Brian Pope has been one of the hottest commodities in the Utah comedy for several years now. You have seen him in virtual every venue possible in the Salt Lake Valley ranging from K Town Komedy in Kearns to Comedy at the Complex to his own monthly showcase at 5 Monkeys and more. We have seen him grow as a comedian right before our eyes and now he putting on his big boy pants and making the big jump to the New York comedy scene where opportunities dwarf what is available here.
I wish him the best of luck and appreciate all the opportunities and advice he has given me and the rest of the comedy scene here in Utah. We will all miss him. Much success Brian!
Describe yourself in 10 words or less?
The most handsome self loather you’ll ever meet.
Who is your favorite Power Ranger and why?
The black Ranger from the original series because the producers of the show felt it wise to make the black Ranger literally black, as in African American, and that’s just racist! So I guess it’s my white guilt that makes me feel for the brotha. I love you Walter Jones!
What celebrity do you want to punch in the face? Why?
I really want to punch Amanda Bynes’ face to make it pretty again.
What got you started in stand up comedy?
There’s only one thing I’m good at, and that’s making people laugh. I was born that way. I really do believe it’s something you have to be born ready to do. Sure it takes years of practice to actually be good at it, but it’s something I have no other way of explaining. So, in a sense, I suppose my parents fucking each other and popping me out is what got me started in stand up comedy.
Who are your biggest inspirations in comedy?
Dave Chappelle, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, and Ellen DeGeneres I would say influenced me the most as far as stand up goes. I would say my style comes from a mash up between them all and I didn’t even realize it until recently. Sure I have favorites like Bill Burr and Jerry Seinfeld, but when it comes to the ones that actually influence my style as a comic, the for mentioned comics would have to be it.
How long have you been doing comedy?
26 years and 9 months.
Who has been the biggest help for you in your comedy career?
The biggest help would be those that support comedy the most, the audience. The fact that people come out to see me and believe in me is a dream come true. I don’t care about money, fame, groupies, or any of that bull shit. I just want to make the world laugh and fortunately for me there is an audience that has allowed me to do so. I would also like to give a shout out to comedian Steve Mcinelly for giving a lot of up and comers the chance to perform in front of a great audience, network, and make some money at his K-Town shows at Club DJs. Also to Ben Fuller for what he’s done with Comedy at The Complex. I suggest everyone look into these, audience or comic.
You are moving to New York very soon, what finally pushed you over the top to make the big jump?
Well, to me, it doesn’t seem like a big jump, it just makes sense. I’m a comic, and want to try and do everything I can to be able to make people laugh for a living, so I need to be in a market that allows you to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to just waltz into New York and be like “Hey I’m here! Where do I sign!” No. I will be starting from the bottom and may never get to make money doing it permanently, but I have to try and in SLC it is 100% impossible. The market just isn’t big enough. So to me it seems normal to go where the business is. People keep telling me how brave I am to just pick up and move; I’m not just picking up and moving. I’m doing exactly what someone in my position is supposed to be doing and that’s going where the market is. Nothing brave about doing what you’re supposed to, in my eyes that is.
What stuff do you have set up there for when you arrive?
A Nathan’s Hot Dog stand and a diet Coke await me.
What is your favorite show that have got to due during your comedy career in Utah?
I love the show’s at 5 Monkeys that I have been producing, but I gotta be honest, K-Town Komedy at Club DJs is my favorite show. It might be because it took me about a year or so to actually win that audience over, but ever since I did I’ll jump on the opportunity to do it whenever possible.
Two words: Jason Harvey. One of Utah’s funniest and most talented comics Jason Harvey will be taking over the show and I can’t think of anyone better for the job. I’m confident he’ll do a far superior job than myself. As far as my favorite show there so far I would have to say the “Rob Roast”. We roasted our friend/local entrepreneur Rob Clark in celebration of his award winning BBQ sauce “Rob Sauce”. It was so much fun and stands out as my most memorable moment at 5 Monkeys.
What was one joke that you have told that has stood out the most?
My Power Rangers joke. That’s what people know me by these days. It’s quoted to me on a daily basis and I must say it makes me giddy inside that people remember me for it. Not too often you hear the Power Rangers laid out as a blueprint for white capitalist propaganda now is it?
What do you think of the local comedy scene? Good and bad?
I think it’s pretty decent for a small market. There are a lot of talented, funny comedians in Salt Lake and being a huge fan of comedy I love watching them every week. That being said, there are strange politics and lack of support between comics sometimes that just has no business existing in such a small market.
What would make it better?
In my opinion, when you live in a small city and want to do stand up you should perform wherever you possibly can as the lack of stages is sometimes crippling. Don’t get involved in anyones war and don’t let promoters or club owners push you around. At the end of the day we live in a city that’s known for churches and skiing, not comedy. No one on the planet has ever said “Man, I need to move to Salt Lake to make it in comedy!” It just isn’t the market to “make it.” Therefore all comics should support each other’s shows and do everything they can to help one another instead of exhibit jealous behaviors or resentment toward someone because of where they decided to perform that week. Some of the things that go on are utterly absurd and no one should feel entitled to anything. I support everyone no matter what, where, or how they are performing. If you’re dead set on being a comic full time your goal should be to perform as much as you can in the market you’re in until you’ve got experience and then move to a market where it’s possible. I love SLC to death and it’s citizens are fantastic comedy fans, but it just isn’t possible to be a full time comic here. Support each other and create new shows, that’s the key to success in SLC before your ultimate goal of relocating.
What are you going to miss most about the Utah scene?
I’m going to miss the comics I see every week, the people I’ve grown with and grown to enjoy watching. It’s going to be hard not to see Natashia Mower talking about how awkward it would be for her to give a hand job, Levi Rounds compare calling someone a hipster to calling someone a faggot, Christopher Stephenson telling us how he locks his kid in the dog kennel, Christian Peiper’s hatred of buildings, Jay Whitaker’s excellent crowd work, Andy Farnsworth’s unmatchable riffing ability, Manuel Rodriguez’ offensive tongue, Steve Soelberg’s Kevin Bacon face, Jamie Maxfield’s beer enthusiasm, Melissa Merlot’s titty discussions, Jason Harvey’s various stripper and cocaine references, Blake Bard showing up sometimes when he isn’t grumpy and killing it, Steve McInelly telling us about fucking his wife while she’s in the front row, Lamar Kellywood saying something really fucked up with a huge shit eating grin on his face! Do you realize how lucky I, as well as the entire state of Utah is to get to experience this every single week???? Not experiencing it will be hard to get used to.
Who are some of your favorite new local comics?
I feel like this question is here so a certain someone can hear their name, and they will. Jordon Mazzioti (ok I said it), Nicholas Smith, Michael Schooley, and J’myle Koretz just to name a few.
What shows do you have coming up?
Saturday September 14th will be “Peace Out Pope!” live @5 Monkeys starting at 7. Not only is this a great comedy show but also my going away party. https://www.facebook.com/events/166158693569229/ Tuesday September 17th @The SLC Comedy Carnivale. This will be at The Complex in SLC and all proceeds go toward the MS Society. https://www.facebook.com/events/520001358086238
How can people connect with you?
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