Christopher brings a dry sarcastic, angry style to the stage that makes you laugh on the outside while crying from the inside at the same time. His stand up has been recognized by many local publications such as Salt Lake City Weekly, Slug and In Magazine. Christopher has had the honor of opening for comedians such as Doug Stanhope, Sean Rouse, and Andy Andrist. Chris’ biggest endeavor to date is being the co-founder of the upcoming 1st Annual Salt Lake City Comedy Carnivale that is about to take the city by storm. The 5 day Carnivale promises to be a can’t-miss festivus of standup, improv, sketch and film. You better go… because if you don’t, you will lose your Salt Lake City street cred and we don’t want that to happen to anybody.
Describe yourself in 10 words or less?
Sarcastic asshole w/ a degree in people watching, Michael Jackson enthusiast.
You wear a Fedora at times, why and when will this charade end?
I’m a sucker for a cool hat. It’s not just fedoras, I really just love wearing hats. Plus hats let you sleep in a bit longer since you don’t have to wash or style your hair. I have considered invading on your bow tie turf. Don’t even think about it!
What got you started in stand up comedy?
I have always considered myself a funny or witty person. I have always enjoyed making people laugh. Sometimes it was more of a self defense thing. I have always been very fascinated by stand up comics, but I never thought I would be good at it. I thought I was a more in the moment type of funny. I was 18 the first time I tried it. I had some friends that kept telling me I should do an open mic. I told them they had to give me $5 each, they agreed. After that first open mic I was asked to come back and open for someone on the Sunday show. I was hooked. Making a packed room full of people laugh is seriously the best high I have ever experienced.
As a kid I was obsessed with Weird Al Yankovic. My Dad watched a lot of british comedy late Saturday nights with me. Mr. Bean was so funny, I loved how awkward he made every situation. I still find myself watching it. Lewis Black was probably the first comedian that I really started to follow. I listened to other comedians, but none of them had ever really killed me like he did. I am a huge Steve Martin and Bill Murray fan. I have to mention Louis CK. How that man has changed the business is remarkable. Doug Stanhope, David Cross, and Patton Oswalt is so great, he is by far the best person to follow on twitter. The list could keep going on and on.
How long have you been doing comedy?
Surprisingly I am in my 11th year of comedy. Some people don’t believe me when I tell them that. I started really young, which I wouldn’t recommend. Nobody really likes to hang out with an 18 year old kid.
That’s an interesting question. I would have to say the friends I have made through comedy. They are one of the biggest reasons why I love doing it. I really look forward to just hanging out, smoking a cigarette and having a beer while we all just have conversations about nonsense. Some of the best jokes have been written that way. I have seriously made some life long friends through comedians.
You have been doing comedy for a long time, what has been the most fulfilling moment of your comedic journey?
This last June I had the amazing opportunity to open for Doug Stanhope in front of 800 people. The freedom you have when you are opening up for someone like Doug is amazing. You know he’ll push any boundaries so much further that you. Also for the past year and a half, organizing the SLC Comedy Carnivale has been a pretty crazy journey. But seeing it actually become a reality has been really awesome.
What was one joke that you have told that has stood out the most?
That’s hard to pin point. I am never really in love with my own jokes. I have a lot of people tell me they like it when a talk about my experiences with homeless guys.
SALT LAKE COMEDY CARNIVALE – slccomedycarnivale.wordpress.com/
Besides yourself, who are the creators of the Carnivale?
Andrew Jensen is the other half of this whole thing. He has been the technical mastermind behind it all. The man is a computer genius and has helped so much making this idea come to life. We both really work well together and have a great work chemistry. Ben Fuller has also been a big help. His experience with the Gangrene Film Festival and SLC Nerd have really benefited us.
What is your objective of the Carnivale? What made you really push to make this happen?
I really wanted Salt Lake City to have a comedy festival like this. One that just celebrates comedy and the comedians. I wanted it to showcase not only local talent, but talent from all over the country. I hope it someday helps elevate the comedy scene here. I also hope it puts Salt Lake City on the comedy map. It’s a great city with a comedy scene that is growing at a rapid rate. Andrew and I are not only comics, but we love comedy. All forms of it. Comedy isn’t just stand up, there is so much more out there. I want to show Salt Lake City how diverse comedy can be.
You had to cut a lot of acts to get to your final selections, what was the hardest part of the process?
The talent we received through the submissions process was literally over whelming. We had no idea that we would receive so much of it. We thought at first we would be lucky to just fill 4 or 5 shows with great comics. Little did we know people from all over would hear about the fest. We were hoping for 40 maybe 50 submissions, we received over 120 submissions. We watched some of the videos 5 or 6 times trying to narrow down the lineup. The hardest part was having to choose between to amazing comedians. We only had so many spots available. It seriously stressed me out more than I thought it would. I am really looking forward to future years when we will be able to accept more talent.
The Carnivale has a pretty stellar schedule of events, what shows are you looking forward to the most? Which act you were the most surprised about getting?
The lineup is awesome. We have tons of local mixed with comics from all over the country with all types of comedy styles. I am really looking forward to seeing Matt Knudsen. He has had a pretty packed career thus far and the guy is just on the rise. The Lady to Lady show I know will be a huge hit. I have seen Barbara Gray a number of times, but she always has fresh hilarious stuff. The one I am most curious to see is, Famke’s How to F. It’s an improvised show where Famke a sex therapist gives the audience a session. We also have the Alien Warrior Comedian coming. Local favorites, Levi Rounds, Jay Whittaker and Jason Harvey will be performing and so many others will be here.
I was most surprised that we landed ASSSSCAT from the Upright Citizens Brigade. We are only in our first year, when they called us and were interested in performing I was floored. That’s when I knew we really had something special to kick off our first year.
Where can someone buy tickets to the individual events or the full Carnivale pass?
All tickets are available at www.partytix.com
Any last minute surprise announcements for the Carnivale?
ASSSSCAT was a last minute addition. Seriously one of the best improvised shows ever created. I still can’t believe they are coming.
Looking into the future, what are your ideas for next year?
We have already started planning for next year. We have learned so much over the past year while organizing this. I am really looking forward to just making it bigger and better.
What do you think of the local comedy scene? Good and bad?
I love this comedy scene. It’s growing so fast, it’s evolving. There are more and more comics every year, and there are more stages to get on. It still needs a lot of work and maturing, but that’s part of the process. I like being a part of that process.
What would make it better?
Just supporting good comedy. Supporting good comedians. No matter where they perform, funny is funny. Some comics prefer the clubs, others the bars and some do both.
Who are some of your favorite new local comics?
Natashia Mower is really great. I really enjoy Lamar Kellywood’s stuff. Nicholas Smith is really new to the scene, but have really liked what I have seen from that guy.
What shows do you have coming up? During the Carnivale and after?
9/17 – 7:30pm at The Complex is the kick off show to the Carnivale it’s a fundraiser for the MS Society of Utah. https://www.facebook.com/events/520001358086238
9/21 – 7:30pm at Club DJ’s in Kearns will be an after party show for the Carnivale. https://www.facebook.com/events/584943448218538
9/27 – 7:30pm at The Complex I will be hosting Comedy w/ a Complex https://www.facebook.com/events/158219174378502
I perform regularly at Comedy Roadkill which is every Tuesday – 8pm at The Complex. (always free)
How can people connect with you?