June 16, 2024
Rockie Talkie

Elusive Comedy: An Exclusive Interview with Gallatin’s Underground Comedian – Rockie Talkie
with Sierra Watson

The sun sets over downtown Bozeman, and I find myself nestled in the dim ambiance of Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot. My iced coffee is shaking – either from anticipation or an overdose of caffeine. Wild Joe’s isn’t even supposed to be open right now, but for some reason it is. An unexpected text message earlier in the day had led me here. I had been trying to nail this interview for a while. The message simply said, “7 pm. Don’t be late. And Sierra… bring your own cup. -RT”

Enter Rockie Talkie, draped in an oversized hoodie, dark sunglasses despite the twilight, and a hat pulled low. Their appearance gives nothing away.

Sierra: Rockie, thanks for meeting. Let’s jump right in. Your comedy – it’s become the stuff of legends. Some locals still aren’t aware that you even exist, but maybe this interview will change that. Yet, your face remains a mystery. Why so secretive?

Rockie Talkie: Sierra, in a town where everyone’s either a genuine legend or a legend in their own mind, being known for the unknown is my little twist.

Sierra: It certainly keeps everyone on their toes. Speaking of toes, your Grape Nuts bit… I mean, how did that even come about?

Rockie Talkie: (Laughs) Did you just segue from “toes” to “nuts”? Maybe you should write comedy. Ah, the famed Mackenzie River House Salad bit. You know, it’s just, this salad, their premier “house” salad, has been around for decades and it’s like nobody is being honest with Mackenzie River about it.

Rockie Talkie: You know, there’s a saying — ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ In Bozeman, it’s ‘When at Mackenzie River, expect your salad to taste like morning regret.’

Rockie Talkie: You ever have those days when you can’t decide between breakfast and lunch? Mackenzie River decided, ‘Why not both?’ It’s the Bozeman version of a mullet: business in the greens, party in the cereal.

Sierra: Another thing people can’t stop talking about is your deep dive into the profound shame of forgetting a reusable bag at the Co-op. Care to share?

Rockie Talkie: Oh, that? It basically wrote itself. It’s a universal Bozeman experience. There you are, strolling through the Co-op with all your organic, non-GMO, locally-sourced goods, feeling like the eco-champion of the world. And then, boom! You’re at the counter, you start unloading your basket, and you realize you’ve forgotten your reusable bag. A chill passes through the air while fresh sweat hits your brow. It’s unnerving. The cashier gives you that look. Everyone behind you tuts in silent judgment. And suddenly, you’re not the eco-champion. You’re the villain in a Disney movie, except your evil plan wasn’t world domination but the unconscionable eco-disaster of forgetting a tote bag.

Sierra: I think we’ve all been there.

Sierra: (pauses to reflect in shame)

Sierra: Now, your Cactus Records roast – how did that come about?

Rockie Talkie: Ah, Cactus! It’s a true story. Love the place. I wandered in looking for vinyl and got caught in a deep discussion with a cashier about the existential undertones in 80s rock ballads. Left with a Bob Ross t-shirt and a sense of my place in the universe but forgot the vinyl. Ran into a stranger the next morning at Wild Joe’s wearing the same Bob Ross t-shirt who had the exact same shirt origin story. I wouldn’t have believed it if I wasn’t there.

Sierra: That’s so Bozeman. Before we wrap up, where can we catch your next spontaneous gig? The Broken Arrow in Manhattan? Maybe somewhere in Belgrade?

Rockie Talkie: (Grinning) Now, Sierra, you know I can’t give that away.

Sierra: Cryptic as always. Thanks for taking the time, Rockie. And for the rest of you, keep an ear to the ground and an eye on social. Rockie Talkie could pop up anywhere in Gallatin County.

Sierra: Oh, before we part, any chance you would do one of your local rapid fire bits?

Rockie Talkie: Ha, sure… gimme a location.

Sierra: (pauses) let’s go classic Bozeman… Ale Works.

Rockie Talkie: (pauses like Eminem before a rap battle)

Rockie Talkie: Ah, Montana Ale Works – where the beer flows like the Gallatin River in spring and the wait times feel like Montana winters.

Rockie Talkie: The last time I tried to get a table at Montana Ale Works without a reservation, they asked if I had any next-of-kin they should notify.

Rockie Talkie: I opt for the bar. Saw a guy order a Bud Light. The bartender literally handed him a map to Billings.

Rockie Talkie: I get to order some food… finally. Ordered a bison burger and it came with a birth certificate and ancestry report. Talk about farm-to-fork!

End of Interview.

Published in Bozeman Grit, August 11, 2023.


Looking for those fine Bozeman establishments?

Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot

Bozeman Food Co-op

Cactus Records

Mackenzie River Pizza

Montana Ale Works