After stating in several interviews that he did not enjoy performing in his hometown of Kansas City, comedian Chris Porter will be headlining at KC Improv this weekend. Porter will be doing two shows on Saturday night, one at 7pm and another at 9:45pm, and then one show on Sunday night at 7pm. Saturday night shows are $18-$23 and Sunday night tickets are $16-$21 and can be purchased at the KC Improv website.
Leaving Kansas City
Kansas City Royals players become stars in the MLB and then are immediately traded away (Greinke, Damon, Dye, etc.). Similarly a few local bands put in their time in the Kansas City, got a record deal and then immediately moved away. Kansas City has also produced a few good comedians as well, and they have also moved away. Rapidly rising star Chris Porter did the same thing a few years ago stating that he "had already done everything there was to do in Kansas City, I've played all of the clubs several times over and headlined the big venues, it's time to move on." Alas, Kansas City seems to be a fertile ground for growing seedlings, but in order to become full grown trees, the seedlings must head for bigger cities. We're like a farm team for other big cities, we grow the talent and then send them packing.
There is another problem with Kansas City that lurks beneath the surface that musicians and comedians have commented on many times in the past - the people of Kansas City do not respect the arts anywhere NEAR as much as many other cities. As Chris Porter said in an interview "I told people in Kansas City that I was going to be a comedian and they just smiled and patted me on the back and said good luck with that buddy!" Kansas City is famous for giving their budding artists little or no respect until they move away, become famous, and then come back. The last local band that made it into the spotlight from Kansas City was called "Puddle of Mudd" and lead singer Wes Scantlin said "yeah, our early shows in Kansas City would have about 40 people there, and after we made it big there were about 40,000 claiming that they were there". I suppose that's why they call it the "show me" state, people in Kansas City have a big city attitude without the style or clout to back it up. Comedian Louis CK particularly hates Kansas City and even references our city in his stand up constantly, always negatively.
Last Comic Standing
Although Chris Porter sometimes wishes that he could delete the "Last Comic Standing stigma" that has attached itself to him, it is, partially or entirely responsible for launching his comedy career. In June of 2006 season 4 of Last Comic Standing would change the lives of a handful of comedians forever. Ten comics were holed up in the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach, California, all competing in various challenges, head to head battles and overall popularity phone votes. By week 9, Chris Porter had earned a 3rd place finish behind 2nd place winner Ty Barnett and Last Comic Standing winner Josh Blue. Porter's multiple television appearances got the attention of comedy club owners, booking agencies and other television stations, providing a nice foundation for Porter's stand up career.
Chris Porter Today
Giving credit to one of his favorite comedians and a major influence, Chris Porter gives us Doug Stanhope, who Porter terms a "maverick" in the comedy world as Stanhope does things his way and refuses to perform at venues that don't cater to his lifestyle. Doug prefers to lay low in Bisbee, Arizona with his girlfriend Bingo, and claims that his favorite activity is getting drunk and buying items on Ebay. Certainly among the top five comedians still living (Doug Stanhope, Bill Burr, Louis CK, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock), Stanhope has already solidified his place in comedy history with his unfiltered, seemingly unscripted stand up act. The fact that Chris Porter lists Stanhope as an influence and a favorite is a very good sign indeed. Porter's act today is starting to take shape, and he reminds one of Bill Burr and Doug Stanhope in his casual interviews in that he is funny even when he isn't saying anything textually funny. This is a good sign for things to come for Chris Porter, and those of us who support the arts in Kansas City can't wait to see what he comes up with next...
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Saturday, July 19, 2014
Kansas City Comedian Chris Porter to Perform at KC Improv This Weekend
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