Alvin Williams has a soft spot for Joker’s Comedy Club in Richland — he stopped there as part of his first paying road gig.
That was back in 2008.
Next weekend, Williams will return for three nights of shows, this time as headliner.
“It means the world to me that I can come back,” he told the Herald. “There’s nobody who can’t come to one of my shows and get some humor out of it — young or old, no matter what race, age or creed you are. I have something for everybody.”
Performances are at 8 p.m. May 21-23. Cost is $10, with tickets available at www.brown
Williams, 30, is now based in Denver. But he’s lived all over the country, from Chicago to Louisiana, Oregon to Idaho.
He was class clown as a kid and tested out his comedy chops in talent shows during high school.
His first real gig was after college. He went to a comedy show, and “I was like, ‘I can do this,’ ” he said.
It turned out, he was watching amateur comedians at an open mic. “I thought it was a regular comedy show with professional comics. My confidence was built on a mistake. Had I seen a professional comedy show, I never would have done it,” Williams said with a chuckle.
He ended up on stage for a few minutes the next week. And he’s been hooked ever since.
He’s performed comedy around the country and world, traveling about 40 weeks out of the year. Among his credits, he’s been host of the Mile High Comedy Festival in Denver and the multicultural talent showcase Shades of Black Show. He’s also performed at festivals and appeared on shows from Comedy Unfiltered on NuvoTV to Comedy Brew and Quicklaffs on Hulu.
The business of comedy is hard — booking shows, traveling, he said. But getting on stage is the payoff.
“When you get on that stage, you are relieved. Nothing can get to you, no other thoughts. It’s you and the crowd. It is the best thing on Earth,” Williams said.
His act is a mix of current events and personal stories. He “finds the funny” in things big and small, he said.
And he’s found meaning in the work too. Williams originally got into comedy for attention, but somewhere along the line, that changed, he said.
“It got to a point where people would come up after shows and say, ‘I was having a bad day but I forgot about it while you were up there,’ ” he said.
“That’s the mindset I’ve taken — no matter what’s going on in my life, my job is to make people happy,” Williams said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.”
For more on Williams, go to www.alvinwilliamscomedy.com or follow him on Twitter at @alvinwilliams.
Joker’s is at 624 Wellsian Way.