Comedian T.J. Young admits to being the class clown as a kid.
And like most class clowns, he spent his share of time in the principal's office. But by the time he hit high school, he had learned to entertain his teachers as well as his classmates.
That streak of humor led Young into adulthood and eventually the comedy circuit.
Young, along with Andy Sandford, Joe Zimmerman and Dave Stone, make up the Beards of Comedy, a show coming to the Tri-Cities on Jan. 27-29 at Jack Didley's Comedy Club in Kennewick.
"Our show is very organic," Young said in a telephone interview. "It's intermixed with sketches and music that we do together or by ourselves."
Young has been working the comedy circuit for only about four years, starting out by working in some improv in his spare time while working as a graphic designer.
While all four of these comics have beards, that doesn't mean their humor is stuck on facial hair. They hit on all sorts of absurd topics.
Yet Young proclaims himself a gentleman comic.
"None of us really use graphic, sexual stuff in our stand-up, nor do we use a lot of bad language," he said. "Our humor isn't the biting, insulting kind. I like to focus on the absurdities of life and I think I'm kind of charming with it, and I really love performing in front of an audience."
Young was voted the stand-out comic winner at the 2008 Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival.
Sandford was voted Best Atlanta Comedian by AtlantaStandsUp.com. Zimmerman was nominated by Rooftop Comedy for the Golden Shingle Award. And Stone has performed in comedy clubs across the country.
Although Young, who lives in Georgia, still enjoys working in graphic design, comedy is where his heart is and he's having the time of his life on the beards tour.
"All four of us are 20-something and unmarried, and live in different parts of the country," Young said. "We like each other's sensibilities and the tour has been great fun."
Zimmerman was the only comic who didn't have a beard so he had to grow one if he wanted to join the tour, Young said.
"The best part of comedy for me is that I actually get paid for being mischievous," he said.
And no more principal's office.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org