by Steven Sanchez
On Saturday, January 20, stand-up comedian Samuel J. Comroe played the role of joker and headliner at Di Cicco’s Italian Restaurant in Old Town Clovis for the Slice of Life set taking place every Saturday night. He has Tourettes Syndrome, but it’s no sympathy plea on his part because he doesn’t suffer with it, he embraces it, and makes it a signature part of his slot. He’s received national attention from making his television debut by appearing on TBS’ Conan, and BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood. He also won the Ricky Gervais’ Comedy Competition. We chatted after the show in regards to him using his disorder as a punchline, what national television exposure has done for his career, and the advice he has for aspiring comedians.
KRL: You talk about your Tourettes Syndrome in your act, are there any lines you do not cross when it comes to certain subjects?
Samuel: No, I think every topic can be discussed. That’s the great thing about stand-up. You can talk about whatever you want, and as long as you’re able to make it funny and relatable, and then people can accept it.
KRL: Having worked with musicians, I hear the quote, “I or we feed off the audience” as a determining factor for a good performance. Does that apply to comedy? Do you feed off the audience or do you make the audience feed off you?
Samuel: It’s a combination of both. There’re times where the audience’s energy level was low, and as a result, mine was, too. And there’re shows that when the energy is high, I try to match that. It’s definitely a give and take relationship.
KRL: Some comedians go into this field with a pre-set plan like I’m going to do stand-up, then it’ll lead to sketch comedy, then a series, and then a film career. Did you ever formulate a plan like that?
Samuel: Stand-up is my passion first and foremost. There’re other things that I’d like to do like having a television show would be great, but if it was just touring, like what I’m doing now then that’s the dream.
KRL: You were on Conan back in 2012, how were able to get that gig?
Samuel: Mine was different. The convention is a booker will see you live, and if he likes you, he’ll put you on a late-night show. With me I did the Ricky Gervais competition, and the prize for the winner was to make their TV debut on Conan.
KRL: What does that kind of national exposure do to a comedian’s career?
Samuel: It’s helped a little bit, but there’re so many comedians out there making appearance on so many shows. It’s not like the way it used to be where you automatically became a celebrity and got a TV show just by one appearance. It’s a constant grind, there’re so many social media outlets, and you have to be constantly putting content out there, and you still have to put in as much work as you did before you got a gig like that.
KRL: Do you write jokes, do you improv, what’s you approach?
KRL: Do you have any advice for those that want to pursue stand-up comedy?
Samuel: If it’s your first time, you just got to get up on that stage and do it and get it out of the way. It’s difficult, nerve-racking, and scary for most people, but once you do it and you get a couple of laughs, and then you’re hooked.