Comedy in the High Desert

Comedy in the High Desert

Comedy has been around for a long time, going back as far as Aristotle. Comedians such as Bill Burr, Joey Diaz, Joe Rogan, Chris D’elia, Theo Von and many more have outrageous journeys from humble beginnings to career success.

Some of those journeys start here in the High Desert. New comedians can find various venues here to try out their material, like the Green Tree Inn and the Holiday Inn, where comedy nights are hosted every Friday.

The Rustic Tavern and Spring Valley Lake also host comedy nights. To get started, new comedians can go to open mic nights, try out the clubs, get to know the promoters and begin thinking about joining the comedy world.

Upcoming High Desert comedian Jam Jam Salazar shared some insights. “I began in Florida at some local clubs,” said Salazar. “My first gig was in front of seven people,” he said laughing. “Some of my inspirations for even considering standup were Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Dave Chappelle and many others.”

When asked about bombing, which many legendary comedians have talked about, Salazar said, “Essentially this business is so cutthroat, there is no sympathy. If you tell a joke that sucks, you will be called out on and be booed, which I have experienced many times… I remember how many times I sweated bullets the second someone yelled ‘get off the stage!’ You never really get used to it, but you could always insult him, which I am very good at.”

What’s Salazar’s creative process for joke writing? “Most of my jokes are from life experiences, but if they are good stories but not so funny, I usually put a little twist on them to give them more spice,” he said.

“Once I woke up in the middle of the night after having an outrageous dream. I wrote it down and went back to bed. Creativity can come at any given moment.”

When asked about hecklers, Salazar said, “Heckling is just part of the action. It comes with the job, ya know, kinda like a bank robber with constant paranoia… The best time I had with a heckler is when I was telling a joke of my mother and he yells out some rather rude thing about her. I literally did not stop ripping him for the rest of my set.”

Salazar on taboo topics: “There is no safe topic,” he said. “There is no one save in the public eye.  Everyone and every subject is at the risk of comedy. That is how it is supposed to be, raw and ruthless.”

If you want to be a comedian, you just need to make the jump. It doesn’t matter how old, how young, what ethnicity, race or gender you are. None of that matters. You just need to take a chance.

Take it from the greats. Bill Burr said on his podcast, “I had paper thin skin. I was shy. I was introverted. I had all of that, and when you’re bombing, it just sucks.” Chris D’elia said on the Church of What’s Happening Now podcast that Joey Diaz hosts, “My dad tells a story of  me looking at a Jerry Lewis movie and asking, ‘That man on TV, is that his job?… Is his job to make people laugh?’ Dad said, ‘Yeah,’ and that’s when he saw I registered that people can do that.”

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