Come this February, River City Improv will celebrate its 20th anniversary, and if you have yet to experience one of the troupe's sidesplitting improv sets, you best remedy that soon. Rick Truer, one of the founding members of the group, estimates that between its public shows and private event performances, RCI performs roughly 60-80 times per year, so there are plenty of chances to check it out.
Chad Daniels is a comedian whose standup act is incredibly difficult to describe. One minute he'll be setting up intricate grammar jokes in a Dmetri Martin-esque fashion, then in the blink of an eye his subject matter switches to penis jokes and locker room fare.
Dan St. Germain knows where a good Internet short can get a comedian and has spent time perfecting that art. As a result, his shorts have appeared on the front page of Funny or Die and his series "Kicking Dan Out" is featured on the My Damn Channel Comedy Network.
St. Germian puts all his efforts into writing, producing and acting in his shorts and readily dismisses the notion that just simply focusing on being creative will get the job done. “You can't do that in this day and age,” he said.
When it comes to telling jokes, Michael Che feels honesty is the best policy.
Most children grow up with parents whose professions are paradoxically mysterious and boring, with job titles such as "senior project engineer" or "regional manager." Nate Bargatze's dad, however, was in an entirely different league.
He was, quite literally, a clown... at least until he switched careers to world-renowned magician. None of this, however, ever phased Bargatze.
Erik Griffin is a first-generation American, born to a mother from Central America and a father of European descent. Because of his genes, Griffin is what he refers to as "very racially ambiguous," a trait that has proven valuable in his comedy.
Mo Mandel recently sold three different sitcoms, is working on a movie script and is wowing audiences across the country with his crude, unpredictable humor. He's managed to do all of this by the ripe age of 30.
Three years ago, Sarah Cavanaugh was a self-described "average West Michigan mom." She added "comedian" to her resume when coworkers encouraged her to sign up for a community comedy showcase during the inaugural year of the 10-day comedy festival LaughFest.
Folk-comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates started out with a series of lo-fi YouTube videos that Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome had created for the amusement of friends and family. Thousands of hits later, it became apparent the duo was on to something.
Sometimes comedy is a family affair – at least for Gary Valentine. Take for instance the way he was introduced to the world of comedy. "It was in 1988 when my mother signed me up for an open mic night at a local comedy club," Valentine said.
Where most comedians have to explain to their parents why they decided to give up their office job and toss out their college credentials to pursue a career in comedy, Valentine had his mother there egging him on.
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