BY KEITH EVANS|
Wednesday night. Raucous laughter. Packed room. Shotty audio. Long ass list. If you're from Chicago and remotely familiar with the amazingly talented slash sometimes uber saturated comedy scene, you know I'm at the Abbey Pub.
This is my life in 2014... showcases, open mics, long, cramped bus rides to cities and towns I've barely heard of to make fractions of money Im never a hundred percent sure I'm going to make. All this because I cannot live without hearing my name announced. I cannot live without walking on to a stage. I cannot live without making people laugh… making them smile… making them cringe… making them think… making them question themselves… their beliefs… their actions… their life. I cannot live without causing some sort of emotion.
With all that said, there’s also a part of me that cannot sleep comfortably without going about this in public. There are plenty of people in this world who make people laugh, smile, cringe, and think. There are a massive amount of people in this world that cause people to question themselves, their beliefs, their actions, and their lives. People who don’t need to be on a stage. People who don’t need to yell into a mic. People who don’t need other groups of people to give praise or accolades via laughter or applause.
So what the fuck is it? What is it that makes me want to bring happiness AND discourse? What is it that makes me want to make a difference and at the same time need recognition for it? Why this life or death necessity to succeed at something, which to some, may seem like a petty little fun side hobby…
I believe in my product.
I believe in my capabilities.
I believe in my talent.
I believe in what I have to offer.
I believe in myself, and just as important, I believe in the people who believe in me.
There’s a whole heap of people who see me telling/writing jokes as a joke itself. An entire massive group of people who roll their eyes, smirk, or even exaggeratingly sigh at what I do. Are the things I say in public or post online ridiculous, over the top, and sometimes downright unacceptable? Of course. I will never deny that. Are they funny? Sure. Funny to everyone? Absolutely not. But are they relevant? Do they stir you? Does it force you to talk? Yes. Absolutely.
There are people in this world, whether they admit it or not, who have silently and discreetly thought about the subject matters I discuss. There are people in this world, whether they admit it or not, that have taken something serious and made light of it, purely for their own amusement. There are people in this world, whether they admit it or not, that follow the rules of “political correctness” and “moral standard” in front of their friends and family because it’s the “right thing to do”, knowing secretly, within themselves that that isn’t their true feelings or beliefs… and there are people in this world, the people who “like” my statuses, the people who laugh at the ridiculous things I utter, the people who laugh hysterically at my jokes about pedophiles, homosexuals, and the use of the word “nigger”, who just fucking get it.
“You ever seen a comic who said all the right lines, gave all the right faces and STILL ate six kinds of shit onstage? Yeah, his set was perfect. It was perfect the last fifty times he said it. Not one word changed, not one joke added or subtracted. It's no longer a set, it's a script. In comedy being perfect is a death knell. That is why I've always loved Keith Evans - his set has never been even remotely close to perfect. When I first saw Keith perform at my first ANOC show his act was tight, every joked worded exactly right. Naturally I was skeptical. After he got off-stage, he walked over to a woman in the audience (holding a PBR in standard hipster/broke-ass comic/Keith fashion) and did something I've never seen a comic do before - he apologized for most of his material being the same as last month's. This, I thought, is a guy who gets comedy. Maybe not beer, but comedy. The reason Keith takes comics with just as much experience as him and blows them out of the water is deceptively simple: He tries new things. Like most comedians he gets bored telling the same jokes. Unlike most comedians he regularly tries new ones. He doesn't want the six-minute Johnny Carson spot, and frankly he's right to move away from it. Carson retired what, forty years ago? That's not to say Keith doesn't have his signature bits. We all do. I'm certain he's just as sick of my "I would rather eat my own tampon" bit as I am of his "do you want to get filled with cum?" bit. What matters is that we do little tweaks here and there, new jokes that lead to new bits that lead to new acts. Keith is a much needed breath of fresh air in the beef-cheese-and-beer farts world of stand-up comedy. I don't know where his act will be in a year, but I do know I can't wait too see it. Hopefully it's not perfect.”
– Jordan Hart (Northwest Indiana comic and long time supporter of ANOC)
….and that’s who I’m a voice for.
That’s who I’m dedicated to speaking for.
If there’s anyone who deserves to see me succeed for speaking the truth more than me, it’s them.