Twenty-eight year old John McCombs, of Chicago but originally from Joliet, works at a law firm office, but his true passion is comedy.
From an impression of a stand-up comedian at Memphis On Main in the Champaign-Urbana area, McCombs took his best shot.
You can see McCombs perform along with Alex Tsakanikas and Jeffery Brumfield at 9 p.m. tonight at The Spot on Broadway, 1010 W. Broadway St., Bradley, for the latest comedy show from Exit Stage Left Comedy.
The Daily Journal recently caught up with McCombs to discuss his comedic influences, first world luxuries and the best and worst parts about being a stand-up comedian.
How would you describe your style of comedy?
I’m very observant, and I recognize patterns. I’m very much interested in human behavior and pointing out the things we accept as a society. I have a joke where I’m sponsoring a kid in Africa, and I’m trying to describe First World things to him, such as a mall fountain, to someone who can’t get clean water daily.
How did you get your start as a stand-up comedian?
I started in college when I was going to the University of Illinois in Champaign. I used to write a lot of short stories, and a friend of mine mentioned I should do open mics. I went onstage and did an impression of what I thought a stand-up should do, and it went well from there.
Who are your influences?
I really like Bill Burr. He’s a ranter, and he has a very stream-of-consciousness style. That’s how I write. I also like Jim Jefferies, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Dave Attell.
Do you feel it’s challenging to be a comedian today, when almost every subject can be a hot-button issue?
No, I don’t. People are more upset they can’t be lazy. You’re going after low-hanging fruit, but if you dig a little deeper, people might like what you’re saying even if they don’t necessarily agree with it.
Have you ever bombed? If so, how do you handle it?
Every single comedian bombs, and if they haven’t, then they’re not trying anything. When I bomb, I immediately wanna get back onstage. That’s motivation to do better.
What’s the best and worst part about being a comedian?
The worst thing is the waiting. People don’t see the prep for booking a venue, working with the MC, waiting for the show to start and the logistics and degree of uncertainty. The best part is people clap, and they want to hang out after the show and buy you drinks. If you’re an accountant, people aren’t gonna clap at the end of the day because you really killed that spreadsheet.