Standup comedy began as a creative release for the former Antioch resident and Brentwood Press sports editor, but after dabbling in joke telling for just a few months, Lafferty has been invited to perform on Friday, Sept. 14 at the Purple Onion in San Francisco, where comics such as Robin Williams, Phyllis Diller, Richard Pryor and Zach Galifianakis launched their careers.
“I’ve always been a fan of comedy,” Lafferty said. “Even at a young age, I’d watch Eddie Murphy and George Carlin specials. I was too young to understand most of the jokes, but just the delivery made me laugh. Standup comedy is never something I thought I’d end up doing, though.”
Lafferty, 25, first tried standup during an open mic night at EJ Phair Brewing Co. in Pittsburg. His friend Jennifer Wadsworth was the comedy promoter, so he thought he’d give it a shot to help out a friend. The result was surprising.
“I went out there, and my main goal was not to suck,” laughed Lafferty. “I wrote up some jokes – things that I thought were funny – and gave it a try, and the people laughed. And they weren’t laughing out of pity. People were actually entertained, and I caught the comedy bug. I’ve been traveling around the Bay Area performing at open mic nights for the past three months, and I really enjoy it.”
Despite the invite to perform at the Purple Onion, Lafferty has no plans to quit his day job as co-editor of AllFacebook.com, a blog that discusses all things Facebook. While he enjoys the rush of getting up on stage and making people laugh, he’s not out to make it a career or seek fame. “Although, I’m not going to lie: it’s pretty awesome to see my name on the poster for the Sept. 14 show.”
For his Purple Onion debut, he’ll serve as one of the opening acts for comedienne Kelly Lynch and be joined on stage by Mathew Groom, Melody Cantrell and Aly Jones. The Purple Onion is located at 140 Columbus Ave. in San Francisco. The show starts at 8 p.m.; doors open at 7:30. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. To purchase advance tickets, visit http://bit.ly/NOeN8v.
Lafferty’s involvement in standup comedy has led to other opportunities in the comedy circle. He recently took over EJ Phair’s comedy series, Brew HaHa, which takes the stage on the second Tuesday of the month at 8 p.m. Lafferty will serve as host of the events and toss in jokes between acts. The series, which began earlier this year, has featured rising talents such as Conor Kellicutt, Dave Thomason and Al Gonzales.
Now a Berkeley resident, Lafferty sees himself as an advocate for local comedy, supporting East County residents who want to give comedy a shot while showcasing Bay Area comics who are about to take their careers to the next level.
“I want to get people excited about comedy,” Lafferty said. “Before, if you wanted to see a comedy show, you had to go out to Sacramento, San Francisco or San Jose. I want Brew HaHa to be a destination for comics when they come to the Bay Area.”
EJ Phair Brewing Co. is located at 300 Cumberland St. in Pittsburg. For more information about Brew HaHa, visit www.facebook.com/brewhahacomedy.