For Mokena resident Brian Hicks, laughter is the best form of compensation. Hicks, a standup comedian who grew up in Tinley Park, but now lives in Mokena, recently took second place in the World Series of Comedy, St. Charles Satellite, narrowly missing a chance to travel to Las Vegas to perform.
“I would have loved to have won, but here's what I can say,” Hicks said. “I had two really good rounds in the first two rounds, but the finals, the gentleman who won had a really good round. He deserved to win. I was disappointed I didn't win, but he deserved to win.”
The minor setback won't stop Hicks from doing what he loves—making people laugh—as he preps for four shows this weekend, June 22-23 at Riddles Comedy Club in Alsip, before heading to CD & ME in Frankfort for 'Stand Up for MS,' Multiple Sclerosis benefit June 29.
“They're really close to home, so I get a lot of local support,” Hicks said of his local shows. “Any time I get an opportunity to do this, I love to do it. I'm thankful to be able to do it, to be able to give back. It's win-win for everyone.”
Hicks' comedy career started out rather unexpectedly, during his time as a doorman at Riddles Comedy Club in Orland Park in the early 2000s.
“We'd have employee meetings and before meetings, I'd screw around on the mic and people told me to do [standup],” Hicks said. “So I did, not knowing what I was getting myself into.”
It took about six months for Hicks to work up the courage to perform in front of an audience, but when he did, he put it all on the line, skipping the open mic and going straight to a set.
“I kind of jumped in with both feet and I've been doing it ever since,” he said.
Hicks aims to keep his routines as clean as possible and also keeps the audience involved in his act. He said that while working in dirtier jokes might make his act easier to write, he said a clean set allows for a wider array of people to see and enjoy his show.
“I think writing [dirty jokes] might be easier, but you get more work if you write clean material,” he said. “I've been doing it eight or nine years, so people know I've got kind of a clean act. … I have fun, and if I'm having fun, then the audience is probably having fun, which is what I want.”
More information about Hicks can be found at his website, www.funnybrian.com.
Riddles Comedy Club
When: June 22/23
Where: Riddles Comedy Club, 5055 West 111th St., Alsip
Times: 8 and 10:30 p.m. both days, two half-hour sets
'Stand Up for MS' Benefit
When: June 29
Where: CD&ME, Frankfort
Time: 8 p.m.