We had the good fortune of connecting with Bob Smiley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bob, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Being a comedian is hard work. I actually think comedian is the only job that other people automatically think they can do. You never meet a brain surgeon at a party and think “I could do that.” However, a good comedian makes it look so easy on stage that the people in the audience think they can do it. But, in reality, it’s hard work and not everyone CAN do it. People also don’t factor in all the Junior High Lock-in shows you have to do at 1AM right after the shaving cream fight just to get your name out there, or the corporate show you do for 200 workers forced to sit through your act before getting their bonus checks.
When you first start out you have to take every gig just to get stage time to practice your material.
For every great show you see, there’s hours and hours of bombing on stage that lead to that magical moment where everyone is hanging on every word you say and laughing throughout your entire show. If you want to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs and sometimes those broken eggs mean standing in a room where no-one is laughing while you try out a new bit that’s not worked completely out. The silence is so uncomfortable that you want to leave early, go to Denny’s and order an omelet to drown out your sorrows. It’s hard work.
I also think about all the delayed flights, long rental car lines and sitting in hotel lobbies until they can get a room ready for you. There’s so much more that goes into being a comedian than just that hour on stage but I don’t think people think about that. When people ask me what its like to be a comedian, I ask them if they’ve ever drug two big suitcases through the snow at 4am from the rental car place to the airport to catch a flight to the next event. That’s what being a comedian is really like.
Now don’t get me wrong, being a comedian is amazing. Standing on a stage listening to 2,000 people laugh is an addictive rush that can’t be emulated in any other form. Plus you get tons of free hotel shampoo and toilet paper. The free toilet paper paid for my kid’s college tuition in 2020. People would pay anything for it on ebay for about 3 months and I was prepared!
So the perks are worth it but all that goes in to getting to that moment before you walk on stage and start telling jokes is hard work.
It’s writing out bits over and over and finding the right words to make each joke pop. It’s trying out new bits each night knowing that it could bomb at any moment and you may not be able to recover from it. But you also know you have to do it if you want to keep having fresh stuff for returning fans. These are all the things you have to do to get to the point where someone is watching you on stage and thinks to themselves, “Yea, I could do that.” Also, sometimes you have to do online interviews where they ask questions like “What’s one thing about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?” and you have to spend an hour writing out an answer. That can be super annoying but, again, worth it.
All that being said, if you’re reading this online interview and think you could be a comedian…yea, you probably can.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I do all clean comedy so most of my shows are at churches for families to enjoy. I love seeing a grandma in her late hundreds sitting next to her grandson who has so many face piercings that he looks like he fell face first into a fishing tackle box but they are both laughing at my comedy sitting next to each other. Laughter brings people together and I love that my job is all about that. I also love that I write and perform a character I created years ago with Focus on the Family. I do a series for kids called “The Adventures of Average Boy” that appears monthly in Clubhouse magazine, a magazine for middle school kids. I’ve also put out 3 Average Boy books and an “Adventure’s of Average Boy” podcast for families to listen to together. I love that kids can read or listen to funny stories about Average boy but each chapter or podcast episode has encouraging things for kids to think about.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in northern Mexico, a place called Houston, TX. So I would take out of town visitors to a play at the Alley Theater and eat at a local seafood place called “Long John Silvers”. It’s so good!!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I credit my dad for my love of laughter early on. He was always cracking jokes. I once asked him if I was adopted and he said, “Yes, but they brought you back.” He convinced me if the ice cream truck was playing music, it meant it was out of ice cream. He was always making people laugh and I realized that laughter was a powerful gift and tool in life. Watching him command a room made me want to study comedy and laughter and that really helped me throughout life on and off the stage.

Website: www.bobsmiley.com

Instagram: bobsmileycomic

Linkedin: bob-smiley-9074a433/

Twitter: bobsmileycomic

Facebook: bobsmileycomedy

Youtube: bobsmiley12

Other: TikTok: bobsmileycomic

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