While Paul Wendell Obis is a great musician and has been heard on many open mic nights, he's also a funny guy. I'm not kidding. :) Luckily, there's a new residency in town, and it's all because Paul has brought his comedic talents to Friendly's stage, and each show features other local comedians who are sure to give audiences some hearty laughter. Paul says, "The next comedy night is July 30th and features Andrew Frank, who is hysterical. I think he has a bright future ahead. This will be one not to miss."
So mark your calendars and get ready to bust a gut.. Sunday, 7/30 @ 8:00 pm.
You are a musician and a comedian. How did you get started in each role?
I got started in music at a very young age. I took cello lessons from the age of two and did that until I became a teenager, but I didn't think cello was rock and roll enough, so I started playing drums and guitar. Comedy started a few years back when I decided I was tired of lugging instruments around. I'm not very good at singing, so I decided, "Hey, what if I could just show up to shows and talk to people?" So, really, it was started out of sheer laziness. But honestly, I've always been fascinated by comedy, and I started doing it a few years ago, and found it to be a total rush. It's impossible not to feel alive and present when you're holding a mic in front of a room full of people who want to laugh.
Who are your influences?
I love artists who are multifaceted. I remember learning for the first time that Dave Grohl was not only one of the best rock and roll drummers, but also a prolific songwriter and funny, affable guy. I also like Maynard James Keenan, who is one of the all time great rock singers, but is also a skilled wine maker, has multiple successful bands, and is also very funny. I think, to kids sometimes, there is a false belief that successful people are just very good at that one thing you know them for, when really, more often the case is that
your favorite musician is probably also a chef, loves bird watching, is great at chess, and loves ballet.
What’s your favorite part of performing in front of a live crowd?
I love doing fun stage banter in between songs. I think it can keep an audience engaged during what is normally the boring part of a show. So even if I'm drumming or playing guitar in a band, you'll probably get a good dose of comedy mixed in as well.
What’s something surprising about you?
I was so obsessed with Mr. Rogers Neighborhood when I was little, that my Dad did an interview with him for his magazine Vegetarian Times, and they became best friends, so I grew up knowing one of my idols right from the very start.
What brought you to the Friendly Music Community?
I've been going to open mic night at Friendly for over 10 years. There's a story about a polka player, a turtle neck sweater that I was wearing, and scissors that I would tell here, but it is better told over a beer.
What can the audience expect from your next comedy night?
For the next comedy night, there is an extremely funny guy named Andrew Frank. He is doing a full hour, which is always an impressive feat to see. We will have a couple openers, do quick 10 minute sets as well. I am the MC and will tell a zinger or two. It's been amazing to witness the reaction that comedy night gets in the big room at Friendly. The comics and crowd seem to have the time of their lives with it. It's almost like the big room was built to be a comedy club.
Check out Paul Obis in "Milkdud MacKenzie"-