by Andrea Guzzetta

Comedian Damon Millard has returned to Milwaukee after a three years absence to record his first stand-up special. Millard started doing stand-up almost 7 years ago. MILLARD BIO PIC

“I was toying with the idea of doing stand up for a few weeks, it was after my friend Katie was tragically murdered that I had a life-changing realization,” Millard said. “Life is a fragile gift that can be stolen from us at any point. Why wait? Chase your dreams because this precious gift can be gone in the blink of an eye. This gave me the push I needed to finally overcome the nerves and take the stage for the first time.”

He soon met fellow comedian Jason Hillman and together, they founded the Caste of Killers Comedy Collective.

“We were both hungry, but there was nothing for us then,” he said, referring to the local stand-up scene. “Jason and I decided that we needed to work together to make stuff happen… We felt like we were at the bottom of the rung. Chicago had this strong, established scene, but we were grimy and grassroots. We were the lower Caste.” Since its inception, the Caste of Killers has grown to include 15 members who produce shows and open mic events all over Milwaukee.

Since leaving his job as a photojournalist for a local news station three years ago, Millard has pursued comedy full-time. “I’d rather lose than say I never gave it a shot,” he said. Since leaving Milwaukee, Millard has traveled extensively, living in Dallas, New York, St. Louis, Louisville, and currently in Reno, Nevada.

“Traveling so much has given me a great opportunity to experience different comedy scenes,” he said. “Each scene has its own taste, and I feel like my voice has evolved with all the experience of different cities.”

Millard’s first stand-up special, ‘Shame, Pain, and Love’ is the confession of a flawed man.

“It’s about my inner demon,” Millard said. “I feel like I’m the driving force behind all the bad shit in my life, and I’m trying to change that. My comedy is brutally honest when it comes to mistakes I’ve made (Shame), the results of those mistakes (Pain), and my continuing quest to become better and find LOVE.”

Millard has been cultivating his comedic voice for almost 7 years, which has led him back to Milwaukee to record his first special.

“I’m a nomad,” he said, but “Milwaukee shaped my entire worldview, and I knew that’s where I had to do it.”

The live recording will take place over two evenings, and will feature additional acts by local comedians as well as an intermission with a chance to win cool prizes. “This is a celebration of comedy, especially Milwaukee comedy,” Millard insists, “It’s not just about me.”

Friday, February 26 @ 8 pm at the Underground Collaborative (Inside the Shops of Grand Avenue)
Saturday, February 27 @ 8pm at the Underground Collaborative
Tickets cost $10 online or $15 at the door.
Additional event info can be found at or