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A great comedy lineup from ‘top to bottom’

February 4, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

A couple of the featured performers at an upcoming comedy show in Marshall entered the field in their 30s, but they have no regrets.

One has even performed on a Louie Anderson special on Showtime.

My Funny Valentines, a comedy show featuring four of Minnesota's funniest comics - Jon Wilson, Andy Erikson, Ben San Del and Gus Lynch - will be at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Landmark Mercantile.

Lynch said he was an actor for about 12 years before he made the move to comedy. Some of his TV and film credits include "North Country," "Saving Silverman," "Dark Angel" and "Outer Limits."

"I never told a joke onstage," he said.

When he had his second child, Lynch said he didn't have much time to do auditions or to be able to rehearse for shows.

"I just wandered into an open mic 3-1/2 years ago," Lynch said. By that time he was 36 years old.

Wilson, who is originally from Kentucky, started out as a lawyer in Chicago. The law firm he worked for dissolved after he worked there for just a year and a half.

"So then I struggled to be a lawyer for a few years, but I hated it," Wilson said. He moved to Minnesota to do legal research, but like Lynch, he went to an open mic and was hooked.

Lynch said that being a comedian definitely does differ from being a stage actor. In acting, he's surrounded by the other actors and the sets, which create the scene.

"When you're a comic, you create it all yourself," he said.

A lot of his material comes from his home life, especially after 14 years of marriage and having two children, ages 4 and 8, Lynch said.

"I raise the kids during the day, a lot of humor and tears come from that," Lynch said.

Lynch said his 4-year-old daughter even gives him new jokes to try out in his act.

"They may not make sense," he said, but they're cute.

Wilson said he had gone to comedy shows while he was in college.

"When I turned 30 years old, it was time to get onstage," Wilson said.

Wilson was in Showtime's "The Louie Anderson Special" this past July. Wilson said Anderson had seen him perform and invited him to do a guest set.

"Louie wanted to introduce some comedians people haven't seen before," Wilson said. "He's given me a lot of advice. He's very helpful."

Lynch said he's having the first-ever three-day comedy festival in Akumel, Mexico in April.

"I'm kind of their head emcee there," Lynch said about the comedy festival in Akumel.

Although they both entered comedy a little later than most, Lynch and Wilson said they wouldn't trade it for anything.

"I've had some success," Lynch said. "I know I'm still learning, still on the upswing. It beats working for a living, it's a pretty great job."

"I'm glad I ended up where I am," Wilson said.

Erikson was a semi-finalist in the 2011 Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, a 2009 semi-finalist for the Andy Kaufman Award and won second place in the Twin Cities Funniest Person Contest in 2008, among other accolades. San Del is a former newspaper reporter and humor columnist who is featured at colleges and clubs across the Midwest and has won Acme's Funniest Person in the Twin Cities contest in 2006.

When Lynch learned who he was appearing with at the Landmark Mercantile, he said he was excited, adding that all are "super funny."

"It's a great lineup from top to bottom," Lynch said.



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