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Florida’s Funniest Q&A: Donald Evans

Looking to capitalize on his second chance, Donald Evans' first performance in Palm Beach County will come in the Florida's Funniest finals.

by ApplauseBreakAdmin
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WEST PALM BEACH – Two months ago comic Donald Evans had little reason to think he had any shot at being named Florida’s Funniest Comedian.

When judges announced the winners from his Oct. 6 first round competition in Tampa, Evans wasn’t among them.

But then Evans received a second chance. Contest organizers selected Evans as a wildcard, advancing him to the west division semifinals of the Florida’s Funniest Comedian contest. He made the most of that opportunity. That night judges announced Evans had advanced to the finals.

“It was a big shock. It really was,” said Evans, who’s been performing stand-up comedy less than four years. “Especially when you go back and you look at the past winners and the past finalists in this competition, and the history of this show, it’s an incredibly humbling reality to be so early in the game and be in such a promising position.”

The Dec. 28 finals at the Palm Beach Improv will mark the first time Evans, a resident of Kissimmee, performs in Palm Beach County. He’s not planning on tailoring his set a new audience.

“I’ve always been a comedian that likes to test his material in any kind of market, any kind of locale,” the 29-year-old Evans said. “I’d like to see how the stuff that brought me here does for that audience.”

APPLAUSE BREAK Q&A: Meet Donald Williams

APPLAUSE BREAK: Why did you start performing stand-up comedy?
DONALD EVANS: I used to watch a lot of Comedy Central Presents growing up. I remember specifically seeing Mitch Hedberg’s 30 minute special A LOT. I started acting a little later in life and pursued and attempted other variations of performance art, but once I started stand-up it just felt so…free. Like I was in complete control of every aspect of what my comedy was and could be, and I just really fell for it.

AB: Who is your favorite comic and why?
DE: Donald Evans. A close second would be Mitch Hedberg. I’ve always been a fan of the art of joke writing and I feel that even years after his passing, he has such a strong influence on stand-up in that department. I think he was absolutely brilliant and wish I could have seen so much more from him.

AB: What do you do when you’re not performing stand-up comedy? What is your job and hobby?
DE: It’s funny, I feel like comedy takes up so much of my time that I struggled to answer this. In addition to writing and performing stand-up, I also film a weekly podcast with two Orlando comedians called “Let’s Fight About It” and it is something that I am immensely proud of.

AB: What’s your pre-show routine?
DE: I print out pictures of every other comedian on the show, scream at the photos and then literally eat them.

AB: What can people expect from your Florida’s Funniest finals set? How is it different from your normal headlining set?
DE: They can expect to laugh, cry, care, and just really run the emotional gauntlet with me. This competition just had more weight then a normal set because you have ten people who desperately want the title of Florida’s Funniest Comedian. So that audience can expect something far above my A-game because I want that label.

AB: Where do you see your comedy in five years?
DE: Hopefully through the eyes of people all over the world. I hope I can continue to expand my brand and comedy into markets I haven’t had the pleasure of tapping into yet. I hope I get the chance to branch out in that time.

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AB: Where did you perform in the first round of Florida’s Funniest? What do you remember from that show?
DE: I performed at the Tampa Improv for the first round, I remember having a great set, having a great time and the crowd was absolutely ELECTRIC. It was a genuinely great show from top to bottom.

AB: Of the other comics in the finals, who are you most looking forward to seeing perform? Why?
DE: Joe Latham is a really good friend of mine. We’ve been on a lot of shows together and he’s one of the nicest guys in the world. He’s always willing to help you out in anyway he can, so I’m really excited to see Dewayne Williams perform because he’s very funny.

AB: What would winning the Florida’s Funniest Comedian contest mean to you?
DE: It would mean a lot honestly. I thrive on continuously proving to myself that I belong on the same stage as the best in this state and to have my name alongside the past winners, in such a big competition with so much history, would really prove to me that I am ready for the next level in this game.

AB: What else should comedy fans know about you?
DE:  That I really like freshly baked Italian bread and that I’m going to win this damn competition.

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