Smile Politely

Get your grin on

This Saturday, the “Night Of A Thousand Chuckles: An Evening Of Stand Up Comedy To Benefit Laughter” tour will hit the Canopy Club. The show starts at 7 p.m., the well-regarded Fishing with Dynamite troupe takes the stage at 8 p.m. and then there will be six stand-ups taking the stage at 10 p.m.

The best part is, you can get in for absolutely FREE! The Night of a Thousand Chuckles folks have five pairs of tickets to give away, and they all have your name on them! Here are the instructions: “Just send an e-mail to [email protected] with the headline “NIGHT OF 1000 CHUCKLES”. Winners will be picked at random, but if you include your favorite joke (preferably dirty) your chances can’t be hurt!”

Three of the six comics were nice enough to answer some questions about their act, so get to know ’em (parental advisory: explicit lyrics!):

Smile Politely: So, do each of you want to introduce yourselves? Maybe a quick joke or one-liner?

Collin Bullock (right): My name is Collin A. Bullock, I am a stand up comic originally from the great land of Champaign, IL. I currently have all my mail delivered to Chicago IL, while I criss cross this great land making strangers laugh from coast to coast. I recently played my first international gig by throwing fish at an audience in Norway. It was heralded as a “brilliant act of subervise avante garde perfomance art”, but really I just hate Norwegians and I had a lot of extra fish.

I heard a good joke the other day:
“Knock knock”
“Who’s there?”
“September 11th.”
“September 11th who?”
“You said you’d never forget!”

Billi Casey: I’m Billi (that’s Billi with a vagina) a lot of times when I’m introduced people are expecting a guy. Then when they see that I’m a woman they’re expecting a lesbian. I’m not gay, although a couple of the girls I fuck are.

Trey Mowder: I’m Trey Mowder. Like “powder” with an “M”. For some reason, I get “Mower”, “Mauder”, and at my graduation, “Molder.”

Smile Politely: What’s the biggest misconception about stand-up comedy?

Collin Bullock: The biggest misconception about stand up comedy is that it’s easy. Everyone knows a funny guy around the office, or is that funny guy, and they always tell him “You should do stand up.” No, he should refill the copier. Let us professionals handle the comedy. We’re no better than he is, but we don’t know how to refill a copier. This is the only thing we’re good at. Put us to work, society.

Billi Casey (right): I guess I should say that the biggest misconception is that female comics aren’t funny, but I can’t. I think a lot of people think that we hear jokes or go on line and get jokes and then just get up and tell them. Real comedians write their own material. The writing is the part that I have to make myself do so I want credit for it in the form of cash and adulation. People who use other peoples material aren’t artists they’re parrots and belong in a cage.

Trey Mowder: The biggest misconception I’ve noticed is that when comics are on stage, they seem to be super cool and awesome and really have it together, but when you go up and talk to them after a show, they’re really awkward and introverted. People think that comics are stagey all the time, but a lot of times, our stage persona is an exaggeration of who we really are.

Smile Politely: Dane Cook: discuss.

Collin Bullock: I think Dane Cook has more money than me, more sex than me, a bigger house than me, a better car than me, and has sold out Madison Square Garden. That being said, his one bit about shooting anyone who wears a Superman t-shirt always makes me chuckle.

Billi Casey: Dane Cook~ I’m gonna be honest; for that amount of money I’d be less funny than I’m capable of too. Screw you if you don’t like it-sell out comedians wear Prada!!

Trey Mowder (right): Dane Cook is fine. I mean, sure he’s hacky, but whatever. The people that like him wouldn’t like my stuff anyway, so it’s not like he’s stepping on my toes.

Smile Politely: Who’s your hero from a comedic standpoint?

Collin Bullock: My personal comedic hero is Patton Oswalt. The other day I was doing a show, and after a joke some women in the audience yelled “Patton Oswalt.” Nothing else, not even a full sentence, just “Patton Oswalt.” Jesus Christ lady, do you go to Oasis shows and yell “The Beatles”?

Billi Casey: Being from Peoria, and the fact that he went to kindergarten with my sister, I have to mention Richard Pryor when the comedy hero question is asked. But I really respect and admire the open mic comics that do comedy for years, not because they are making money or getting famous, but because they have a love and passion for stand up comedy.

Trey Mowder: My heroes comedically are the “amateurs” whom I consider to be more talented than me.

Smile Politely: What was the roughest show you ever played? How come?

Collin Bullock:  The roughest show I ever played was at an open mic at the Cowboy Monkey in beautiful downtown Champaign. It was a couple years ago and I was just starting out in comedy so I really sucked, and all of the people there just wanted another sensitive balladeer with long hair to play them a song about their girlfriend breaking up with them or getting molested or something. Needless to say, my six minutes on abortion and fast food did not go over well. A drunk guy in the audience started yelling at me to get off the stage and, in a bit of brilliant improvisation, I told him “Sir, I will c*m on my boot and kick-f**k you pregnant.” He flipped me off, and Mr. Mike Ingram approached the stage and took the microphone from me and told me I was not allowed back. To be honest, I do not blame him.

Billi Casey: The roughest show ever is whatever one I have to do ten minutes from now. That’s the time the voices in my head tell me that I’m not funny and that in fifteen minutes everyone is gonna know that and run me out of town throwing rorotten veggies at me and accusing me of having fake tits.

Trey Mowder: The roughest show I ever did was July 30th, 2009. It was the first round of the Annual Amateur Competition at the Jukebox Comedy Club in Peoria. My first joke, I was thanking the audience for being so well-behaved, and this guy blurted out something too confusing to ignore or respond to, and totally derailed my wordy set-up. I recovered, but then his girlfriend waved her open cell-phone, which is the signal for “you’re out of time.” I knew I wasn’t out of time, but then I second guessed myself. The thing that made it difficult to decipher was that she was directly between me and where I knew the club owner was sitting, so I thought it might have been him. Anyway, long story short, the guy ended up being a contestant that night, and I didn’t advance.

Also appearing:

The Tuttle Brothers

Pat Doran








Alex Orzoco

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