We’re pretty sure that Ben Franklin was dared to fly a kite during a lightning storm, Charles Lindbergh was dared to fly across the Atlantic and that guy who just safely jumped from outer space back to earth was dared. OK, some or none of the above may have been dares but the one thing we know for sure is comedian Mike Head started his stand-up career in 2005 on, you guessed it, a dare.
Today the funnyman, who works for the University of Akron’s community outreach program, performs a few times a month around Ohio. The Cleveland resident is about to make his Sandusky debut at the Night of Comedy event taking place Friday night at the Sandusky State Theatre.
Want to go?
WHAT: Mike Head with Jeff Blanchard
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, March 22
WHERE: Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
INFO: Call 419-626-1950 or visit www.sanduskystate.com
Funcoast talked to Head – who has featured at clubs such as Hilarities Pickwick and Frolic, The Cleveland Improv, The Funny Stop Comedy Club, area churches and colleges – about his ties to Sandusky, his current set and why four-letter bombs won’t be flying at this weekend’s show.
Funcoast: This will be your first show in Sandusky. Are you looking forward to it?
Mike Head (MH): I’m very excited. My mom and grandparents are from there. It’s kind of like coming back home a little bit. I used to go there as a kid to visit family.
Funcoast: Back then did your family know you were destined to become a comedian?
MH: No. They knew I was an annoying little child.
Funcoast: So let’s talk about this dare that led to you getting on stage for an open-mic night show in a comedy club. Was your first time on stage terrifying?
MH: The first set was amazing to my surprise. It went really well. If it didn’t, I probably would not be doing comedy today.
Funcoast: You know, normally the story goes where a comedian’s first time on stage was exhilarating but ended up being a complete disaster.
MH: Right. For me it was the total opposite. I think that was kind of like the sign for me to do it. I did it because I didn’t know what else to do with my life. Somebody just said, “You’re a silly guy. Why don’t you try comedy?” And for some reason or another, it just went excellent the first time.
Funcoast: Do you remember a joke that worked that night?
MH: I do. My first joke I ever wrote was I was talking about being stereotyped as a tall black guy. I said short white guys always asked me how tall I am. And I’m like, “That’s a stereotype.” I said, “I don’t go up to the short white guys and say how tall are you, 5’ 4”? You must be a horse jockey.” And that was like the very first joke I ever told. It was the first joke out of my mouth on stage and from that point on I was thinking I could do this.
Funcoast: So what comedians are you often compared to?
MH: I love Sinbad, I watched him since I was 10. So I try to kind of take bits from him and Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Jamie Foxx.
Funcoast: Wait, those comedians use the F-bomb. How do you get away with such language playing churches?
MH: No, my style is conversational and very silly and goofy but it’s mainly clean. I don’t do a lot of F-bombs period when I’m in the clubs. So the transition is a little easier for me.
Funcoast: Finally, what will you be talking about at your upcoming Sandusky State Theatre show?
MH: What’s new is I talk a lot about my family and being divorced and having kids and do a couple of impressions here and there. But it’s more talking about relationships and money problems than anything else. It won’t be dirty, it won’t be raunchy. But the audience will leave thinking that guy is very goofy, very silly. And you’ll be able to relate to everything I speak about.