idea to Ben Jones there and he immediately understood and loved it.

The community rallied behind us. If I tweeted “Hannibal Buress is here” friggin 80 people would show up at the venue within 15 minutes. Zanies waitstaff showed up at our show after their shifts were over to help support. Our show became the after-party for the entire festival. Celebrities started dropping in (mostly thanks to Nate Bargatze, who also understood immediately what we were doing and would physically drive his famous friends to our venue and jump up on stage to do sets many many times over the course of the show). It was great. Truly wonderful. Also difficult and frustrating.. but I’d do it again. We did do it again. and again. and again.

I would like to do that show at other festivals. Will I?

The most important thing, in my experience, is having a venue that is appropriate and supportive. That’s 90% of the whole task at hand. It’s a difficult ask for a venue to be open and running full steam for 184+ hours straight. Will I find a venue willing and able to do that? I don’t know. That’s one reason why I’m building my own. Want to help? Come hang.

This update was March 1, 2024.

January 6, 2023 – Family stuff, Taos Comedy, Chaderossa builds

(This is a now page, and if you have your own site, you should make one, too.)

I’m packing up for a road trip. I have to take care of some family stuff for a bit. logo

I launched a new non-profit (TaosComedy) with a mission to build and support a comedy scene in northern central New Mexico and the monthly show at The Burger Stand has been very successful. People love it. Normally the bar closes at 9pm and not many people are there but we pack it out every single time and their revenue has been insane.

It’s a mic and no locals have any experience beyond this show so it’s a training ground for new comics and an audience that’s new to comedy shows. Weirdos gravitate to Taos. Last month some dude walked up in the middle of a comic’s set and tried to feed him a french fry “airplane” style. Thankfully it was one of four comics that came in from Tucson to do spots who knew how to deal with dumb shit. The audience isn’t BAD they’re just untrained. They’re very supportive. We have regulars who LOVE the show and buy merch.

I’ve been bringing in comics I like to headline. We’ve had Trish Smart and Stef Bright so far and they both had a great time. Because I’m traveling soon, I’ll have to produce the show from afar. I’ve started booking emcee’s and headliners for the show on – comics from New Mexico and Colorado have started hearing about the show and how fun it is and I’ve been getting a lot of requests already. I have to say, it’s very nice to feel appreciated for doing something I’ve always loved to do.

open mic at The Burger Stand the 2nd Monday every month

I am trying to find the time to finish editing my “NashvilleStandUp @ NECAT” stand-up comedy showcase tv series. Only one has aired so far, but I’ve got 3-4 more shot. I didn’t expect to move to Taos until 2023 and I feel bad that I haven’t finished those episodes up but I’m always busy and I’m not on the computer hardly at ALL. I hope I can finish them this month. I know Cameron at NECAT is disappointed and the comics on those shows are probably irritated at me and I hate that.

In May 2023, we will continue building stuff at The Chaderossa in Taos County. We’ve constructed some earthworks to prevent runoff and force monsoon rains and snow melt to soak in. More work needs to be done. The main road and my original driveway become mud pits fast, so I’m building channels to direct water to my lowest spot where I’m digging up dirt I need to build while creating a seasonal pond. Swales will start on the high contours with pioneer plants that will become fertile, shaded environments 6-7 years from now.

This spring we’ll start building several structures with cob, adobe and styrofoam-infused aircrete. We’ll also have an Earthship-inspired “simple survival” build and biodiesel projects that’ll all run concurrently making a tiny home, a cistern & shower house, a wallapini, a workshop, and fuel while growing food and cannabis.

In the future we will add chickens and goats, build additional living quarters, and work on better insulating & equipping buses. At some point we HAVE to build a hot tub. It’s inevitable. This is all super fun. Wanna help?

If/when the world falls apart, come on by. Or before then, even (May – November, preferably). Ryan Singer, Patrick Devine, Trish Smart and Mishka Shubaly have already stopped by. So can you.

This update was January 6, 2023.