T.J. Miller has been tweeting about how excited he is about returning to Denver this week, but not everything has been going smoothly.
Monday night he showed up unannounced at a popular open mic at Colfax Avenue bar, Lions Lair. Miller has been appearing on stage all over New York City largely to a warm audience welcome, and around the country, but he did not go on stage that night, at that club, despite the Lair mic’s longstanding creed that everyone who shows up and signs up can get three to five minutes on stage. The two-man team who run the mic did not want him on their stage.
Co-host Byron Graham wrote about the experience for Denver’s independent paper, Westword: “In light of the disturbing charges against him,” Graham writes, “I didn’t feel I could follow that protocol and still face myself in the mirror.” Graham said they were also too uncomfortable to confront T.J. directly. So instead, they just shamed him from the stage.
Byron says he and Roger made a plan to “ratchet up the discomfort to a level so unbearable” that Miller would just take off. The two made jokes about Miller’s reported incidents, including slapping an Uber driver, bomb threats, and how to properly apologize, without specifying why they were making those jokes or naming Miller, even bringing up another comic saying, “”give it up for a comic you won’t be reading about in Jezebel.”
In the end, Byron says they regret not taking a more direct approach. But says they cannot forgive comedians like Miller and Cosby because he says that these cases are a betrayal of an “unspoken contract” between comedian and performer” that their material will always be grounded in truth. He believes they cannot attempt to return to the stage until they are ready to “fearlessly address their misconduct (or better yet, they should never come back at all).”
His article makes it clear that he is not considering any possibility that Miller may not have committed the sexual misconduct crimes leveled against him. “Miller apparently lacks any sort of remorse for his actions, and all of his public appearances since the allegations became public have a toxic whiff of gaslighting.”