This weekly blog series features interviews taking place at the Dallas Comedy House (DCH) open mic with me and some of the funniest stand-up comedians in the area, most of whom just happen to be my best friends! Read to learn about your favorite local funny people and about the curious emotional makeup of people who like to go onstage alone every night to get laughed at. Grant Redmond: Crowd Pleaser
Grant Redmond and I grin winsomely as we sit across from each other on the DCH sofa. This is our third attempt to do this interview—as one of the hosts of the open mic, along with his best friend and red-bearded doppelganger Christian Hughes, he is usually pretty busy Tuesday nights. An energetic and gifted performer, Redmond's killer timing, charisma, and goofy, laid-back charm make him an incredibly fun and likable onstage presence, whether he's recounting his past with biting, self-effacing humor or delivering off-the-cuff zingers before bringing up the next act to the stage. I also made out with him once and let him tape it! (Redmond, Hughes, and a few friends have won the DCH Short Film Contest three times for their zany, absurdest sketches—the latest is at the bottom of the page.)
Hi! Hi Grant! Hey, how are you?
Hey, I'm good how are you? This is going to be already the most forced interview.
Well, we both do the same thing, which is desperately want people to like us. Also I'm emotionally like a sponge. I do the same thing. Well I didn't, but now that you said that, I'm like a sponge as well.
When did you start comedy? Oh boy. The first time I ever tried it I was 18 years old—well actually I'll take that back. When I first started high school, Christian (Hughes) and I were part of a writing troupe that performed sketches at pep rallies in front of the whole school every single week. And once that was over, my next creative outlet was open mics, and it was a once a year, every now and then type of deal until about three years ago. I'm going to say I've been doing comedy for three years because that's when I really started doing it.
I agree. That's when it counts. Christian though! Has he always been a comedic inspiration for you? Inspiration, no. Friend, yes! Christian and I met on the first day of high school. We were in cross country together. So we met at school the first day and we were just running, and I didn't get to talk to him until we were in the showers. He and I identified on a lot of levels humor-wise, became good friends, met a lot of friends through him. We've been writing together since about age 16.
So you started in Dallas? Arlington Hyena's, then I moved down to Austin when I dropped out of college to do stand-up. Ended up getting some promotions at work and maybe getting to an open mic a month if that. Lived there for two years, not growing comedically then decided, "I'm moving back to Dallas!"
What's it like running the DCH open mic? This is my favorite open mic. When Landon [Kirksey, the man, the myth, my friend] was running it, I would drive up from Austin just to do this open mic and drive back to Austin the same night because Landon's awesome, the atmosphere is awesome, it's very loosey goosey. More so back then.
You've kept in the spirit I think. Ish. We have the email system now, then Landon decided to move to L.A., big timin' us. And he messaged both Christian and me, asking, "Would you guys take over the open mic? It just seems right that you guys would do that." And I was at work, and after I got off work I didn't read the message. So I got off work and Christian had already agreed for both of us.
Really? What would you have said? I would have said yes. Obviously I love this place so much. There's an obligation to be here, but at the same time I love most people here, and I really do have a fun time.
So you went on tour with Josh Johnson. What did you learn from performing for big, good crowds? That above all, it is tiring. I thought it would be just like hanging out with your friends, whatever. I thought that even if you're headlining an hour set it's not that tiring. I was exhausted, but had so much fun. We toured the Hard Rock Cafes in Texas, and it was a blast and learning experience finding out how you're treated as a traveling comedian rather than how you're treated at a local bar show. Have you ever been on tour?
Stop turning the interview back on me! Why do you love stand-up? The satisfaction of strangers letting me know that I'm funny. Because above all, I want to be funny. I don't want to be anything else. I don't want to be rich, I don't want to be famous. I just want to be funny. I want people to be excited when I'm onstage. And that's the ultimate goal for me, even if I'm doing a show for four people. If I have those four people laughing, it's the ultimate thrill for me. Best part of my day.
Lauren Davis is an improviser and stand-up comedian from Dallas, Texas. Currently a student at the DCH Training Center, she can be seen weekly performing improv with her troupes LYLAS: Girl on Girl Comedy and Please Like Us, as well as doing her stand-up act at clubs around the area.