Funnier By The Lake

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How To: Comedy Show in a Non-Comedy Venue

There is a common misconception that comedians only perform in comedy clubs.

Truth is, we perform everywhere and anywhere we can. Comedians find themselves performing in bars, at weddings, in VFW halls, and even house parties.

Some of these shows are great; some are a disaster. It is what it is.

Last week, I performed at a disaster of a gig. I’m not going to name the location, for two reasons: (1) the owners were sweethearts of folks who just happened to know nothing about comedy. (2) this isn’t about trashing a business, it’s about providing information. The owners wanted to give comedy a try, but made the mistake of believing their responsibilities ended with hiring two comedians for the night. ...  Read full post

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Cart On Top Of The Horse

As the expression goes, let’s not get the cart in front of the horse.

Sure that makes sense. I have been on stage since I can remember and mainly from high school until present. I realized somewhere between my first blindsided tackle and first audition that I prefer the darkness of a performance space to the bottom of a football pile up.

I put off major human milestones in the hopes of the next break in comedy and performing. My wife still thinks it was a terrible prank to take her ring shopping at nine months, and then propose–over four years later. (It was the economy, I swear!) We got married, and promptly jumped into parenthood, because we were madly in love and tired of the brunch scene. I also was ready to write a new stand-up comedy set on parenthood. ...  Read full post


“The Comedy Nosh(TM)” Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

For the last year, corned beef and comedy have gone hand in hand at Max and Benny’s Restaurant in Northbrook. Imagine matzo ball soup, a gigantic Reuben sandwich, a massive piece of chocolate cake and even a glass of wine or beer, all while enjoying a night of professional stand-up comedians and delicious humor. Welcome to “The Comedy NoshTM.” ...  Read full post


Comedy Flight Takes Off At Cellar Gate In Highwood

Peter-John Byrnes at Cellar Gate in Highwood

You might not think that fine wine and stand-up comedy go together, but they made for the perfect pairing as “The Comedy Flight” debuted on Thursday night, January 11, to a packed room at Cellar Gate in Highwood, Illinois.

Owned by Kayla Steffens, a retired elementary teacher with a passion for travel, meeting people, sharing stories and sipping wine, Cellar Gate Wine Market and Bistro opened in the fall of 2008, offering a variety of wines gathered from small production vineyards around the world. This rustic and intimate venue also offers wine tastings, live acoustic music and game nights. It is also available for private parties and special events. However, Cellar Gate never had hosted live, stand-up comedy. ...  Read full post


No, Being Born on Christmas Day Is Not Awesome

Downtown Normal Illinois 1989

Inevitably, when an acquaintance, bank teller, or random customer service rep asks for my birthdate, and I reply, “December 25, 1967,” I get a similar response. “You were born on Christmas? That’s so awesome!” No. No, it’s not. It can actually be pretty awful.

No. No, it’s not. It can actually be pretty awful. ...  Read full post


HOW I BECAME A STAND-UP COMEDIAN IN MY FORTIES? FUNNY STORY…

How I suddenly became a stand-up comedian at the age of forty-five is a tale worth the price of admission—which in the case of a blog, is free.

I’m asked several times a week how this all came about. So, I figured I’d type it all out and share the story through the tubes of the Interweb.

You’ll Laugh. You’ll Cry. And, then you’ll move on with your life!

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. And then you’ll move on with your life. Because, this is my story, not yours. But, maybe the how and why will inspire you. ...  Read full post


How To Sell Your Car On Craigslist (And Not Be Murdered)

How To Sell Your Car On Craigslist And Not Be Murdered

I recently sold my car on Craigslist… and I didn’t get murdered. Actually, I’ve bought and sold a number of cars and motorcycles, as well as a variety of other items, using Craigslist and so far, not one transaction has resulted in my murder.

All that being said, I feel it is incumbent upon me to clearly state that I can not be held accountable ...  Read full post


BUCKLE DOWN AND TAKE A GIANT, HEALTHY QUIT!

BUCKLE DOWN AND TAKE A GIANT, HEALTHY QUIT
In Defense of Embracing Failure and Bowing Out

Recently, I resigned from an organization with which I had worked closely for a number of years. I served on the board and was an officer. I was passionate about our mission and was highly engaged in all of its activities and programs. ...  Read full post


The Top 5 Reasons You Should Ignore “Top 5” Lists

There he is. The pusher man that is always there, standing in the shadows, just beyond the glow of the lamppost, willing and able to feed lists to the aching jones of content junkies, via social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

It knows where they’ve been and where they will go next.

Better than the best drug dealer, social media knows its customers. It uses algorithms and metrics. It doesn’t just know where they are. It knows where they’ve been and where they will most likely go next.  It knows what its customers like. No, it knows what they need to stop the itch, make them well and settle them into a comfortable nod. ...  Read full post