Thursday, January 3, 2019
By GUY D’ASTOLFO
Greg Warren has a Midwestern everyman persona, but it plays everywhere.
The comedian is a regular on syndicated radio program “The Bob and Tom Show.” He has also appeared on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “The Late Late Show” and “Last Comic Standing,” and also cracked the top 10 on the iTunes comedy charts three times over the past decade.
This weekend, Warren will return to the Mahoning Valley for three shows at the Funny Farm comedy club.
Warren grew up in St. Louis, the son of a high- school wrestling coach and a standout wrestler himself a couple of decades ago.
In fact, a good place to get up to speed on his act are the series of “flowrestling” videos he made a few years ago featuring his headgear-wearing, obliviously obsessive wrestling character “Wes” Wesley. The videos, which can be found on YouTube, might get an extra laugh in the Mahoning Valley, where the sport has a long history.
Dave Robich, owner of the Funny Farm, is happy to start the new year with Warren. “We have had Greg several times over the years,” said Robich. “Our audiences love him. He is just a funny, likable, nice guy, from the Midwest, and relatable to young and old, single and married.
Who: Greg Warren
When: Friday at 7 p.m.; and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Where: Funny Farm Comedy Club, third floor of the Knox Building, 110 W. Federal St., Youngstown
Tickets: $22.50; call 330-259-4242 or go to funnyfarmcomedyclub.com
“As many comedians as I’ve seen over the years, there are only a few that I personally can’t wait till they come back again. Greg is definitely one of those.”
Warren’s standup act these days are based on his own everyday life. He described his writing process in a recent phone interview.
“I try to make it somewhat personal,” he said. “I sit down and write what’s on my mind. It starts with what happened yesterday, where I went, who I met. It’s hard to start with what’s funny, so I start with what interrupted the continuum or what is different. Of course it can’t be radically different because I don’t live that fantastic of a life. But if I come across something a little different, I can turn that into what’s funny if others have had the same experience.”
Putting together a standup show requires a lot of editing to get it right, and the process continues even after it’s in the act.
“I’ll put an idea out there at first, and maybe it doesn’t kill but they see what I’m thinking,” said Warren. “So now, all I have to do is take out a few things and add a few.”
Warren – who will release a fourth comedy album this year – last performed in the Mahoning Valley about eight months ago. Since then, he has put together an hour of new material, which local audiences will hear.
The topics are all over the map – with the exception of political humor, which he refuses to touch.
“I just don’t feel like dividing the room,” said Warren.