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 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.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PERFORMING STAND UP?
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?
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.