Q&A: Bruce Gray brings jokes to Steamboat
“At the end of the day, if you’re not entertaining, you’re not doing your job,” said comedian Bruce Gray. His statement bodes well for Steamboat audiences who will be entertained by Gray next week, when he performs at Schmiggity’s on February 11 and 12 for Steamboat Comedy’s Winter Stand-Up series. Explore Steamboat caught up with up-and-comer Gray ahead of his visit.
Explore Steamboat: How did you get into comedy?
Bruce Gray: I was 18 and I had no idea about anything to do with comedy — I just knew I liked it. I went to this thing in LA that brands itself as a comedy class which was basically just me and a bunch of old guys, honestly.
I was still living in Bakersfield, about two and a half hours north of LA, and there was no comedy going on there whatsoever. I would go to open mic nights, at bars, and have to wait outside until it was my turn to go on stage because I was only 18.
I would go to karaoke nights and ask if I could tell jokes instead of sing. It sounds more dramatic than it was — me standing out in the rain waiting to go into a bar and tell jokes — eventually I moved down to LA and started doing more stuff there.
ES: And now you’ve turned it into a career.
BG: Career realization is kind of a weird thing. When I was young, I thought I would be an instant star. That was delusional confidence. Now it’s up and down. Some days I’m the man and some days I should have listened to my dad.
ES: Tell us about what you’re working on now.
BG: I’m in LA doing shows pretty much every night. During the pandemic, Comedy Store — where I perform a lot — was closed for almost a year and a half. My girlfriend and I moved to Portland for a year — we were like gold rush miner people: “Let’s go where the comedy is!” I also host a sports podcast called Fat Jocks and I’m working on another one now called BagFries.
ES: What’s your favorite thing about comedy?
BG: Honestly, I love traveling. We didn’t travel a lot when I was a kid and I love new places. I’ve never been to Colorado. I think it’s the last state on this side of the country that I haven’t been to.
ES: Where’s your favorite place that you’ve traveled to?
BG: For comedy, New Orleans. Not for comedy, Montana.
ES: Take me through a joke. What makes it funny?
BG: At the end of the day, it’s public speaking at its purest. You have to paint a perfect idea of what you’re saying and set everything up exactly so. A lot of times, you’re talking to people at 1 a.m. on a Thursday night, and if you don’t set it up perfectly, they won’t get it.
ES: What can we expect for the show next weekend?
BG: Base level — a very good time.
What: Steamboat Comedy presents the Schmiggity’s Winter Stand-Up Series with Bruce Gray
When: Friday, Feb. 11 and Saturday, Feb. 12. Doors open with happy hour drinks at 7 p.m. and show starts at 8 p.m.
Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
Info: Tickets are $20 general admission or $70 for a group of four. Purchase at the door or online at SteamboatComedy.com
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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Yampatika, an environmental education nonprofit based in Steamboat Springs, will host its 22nd annual Wild Edible Feast on Thursday evening, May 26, at Aurum Food & Wine.