Goodrich Gevaart will present his stand-up comedy in his native Fort Wayne before recording his first comedy album April 25 in Chicago.
Gevaart has found success in Chicago and Los Angeles. He was a producer of the Chicago Comedy Exposition 2014-2016.
After attending South Side High School through his sophomore year, Gevaart enrolled at a Lake Forest, Ill., school, where he graduated in 2002. His family still lives in Fort Wayne.
Gevaart and fellow Chicago comedian Nick Rouley will perform Saturday, April 22, at The Brass Rail, 1121 Broadway, Fort Wayne. The show is for ages 21 and older. Tickets are $7 and are available at eventbrite.com.
The comedian is touring Indiana, Illinois and Michigan in preparation for recording at The Beat Kitchen in Chicago on April 25.
Gevaart offered these replies to questions from infortwayne.com.
Q) You attended South Side High School through your sophomore year. Then you went to Illinois to play prep school hockey. How did you become so interested in hockey? Did you play organized hockey after prep school? Is hockey a source of material for your comedy act?
A) My father grew up in Wisconsin and played hockey growing up. He showed me the game at an early age and I played until the end of my career at Lake Forest Academy. After that I wanted to go to college to study writing and play in bands so I did that. I haven’t really played hockey since.
Q) Who or what inspired you to become a comedian? What continues to inspire you?
A) When I was young (probably too young, to be honest) my dad would play me Cheech & Chong tapes on road trips and I became obsessed with them. I never even smoked pot until I was well into my 20s but I still loved their bits as a kid. Then I’d assume I drew some influence from my dad’s public access sketch show “Humor Inc.” he made in the early ’90s. I think I connected to comedy so much as a kid because I always felt very out of place. I had Tourette syndrome and very bad depression and anxiety, which made me feel more comfortable alone, listening to comedy records. Nowadays so many of my peers inspire me to be better: Rhea Butcher, Zach Peterson, Solomon Georgio, Dave Ross. Getting to see the way Kyle Kinane works his material out is always fun to watch. I’ll always be inspired by Maria Bamford and Eddie Pepitone and the way they talk about such dark things in such a fun way.
Q) You have found success in Chicago and Los Angeles. How often do you appear in Fort Wayne? Is any of your comedy based on Fort Wayne or the Midwest?
A) Since Let’s Comedy started putting up shows I have been heading back to Fort Wayne about twice a year to perform. And I gotta say, Fort Wayne has great crowds that come out to see comedy these days. It’s turning into a known destination for comedians to perform, which I’m really proud of.
Q) Do you have to get into character before a show? Before an interview?
A) Never need to. I’m very much myself on stage.
Q) People love to laugh at current events. Some people also go to shows to escape the news. Are you still surprised at the difference between one audience and the next?
A) Comedy audiences will never cease to surprise you.
Q) Why is something funny when one person says it and just confusing when someone else says it?
A) A big part of being a good comic is having a point of view. When someone dissects or presents something from their specific point of view on stage they are letting you in on the reason they found something funny to begin with.
Q) Which comedian would you most like to show up at your show and ask for your autograph? Why?
A) These days I’d say the selfie is more the autograph style … but if Patton Oswalt wanted to get a picture with me for some reason I would probably assume someone put him up to it.
Q) Do you have to work at your comedy or does it just come naturally?
A) Everyone always has to work on it. Sure you can naturally be the funny person around friends, but to find out how to make strangers laugh with you when you want them to takes years and years of effort. And it’s always changing as you grow and evolve. That’s what makes it fun.
— Compiled by Megan Knowles and Garth Snow