2019 St. Louis Independent Comedy Profile: Ricky Royal

We’re spending the next month or so profiling the comics in the St. Louis scene. We’ll be covering a range of comics from seasoned pros, to open mic comics booking their first shows. Our goal is to give you a glimpse at who you can expect to see, no matter where you experience live comedy.

Most Monday nights, you can find Ricky Royal at The Laugh Lounge‘s open mic helping new comics learn the ins and outs of stand up.

NAME

Ricky Royal

SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/iamrickyroyal
Snap Chat: rickyroyalstl

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PERFORMING STAND UP?

5 Years

DESCRIBE YOUR MATERIAL/STYLE OF PERFORMING TO SOMEONE WHO HASN’T SEEN YOU

I try to deal with the inner workings of the family structure from multiple angles. Not that I’m anywhere near these levels, but I like to think I’m a mix of Bernie Mac, Chris Rock and Kevin Hart .

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING THING, PERSONALLY, THIS YEAR, ABOUT STAND UP?

Seeing the growth and advancement of peers I started with or have gotten close too. Including, Larry Greene, Vince Bryant, Reggie Edwards, & Mooe Williams.

CURRENTLY, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE WORKING TO OVERCOME, IN STAND UP COMEDY?

Taking the time to build necessary relationships when I still work two jobs and have a family that requires a lot of my time.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST COMEDY GOAL FOR THE NEXT YEAR?

Definitely get more bookings, and increase my social media presence.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN BEFORE YOU STARTED PERFORMING?

That comedy is a marathon, not a sprint

IF YOU WERE A BEVERAGE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?

Coke cause I’m classic ( super corny)

PICK ANY HORROR MOVIE. HOW WOULD YOU SURVIVE?

Wow this is hard, I don’t watch horror films. Let’s say “Hostel,” because I would’ve definitely stayed in better hotels, and not been in that predicament in the first place.

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO PROMOTE?

I’ll be at The Laugh Lounge in September and have two super dope podcasts coming soon!

Catch Ricky around town and check back tomorrow as we continue our profile of the St. Louis comedy.

2019 St. Louis Independent Comedy Profile: Greg Warren

We’re spending the next month or so profiling the comics in the St. Louis scene. We’ll be covering a range of comics from seasoned pros, to open mic comics booking their first shows. Our goal is to give you a glimpse at who you can expect to see, no matter where you experience live comedy.

Greg Warren is a nationally touring headliner and has been featured on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Presents, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, BET and CMT. Greg is a fan favorite on the nationally syndicated Bob and Tom Radio Show and can be heard daily on Sirius/XM.

Greg regularly attends the weekly open mic on Tuesdays at the St. Louis Funny Bone, where you can watch him work on new material, and, if you’re a comic, possibly get a piece of good advice from him in the pre-show meeting.

NAME

Greg Warren

SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION

Website: http://www.gregwarrencomedy.com

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PERFORMING STAND UP?

A while.

DESCRIBE YOUR MATERIAL/STYLE OF PERFORMING TO SOMEONE WHO HASN’T SEEN YOU

I like to have definitive punchlines. I like to include some element of self deprecation. I think most of my premises are biographical and come from a place of honesty. I like to sprinkle in a little dialogue between myself and some character. I like Bob Newhart. I liked Eddie Murphy when I was a kid.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING THING, PERSONALLY, THIS YEAR, ABOUT STAND UP?


I just shot an hour special. It was a lot of fun. We did it in Edwardsville at The Wildey which a meant a lot of friends, family and fans were able to attend. Some comedy club owners that I have known for more than 20 years flew in. I got to do a lot of TV stuff in my 30’s and 40’s. I think I thought most of that was over with. I really tried to enjoy and appreciate this one.

My buddies Tim Convy and Sean O’Brien opened up for me and did a nice job. Dan McKenzie, the box office guy at The Funny Bone, and a legend in STL comedy, actually made it out. He was the star of the after-party.

I was also pretty happy this Tuesday night when three new jokes worked at The Funny Bone Open Mic.

CURRENTLY, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE WORKING TO OVERCOME, IN STAND UP COMEDY?

I think it is always a little tricky when you record a CD or a shoot a special. You have to start over. The first 20 minutes of the next project seem to be the hardest. I have coasted at certain points in my career. I need to fight that over the next few months.

That and dealing with Sean O’Brien. I give the guy a lot of good advice. Usually it takes about 7 years to kick in and then he tells me about it like it’s his idea.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST COMEDY GOAL FOR THE NEXT YEAR?

Aw man. If I write this down, I have to actually work on it. I’ll give you two.

1. Make significant progress towards a new hour. I’d like to discover something new in the way I perform while I’m doing that.

2. I want to produce a wrestling sitcom targeted specifically to amateur wrestling fans. I’ve shot a wrestling mockumentary, and a bunch of silly videos, but I’d like to take it to the next level. I’ve only been talking about doing this for 12 years.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN BEFORE YOU STARTED PERFORMING?

Keep writing. No mater what.

IF YOU WERE A BEVERAGE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?

No.

PICK ANY HORROR MOVIE. HOW WOULD YOU SURVIVE?

I hate horror movies. I think I saw Evil Dead in high school. I think a tree attacked someone at one point. My Dad’s buddy Joe made a bunch of money spraying trees. I probably would have called Joe.

In retrospect, that would be dumb. I think Joe’s spray was intended to make the trees thrive.

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO PROMOTE?

I have a bunch. They are on my site.

All of Greg’s CDs can be found via your favorite place to listen to CDs. Buy/Stream him now, and check back tomorrow as our profile of the St. Louis comedy scene continues.

2019 St. Louis Independent Comedy Profile: Chris Cyr

We’re spending the next month or so profiling the comics in the St. Louis scene. We’ll be covering a range of comics from seasoned pros, to open mic comics booking their first shows. Our goal is to give you a glimpse at who you can expect to see, no matter where you experience live comedy.

Chris Cyr is the host of Impolite Company, a podcast that begins it’s third season with a new episode dropping tomorrow afternoon. It’s also a monthly stand up showcase in downtown St. Louis that’s just celebrated its fourth anniversary. He is the co-host of Wild Card Comedy, where he and JC Sibala have been providing a weekly open mic since 2014.

Chris is also the editor of this site and is typing about himself in the third person. He never knows where to put himself in the publication order of these profiles, but figured today is as good a day as any. He’s including this paragraph because he feels that’s the ethical thing to do.

NAME

Chris Cyr

SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TheChrisCyr
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/chrisdcyr/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/christopher.cyr
Website: http://www.christophercyr.com

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PERFORMING STAND UP?

Six years.

DESCRIBE YOUR MATERIAL/STYLE OF PERFORMING TO SOMEONE WHO HASN’T SEEN YOU

When I typed this question, I forgot I’d eventually have to answer it myself.

I usually describe myself as the guy who tells your grandma the most deviant stories about his life, and she’s loving every word of it. Which might not be a helpful description. But it’s accurate. Most of my material is either auto-biographical, or absurd thoughts, or combinations of the two. It’s all focused around a philosophy of targeted hedonism.

I’m a storyteller, who’s learned to tell a joke. My biggest influences in writing are people like Izzard, Birbiglia, and Kinane. I’m not sure who my performing style reminds me of. In truth, it’s me, but probably with bits and pieces of people I respect and learned from mixed in.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING THING, PERSONALLY, THIS YEAR, ABOUT STAND UP?

I don’t know how to pick! Year One Chris Cyr would be happy with almost everything Year Six Chris Cyr got to do.

I started working clubs outside of St. Louis this year and it’s going well. This was a fun milestone for me.

Also, this year I realized Impolite Company, my monthly showcase at The Crack Fox, has become a show local and visiting comics want to perform on. I received some great feedback on the show and it made me really happy about how it’s evolved. I guess that really an exciting thing that’s happened over the last four years, and not just this year. But this is the year I had the realization. So I’m counting it.

Oh, and it wasn’t performing comedy, but it was a ton of fun. I was a contestant on Ask Me Another this year. Not only was it a great experience, but I learned a lot by hearing how a two hour live show was pared down to a one hour broadcast.

AAA++ Would definitely do again.

CURRENTLY, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE WORKING TO OVERCOME, IN STAND UP COMEDY?

To Chill the Eff Out

I don’t think this is unique to comedy, as I know other performers trying to learn this same lesson. But so much of our self-worth is tied up in getting booked, being respected, or being recognized for our work, that we start seeing malice in a lot of places malice doesn’t exist when we don’t get the things we think we’re entitled to.

I had a brush with my own ego back in December that resulted in an embarrassing incident with a booker (who took that incident incredibly well), and it showed me how ridiculous I was being.

So this year has been all about stomping down that ego, practicing actual humility, and letting go of my initial reaction to be jealous of the good things that happen to my friends, to be upset that the barriers of entry don’t just crumble before me, and to take it as a personal affront when the universe doesn’t automatically make me its center.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST COMEDY GOAL FOR THE NEXT YEAR?

I like my hour so far. My goal for this year is to edit it, get input from people I trust, work until I perform it in a way that is consistently funny, and record it.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN BEFORE YOU STARTED PERFORMING?

The personal stuff is the good stuff. People can get oversimplified bumper sticker level political insights from a million different sources. Nothing about doing that on stage is particularly clever. Write what you care about, as it relates to you. That’s the stuff people can’t get from somewhere else. But, I’m not a cop. You do what feels right.

IF YOU WERE A BEVERAGE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?

Most people probably expect me to say “Coffee” here. But the question is about what I would be, not about what I’m drinking right now at 2:30 a.m. on a Friday Night/Saturday Morning.

I would be an iced Earl Grey tea. In it’s normal form, Earl Grey denotes culture and refinement. Put it over ice and people don’t know what to make of it. They only know that even though it seems vulgar, it tastes great and clears up a lot of the stuffiness they didn’t even know they were feeling in their head.

PICK ANY HORROR MOVIE. HOW WOULD YOU SURVIVE?

Candyman.

Let’s assume that I’m required to summon him by the gods of this movie-verse. I would form a secret society world wide with hundreds of members. Each member would be assigned a specific time of day that they would be required to stand in front of a mirror and say “Candyman” five times a day. This network would be designed so that as soon as he was summoned in one place, another member would summon him somewhere else. This would be repeated on a 24 hour cycle with multiple redundancies in place to account for human error.

Also, Candyman would be played by Tony Todd.

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO PROMOTE?

September 13 – Impolite Company: South Side – Heavy Anchor
September 14 – O’Fallon Out Loud – Rendezvous Cafe
September 17 – Yours, Mine, and Ours – The Heavy Anchor
September 20 – Impolite Company – The Crack Fox
September 29 – Funny is Funny – Helium Comedy Club – St. Louis
October 4 – 5 – Kenosha Comedy Club
October 18-19 – Helium Comedy Club – St. Louis


Follow Chris on social media and check out his podcast at ImpoliteCompany.com! Check back tomorrow as we continue to highlight the area’s stand up comics.

2019 St. Louis Independent Comedy Profile: Rafe Williams

We’re spending the next month or so profiling the comics in the St. Louis scene. We’ll be covering a range of comics from seasoned pros, to open mic comics booking their first shows. Our goal is to give you a glimpse at who you can expect to see, no matter where you experience live comedy.

Rafe Williams is one of the hardest working comics in the St. Louis scene. He’s a touring comic who just recording an album with 800 LB Gorilla, and he still finds time to support the local scene by running a weekly stand up showcase that’s given a lot of stage time to St. Louis comics, and an open mic every Monday night, both at The Improv Shop.

NAME

Rafe Williams

SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamrafewilliams
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamrafewilliams/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iamrafewilliams
Website: www.rafewilliams.com

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PERFORMING STAND UP?

7 years

DESCRIBE YOUR MATERIAL/STYLE OF PERFORMING TO SOMEONE WHO HASN’T SEEN YOU

All heart baby.

An effective and engaging storyteller whose ability to be vulnerable both captivates and disarms audiences. He breathes life into characters that pull you into his world, and has a likability that keeps you laughing regardless of the subject matter, as he examines topics with honesty, wit, and social conscience. One foot planted in progressive dissidence and the other in his humble mid-western roots, he takes on the world as he sees it.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING THING, PERSONALLY, THIS YEAR, ABOUT STAND UP?

Recording my debut album was a nice milestone and reinvigorated me to write.

Also, Colin Quinn watched, and more importantly, actually listened to, my set in Buffalo and said something very thoughtful, complimentary, and astute. It was a private moment, comic to comic in a green room, and it meant a lot to me.

“You have a clear voice and point-of-view and you are a strong joke writer, and when you decide to care just a little less about whether everyone likes you, that will be the material that will help you break out and I look forward to hearing it.”

It was kinda like Keith Richards saying you are pretty good at guitar and he likes your sound, and he wants you to make a concept album.

CURRENTLY, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE WORKING TO OVERCOME, IN STAND UP COMEDY?

See above. Figuring out what the next thing is I want to say. Also, Writing a goddamn pilot.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST COMEDY GOAL FOR THE NEXT YEAR?

1. Write a new half hour that I love. That really meets the standard I have set for myself.
2. Make something cool with my friends.
3. Not worry about the gatekeepers of the business or validation and focus on the craft. If I can do that the other stuff will happen on its own.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN BEFORE YOU STARTED PERFORMING?

1. The amount of work you do offstage directly impacts the rate at which you improve onstage, listening, revising and editing are important.

Bonus: No one needs or wants to hear your clumsy takes on hot button issues. Learn to juggle bowling pins before you try chainsaws.

IF YOU WERE A BEVERAGE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?

Water. Wine tastes great, but when real thirst arises, everyone drinks water.

PICK ANY HORROR MOVIE. HOW WOULD YOU SURVIVE?

JAWS. I would have stayed in St. Louis and swam at Lake of the Ozarks where the only thing that bites is the Ozark Mountain folks who sneak on your boat at night and it wouldn’t hurt because they don’t have any teeth.

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO PROMOTE?


Sep 7 – Comedy Showcase at the Shop – Improv Shop
Sep 12 – Burnside Improv – Improv Shop
Sep 13 – Rizz Show Live – Pop’s
Sep 24 – WSOC Top 101 Competition – Casino Queen
Sep 26 -28 – Triple Feature Weekend – The Loony Bin, Oklahoma City
Oct 11 – Well if it isn’t Comedy – The Rino, Kansas City, MO
Oct 17-19 – Indianapolis Helium Comedy Club
Oct 31 – Burnside does a Scarold – Improv Shop

Follow Rafe on social media and buy his album when it drops! Check back tomorrow as we continue to highlight the area’s stand up comics.

2019 St. Louis Independent Comedy Profile: Tom Brown

We’re spending the next month or so profiling the comics in the St. Louis scene. We’ll be covering a range of comics from seasoned pros, to open mic comics booking their first shows. Our goal is to give you a glimpse at who you can expect to see, no matter where you experience live comedy.

Every Saturday, Tom Brown brings a roster of comics together for a fun show in a comic book shop on the city’s South Side. He’s also a vital part of St. Louis’s open mic scene, providing stage time to both new and professional comics alike every Thursday.

NAME

Tom Brown

SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheTomBrown
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/TheTomBrown /
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheTomBrown
Website: https://Thetombrown.com

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PERFORMING STAND UP?

4 years

DESCRIBE YOUR MATERIAL/STYLE OF PERFORMING TO SOMEONE WHO HASN’T SEEN YOU

My style is loud but smart. You’ll hear some dumb stuff from but I will be the first to admit it’s dumb. The comic I might say I am most like is Patton Oswalt (but, with like 1/100th the talent).

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING THING, PERSONALLY, THIS YEAR, ABOUT STAND UP?

When I got a spot at Gilda’s Laugh Fest in Grand Rapids. It is one of the biggest comedy festivals in the country, in my home state and helps support a great cause. Also, it helped me legitimize what I am doing to friends and family.

CURRENTLY, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE WORKING TO OVERCOME, IN STAND UP COMEDY?

Coming up with new material. It is hard to focus on writing when you’re running shows and working a million hours a week and also trying not to neglect my family.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST COMEDY GOAL FOR THE NEXT YEAR?

My goal right now is to get more personal. I hate being open and exposed, because growing up, any time I let myself be vulnerable or exposed I would get hurt. On a personal side, I have had a rough year but I’m hoping to find a way to tap that into something to better myself and the material I present on stage.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN BEFORE YOU STARTED PERFORMING?

Everything.

IF YOU WERE A BEVERAGE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?

A sugar free Red Bull. A little bitter, but full of energy

PICK ANY HORROR MOVIE. HOW WOULD YOU SURVIVE?

Shaun of the Dead. Hold up in the basement super quiet waiting for people with guns to show up. Honestly, do you think I would survive any horror movie?

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO PROMOTE?

South City Comedy Series is every Saturday night at Apotheosis Comics. I’ll also be in Jacksonville, IL at the American Legion on October 9th. Also, last Saturday of each month were going to do a late show (10 pm) called Filthy Comics featuring a more raw style of comedy. Follow http://www.facebook.com/SouthCityComedy for details.

Catch Tom around the St. Louis Comedy Scene, and check back tomorrow as we continue to highlight the area’s stand up comics.