A number of pundits wrote that sports and comedians don’t mix after ABC’s failed experiment with the cerebral comic book Dennis Miller as the color commentator of Monday Night Football, which fell on Damocles’ sword, babe, in 2001.
However, jocks and fools can coexist. When Brian Regan excelled on the grill at Heidelberg College but struggled with his accounting classes, his soccer coach suggested a move to the theater – and it worked. Regan eventually became a stand-up.
The neat humorist Jim Gaffigan played college football for Purdue and Georgetown.
And then there’s Brad Upton from the Tri-Cities, who hurdled at Eastern Washington University a generation ago. Whenever the comics veteran returns to perform at the Spokane Comedy Club, he comes by his alma mater to be a guest coach with the school’s athletics coach, Stan Kerr.
“I love going back to east Washington, just as I enjoy going to the comedy club when I get back to Spokane,” said Upton when calling from his Seattle home. “There are similarities between athletics and comedy. I have the same feeling when I got ready earlier and took off my sweatpants and stood behind the block as I do now when I am introduced to the performance. “
Upton is on the go and runs, whether he’s on the track or delivering comedy. The former elementary school teacher believes there is a common denominator between teaching fourth graders and connecting with comedy club residents.
“There’s not much difference between teaching 10-year-olds and having a room full of drunk people,” cracked Upton. “I’m often up there and just have fun.”
When Upton performs at the Spokane Comedy Club on Fridays and Saturdays, expect the observant humorist to cover family life.
“I’m going to talk about how we and my wife will raise our two children and be married and be an empty nest. I will also make fun of over 20s as my two children are in that age group, ”said Upton. “I don’t understand a lot of the 20 year olds. I spoke to a comic book friend and he told me that his 25 year old son is super smart but is addicted to gambling. How can that be wise? “
Upton is impressed with how Spokane has changed without changing the core of the city.
“When you come down Sunset Hill, the skyline looks the same to me as it always does,” said Upton. “But if you walk around downtown there are some nice new restaurants and some cool brew pubs, and Kendall Yards is so nice. I’d sell my house here in Seattle and move to Spokane if it wasn’t for winter. I’m always looking for more weather. I can do without snow. “
That could explain why Upton is returning to Spokane before winter. “I love everything about Spokane except the cold,” said Upton.