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BRAD UPTON Comedian Interview

Exclusive Interview with Funny Standup Comedian BRAD UPTON!

Booking and Hiring Comedian Brad UptonWe talked with professional standup comedian Brad Upton recently and you can read the full interview here. With over twenty year of successful experience, we’re your best agent and agency booking clean corporate comedian Brad Upton. Call us today at 888-655-4575 and we’ll be happy to help you with your event!

Brad Upton is a past winner of the Las Vegas Comedy Festival and appeared recently at Caesar’s Palace as part of the HBO Comedy Festival. Twenty-six years and over 5,000 shows have made this Seattle based comic a much sought after performer and earned the respect of his peers. 

Brad’s ease and likeability on stage have made him very popular with corporate clients and the cruise ship industry where he is a headline performer for several of the major cruise lines. Brad Upton has headlined nearly every comedy club from Anchorage to Miami but his club appearances are becoming increasingly rare because of his busy schedule. Brad has made numerous television appearances and was heard around the nation for several years as a regular guest on National Public Radio’s “REWIND” program.

A to Z Entertainment: How long have you been performing as standup comedian and who are some of your comic influences?

Brad Upton: I first got onstage on Sept. 4, 1984 and quit teaching school in June of 1986 to do stand up as a living full time.  All the comedians I watched on Johnny Carson during the 70’s influenced me.  Robert Klein, David Steinberg, Tom Dressen, George Carlin, Kelly Monteith.  When I was even younger I listened to the comedy albums of Bill Cosby and The Smothers Brothers.

A to Z:  When did you first realize you could make people laugh? Were you the “class clown” in school or how did your first adventure into comedy begin?

Brad:  The “class clown” rarely winds up in comedy.  The “class clown” at that age is usually the loud guy.  In the 8th grade I clearly remember my German teacher, Mrs. Painter, taking me out in the hallway and saying, “Brad Upton, do you think you’re funny, because I don’t!  Do you think you’re going to grow up and get paid to make people laugh?  Is that what you think you’re going to do?  Because I have news for you Mr. Upton; you’re not going to grow up and get paid to make people laugh.  You need to go back into that classroom and learn how to keep your mouth shut and stop bothering the students around you that are interested in learning German!”

A to Z: Many comedians today use profanity or “blue language” in their acts, but many are “clean” comedy acts. What are your Brad Upton Comedy CDthoughts on this?

Brad:  There are some blue comics that make me belly laugh and are great comics.  There are also a lot of comics that are blue for no other reason than they don’t know how to write for a larger audience.  I worked with one recently up in Canada.  About 60% of the audience was laughing hard and the other 40% was horrified, uncomfortable and wanted to leave.  The problem is that the comedian is hearing the 60% and thinks he’s doing great.  I don’t want anyone to dislike me.  I am very proud of a quote from the Seattle Times that said, “Brad Upton has mastered the nearly impossible task of appealing to people from the ages of 18 to 80.” I do very well with all ages.  I’m also very proud of appealing to people of all ethnicities as well.  In fact, I’ve worked in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau and did better than I ever anticipated!  I’ve just learned to write in a way that everyone can relate to.  Even if I’m doing my material about being a father of teenagers–it’s written in a way that makes it appealing to 20-somethings who clearly have never had the same experience.

A to Z:  You’ve been very successful as a professional comedian. When did you realize that you could make a living as a comedian? Can you tell us how your career began and how it developed? Besides making a living, how is it rewarding for you to be a comedian?

Brad:  In the summer of ’85 I was in the Spokane Comedy Competition, I was still teaching 4th grade at that time; two of the comedians in the competition that I felt like I was on par with were full time professionals and I decided, “If they can do it, I can do it.”  I decided that the upcoming year was going to be my last year teaching!  It is rewarding because I’m doing exactly what I want to do.  How great is that?!  I had a fantasy of being a professional comedian and I’ve done that for the past 27 years!  When I quit teaching to start doing stand up for a living I felt like I had won the lottery… and I still do.

A to Z: What are your thoughts about the art of standup comedy today and what are the pros and cons of being a standup comedian?

Brad:  It takes a long, long time to get really, really good and everyone thinks it’s going to be quick and easy and are looking for shortcuts.  If stand up is done well, it’s supposed to look easy!  It takes a lot of hard work to make it look easy.  There are no shortcuts.  You have to start at the bottom and work a lot of awful gigs that’ll either make you better or make you quit.  But if you’re just starting out it’s exciting and hopefully you’re up for the challenge.  The downside when you start (especially now) is trying to find enough work to keep your head above water.  A lot of driving, a lot of networking, a lot of names and numbers and email addresses.  The upside is being your own boss and after many years the travel, money, and accommodations get better.  PLUS…YOU GET BETTER and it’s lot more fun to perform as the current you, than the previous you!

A to Z:  What advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional comedian?

Brad:  Whew, this is tough.  The easy answer is: get on stage, get on stage, get on stage.  The reality is that in the current comedy environment, the pay for MC’s, or middle acts is so low that you can barely cover gas money to get to the next gig. Since I started in the 80’s, the money has gone down.  It’s really hard to quit your day job now.  Even comedy club headliners have trouble making expenses if they’re not working every week.  Moving to LA or NY isn’t the way to become a professional.  You move there when you ARE a professional.  You have to learn your craft in a big city that has a comedy scene that allows you to get onstage a lot.  You’re better off finding a job that will allow you time off to travel when you get something out of town.  It’s tough.

A to Z: What’s on the horizon for you and your comedy career Brad?

Brad:  I’m leaving in four days to meet a cruise ship in Barcelona and sail around Spain to Lisbon, Portugal.  Not a bad way to spend a week, huh?!  I work about 6-8 cruises a year almost anywhere in the world, for the past six years I’ve done 10-12 dates a year opening for the legendary Johnny Mathis!  I’ve done multiple dates all around the country with Joan Rivers.  I get asked to open for all kinds of other big names in show biz.  I do a lot of corporate events around the country.  I’ve been asked to come back to Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and they’re adding on Shanghai to the next trip right after the new year.  I do a handful of comedy clubs around the nation.  I go down to LA a couple of times a year to keep my name and face in front of the powers of TV.  I’d like to do a late night TV spot–mostly to impress my teenagers!

Agent and agency booking Brad UptonA to Z:  You’ve done many interviews, is there a question that you’re surprised you’re not asked more often about being a comedian or about the standup comedy business?

Brad:  I know that stand up as a profession, is very interesting, but what people rarely ask about is life away from comedy.  What do I do when I’m at home in my free time?  Okay, since I brought it up!  I coach track & field.  Specifically, the hurdles.  I coached seven years of high school track when I was teaching and when I started doing stand up full time I kept finding myself at the track working with hurdlers.  I spent 10 years at the University of Washington, one year at Seattle Pacific University and the past seven springs coaching the hurdlers at the high school where my kids attend.  I’ve coached numerous All-Americans, state finalists and champions, school record holders and Olympic Trial qualifiers.

A to Z:  If you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be and why?

Brad:  A Walnut tree.  It’s full of delicious, nutritious food and it’s full of nuts!  Get it?  Full of nuts!  Wow, I’m hysterical!

See more about Funny Comedian Brad Upton and enjoy a comedy video of Brad

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We can help you book or hire any top corporate standup comedians, comics, and clean standup comedy acts. We are your best agent and agency for booking and hiring clean comedian Brad Upton. Call 888-655-4575 today and we’ll be glad to help you.


2 thoughts on “BRAD UPTON Comedian Interview”
  1. KarenH314 says:

    Great interview with Brad Upton. Thanks for the advice about becoming a standup comedian Brad. Liked your comedy video and your information page. Impressive!

    1. A to Z Entertainment says:

      Hello Karen,
      Thank you for your comment about comedian Brad Upton’s interview. Brad’s comedy video is short and very good. We plan on doing more interviews with the comedians and speakers, so please stay tuned. Best of luck with your comedy career Karen.

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