Click photo to enlarge
Comedian Keith Stubbs, who lives in Ogden, will headline the Wiseguys Comedy Night at the Egyptian Theatre on Friday and Saturday, June 28 and June 29. Stubbs got into comedy because he liked Don Rickles and Dennis Miller. (Photo courtesy of Keith Stubbs)
Wiseguys Comedy Club with locations in the Salt Lake Valley and Ogden have provided venues for local and nationally known comedians to make Utah laugh.

The club will reach again to Park City's Egyptian Theatre to expand those laughs when Keith Stubbs and Spencer King take the stage on Friday and Saturday, June 28 and 29.

The shows will begin at 8 p.m. and will be emceed by another Utah comedian Heather Mabbott.

For Stubbs, who now lives in Ogden and hosts "The Stubbs Show" on 101.5 FM The Eagle, comedy came in the form of Don Rickles.

"He was my favorite comic at that time," Stubbs said. "He was funny. He worked the crowd and he was honest."

Then he discovered the dry wit of Dennis Miller.

"Those were the two I really liked and who got me going," Stubbs said. "And "I've been doing comedy since 1991 and have been around for — probably too long."

Stubbs' dipped his toe into comedy when he was still in high school while growing up in South Carolina.

"I kind of messed around with it back then and did some talent shows," he said. "When I came to Utah for college and attended Brigham Young University, I did another talent contest and did pretty well."

After moving to Los Angeles, Calif., to become a stock broker, Stubbs decided to hit some open-mic nights.

"I started hitting those really hard on the side and eventually weaned myself off of being a stockbroker to do comedy," he said. "Then I made some more adjustments and started taking my act on the road.


Advertisement

"

Back then, Stubbs sent out a bunch of VHS tapes to an array of venues, hoping he would get booked.

"I did a series of one-nighters, and had my eye on eventually working clubs regularly," he said. "One-nighters were where most people start an are random gigs in random towns, whether they were in Wyoming or Montana or Texas or Minnesota or somewhere way up in Canada."

Stubbs did that for 48 weeks a year, and developed his act to move on.

"I became funny enough to become an opening act," he said.

Some of the artists he warmed up for include country singer Trace Adkins, country rock group Little Big Town, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Gladys Knight and fellow comedians Frank Caliendo, Lewis Black, Joel McHale.

Last year Stubbs, who was selected as one of only 10 comedians to perform for the Olympic athletes at the Olympic Village in 2002, opened for Jim Gaffigan, and, more recently, opened for Joan Rivers at Kingsbury Hall earlier this year.

"It's been kind of nuts for me," he said and laughed.

The secret of Stubbs' humor is finding interesting material.

"First off, I'm very comfortable with getting into my personal life, but it took a while or me to get comfortable about being honest on stage," he said. "Some people can get there immediately, but I took a while."

Stubbs said anything in his life is fair game.

"For example, two years ago, I didn't talk about my four kids, because I didn't have them," he said. "Now I do, so I talk about having four kids.

"Life changes and the material changes," he said. "My outlook changes and my material changes — at least I hope it changes."

Stubbs knows comics who have the same material they had 10 years ago.

"I think that's a little sad," he said. "When I hear them, it appears to me that they are locked in to that time, which is fine, because everyone has to do their own thing.

"But I feel like they haven't changed, which is a little hard for me to believe, or they've gotten lazy."

Coming up with new jokes has become second nature to Stubbs.

"After you do this as long as I have, you're always observing and your eyes are always open and just taking things in," he said. "Everything has a possible angle for my material. Things can hit me on the news, or at Sam's Club or at church or vacation, but it's not like I'm always out trying to work a bit."

To keep things fresh, Stubbs is constantly finding new material.

"I always write and I always perform, but I don't travel as much. I've become pretty selective about what I choose to do," he said. "I mean, I would do almost anything when I was starting out, but as I've been doing this for all these years, I'd like to think that hopefully, I'm past some of that. Not all of it, but some of it."

Like some comedians, Stubbs doesn't add a lot of expletives or suggestive language into his act.

"I want to do stuff that I won't be embarrassed of when my kids see me on a video or on TV," he said. "Because if I do something that isn't appropriate for them to see or hear, then I've done them and me a disservice.

"Now, that has a lot to do with my personal feeling about my kids and my family and the way I was raised," he said. "It isn't meant to be an indictment on other comics, either."

Over the years, Stubbs has discovered that the biggest challenge of his career is being self-employed.

"First off, you have to trust in yourself that you have the talent to continue to work and make a living," he said. "That's difficult, because the comedy business is very competitive and there are a lot of great comics."

Still, he said things are going well for him and he has experienced some of the best times of his life on stage.

"Opening for Jim and Joan would be considered milestones and highlights, but what's important to me is the respect of my peers and fellow comedians that I respect," he said. "And there isn't anything like opening for them and having it go over well."

The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., will welcome Wiseguys Comedians Keith Stubbs, Spencer King and MC Heather Mabbot on Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29, at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $19 to $34 and are available by visiting www.parkcityshows.com .