A belief that laughter is good for the soul is the driving force behind stand-up comedian Bill Fisher and that is why he and fellow comics are bringing Comedy Night to Sedalia next weekend.
Fisher, of Carrollton, will headline the show at Bar 9 Billiards, but fellow comedians Maeret Lemons, Jake Redpath and Anna May Smith, all of Kansas City, and Brian Pettis, of Sedalia, will also participate with comedy sets Saturday, Sept. 10. The show will be hosted and emceed by Trenton Wilbanks, of Warrensburg.
“It’s an experience, it’s going to be fun,” Fisher said Monday afternoon. “The main thing is, with all the division and anger and people fighting and butting heads, it will be really cool to spend a couple hours unplugged from all of that hostility and just laugh, and to remember that we are more alike than we are different. Life’s hard, why not go laugh for awhile?”
Fisher added that comedian Lemons is “brilliant.”
“You will see her on Comedy Central within a few years, and that’s not an exaggeration,” he noted. “She’s working like crazy, last year she was ranked one of the top 10 female comics in the nation. She works consistently and constantly. I’m very lucky to get her actually.”
Lemons has opened for well-known comedians Marc Maron, with a crowd of 2,500 people, T.J. Miller, who played in the movies “Deadpool” and “Transformers: Age Of Extinction,” and Dave Koechner, the Tipton native who played Champ in “Anchorman.”
Redpath hosts a comedy show “Hot Bits” in Kansas City.
“Jake is younger,” Fisher said. “He’s only been in the scene a couple years, but he is doing great. Jake came down and did the last show I did here and people have asked him to come back. He’s young, but he’s so far ahead of the game, it’s kind of scary. He’s one of those people that at his age, really talented people would be floundering and he’s just up there hitting.”
Fisher added that Redpath has opened for comedians Miller and Brian Posehn.
Pettis is new to the comedy scene, but has performed four shows with Fisher. Pettis’s style leans toward comedians Jim Gaffigan and Homer Simpson.
Smith is a regular of improv comedy at Comedy City in Kansas City. In 2015 she placed second in the comedian category for The Pitch, a weekly alternative newspaper in Kansas City.
“She’s performed at Chicago’s Women’s Funny Festival 2016,” Fisher said. “She did really well. She’s another person you can expect stuff from.”
Fisher said the Sept. 10 show will present a variety of comedy styles.
“The reason I picked all these people is I don’t like everybody to be the same,” he noted. “It really bothers me when I see someone trying to emulate a style or a direction. I picked these people because I feel like they just took the particular brand of crazy and inside them and formed it into something to give to the masses.
“That’s cool to me, they’re independent, they’re original,” Fisher added. “My comedic influences are all over the board.”
Fisher said he calls his style of comedy “observational deconstruction.”
“I have a weird way of looking at things,” he added. “A lot of things I look at will make you go ‘wow, why didn’t I look at it that way?’ Things just click very differently in my brain, my brain has always been very quick with observation.
“All these people, that’s what I like about them, they have an interesting view on what you might consider mundane topics,” he said. “They do it in such a way you say ‘why didn’t I think of that?’”
It’s all about the laughter, which Fisher said is good not only for the audience but also for him.
“It’s really fun to make people laugh,” he said. “This world is hard. It can be a hard, dark place, especially in times like this … “
Fisher cited the current political upheaval in the presidential race and said when people come to a comedy show, they should be able to leave all those types of worries outside.
“For all our mental health, it’s good to have that place where you just shut the door on it and laugh,” he said. “You just let all that tension out of you.”
For him, laughter is somewhat like a medicine.
“It’s not some cure-all, be-all … but I’ve had people come up to me and say ‘thank you’ after a show,” he noted. “I can make people laugh and I enjoy it. It’s a real communication.”
He noted that he wants the show to be enjoyed by all.
“I want everybody to have fun,” he added. “I feel like I’m good at what I do, but it’s weird, behind every comedian is a just ball of neurosis.”
Fisher said his fellow comedians in the show are “fantastic.”
“They are going to be names that you will hear on Comedy Central, I honestly believe that,” he said.
Comedy Night will be hosted Saturday, Sept. 10 at Bar 9 Billiards, 4801 S. Limit Ave. The doors open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m. General admission tickets are $10, with limited reserved seating at $15. Tickets can be bought at the door or purchased from Amanda Pettis at Car-Mart, 3303 S. Limit Ave. For more information, contact Bill Fisher at 232-3871 or [email protected] or visit his Facebook page.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.