Games and Late-Night TV Inspire Local Comedian’s Latest Show

Jon Savitt’s “Never Too Late” at the Phoenix Theater draws from pandemic restlessness in a show of trivia, conversation, and other amusing things
Comedian Jon Savitt is back in the Twin Cities with a pandemic-inspired show with games, trivia, and probably other amusing things
Comedian Jon Savitt is back in the Twin Cities with a pandemic-inspired show with games, trivia, and probably other amusing things

Courtesy of Jon Savitt

Live events are returning to the Twin Cities, and a native Minnesotan is rejoicing with an evening of comedy. Part game show and part late-night show, Never Too Late is hosted by Jon Savitt, a comedian and writer from St. Louis Park. Alongside special guest Joe Berkowitz—Minneapolis native and opinion columnist for Fast Company—Savitt is delivering conversation, trivia, games, and laughs to the Phoenix Theater on July 27.

Savitt says he conceived of the idea for Never Too Late at the beginning of the pandemic. He took advantage of opportunities to be creative through writing and videos but missed performing for a live audience—which he calls one of the most fulfilling and exciting things he gets to do.

“I tried to envision the opposite of COVID,” Savitt says. “I thought of spontaneous, social, and not too serious, which is exactly what a game show is.” Although months of preparation have gone into the show, even Savitt isn’t sure what will happen. In his comedy career, he has covered everything from antisemitism to whether or not Sun Chips are really from the sun, and Berkowitz is a journalist who also wrote an entire book on cheese—so the two together with room to improvise could take the night anywhere.

Although a game show is a new realm for Savitt, he’s been known to deviate from the traditional avenues of stand-up comedians. He’s written for Time and the Washington Post, composed songs, and penned books. If there’s one consistency in his career, it’s that Savitt never fails to find new ways to be funny. A game show seems as reasonable a project for him as a song about Frankie Muniz.

Savitt says he’s always tried to use his interests to help inspire his work. This is part of why he chose Berkowitz to join him for the night. “I wanted someone local, creative, and interesting, and he—as well as being super talented and whose work I admire—checks all those boxes,” Savitt says of Berkowitz. “Even if people don’t know his work, I really think they’ll see why I chose him.”

Savitt chose Minnesota to host the event for a number of reasons. The first—and likely most obvious—is because Minnesota is his home state. He also recently moved back to the Twin Cities after working in Washington D.C. His return opened his eyes to what has changed—most notably the recent explosion of roundabouts in the metro. But he has also found comfort in the unchanged, such as Minnesota’s natural beauty and the Jucy Lucys.

Another reason, Savitt says, is the strong sense of community in Minnesota. He notes that people care about and look out for one another here in a special way. His home state and the people in it made him who he is, so he’s putting on a show for them.

See Jon Savitt in Never Too Late at the Phoenix Theater on July 27 at 7:30 p.m. Find tickets here.

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