performer

Comedy Centerfold: Ryan Vicksell

Welcome to Comedy Centerfold, where we feature a Dallas Comedy House (DCH) performer and get to know him or her a little better by using questions that Playboy centerfolds are usually asked. Ryan VicksellThe malfunctioning TARDIS lands in a quarry and Ryan Vicksell immediately senses that something is amiss. Soon, he realizes that history is being altered and he must intervene to prevent a disaster. As he begins to investigate, his companions in the troupes Encyclopedia Moronica (performing at DCH on October 26) and Learning Curve (October 5) all sprain their ankles and he finds himself captured and put in a cell where he is subjected to a mind probe by his captors.

Meanwhile, Ryan's companions writhe on the floor screaming "Tractators! Tractators!" but they are in worse danger than they realize because several of their new friends are traitors.

Elsewhere, Ryan has convinced a wimpy bad guy to change sides and after a tense period of running back and forth down the same corridor is shocked to learn that the aliens have zips down their backs and the tension comes to a peak until, at the last minute, he saves the day by helping the rebels overthrow their oppressors.

Hometown? Carrollton, Texas. Really though, I spent most of my time as a kid and as a teenager on the Internet, so in reality I come from a land of dank memes, flash videos, immature weirdos, and lots of stuff about video games.

Guilty Pleasures? I wouldn’t say I have any guilty pleasures because everything I do is pretty damn awesome (like me), but I guess I can pick a few more questionable ones: collecting Star Wars Legos, die-cast starships, and other nerdy stuff I have no room for. Sleeping for 18 hours straight because I love sloths. Eating too many Raising Cane’s chicken strips.  

Ambitions? I’ve only had one big “ambition” in life, and that’s to find some awesome gal to spend some time with in that whole romancey way. You know, she doesn’t have to be perfect. Genuine, someone I get along with, funny, wants what I do out of life, wears apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur. It’s the only thing I’ve wanted that relies somewhat on chance, so I just keep trying to be a better person and hope for the best.

Besides that, I want to become a better teacher, comedian, and continue to challenge myself creatively. Preferably while cuddling with an adorable sloth, because sloths are perfect and adorable creatures and if you disagree with me you are wrong.

Best Concert? Trans-Siberian Orchestra puts on the most impressive shows you can imagine. Each year, it’s a new whirlwind of lights, flames that you can feel from the top rows of the American Airlines Center, giant platforms lifting musicians above the audience, and of course, amazing yet meaningful symphonic rock. Plus, they’re just classy as hell.

Favorite Book? All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque really piqued my interest in history freshman year of high school. It was written simply, but packed with so much emotion, despair, and depth. I realized then that history wasn’t a bunch of dates, but the story of people – real people, struggling with things far beyond my imagination. Despite the fact that pretty much everyone dies [Editor's Note: Spoiler alert!], I found the perseverance and humanity of the characters inspiring during a time when I was on the brink myself.

Favorite Movie? It’s not one movie, but the Lord of the Rings trilogy is probably my favorite. I’m a big sucker for big, sweeping dramatic epics on an epic scale, and the 12-hour runtime probably helped (I’m one of the five people on earth who think they should be even longer). I like to see characters evolve over long periods of time, and movies rarely allow that. It’s the only movie that I’ve ever thought was better than the books. They didn’t change me on any deep level, they are just really really good.

Fun Fact: The first time I asked a girl out on a date, I listened to the "Charge of the Rohirrim" from the Return of the King soundtrack as I walked up to her to gather courage. Unfortunately, my dreams ended up like king Théoden – trampled to death by giant elephants in a muddy field [Editor's Note: Spoiler alert!].

Favorite TV Show? Unlike most people at DCH, comedy TV/movies never particularly tickled my fancy. I grew up on a steady diet of Star Trek, Stargate, and anything else with “Star-“ in the title. Really, my favorite shows are often ones that either teach me to be a better person, have some emotionally-crushing drama, or both. There’s a lot of great TV, but I have a couple of favorites, though. Battlestar Galactica (the new one), taught me that every single one of us is pretty messed up in some way and that even though I’m no different I can still be a great person. Doctor Who taught me to embrace my weirdness, and that an Oxford jacket, bow-tie wearing nerd who rambles endlessly CAN be the coolest guy ever.

Pets? I love dogs and would love to have one, but between work, comedy, and other stupid grown-up responsibilities, I feel like I wouldn’t be able to give the poor thing enough attention and would just feel guilty constantly. Instead, I just longingly look at cute dogs on the Internet and instantly fall in love with any dog I happen to walk past.

Foods I Crave? I don’t crave food that often, oddly enough. I sort of eat because I have to, but usually, I’m not hankering for anything specific. I do love me a good steak, though. I’m very much a carnivore. Mostly, I need some caffeine.

People I Admire? People who are genuine and honest about themselves. Too many people hide behind masks and are afraid to be vulnerable. I understand it, but I feel like the world would be a much better place if we could be honest about, and help, each other with our flaws. I would rather be open about and laugh at my flaws than hide them and be miserable all the time. I admire people who can do that.

Dream Role? Playing the Doctor on Doctor Who. He’s full of life and energy, dashing about and rambling on about things nobody understands. He’s full of wit, humor, yet also carries a lot of darkness inside of him and is a truly caring, complex character that would be so great to play. Who wouldn’t want to dash around time and space saving the world while being a complete weirdo at the same time?

Favorite Song to Sing? Most of the music I listen to is instrumental, so often I’ve got some big dramatic orchestral flourishes, screaming choirs, or taiko drum beats in my head. I’ll go with “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan because A) It’s manly as hell B) Was the first Disney song I didn’t hate as a kid.

Lately, I’ve been singing “Yoghurt” by Ylvis, which is literally about nothing but yogurt, and yogurt is great so I approve strongly of the song.

Good First Date Idea? In the first spaceship to Mars. That way, you have plenty of time to relax, get to know one another over some freeze-dried peas, and if it doesn’t work out you can spend the time pretending to be captain of the Enterprise and playing the Star Trek theme on repeat and there’s nothing she can do to stop you! Win-win situation!

In reality, I would guess somewhere where you have plenty of time to talk, get to know each other in a stress-free environment, and determine if your date likes roller coasters. Anyone worth dating should like roller coasters. This is mostly theoretical since I have far more experience with roller coasters than dating. I’ve actually been on a roller coaster in the last three years.

Comedy Centerfold: Ryan Goldsberry

Welcome to Comedy Centerfold, where we feature a Dallas Comedy House performer and get to know him or her a little better by using questions that Playboy centerfolds are usually asked.  Ryan GoldsberryHere's one thing you need to know about Ryan Goldsberry: equation

Another thing you need to know: Despite having the word "gold" in his name, he's not related to the famous Goldschläger cartel or the infamous Goldapps clan. These are mistakes often made about him.

You might also be interested to know that he takes his whiskey neat, he's as smart AF, and he once stole a taco off of Chuck Norris' tray at Taco Bell when he wasn't looking.

Hometown? We moved around a bit when I was younger, but eventually landed in a small town in East Texas called Rusk when I was in elementary school and never left.

Guilty Pleasures? Baths and potato chips. Which, typing the two next to each other makes me wonder why I’ve never eaten potato chips in a bathtub.

Ambitions? Eat better, exercise more, finish writing even a third of the projects I start.

Best Concert? I don’t like live shows very much, honestly, but I’m trying to be less like Larry David so I won’t make this a vehicle for those complaints. One time at Warped Tour I went to see August Burns Red at the end of the day and fell asleep on the lawn in the back. That was kinda fun.

Favorite Book? This question was hard. I think the one I go back to the most is Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives. Anytime I read it, I feel inspired to write something, which I guess is a mark of a good book.

Favorite Movie? If I want to be pretentious, Synecdoche, New York is the only movie to make me full-on cry. Watch it twice. I think it’s really moving and it cemented Charlie Kaufman as my favorite screenwriter.

If I don’t, Alien and The Road Warrior are pretty great.

Favorite TV Show? I watch a lot of TV. Please start a conversation with me about a show you really like. Some favorites: Jeopardy!, Fringe, The Simpsons, Adventure Time, The Sopranos, House Hunters, Rick and Morty, Veep, and The X-Files.

Pets? I have a one-eyed cat named Bean. She’s great. I point out that she has one eye not because that’s the trait that defines her, but because I’m superficial and that’s what initially got me to go meet her at the shelter.

Foods I Crave? Popcorn, the nachos from Spiral Diner, salt-and-vinegar chips.

People I Admire? In my personal life: My girlfriend, Kim, for being funnier and better at expressing emotions than me, my parents for being as supportive and hard-working as they are, and every animal I’ve ever met for bringing joy to my life.

Celebrity-wise: Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon, Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, Pendleton Ward, and Tina Fey have all inspired me or impacted how I approach comedy in some way.

Dream Role? I find myself naturally furrowing my brow a lot, so I think I'd be OK in a made-for-TV Wentworth Miller or Michael Shannon biopic.

Favorite Song to Sing? Anything loud, fuzzy, and emotional. "Come Back Home" by Japanther and "Y Control" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs come to mind.

Good First Date Idea? Lay on a couch reading Onion headlines to each other while watching Love It Or List It. If you had fun, you can probably continue dating.

Catch Ryan playing with The 1995 Chicago Bulls, Cell Block Tango, CLR, and Photobomb at the Dallas Comedy House.

Friday, April 1 - Cell Block Tango @ 9 p.m. Thursday, April 7 - The 1995 Chicago Bulls @ 8 p.m. and CLR @ 9 p.m. Friday, April 8 - Photobomb @ 9 p.m. Saturday, April 9 - Cell Block Tango @ 8 p.m. Friday, April 15 - Photobomb @ 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 - Bulls @ 8 p.m. Friday, April 22 - Photobomb @ 9 p.m. Saturday, April 23 - Cell Block Tango @ 9 p.m. Friday, April 29 - Cell Block Tango @ 9 p.m. and Photobomb @ 10 p.m.