Dr. Grins, Grand Rapids
Aug. 2-4, show times at 8, 9 and 10:30 p.m.
thebob.com, (616) 356-2000
Rob Little was working as a computer programmer at IBM when he decided to transition his career into stand-up comedian. He sent out a company-wide email that read, "If you aren't happy here, quit your job and follow your dream," and then tried to follow through with the statement. It didn't go according to plan.
"The IBM boss wouldn't let me quit because they had put too much time into me," said the Michigan-based comic. "So I was supposed to take a leave of absence, which was awesome because I got insurance for another year without even having to work."
During this time he made his mark in the local comedy scene, and was even named the best up-and-coming comedian by the Detroit Free Press.
"I sent [the link] to my IBM boss and he said, 'You're not coming back, are you?'"
Nope. Instead, Little went on to build up his best up-and-coming comedian status by touring clubs across the U.S., releasing multiple DVDs and CDs and appearing on TV. He's appeared on Comedy Central, was referred to as "happiest comic in America" on "Last Comic Standing," has acted in commercials for companies ranging from Chemistry.com to Snickers and appeared in an episode of "Untold Stories of the E.R."
"I had to do my serious acting chops for that," Little said. "I played a cop who got his legs crushed in an accident. It was ridiculous, it was horrible acting."
As for future projects, Little is hoping to get his show "Here's A Little History" onto cable TV (History and Discovery are just a couple of networks interested in picking it up). The show follows Little to different historical sites around the country as he learns interesting facts about the area and reenacts historical events. And seeing as Little was born and raised in Michigan, it only seemed fitting that the first two episodes should deal with a couple of Michigan favorites: Motown Records and The Henry Ford.
This month, Little comes back to his home state for a performance at Dr. Grins, where he'll showcase his tasteful wisecracks and self-deprecating humor.
"It's really goofy and silly fun, and it's nothing that anybody is going to be offended by."
Other Comedy Events
By Krysta Thelen and Charlotte Park
Michigan Laughs Weekend
Humor and Music with a Michigan Twist
Aug. 9-11, 7:30 p.m.
howmetplayhouse.org, (231) 894- 4048
Starting off this three-day event on the Howmet stage are The Leffring Sisters. Jera, Jenna and Jillian from Muskegon will use music of the Broadway showstoppers and Great American Songbook classics to humor and entertain. Taking up the second night of musical glamour is Neil Jacobs and his classical 12-string guitar. Jacobs dazzles with his fast flying fingers and belly-laugh stories about his worldly journeys. Finishing up the eventful weekend, River City Improv interweaves skits, games and songs to create unique entertainment experiences. Even audience suggestions are encouraged.
Grand Valley State University, Allendale
Aug. 29, 7 p.m.
Former "Last Comic Standing" finalist Amy Schumer is one of the fastest rising stand up comedians on the scene. In addition to recently filming Seeking a Friend for the End of the World with Steve Carell, Schumer has found success on the small screen, appearing on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "30 Rock" and Adult Swim's new favorite "Delocated." Come laugh your ass off at Schumer's dirty, all-so-wrong-but-so-funny humor.