Good times can be measured in many ways. Starting a story with “remember when…” is one of my favorites, and often generates loud, familiar laughs.
This weekend was a reunion for my UC Davis Chi Phi fraternity, Sigma Delta chapter. This is where I got much of my gumption to step on a comedy stage for the first time. Where I figured out how to formulate material, host events with difficult and fantastic crowds, and handle hecklers for the first time—being a brother doesn’t make you immune to friendly or harsh ribbing.
I had the pleasure of not just seeing the men and women (fraternities have little sisters, too) I was so close to on campus, but also the privilege of performing a small set that recalled moments of our shared fraternity experience and reflected on certain aspects of growing slightly older.
Just like old times, Chi Phi was a great crowd, and they also kept me on my verbal toes. I thanked them for teaching me, back in the day, one of the most valuable lessons of show business: “Alcohol doesn’t help in comedy, unless the audience is drinking a lot of it.”
I was the only professional comedian at the barbecue, but I was not the funniest person there! Others shared stories that were hilarious because most of the “characters” were present, remembering the good times together. One story would lead to another and the laughter just kept flowing. Funny experiences tend to stay in your memory, and revisiting those moments, even decades later, brings it all back. Humor is a time machine.
I am grateful to my many brothers (and little sisters) for helping me realize my dream of being a comedian