Steve Trevino always knew he wanted to be a stand-up comic. "I remember watching my parents gathering around the TV to watch Richard Pryor," he says, "and me not being able to watch because they would put me to bed. I'd sneak into the hallway and lie (there) and just listen. I'd hear my parents and my uncles and aunts … loving it and I'm like, 'Man, I want to do that.’ ”
"I'm not like a goofy looking guy," explains comedian Mike Vecchione. "I look like a cop. I'm like 5-foot-8 and kind of have an aggressive look. It's kind of off-putting. I have to disarm the audience and let them know I'm not that guy, so I tell a couple of jokes about that." A former educator, Vecchione turned to comedy after he found himself bored on weeknights.
Ian Bagg continues to prove he is a true citizen of the English-speaking world. The Los Angeles-based comic, born to a Canadian father and an Australian mother, is soon to be wed to a girl from Virginia Beach, Va. "When I asked her mom if I could marry her she asked what my back-up plan was," Bagg says. "I’ve been doing comedy so long I didn't realize what she was talking about, so I said 'Ask another girl.' "
Though they live in three separate cities, the McElroy brothers — Justin, Travis and Griffin — are as close now as they were when they were growing up in Huntington, W.V. In some ways they are closer thanks to the wonderful world of podcasting and their program My Brother, My Brother and Me, a comedy advice show.
At the beginning of his stand-up career, Paul Mecurio was being pulled in several directions at once. He had a day job on Wall Street, and family back in Rhode Island trying to get him to move back and help run the family furniture business, all while secretly doing open mics all over Manhattan. Mecurio performs at Go Bananas in Montgomery Thursday-Sunday.
Paula Poundstone was very young when she started her comedy career in suburban Boston. One only has to look at the summary sent home to her parents at the end of her Kindergarten year in May of 1965. The teacher wrote, "I have enjoyed many of Paula’s humorous comments about our activities." Paula loved the idea that an adult found her funny and knew then she wanted to make people laugh.
Comedian Tom Simmons has a lot to talk about on a variety of subjects, from conspiracies to being the father of a young son. “I have a bunch of stuff I’ve worked on about the Federal Reserve Bank,” he says. It sounds mundane, but Simmons looks for the humor in such subjects and finds a lot. Simmons performs at Go Bananas Thursday-Sunday.
At some point after starting a career in stand-up comedy, one realizes that you might have to make some sort of move. For St. Louis-native Gabe Kea, that move was to Cincinnati. Cincinnati, it turns out, offered many advantages, including proximity to several other places like Dayton, Indianapolis, Columbus, Lexington and Louisville, all cities with at least one comedy club (if not more). Kea performs at Go Bananas in Montgomery Thursday-Sunday.
Todd Barry comes to town this week on the Spring Value Tour along with comedian Neil Hamburger, the bizarre alter ego of musician Greg Turkington. It’s a nice juxtaposition of styles, with Barry’s casual manner providing a stark counterpoint to Hamburger’s frenetic delivery.
When he hears people describe fellow comedians Jon Stewart and Bill Maher as “liberal comics,” Jimmy Dore bristles. “They’re comedians,” he insists. “They tell jokes.” More than once on his Jimmy Dore Live radio show, as well as his podcast Comedy and Everything Else, he has stated that a comedian should “speak truth to power.”