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JOHN WYNN: Florida Great Spot To Learn Comedy

World Series of Comedy champion John Wynn believes the opportunities and diverse audiences make Florida a proven stand-up comedy training ground.

by Chuck king
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John Wynn performs at the Doghouse Theater in Delray Beach in January of 2023.

DELRAY BEACH – To John Wynn, South Florida proved a wonderful place to launch a comedy career.

Along with its sunshine and beaches, the South Florida comedy scene offers an impressive amount of opportunities to perform in front of audiences hailing from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.

“Florida is a great training ground,” Wynn said. “You have such a wide diversity of audiences here.”

Wynn, the reigning World Series of Comedy champion, knows Florida audiences well. He broke onto the scene in 2008 after taking a comedy class at the then-Fort Lauderdale Improv.

Now a resident of Los Angeles, Wynn spent the past couple weeks in the southeast part of the country refining his act.

The audience on Saturday night at the Doghouse Theater once again reminded Wynn why he believes Florida audiences can prepare a stand-up comedian for most any situation.

At the intimate show, the ages of the front row attendees ranged from 16 to, perhaps, 80.

“There were some really younger people,” Wynn said. “There were older people. Some jokes that I think are stronger jokes that I have experienced and done well, there was a little bit of push back. But it could have been me selling the joke. It could have been my performance of the joke. It could have been I didn’t deliver the joke well.

“You learn to adapt and you learn to just kind of deal with it.”

Wynn won the World Series of Comedy crown in September, defeating more than 1,000 comics nationally. As part of the prize, organizers guaranteed Wynn spots at some of the participating clubs. During his current trip Wynn’s performed at the Myrtle Beach Comedy Cabana in South Carolina and McCurdy’s in Sarasota, but most of his performances have come in South Florida.

After winning the Series, a talent manager suggested that Wynn record video of his full 45-minute set. Last week’s shows at the Boca Raton Biergarten, Fort Lauderdale’s Undergrounds Coffeehaus, the aforementioned Doghouse and Monroe’s Red Light in West Palm Beach, along with several Miami Beach-area shows early this week, are leading up to Wynn recording his full Thursday night set at the Dania Improv as headliner of the Have-Nots Comedy Live show.

“Just one camera, nothing fancy,” Wynn said. “Just get all of my set.”

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At the moment, comedy is Wynn’s second job. By day he teaches a film editing class at California’s Mission College. He also teaches a stand-up comedy class at Flappers in Burbank.

A professional review of the video from Dania’s full set will help Wynn determine his next move.

“They might say, You don’t have 45 minutes, but you have 30 minutes,” Wynn said. “You don’t have 30 minutes, you have 10 minutes. You don’t have 10 minutes, you have a five-minute late-night set.”

Wynn used the shows of the past couple weeks to attempt to eliminate some bad habits that crept into his performances during the pandemic and its downtime. He’s also trying to refine some newer bits before heading back to Los Angeles for the start of the spring semester.

“In Florida you can get up a lot,” Wynn said. “You can actually get good, but you have a ceiling here.”

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