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Laughing matter: It's all in the family for local comedians

Kinsey Novotne hams it up for the camera with her dad, comedian Scott Novotne, in the background.

The Novotne household must be filled with laughs.

Not only because Scott Novotne has been a professional Twin Cities comedian for years, but also because he's apparently passed his knack for telling jokes on to his daughter.

Kinsey Novotne, 10, a fourth-grader at Paperjack Elementary School, is joining her father and a group of comedians on stage for a Mother's Day show this Sunday. It is her standup comedy debut.

"I'm naturally pretty funny," Kinsey said. "I want to be an actress, and my dad told me most comedians turn into actors. Plus I like comedy too."

Kinsey has been working with her father to perfect her five- to eight-minute routine. She's attended one of Scott's comedy classes geared for kids in Florida.

She admits that her friends find her a little strange at times because of her sense of humor, but she doesn't mind.

"It's good to be different," she said with a smile.

"You're such a goofball," he told his daughter. "She does it so naturally."

Kinsey said her comedy act includes a few jokes, some impressions and a few props.

Thanks to her previous experience on stage (she's been in 10 or 11 plays in school and in local theater productions) over the past few years, Kinsey said she doesn't get nervous when it's time to perform.

"She's not afraid to get up on the stage," Scott agreed. "The hard part might be getting her off the stage."

Kinsey's stage name is "Kiki," based on a movie she watched over and over again as a kid.

"I just made it up," she said.

Her comedy won't be limited to the stage. Kinsey said she's working on a You-Tube video. She's also currently working on a musical comedy based on the 'tween years.

Scott Novotne said it isn't unusual that his daughter is starting so young in the business. Scott became a professional comedian when he was 11, doing lip-sync performances across Minnesota.

"I would lip sync to records," he recalled. "My mother was the one who was taking me around."

Novotne got his big break when he performed for a cancer telethon in Rochester, Minn. After he appeared, the phones rang off the hook. He was asked back to perform again.

"My career was born," he said. "PTAs were calling. Rotary clubs, the Elks."

Novotne said he wanted to be an actor as well, but found it difficult to make a living at it. That's when he stuck to comedy, because he could always find a place to perform in front of an audience.

The comedy show is 7 to 8:45 p.m. at Champs Sports Bar in downtown New Richmond.

The first act will feature a more kid-friendly fare with comic/magic from David Harris and musical comedian Glen Everhart, along with Scott Novotne hosting the show and Kiki's act.

Jean Martinson, Linda Aarons and Marj Rowan round out the second half of the show, which will be more adult oriented.

Admission is $10. Reservations can be made by calling 715-246-3345.