MARSHALL - Four of Minnesota's funniest comedians will be heating up the stage this New Year's Eve in Marshall.
The Ramada New Year's Eve Comedy Bash will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Marshall, featuring comedians Darlene Westgor, Gabe Noah, Gus Lynch and Greg Berman, who will serve as the emcee.
Several years ago, Westgor was the national winner of Nick at Nite's Funniest Mom in America, and she has made guests appearances on Comedy Central and NBC's "Last Comic Standing." Noah was named the "Best Minneapolis Comedian" in 2010 and has toured the country, working clubs and colleges. Lynch started out as an actor and has been in such films as "North Country" and "Saving Silverman" and recently performed at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. Berman was a finalist in the Twin Cities Funniest Person contest.
Westgor said she's been doing comedy for 15 years, and that winning the "Funniest Mom" contest was a boost.
"It was a great experience," she said. "it was something really unexpected and cool."
She still does some work with Nick at Night, which included a recent segment for "NickMom Night Out."
Noah said he's wanted to be a comic for almost as early as he can remember.
"I remember seeing a comic on daytime TV when I was probably 6 or 7 and just thinking that would be cool to do," Noah said. "I sort of decided I liked comedy best after that, though I don't imagine that is too rare. I don't know too many 6-year-olds that like drama. Then 'SNL' and Eddie Murphy's 'Raw' sealed it."
Lynch got into comedy a little later, at age 35. He had spent 15 years as an actor, doing commercials, horror and sci-fi movies. He moved back to the Twin Cities and was a stage actor in Minneapolis. With two kids to take care of, it got to be tough to do a week of rehearsal for a stage play, he said; he didn't have the energy and focus.
"I just wandered into an open mic at the corner bar in Minneapolis," he said. "You get three minutes of time, and that's how much energy I had left."
Westgor is a single mother who lives in Burnsville, a suburban area.
"I'm that mom that you know that every neighbor keeps an eye out for," Westgor said.
"I looked like I was the bad mom," she added. "That was reality."
Nobody is funny until you do comedy for a year, Lynch said, and it takes about 10 years to figure out what kind of comic you are.
Lynch said his wife and children factor heavily into his act. A lot of time people ask him if his kids will also go into comedy.
"I say only if they fail at everything else," Lynch said.
Reality television and topical issues have worked their way into her routine as well, Westgor said.
"Whatever is happening, it comes into play," Westgor said. "It depends on the night."
Noah said he tells stories and jokes during his routine.
"But I hope it's conversationalnot like an 'act,'" he said. "And by conversational, I mean I do all the talking."
Noah said he mainly works the NFC North, but he's done comedy as far away as Canada and Mexico as well as New York. Westgor said she's slowed down a little on working the comedy scene, but she's always ready for a show. About a year ago, Lynch said he and a group of Minneapolis comics, including Noah, spent a week doing comedy in New York.
"It's a full-time job," Lynch said about comedy. "A free weekend is a rarity." He said his base of operation is a five-hour radius of the Twin Cities, but he has performed in Canada, multiple times a year in Mexico, and Dublin, Ireland.
"One of the attractive things about comedy is it can take you anywhere," Lynch said. "The reason to go somewhere to make people laugh is the best thing in the world."
Lynch said he was in Marshall about three years ago as an emcee for a comedy show. He said producer Rox Tarrant was the first woman to give him a chance to show what he's got.
"She's one of the classiest ladies you're ever gonna meet," Lynch said about Tarrant.
"This woman (Tarrant) is amazing," Westgor said.
And the show is going to be a good time, the comics said.
"The audience is going to have a blast," Westgor said.