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STAND-UP RUNDOWN: Comedy Bug Bites

There's now telling what will inspire people to enter stand-up comedy, but clearly there's no one path to a comedy career.

by Chuck king

There’s no telling when the stand-up comedy bug will bite.

Today’s Stand-Up Spotlight features three different stories about comedians launching their comedy careers.

It leads with the story of Jade Wong, who didn’t start entertaining until after she retired from optometry. She can often be found walking in parks, offering to do a four-minute set for strangers. Quite daring, actually.

The Spotlight continues with a story about how cancer influenced Hank Green’s jump into comedy. There’s also a feature on London Hughes, tracking her career from waitress to stand-up star.

And in a bit of a divergence from the theme, the Spotlight concludes with a comedian who seemed destined to become a late night talk show host.

So many paths can lead to funny.

STAND-UP SPOTLIGHT – September 18, 2023

Benefield: Retired doc gets bitten by the comedy bug in her 60s

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:Jade Wong is nothing if not brave.

Proof: She regularly patrols an area of Spring Lake Regional Park in search of strangers.

After she stops them, Wong’s pitch is simple.

Delivered with a wide smile, she tells folks she is a stand-up comic and asks if they’d be interested in being her audience for a 4-minute set?


Hank Green Is Doing a Stand-up Comedy Show on Cancer Because Why Wouldn’t He?

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:In typical Hank Green fashion, Hank Green is preparing to share his cancer journey—in the form of a standup comedy show. Hank and his brother John Green first rose to fame in 2007 for their Vlogbrothers channel on YouTube. The pair would solidify their status as YouTube legends with their education CrashCourse channel and the founding of VidCon. However, they have also been developing their solo careers, with John becoming a prominent YA author and Hank becoming a published author, creating his education science channel SciShow, and embarking on numerous podcast, YouTube, and philanthropic ventures.

How London Hughes Went From TGI Fridays to Stand-Up Sensation

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:London Hughes doesn’t lack confidence. In her engaging and delightful memoir Living My Best Life, Hun, she dedicates the book to herself — specifically, her 14-year-old self, declaring, “she knew this would happen one day.” In the 20 years since, the British comedian has done a little bit of everything on the way to becoming a successful stand-up, writer and actress — including being a presenter on a children’s TV show and working on-camera for Babestation, which (as she writes) “was basically a live porn channel.” There were growing pains and setbacks along the way, but as the book chronicles, Hughes never stopped believing that she was meant for the spotlight. “I was born to do this shit,” she brags in Living My Best Life, Hun, which maps out how relentlessly she worked to make it happen.

Patrick Kielty: from budding comedian to Late Late host

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:On paper, Patrick Kielty looks to have the perfect formula for a TV chat show host – a comic, an actor, a radio and TV presenter and a documentarian. What more could you ask for?

Showbiz was never far away when he was growing up in the 70s in Co Down, as his dad John ‘Jack’ Kielty was a showband promoter. A standout booking was bringing Roy Orbison to play at the local Dundrum Hall. Kielty Junior credits his lifelong love of country music to his father’s showband days.

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