Stand-Up Star

The Avi Resort & Casino has brought back what has proven to be a popular show with audiences, the First Friday Comedy Series. Each month, the show includes three comedians, and kicking things off on Friday, June 7, the lineup consists of Krista Kay as the host/emcee, Andy Kern as the feature and Adam Hunter as the headliner. All of the talent comes from a comedy organization called The Comedy Machine, which has been supplying venues across the country with some of the funniest clean comedians around.
“To be completely candid, the Comedy Machine came into existence in 2004, and the reason was I didn’t like the way the clubs were operating,” said Kern, The Comedy Machine founder and spokesman. “I did a lot of comedy clubs myself, and I just decided, ‘you know what, we don’t need to do things the way comedy clubs do.’ So we decided we wanted to present our own kind of brand to basically keep audiences really happy and the shows clean.
“Of course, we want them to bring in their ‘voice’ and do their thing, we want them to keep their artistic form in tact but if they touch upon topics that are offensive toward an audience or maligning to them we ask them, ‘can you change or not?’ If they can’t change we don’t use them.
“Comedy is the same as food,” Kern said. “If the food is good, people are coming back. If the food’s not good, they’re not coming back. It’s as simple as that and it’s the same thing with comedy.”

More about the headliner…
New York City native, Adam Hunter is one of the hottest comedians working today. He headlines all over the country, putting his heart and soul into every performance with an act that is brash, deep and hilarious. Hunter was a finalist on Season 6 of “Last Comic Standing,” was the last standup comedian to perform in his second appearance on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show,” appeared on “Chelsea Lately,” “The Late Late Show,” MTV, VH1, TruTV, CBS, Comedy Central, “The Real Husbands of Hollywood,” and Nickelodeon’s “See Dad Run.” He also has performed at arenas, colleges and clubs all over the world, performing numerous military tours for American troops on bases in the Far East, Middle East, Africa and South America as well as here at home.
Aside from the comedy, Hunter is a four-time New England Prep School Wrestling Champion (a feat accomplished only three times in the 150-year-old prestigious Class A tourney), and twice was voted Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament. His “MMA Roasted” web series — which he created, wrote and hosts for the UFC — is seen by a multitude of fans every time there is an MMA Event. His bi-weekly “MMA Roasted Podcast” where he skewers the world’s Top MMA Fighters, has a dedicated fan base of more than 100,000 listeners per month.
Hunter also keeps busy as head writer of Fox Sports’ “MMA Awards” and has held that title for five years running. His current projects include the TV pilot “Ambush Stand Up” of which he is the creator and host, as well as “So You Think You’re A Tough Guy”, “Adam Hunter’s A.D.D.” and two feature scripts, “Pinned” and “Comic Stripped.” He was the host of the TV show “Man Up Stand Up” on MavTV, and has appeared on Showtime’s “Whiteboyz in Da Hood,” CBS’ “Comic’s Unleashed,” “Entertainers,” “Latino Laugh Festival,” and “Loco Comedy Jam” and appeared in sketches on “Conan O’Brien” and “Jimmy Kimmel.” He was the subject of the MTV show “True Life I Am a Comedian.”
We talked with Hunter about his career, his comedy and the show he brings to the Avi Resort & Casino. Here’s his take…

Tell me a little about your background and how you got into comedy.
Well, I’m from New York, I’ve been doing comedy 20 years, I love making people laugh. I started doing comedy in New York in laundromats, and supermarkets. I was on MTV’s “True Life I’m a Comedian” doing comedy in laundromats 20 years ago, then I was doing standup everywhere, working, working, working all over the world, almost every continent, doing standup. I was on the “Tonight Show” twice, I was on “Last Comic Standing,” I’ve been doing comedy every day of the week and I just love it.

Describe your comedy for people who may not be aware.
I have thousands of jokes, I probably have more jokes per minute than most. I like to throw tons of punchlines out there to see what lands, I’m kind of a throwback comic where I do visual jokes, I’m not much of a storyteller, but I tell a gazillion jokes, and talk about everything from relationships, to being a new dad, to being married, to politics, to pop culture, sex, drugs, everything.

Your thoughts on MMA?
I’m a huge fan, I think it’s the greatest sport in the world and I absolutely love it and I can’t get enough of it.

What was the worst experience you had in a nightclub?
Probably when I got attacked at a wedding. They hired me at a wedding to pose as the officiate, and then the guy got really angry and then charged at me.

Where’s the strangest place you never thought you’d perform?
I was in Djibouti, Africa, twice for the military.

What’s your favorite thing about being a comedian?
I love making people laugh and the touring and traveling. I like working at night. Making people laugh is the greatest job in the world.

What’s your least favorite thing about being a comedian?
Probably the pay. My least favorite part also is the inconsistency and not having job security.

Where and when was the first place you ever did standup?
At a comedy club that I did back in New York City, and that was in 1999.

What was the best laugh you ever received?
The bests are usually in a crowd, and I hate to say it, but when someone is sick or something, or suffering a loss, or they’re in some kind of pain, they come up to me afterwards and tell me how much I got them out of their state of depression or something. Or if they’re going through a really tough time, and they tell me my comedy uplifted their spirits. Those are the best laughs.

How do you handle hecklers?
I actually do it pretty well. There are different kinds of hecklers. Some people are just trying to have fun, and those are like my favorite kind because they’re not really being jerks. They’re just having fun with the crowd, and then, of course, you have people who are just trying to disrupt the whole show and those are my least favorite hecklers.
What do you think of the entire foundation of comedy — comedy is about emotions and you as a comedian are risking your comfort, your dignity and possibly embarrassment for someone else’s benefit?
That doesn’t bother me. Personally, I would think if I can make myself the punchline of a joke that’s actually a lot better. I’m the least likely person to be offended by my own jokes.

Part of that comedian thing is that the audience decides whether they like you or not. Do you ever think about the courage it takes to do what you do?
Yeah, thank you. It’s all subjective really. What one person thinks is funny, someone else doesn’t, so it’s like you can’t put too much stock in it, you have to play the odds.

Anything else you’d like people to know about you?
I’m really looking forward to coming to Laughlin, I’ve been there before, I’ve met a really fun bunch of people and thank you for the support.


1ST FRIDAY COMEDY

Grand Ballroom at the Avi

Friday, June 7 (8 p.m.)

See “Showtimes” for ticket info