There’ll still be plenty of fireworks left after the 4th of July, only they’ll be explosions of audience laughter at the That’s So Funny Comedy Show Friday, July 5 in Bloomington. The show will be headlined by Damon Williams (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), with host Boima Freeman and featuring someone you truly want to watch out for, rising Twin Cities star K Jay the Comedian (www.kjaythecomedian.com).
Few fields are harder to break into than show business — that goes without saying. However, staying in entertainment and establishing a solid presence, is tougher yet. As poet-rocker Jackson Browne once sang, “It ain’t bad work if you can get it. But, you gotta make it stick.” K Jay is doing an excellent job of accomplishing exactly that.
He began cracking the Twin Cities’ market in 2007 with a Minnesota Fringe Festival showcase, performing his solo-show, It’s Hard Being Tall. Like any other artist, he had a tough time gaining traction but hung in. Over time, including doing a few gigs supporting legendary funny man Fancy Ray McCloney, K Jay gradually gained his sea legs.
He has appeared at a laundry list of esteemed venues, among them the Acme Comedy Club in Minneapolis, opening for Tracey Ashley, Scott Hansen’s Comedy Gallery in Moundsview, and Club Underground in Northeast Minneapolis sharing the bill with Fancy Ray “The Best Lookin’ Man In Comedy” McCloney, building a following of fans who look forward to his shenanigans at the microphone. This owing in no small part to the through-the-roof YouTube hit “Whopper Freakout (Ghetto Version),” which has more than two million hits, and the release of his Scholar to Comedy DVD and The Art of Life CD.
Laid-back topical and situational humor is his stock and trade. He can, even in this day and age of tough economic times, make unemployment funny with his bit about being interviewed by a human resources rep who asks, “Why do you want this job?” In return comes the quip, “I really don’t want the job. I want the money and the benefits.” Who among us couldn’t say the same thing? He just took the plain, simple truth and hit you on the funny bone with it.
There’s another routine where K Jay sketches the dilemma every dad at some point faces: all ready to settle down for a good night’s hanky-panky with the wife when a kid crashes the party, demanding, “Daddy, daddy! I want some cookies and milk!” To which K Jay strongly considers answering, “I want some Mommy!”
There have been changes to his craft. For one, he is currently re-shaping It’s Hard Being Tall. Importantly, he’s learned to avoid the pitfall that often snares comics, the leaning on foul language and references to body parts as a crutch. “That takes away from the joke.”
On top of being an ace cut-up in front of nightclub crowds, he acted at The Playwrights Center in Michelle Perdue’s The Housekeeper’s Dirt, a poignant drama of domestic abuse by Kim Himes, and in the indie short Two’s A Trip, sharing screen time opposite fellow up-and-comer, actor-screenwriter Bill Borea (Jobbers). The role in Two’s A Trip materialized after they developed a rapport on “Soapbox” (MTN), where Borea is co-host with Terrence Griep and K Jay has become a frequent guest. “K Jay”, says Borea, “is a real pro, a great guy to work with. It was fun having him on the show and it was a reward opportunity to work with him in the film.”
K Jay returns the compliment, “Billy’s cool, man. He likes to relax, enjoy himself and gets the job done at the same time. That’s how I like to do my thing. So, we work well, together.”
For good measure, he has begun modeling and is on-board at All Models Agency where he’s been selected Model of the Month for July.
That’s So Funny Comedy Show finds K Jay in, to say the least, good company. He says of the colleagues with whom he’ll share the stage, “I know about Damon Williams. [He] is funny as hell. He’s old school, came up with Russell Simmons [Def Comedy Jam] and them, back in the day. Boima Freeman, I’ve worked with him several times. He’s a cool brother. High energy guy. They’re both great comedians.”
July 12th, he’s featured in the Big & Tall Comedy Show starring Tom Baumgartner on the Afton Hudson Cruise Line (www.laffboat.com). “That’s going to be exciting. It will be real good time.”
After that? “As always, I’ll be working on new material. What I’m looking, right now, it’s time to broaden the profile. You know, put some little bit bigger things on the horizon. Everyone wants to go national, myself included. I love working in front of the people here in Minneapolis, St. Paul, [and around] this area. They’re wonderful. Also, though, in the industry, you have to expand if you’re going to keep getting where you want your career to go. I’ve branched out before, spent some time doing clubs on both the coasts, and returned where I started. There’s no reason not to keep doing that. You’re supposed to give back the love. You’re also supposed to do the best you can with whatever gifts God gave you.”
That’s So Funny Comedy Show is at Sam’s Grill, 5001 American Blvd., in Bloomington. Doors open at 8 pm, show starts at 9 pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
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