Comedian and unabashed pop-punk fan Dustin Meadows has been making people laugh via projects like his monthly pop-culture storytelling event Struck a Nerve, as a cast member of Monday Night Live and just being one of the best damn stand-up performers in the city. Here are a few things he loves.

Comedian and unabashed pop-punk fan Dustin Meadows has been making people laugh via projects like his monthly pop-culture storytelling event Struck a Nerve, as a cast member of Monday Night Live and just being one of the best damn stand-up performers in the city. Here are a few things he loves.

Action movies

I am an unapologetic lover of the genre, and I feel like action movies are widely dismissed from an academic and cultural perspective. I love movies, and I own a ridiculous amount, but for every movie I own like "There Will Be Blood," I'll have something like "Big Trouble In Little China" or "The Transporter" or "Blade II" or "Demolition Man." They're fun and you just can't ignore the charisma and iconic presence of actors like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Kurt Russell or Wesley Snipes, and even newer contemporary action stars like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham. My dream is that one day the Academy will apologize and retroactively give every single Oscar to "Die Hard" and "Commando."

Sad bastard music

Sad songs will always be my favorite. They've always resonated with me since my childhood because I was a sad kid. I still kinda am. I love bands like The Smiths, The Menzingers and Jawbreaker, Pinkerton by Weezer and The Steeldrivers, and my favorite punk songs are mostly about heartbreak (with songs about how much the government and cops suck being a close second). The first time I remember hearing a sad song that really stuck with me was when I saw "Toy Story" as a kid and there's that scene where Buzz Lightyear finds out he's not a real spaceman and tries to fly. Randy Newman's "I Will Go Sailing No More" scores that scene and goddamn, you wanna talk about a song that so perfectly encapsulates that feeling of anxiety and having no sense of purpose or direction in life and it's buried in a children's movie? There's something fucked-up and beautiful about that.

My Epiphone SG

Before I started doing comedy, I spent the 11 years playing in bands of varying quality, ranging from cover bands who played almost exclusively Red Hot Chili Peppers and System Of A Down covers (back in the days when Midgard Comics used to be on Cleveland Avenue and still had shows where bands like Bayside and Something Corporate would play, in addition to my dumb band who would play 11 covers and three original songs) to a band where I tried desperately to find my own musical voice but kept ripping off Bad Religion songs. When I bought this guitar back around 2004, that was sort of the turning point. I started messing around with different styles of guitar playing and started writing punk songs that I was proud of. I still write and practice a couple days a week to keep my chops up, and every time I pick it up I kick myself a little that I'm playing in the privacy of my bedroom and not actually out playing shows so people can hear my songs about girls I like that don't like me.

Columbus

Yeah, I know. Here comes Dustin with the cheap pop. In 2013, I tried to move to Chicago for comedy. Four months later, I had to move back. This city has been great to me since I first moved here in summer of 2011 and in terms of comedy, there's been a great deal of support from local businesses like Mikey's Late Night Slice as well as venues like Wild Goose Creative, Shadowbox Live, Broken Records And Beehives, Spacebar, Tree Bar and The Actual Brewing Company. They have given me financial support and places to do these shows, as well as allowing me the opportunity to book traveling specialty shows like the Underwear Comedy Party and do more experimental things like my Pop Culture Mixtape show, and that's just the rooms where I run shows. When we lost Surly Girl Saloon, home of the longest running comedy open mic in town, Barrel On High offered it a new home and the show has triumphantly marched on. I've lived here for a little over four years now and I've barely cracked the surface of what this city has to offer. I still haven't been to Thurman's, you guys. SORRY.

Gateway Film Center

Anyone who knows me knows of my deep love for movies. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Popular Culture (whoops), with a focus specifically in film. For a time, I actually worked briefly at this establishment and to this day my biggest regret about no longer being there is not getting to see movies for free. But I still regularly see all my movies here, because GFC does a great job balancing mainstream new releases and independent features that I wouldn't be able to see in the multiplexes of the city. I'm also a huge fan of their unique specialty programming, like Hitchcocktober and their annual "Groundhog Day" Marathon. Gateway has also allowed me on a few occasions to do live editions of my now defunct How Have You Not Seen This? podcast as well as Big Dumb Picture Show, a movie interruption show in the style of Mystery Science Theater 3000. They just did a "Conan" double feature while I was on the road and I've never been more bummed about missing a GFC presentation than this one.