From the tangled web of Chicago open mics and showcases to middle-of-the country comedy clubs and dive bars emerges Derek Smith.

Derek Smith was a different kind of little kid. While everyone else was playing Power Rangers in the street, he was in his room letting Bill Cosby LPs flow into his ear to stew is in brain. A couple of decades later he’s probably more Bill Hicks than Cosby. And when all the comparisons inevitably fail to describe what he’s become, he stands as a different kind of animal entirely: one to be dissected, studied and thoroughly enjoyed.

Despite being a bag of vices and complaints, he remains likable and lovable, like a smart, irritated Teddy Bear who makes poor life decisions. He’s been described as disgusting and smart. He could probably write this generation’s definitive dick joke in his sleep. He probably will, but only in between being a hundred kinds of funny, intelligent, and captivating.

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