Six local comics will invade the Egyptian Theatre
Guy Seidel, a Salt Lake City-based comic got into stand up while on a date.
"I lived in Ogden and we went to the Wise Guys Comedy Club up there and we sat there listening to the comics," Seidel said during an interview with The Park Record. "To their credit, they were pretty good, and I probably came off sounding arrogant, because I kept telling my date that I was funnier than they were."
A week later, Seidel decided to give it a shot and performed at an open-mic session at the Wise Guys in West Valley in March, 2008.
"It went very well, and my career has snowballed ever since," he said.
Seidel is one of the six Utah area comedians who will participate the Stand-Up Utah show at the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, March 16. The other funnymen will include Christian Pieper, Steve Soelberg, Jackson Banks, Key Lewis and Cody Eden. Keith Barany will emcee the night.
The idea for Stand-Up Utah developed from and idea Barany had when he moved to Salt Lake City from New York.
"From what I gather, there isn’t an actual comedy club up in Park City, but there is a ton of talent in Salt Lake, so why not take the stand-up talent from Salt Lake and do shows in Park City?" Seidel said. "So, we’re bringing Salt Lake comedy to Park City."
Although, the Egyptian Theatre presents national comedians once a month, Seidel said its important for locally based comics get their chances in spotlight, if only to clear up a few misconceptions.
"One of the big ones is that people think that since a comedian is from Utah he or she has to be squeaky clean and can only tell Disney jokes or do imitations of cartoon characters," he said. "Yes, there are a lot of clean comics who live in Utah, but there are also a lot of edgy comics in Utah who aren’t afraid to cross some lines. Some can even be really raunchy. So, there is a diversity in the state."
The performances at the Egyptian will feature both clean and edgy performers, he said.
Seidel has always been the funny one in his group of friends, so doing comedy was a natural switch after playing the guitar in local bands.
"I’ve been a musician my whole life and I started my first band when I was 15 years old," he said. "Once the idea being in a band kind of fizzled out and everyone grew up, I needed to find something new to do, because I wasn’t one of those guys who grew up.
I mean, didn’t get married or had kids, so I really had to find something to do."
During the first few months of making people laugh, Seidel learned early how hard it was to make people laugh every week.
"Writing and keeping things fresh and original are pretty difficult, because everything you think of for a joke has probably been thought of," he said. "It’s just a matter of keeping that material different than other people.
"For example, how many jokes have been written about airline food?" he said. "So, you have to find an original angle and write above the rest."
The other challenge is keeping up with the business end.
"You have to find ways to get your act out there and become known," Seidel said. "You have to know how to utilize YouTube and the other social media outlets."
The Saturday and Sunday performances aren’t the first times Seidel has been involved with a Stand-Up Utah show.
"I got to know Keith through the local comedy scene," he said. "He moved here about a year ago and we run around in the same circles. One day he told me he wanted to do a show with only Utah comedians and asked me to be part of the show."
So far, Seidel’s comedy career has been a positive experience.
"I’m originally from Helper, Utah, and I a few months ago, I went back and headlined a show there," he said. "I sold out two shows in my hometown, and that was really exciting for me."
The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., will present Stand-Up Utah, a night of comedy on Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m. Six area comedians — Christian Pieper, Steve Soelberg, Guy Seidel, Jackson Banks, Key Lewis and Cody Eden — will perform. Keith Barany will host the night. Tickets range from $15 to $30 and can be purchased by visiting http://www.parkcittyshows.com.
Author Edward Massey will present a reading and book signing of his new historic novel “Fugitive Sheriff” at the Kamas Valley Branch on Friday.