It’s a real tour by three real comics — Nick Youssef, Rory Scovel and Freddy Scott — who are all big fans of the band Tool
Three comedians walk into a Tool concert.
To be more exact, three comedians walk into nine consecutive Tool concerts, all taking place this month.
To be even more exact, three comedians walk into eight consecutive Tool concerts, all taking place this month, specifically because the comedians are such big Tool fans that their own tour itinerary is arranged so that they can attend eight consecutive Tool concerts.
This might sound like the setup for a joke. But — no toolin’ — it isn’t.
“The Comedians Following Tool on Tour: The Tour” is a real tour by three real comics — Nick Youssef, Rory Scovel and Freddy Scott. It begins Saturday at The Casbah in San Diego, while Tool opens its 2020 winter tour with concerts Friday and Sunday at SDSU’s Viejas Arena.
Tool’s tour is in support of “Fear Inoculum,” the band’s first new album in 13 years. Youssef is such a devoted fan that, in 2019 alone, he wrote three articles about the band for Esquire magazine, including “Every Tool Album Ranked from Worst to Best” and “I Didn’t Want Tool to Release a New Album. I Was Wrong.” While he has never met any of the band’s four members, he is aware that Tool singer Maynard James Keenan — who also leads the group Puscifer — is a comedy fan.
“A Tool concert is as close to a religious experience as you can have, and everyone needs that,” Youssef said, speaking by phone from New York.
“I’ve made it a point not to miss Tool anytime they’ve toured. For a number of years they didn’t play in Los Angeles, where I grew up. But they would play in Fresno, or San Diego, or Bakersfield, and I’d go. I’ve seen them 18 or 19 times since the first time I saw them at the Great Western Forum in L.A., and five of those times were in San Diego.”
One of those times was at the 2006 edition of San Diego Street Scene in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot. The crush of fans in front of the stage was so intense that more than a dozen concertgoers were sent to area hospitals. Youssef remembers it well.
“We were all being crushed together so tightly that at one point I was not standing on the ground, because I was being squeezed upwards. It was a surreal experience,” he said.
“Then, Tool stopped playing and people stepped back. I reached in my pocket and my wallet was just ruined; it looked as if I’d dunked it, repeatedly, into a swimming pool. But it was worth it!”
After learning of their their shared passion for Tool, Youssef and fellow comedians Scovel and Scott discussed how they could combine their musical love with their professions.
The result is “The Comedians Following Tool on Tour: The Tour.” It will feature the three doing their regular stand-up shows, but — whenever possible — in venues like The Casbah, not comedy clubs.
“Rory, Freddy and I had dinner the night of Tool’s (Oct. 20) Staples Center show in in L.A.” Youseff said.
“We were trading stories about how many times we’d seen them and realized we are all big Tool freaks. That’s when the whole idea for this came up — ‘Hey, if they add more concert dates in 2020, we should do our own tour and follow them from city to city.’
“I think the least we would hope to accomplish is to break even! The most would be if the band was to come to one of the shows and say: ‘Cool. Great job.’
“That would be above and and beyond anything we wanted to accomplish — we hang out and they invite us to join the band! It’s never been a desire of mine to get to know them. I have thought that, maybe one day, I’d run into one of them. The members of Tool will be on the guest list for every show on our tour, with a plus-one. I’m just throwing the idea out there, in case they’re reading this article.”
“The Comedians Following Tool on Tour: The Tour”
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Middletown
Tickets: $25 (must be 21 or older to attend)
Tool, with Author & Punisher
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday
Where: Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl, 5500 Canyon Crest Drive, SDSU
Tickets: Sold out