Ty Barnett approaches comedy by turning the mundane into something funny and entertaining, while also making his audience forget about the problems of the day. One of the most requested comedians among colleges across the country, the Seattle-based comedian is coming to Stand-Up, Scottsdale! Comedy Club on Friday and Saturday.
Barnett cites Dave Chapelle as his strongest influence.
“I don’t try and emulate his persona but he’s so relaxed on stage … When I’m onstage, I’m being me,” he said.
By not showing his nerves, Barnett hopes his audience will be more relaxed.
Right now, Barnett’s acts focus on how life changes both physically and mentally. While playing basketball one day, the 36-year-old realized how much faster his knees gave out than the younger players.
Although he knew he wanted to go into comedy for a while, he struggled with a common problem for most performers: how to get past the anxiety that comes with being onstage.
“Once I stopped chickening out, I had great laughs. I was as excited as I was nervous, but soon the excitement won over the nerves,” he explained.
The Chicago native says that New York City is the mecca of stand-up.
“You can’t consider yourself a great comedian until you perform there,” he said. “It forces you to be a better comic because there are so many different audiences and cultures and backgrounds, and they see so many comedians. I haven’t seen any other city that has comedy going on at 2 a.m.”
After he started touring around the country in 2002, he earned accolades such as Up-and-Coming Comedian of the Year at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival and Outstanding Performer at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival.
A decade later, he can add appearances on “Comedy Central Presents,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to his resume, as well as being a regular on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”
Barnett’s growing fame in comedy can be accredited to his willingness to take risks onstage.
“You’ll never grow until you know what jokes not to tell. The comedians that get better are the ones that take risks. Early on, you freak out. Now, if something doesn’t work, I just keep it moving,” he said.
Barnett’s main goal is to have his audience truly enjoy his show.
“I don’t want you just to be a fan on Facebook. I want you to be a fan because you think I’m funny,” he said. “Once I get onstage, you have my full attention. I take making you laugh very seriously.”
Barnett will be performing two shows on Friday and Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $15, which includes two drinks. The Stand-Up, Scottsdale! Comedy Club is located at 6820 E. Fifth Ave. in Scottsdale.
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