Interviewer: Zep the Bear
Chad Weaver is a 21-year old comedian from Akron, Ohio. He is also the creative force behind a monthly live comedy show, Thrill or be Thrilled. Equal parts stand-up and modern vaudeville, Thrill #1 was an unpredictable, irreverent night of fun. Thrill #2 will be August 19 at the gorgeous Rialto Theatre (1000 Kenmore Blvd., Akron, OH. 44314). Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door. The show starts at 8 PM.
How did you get involved in comedy?
I took a college speech class in my Sophomore year of high school. I would try to be funny during my speeches. After one of them, a 30-year old rapper in my class said that I was funny and that I should do comedy. I’m very gullible, so I started writing jokes. I was 16. After I turned 18, I went to my first open mic and have been performing ever since.
What was the first joke that you wrote?
My first joke was: “Old people are like Slinkies…it’s fun for the whole family watching them fall down stairs.” (*Rimshot*)
What is the NE Ohio comedy scene like?
It’s rad as hell. I love the NEO scene, but to really take full advantage of it, you have to be willing to drive. Cleveland has a busy scene. There’s an open mic and a good show in Kent. There’s the Funny Stop, which is a local club that’s a good place for starting out. There’s the Electric Pressure Cooker which is a monthly multi-media open mic run by the Wandering Aesthetics (a cool group of artists). Sarah Jones (who will be on this month’s show) runs some events in Akron. Other than that, there isn’t anything. That’s part of the reason why I started Thrill or be Thrilled because there are no regular independent comedy shows in the area.
When did you get the idea for the show?
Thrill or be Thrilled is hard to describe…and I’ve come to realize that if I have an idea that is ‘hard to describe,’ it’s probably good. Basically, it is a comedy show where I do sketches and random bits. Additionally, several comedians perform. They are paired in rounds. Each round contains some sort of stipulation. For example, during the first show I had two comics perform topical jokes I wrote while the crowd threw pancakes at them. That round was called “Hot Takes and Hotcakes.”
I got the idea for it because I was tired of doing regular stand-up. I did a show called Wheel of Misfortune. It’s run by Corey Courrielche, a comedian from Indiana. In it, comedians spin a wheel and are assigned a gimmick for each performance. One time, a comedian was required to leave the room and call from outside on a phone to perform their set.
What did it take to make the show a reality?
Running any show is hard, but running a show like Thrill or be Thrilled is pretty frightening because I have to handle so many moving parts. I book all the comics, plan the rounds (and make sure they don’t know what will be happening to them in advance), write sketches, and put together all of the multimedia for the show. The worst part is that I do all of that to ensure the show is great but, in the end, it all comes down to promoting and hoping that people come out.
I really couldn’t do Thrill or be Thrilled without the Rialto Theatre run by Seth and Nate Vaill.
How do you feel the first instalment went?
Considering how way over my head I am running things, pretty good. I think a show like this is always going to have some kinks to work out because it’s the type where anything can and will happen. That’s why it’s so much fun.
What can we expect from the second event?
Pure, nonsensical, fun.
Chad Weaver can be found on Twitter.
The second edition of Thrill or be Thrill will be held August 19, 2016, at 8 PM at the Rialto Theatre (1000 Kenmore Blvd., Akron, OH, 44314). Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.
Contact Chad Weaver for more information.
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