Arts & Entertainment

Meet the comedians behind the Riff Raff Laff Staff

Take four Tri-Citians with day jobs, put them on a stage for a bit of silliness and what do you get?

The Riff Raff Laff Staff, that's what.

This foursome includes Adam Kessler, Emily Richman, Bianca Labrador and Aaron Derrick.

And you can count on these comics to wiggle a few giggles from their audiences, whether they're being outrageous together or on their own.

"I got this troupe together because the comedy scene in the Tri-Cities is really lacking," Kessler said. "There are only two comedy clubs where there used to be five."

Kessler believes with every humorous bone in his body that Tri-Citians love comedy, and he would like to see more nightclubs cater to the funnies in life.

"Comedy is a need that begs to be filled," he said.

In the meantime, he and his cronies plan to do their best to bring more laughter to a troubled world.

"We get together weekly and write jokes and then try them out on each other," said Kessler, who's a banker. "We give each other jokes to add on to certain topics, and after the meetings we connect via email or Facebook with ideas that might come to us in-between meetings."

That method helps the troupe improve its writing skills, he added.

When they perform together, it is as a team, as well as individually.

Richman, 30, works for an internet company by day, and has taken her comedy routine out on the road as well.

Plug her name into a Google search and you will find plenty of YouTube videos from her comedy shows, which she describes as ridiculous and still funny.

"Almost every single joke I have is based on, or directly quoted from, an actual event in my life," Richman said. "They may not have been funny at the time, but boy are they hilarious later."

Derrick, who uses the nickname A-Ron professionally, is 23 and works in retail.

"I consider my comedy style to be mostly clever and witty," he said. "My material comes from a combination of personal experiences, current events and a somewhat twisted mind."

Labrador, 26, works for a nonprofit agency.

"My comedy is all based around ridiculous occurrences in my life, most of which tends to be bonkers," Labrador said. "Which is fitting since my nickname in my family is Bonkers."

As for Kessler, he keeps his comedy clean without offensive language, and delivers his shtick with just enough punch to keep his audiences laughing as well as pondering his philosophy.

"I do still write a lot of jokes that go over people's heads, or I hear them laugh about it after someone else at their table explained the joke," Kessler said. "As long as they laugh and think, I'll be happy."

His one-liners go something like this:

"My wife doesn't leave me a honey-do list, she leaves me a bucket list because if I don't do it, I'm a dead man."

Then there's his theory about ridiculous warning signs like, 'This door to remain closed at all times.' He wonders, "Why didn't they just build a wall?"

The Riff Raff Laff Staff's next gig in the Tri-Cities will be boat race weekend, July 29-30, at Joker's Comedy Club in Richland.

Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Cover is $7 at the door.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

  Comments