Who: Comedian Alex Elkin was performing at Hollywood comedy clubs in the mid-’90s before he was old enough to use the front door. Elkin, who won the 2016 San Francisco Comedy Competition, has lived in Eugene since 2007. On Friday, he’ll appear live at 2nd Street Theater, 220 NE Lafayette Ave., in Bend, where he’ll be joined by local comedian Katy Ipock. Show time is 8 p.m.; doors open at 7. Tickets are $15 at the door, $12 advance plus fees at bendticket.com.
Q: How did you get started in comedy?
A: I started in 1994 at a high school talent show. I was 14 years old, and I performed in front of basically the whole city, and I guess that started the spark in thinking I could do it for a living. From there, it was open mics in the comedy clubs of Hollywood, getting dragged in through the kitchen and out through the kitchen because I was too young to be on stage. Then, I developed a real thick skin when I started working at Disneyland doing the Jungle Cruise — because those jokes aren’t funny. It gets you used to people not laughing at you, so it was good.
Q: Is it tough being based out of Eugene instead of Los Angeles or someplace bigger?
A: For comedy, I’d have to say no. I’m not an established comic yet. … If I was living in L.A., people would know about me; I could book shows around there. But right now, as a comedian who’s pretty much unknown, living here is perfect, because it’s a great hub to all kinds of work. And it’s paid work, which is what you don’t really see too much in L.A. I’m headlining Vegas in a couple of days, I’m heading out to Cobb’s (Comedy Club) in San Francisco. … Anywhere they have a check for me, I pretty much travel to. The jokes are free; they pay me to travel.
Q: What else do you have going on?
A: I have an album out on iTunes and Amazon (“Live from Las Vegas,” released in February) that was recorded by David Drozen and Uproar records — he’s the same guy that put Richard Pryor on his first vinyl album, so I’ve got some good backing behind me. I just recently auditioned for a TV pilot down in L.A., so that could be exciting. It’s called “Let’s Get Physical.” I have an agent down there for television, film and commercial. That’s the hardest part about being away from L.A. … if I get a phone call saying, “Listen, I’ve got an audition for you in 24 hours,” can I be there or not? … Because I’m a comic, the nice thing is I can usually set up some work (on the) drive down there and then drive back up, and it’s not a total loss if I don’t get the gig.
Q: For people who haven’t seen you perform before, could you tell us what they can expect from your act?
A: It’s very relatable humor. I talk a lot about my kids, my family, just everyday life experiences. It’s all good humor. It’s not raw or dirty.
—David Jasper, The Bulletin