Stand Up! Records had humble beginnings as the spinoff of “-ismist recordings,” the musical labor of love created by a 20-year-old physics major in a University of Nebraska dorm room. No, Dan Schlissel would not go on to become a physicist. But he’d become a Grammy winner, and that’s awesome, too. But first, -ismist would have to become a (corn)palace of Midwestern punk, issuing Slipknot’s first recording along with numerous releases from Killdozer, House of Large Sizes, and Season to Risk. The little label even put out Polecat’s “Saddle Creek,” such an influential single that Connor Oberst (frontman of Bright Eyes) would cop the name for his own massively popular record label.
By 1998, Schlissel was over the whole anti-Semitic Nebraska livin’, and he headed off to Minneapolis. In short order, he’d met Lewis Black, a comedy upstart and a regular on the reformatted Daily Show, now helmed by Jon Stewart. Schlissel would go on to produce and release Black’s first album, as well as six subsequent releases, three of which were nominated for Grammy’s and one of which took home the gold phonogram (because that’s the best way to listen to comedy: gold phonogram). Within months of meeting Black, Schlissel had released “Sicko,” Doug Stanhope’s second record. Comedy stole Schlissel’s blackened heart, and from the ashes of -ismist, Stand Up! Records was born.
Now boasting over 100 releases, Stand Up! is America’s top independent comedy label. Taking cues from the golden age of comedy records and the broadcloth of American humor represented by labels like Verve and Buddha, Schlissel blends them with the modern vanguard of rock labels like Sub Pop, Amphetamine Reptile, and Touch and Go. Armed with an iconic logo by no less a luminary than Shep Fairey, a stable of artists from Maria Bamford to Patton Oswalt and Greg Proops, and an award-winning producer with an award-winning beard, Stand Up!’s an unstoppable force in comedy.
A statement of our beliefs:
- Comedy is art at its highest and lowest levels. It’s a mirror that tells our difficult truths and reveals our blemished selves. Comfort is good, but challenge is better.
- Comedy comes in every flavor. We pride ourselves on a diverse roster from one-liners to revealing story-telling. We promise to bring only the best, funniest, and most thought provoking in comedy onto our recordings.
- Comedy deserves pretty. Not only do we have the best comedians on the planet, we also bring you some of the coolest art and design from every realm.
- Comedy is be collectable. We pride ourselves on limited editions, one-offs, and just plain goofy stuff, and we put as much care into those as into any of our releases.
- Vinyl is rad. Everything sounds better at 33 1/3 RPM (occasionally at 45).
- Curation is key. If you like one comic on our roster, chances are pretty good you’re going to find more to your liking. Some won’t fit the bill, but we’re happy to make recommendations.
- Political correctness, hack comedy, and polite laughter are over. STAND UP! COMEDY IS CALLING!
Dan Schlissel had an odd route to comedy; it came through Nebraska Punk rock. Born on the East Coast the son of a Holocaust survivor father and a Native Israeli mother into a strong Jewish community till the ripe age of 12 at which point his parents up and moved to the somewhat perplexing locale of Kearney Nebraska. A land of cows, corn, blue collars and red necks. It was on this cow patty laden soil that Dan stumbled into the world of Punk rock; an inﬂuence that would permeate through every aspect of Schlissel’s career. First as a pioneer or Midwestern punk and later as a Grammy winning comedy producer – while getting his Bachelor of Science in Physics at the University of Nebraska Lincoln he started the now famed -Ism/Ismist Recordings in his dorm room. Inspired by Sub Pop, Amphetamine Reptile, Discord, SST and Touch and Go. Ismist became an important pat of Midwestern indy rock releasing records from the likes of House of Large Sizes, Killdozer, and putting out the ﬁrst recordings of the now multi-platinum favorite of Spencer’s Gifts employees: Slipknot. He also released the single Saddle Creek by Polecat which Bright Eye’s Connor Oberest named his label after.
In 1998 Schlissel moved to Minneapolis – falling in love with the city after a particularly rousing Bauhaus concert. Within a few months he met burgeoning stand up comedian Lewis Black whom Dan produced six records, including three that were nominatied and one that won a Grammy (The Carnegie Hall Performance). Dan has gone on too produce and executive produce over a hundred standup records. He is an internationally recognized comedy expert producing not only for his own label but for other large labels as well as television and DVDs and Mexico’s very ﬁrst Stand Up Comedy festival.