Grant Lyon got his start in comedy not unlikely many before him: Someone told him he was funny.
Typically, this ends with the encouraged going to an open mic and:
(2) Imitating another comics’ jokes
(3) Telling an “awesome drinking story” that is in fact, not awesome
Note: All of the above are not mutually exclusive.
However, the then UC Santa Cruz soccer player who regaled his teammates in hotel rooms and the team bus found that he might be on to something.
“By the time I graduated college, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in comedy,” said Lyon. “So I moved an hour-and-a-half north to San Francisco, one of the best comedy scenes in the country, and developed my craft there for several years.”
After four years, knowing that opportunity laid ahead in a larger market like Los Angeles, Lyons made the move. In L.A., Lyon co-produces an invite-only show at a secret speakeasy, The Blind Barber. With talent like Daniel Tosh and Kyle Kinane passing through, the secret is a hard one to keep.
“We were drinking there one night, and at 2 am the staff told us with either had to get out or we had to play musical chairs. Obviously we chose musical chairs. After the game, we got to talking and a marriage was born… People come the first time for the awesome venue, and they keep coming back because of the high quality of shows.”
As a professional comic, Lyon tours to pay the bills while running The Blind Barber and doing 10-minute sets all over Los Angeles. He’s been touring for six years now and his comedy has taken him to 42 states: bars, colleges and comedy clubs.
A breakthrough in his comedy was when Lyons decided to stop telling jokes that he thought the audience would think were funny and started asking himself what he thought was funny.
“I did two shows one night at a casino in Oregon,” Lyon recalls. “The first show I went up and I did the jokes I believed in, the jokes that were original, and I bombed completely. The second show, I bombed again, but I loved every minute of it. It's weird to say, but that's the moment I realized I could be a good comedian."
Lyon's comedy takes a slice of life and puts it through a lens of comedic observation, turning something like a girlfriend who believes in ghost into an opportunity for pranks, or observing how absurd it is that he still doesn’t own an iPod.
Tin Roof welcomes Grant Lyon on Wednesday, April 13th. He will be joined by Jeremy McLellan (Best Local Comic 2015, 2016) and Mike Brocki (Carolina’s Funniest Comic 2015 Finalist). Tickets are $7. Hosted by Joseph Coker ("The Jospesh Coker Podcast" on Ohm Radio).