Picture of students using computers in the library

James Gregory Can Make a Sand Shark Laugh

January 11, 2014

Thursday night I attended a show provided by “The Funniest Man in America” at the USCB Center for the Arts with my mother and sister on our deemed girl’s night out. The Funniest Man in America: James Gregory is known to travel across our nation sharing the joys of his story telling. Truly James Gregory unleashes a comedy cooked to perfection with a mastermind of ingredients.

Thursday girl's night out to see The Funniest Man in America (My sister (L) and I (R ) Mom not pictured)

JG blog

Probably the key ingredient to Gregory’s acts is a simplistic douse of common sense. James Gregory peels, slices, and stirs common sense in such a way that you cannot help but begin to take a second look at many aspects of the lives we live. In the midst of rolling laughter emitting from our guts we begin to reevaluate everything including things from which we as people may find passions in (everything from animal rights to exercise) to what we as people may fluster over as concerns (everything from the weather to diet).

Never have I met a working comedian who so elegantly in his or her caricature manner expresses what is of deep rooted importance to their own life. James Gregory comically and truthfully struggled on stage with: the thinking, behaviors, and mannerisms of our world today. He also reminisced on a time “before”, a time we wish to return to and a time we could quite simply find a return to. However it is the same time that we may indeed never return to and furthermore frightfully lose. Enraging and worrisome as these ridiculous habits and thoughts of our fellow man (and selves) were, we still remained laughing. It was a laughing of comprehension, relief, joy, surprise, and unity.

The Funniest Man in America: James Gregory

 James Gregory

The irony almost appears to be this: Gregory was not telling stories to make us laugh. James Gregory was telling us stories that were from his heart and from his mind. Stories that revealed our recognition with him and stories that triggered rethinking and appreciation and it just so happened these stories also made us laugh.

There is nothing I love more than a gifted soul of a comedian enjoying his time with the audience so much that he (who had been so stone faced and firm in character) cracks a smile. The rhythms and energy of the audience’s laughter morphs the story telling into an entirely new experience each night for Gregory. It is evident that he is constantly striving to teach us in his humor, but he is constantly learning in his humor as well, and this is what helps make for a skilled artist.

You may have attended a comedy show or two, or three or four in the past that have been "seat repositioning". I am speaking of the jokes that make you want to look at someone you know who may take offense but yet you cannot turn to look upon them (in fear they are insulted) so instead you shift uncomfortably positions in your seat. There is nothing worse in attending a comedy act in hopes for a great night of laughter and you are given a gouged night of awkwardness. It’s a risk we take in attending comedy today. However I do feel James Gregory is far from this issue. His shirt may be untucked, his characters may burp, he even is not quite politically correct, yet his ideas are clean cut. It is not raunchy, or from cruelty or a place of cold attack, it is from a place of knowing people, a place of common sense, a place of appreciating the simplicities of life, education, and experience, and a place being passionate in his craft.

If you want a night of laughter from an incredibly developed comedian I highly recommend James Gregory. In one night I was abundantly reminded how sweet it is to focus on the problems at hand and to take action. I relearned not to fret over the far ahead future or sit and dwell in false fears, but to live and enjoy life and to make the most of it. Most of all my common sense was called to full attention and reminded of its educational worth. Gaining a Sand Shark education at USCB extends far beyond the classroom as you can see. It reaches into the community we are planted in and the people we hospitably invite to entertain us.

Yours Truly: Sand Shark, Swimming in the Waves of Rolling Laughter,

                                                                                                                     Erin Dailey