We've been interviewing a number of local standup comedians on this blog over the years, all with various approaches to comedy and what truly makes an audience laugh. But one of the overlooked pieces to it is that many of the comedians we interview are actually pretty clean workers, and if you had to percentage it out, about 40% of the performers you see take risks with swearing or taboo subject matter. Chalk it up to the fact that we are in Utah, as well as the idea that many touring comedians have a clean set in their pocket, and you've got a group of people preparing for the strictest audience you can find. Today we chat with Jeremy Anderson, founder of the Clean Comedy SLC nights to talk about his shows and the people coming up through them. (All pictures courtesy of CCSLC.
Clean Comedy SLC on Facebook
Gavin: Hey Jeremy, what first got you interested in standup and what were some early influences?
I have always enjoyed stand up. I have been a fan of comedians like Foxworthy, Engvall, Louie Anderson and Dave Coulier just to name a few. The reason I got on stage the first time was on a dare. My mom of all people was the one who made the dare.
Gavin: What eventually made you want to try standup comedy and how was it for you breaking in?
I decided to take on the dare and hit the stage at an open mic. I loved being on stage. it was fun for me. It wasn't so much breaking out on the Utah comedy scene, it was more just getting on stage for fun.
Gavin: What are some of the most important things you've learned while performing?
The big thing is to be who you are. Don't try to be someone you are not. I tell jokes about things that happen in my life. Don't give up. If stand up is something you really want to do. Keep doing it and find your audience. Don't let others try to discourage you from following your dream.
Gavin: How did the idea come about to start up your own comedy night?
I started just doing some fundraiser shows for some great organizations, The Naturals baseball team from Murray, and the Utah Blitz, Utah's premier women semi-pro football team. I started to see that people like this style of comedy as well.
Gavin: What made you decide to go more into the clean comedy area rather than just a regular standup show?
It's just my style of comedy. I'm just a bit more conservative in my comedy. it's not really deciding to go clean versus another style. It's just who I am.
Gavin: What was it like getting the first showcase together, and what made you chose Club 90?
I was looking at some options for the first show. I get a phone call from a promoter asking me if I would be interested in bringing John Moyer (Comedy Hypnosis) to my stage. I said, “done.” While I was booking some fundraiser shows, someone mentioned Club 90
. I went to take a look and the owner, Jesse Valdez, told me this is exactly what they are looking for, and that I should come back and talk with his partner/ Rachelle. So when I went back, she said this is the style they want and those that attend the club want. They said no F-Bombs or sexually explicit comedy. Right out of the gate it was a perfect fit.
Gavin: What was the response to the first show, and did you know you'd be back or was there some hesitation?
The first show was a great response. It helped getting John Moyer to kick us off, he has such a great fanbase. I knew we would be back. Club 90 is such a great venue and they are behind clean comedy every step of the way.
Gavin: Aside from the clean comedy aspect, what do you look for most when choosing comedians to perform?
My open mic nights are open to anyone who wants stage time. Avoid the F-Bomb and sexually explicit.
Gavin: Who are some of your favorites to come through the evening since starting it?
We have some great talent on board: Tavis Neal, Suzie White, Kristal Starr from the Hello Sweetie
podcast, and Michael B who has years of standup experience. He had a club in Orem a few years back, he has been seen in movies like Singles Ward
and Home Teachers
. He will be headlining on March 27 at 7 and 9 p.m. Stephen Jeffery Watson is one of my favorites. He shows the best example of far the word clean can stretch.
Gavin: What do you think of the Utah comedy scene and how it's grown in the past few years?
I love the comedy scene. Utah has so much talent that I feel needs to be seen. Open mic nights are available almost every night of the week.
Gavin: If you had to give advice to people just starting out doing open mics or shows, what would you feel is the most important stuff to know?
The best advice I can give is to go to as many open mic nights as you can. Utah has so many options pretty much every night of the week. Ours is every Wednesday night at Club 90
Gavin: What do you hope to achieve most with this showcase in our comedy scene?
The biggest goal right now is for more people to know about clean comedy. Not just the name but what it really is. It's funny that so many people hear “clean” and they think it's a Mormon show. To me, clean is Brian Reagan all the way to Ron White with Blue Collar. We have joined with Newbold Entertainment for booking events such as corporate parties and festivals.
Gavin: What can we expect from both yourself and the show over the rest of the year?
Stay tuned. I have a lot of shows booked throughout the year. We have everything from open mic to showcases to headliners. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter
, our website
will be up soon. Clean Comedy will also be teaming up with MercoLocal.