James Gregory never dreamed he would one day become a stand-up comic.
Gregory was working as a salesman in 1982 when he accepted a dare from friends one night at a comedy club in Atlanta, his hometown. It was open mike night, so Gregory got up on stage and told a few stories.
“It was bad. Oh, it was really bad,” he said.
Gregory strived to improve his comedy by continuing to take the stage every time the club had open mike night. His hard work paid off.
Now heralded as “The Funniest Man in America,” Gregory is celebrating 31 years in comedy and spends about 160 days a year on the road, traveling from one city to another, making people laugh.
On Friday, he will bring his stand-up comedy to the Plaza Theatre.
“I’m looking forward to being in Glasgow,” he said.
Those who come to see his show can expect two things.
“They can expect the funniest night of their life,” he said, and they can anticipate a show suitable for families. “There’s very few comedy shows touring the country today who can brag like that.”
One thing people who come to see is show won’t hear are jokes. That’s something he doesn’t do. Instead, he tells stories.
Material for his funny stories come from everyday life. He puts a comedic spin on things that have happened to family members, friends, coworkers and things that have occurred in the news.
“There’s a lot of crazy stuff out there, you know,” he said.
Gregory still views himself as a type of salesman, and said he strives to sell people a good time.
“When they leave the show, I want them to feel better than when they arrived,” he said, because that’s what comedy is supposed to do — make people feel better.
Being able to do that, he said, is something he loves doing.
“And besides that’s the way I pay my bills,” he said.
James Gregory will perform at the Plaza Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $33 and $25 and can be purchased at the theater’s ticket office, online at www.plaza.org or by calling the theater at 270-361-2101. A $1 historic preservation fee will be added to each ticket purchase.
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