Minot Comedy Group aims to make North Dakota laugh | North Dakota News
By SHALOM BAER GEE, Minot Daily News
MINOT, ND (AP) — Why Not Laugh Comedy of Minot is a group of comedians who work together to not only promote themselves and their work — as all artists do — but also to bring more live entertainment to the North Dakota.
“I feel like Minot is a very musical town, as far as live entertainment goes, and variety is never a bad thing,” comedian Kyle Erickson said.
“Coming from someone who didn’t live in a small town until I was 28, I don’t see anything to do here except go to a bar,” added Sinie Beck, another member of the group.
The name Why Not Laugh is a spinoff of Minot’s unofficial slogan, “Why Not Minot?” They formed in March 2021 and have held six comedy shows since: two at The Drop Zone in Minot, one in Bismarck, one at Red Light Bar in Max and two at Blue Rider in Minot.
Erickson and Beck, along with Wilbur Stevenson and Steven Brown, are the group of four who meet at the Dakota Lounge about once a month. Originally there were five members. The meetings focus on promoting and booking comedy nights more than influencing individual stand-up styles, Minot Daily News reported.
“We like to keep our individual voices,” said Erickson, who grew up in Ruso. He said he tried and fell in love with stand-up comedy in the summer of 2020.
“Basically, I like giving people permission to laugh at my bad luck with me,” said Erickson, who has cerebral palsy and frames his experiences with laughter, which Brown says he also does.
“I started getting into stand-up in 2017 and was like, ‘I’ve got some crazy stories that I’ve dealt with in life,’ and it went from there,” Brown said. .
Mouse River Players board member Beck got her first taste of stand-up comedy on October 17, 2020, at a comedy contest held at the MRP Theater that she spontaneously entered. She said she remembered the date because it was her birthday.
“We were trying to come up with something for 2020/2021 where we could bring people to the theater, but not wrap it up,” Beck said. “The vice chairman of the board was like, hey, I really like stand-up comedy. I’m going to do a comedy contest. He’s like, you’re funny. Can you be funny for five minutes? »
Beck said the themes of her content came from her experience “of being a millennial and not wanting kids.”
It was at this same comedy contest that Stevenson met the other band members, and Why Not Laugh began to form.
“I was on board right away because I thought they were all really funny people,” said Stevenson, who started performing at a talent show in Hazen when he was 16. After performing for two years at subsequent talent shows, he moved to Minot. in 2001.
“There was no stand-up platform. I pretty much stopped,” Stevenson said. “I would make a one-off appearance for Soulshine in 2017 and then joined Why Not Laugh in 2021.”
In the future, the group hopes to continue to offer more shows in North Dakota and Minot, but they are figuring things out along the way.
“We’re all monkeying around with stuff and flying blind until we find what works,” Erickson said.
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