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Dwight York set to perform at Gibby's Comedy Night

Dwight York isn't the kind of guy who likes to tell a long story before getting to the punchline.

"I think it's ridiculous when comedians have long, contrived setups," he said. "Just get to the joke."

It's for that reason that York's decided to specialize in one-liners.

"Rodney Dangerfield is one of my comedic idols," he said. "He always had another one coming. It was punchline after punchline after punchline."

The Amery High School graduate, and Deer Park resident, said he's been performing comedy since 1989 when he participated in his first open mic night in Minneapolis.

"It went extraordinarily well," he said. "I remember driving home and the adrenaline... I thought I was going to be the next big thing."

York said the first few times he performed the crowd reacted really well to his jokes. Then he had a few nights that didn't go over as well.

"I was performing five nights a week at various open mic nights," he said.

In 1996, York quit his job at Andersen Windows and took his show on the road, touring the Midwest and performing in Florida, Texas and the West Coast.

"I did that full-time for eight years," he said.

York said his style of comedy is the self-deprecating kind.

York describes his show as a character-act, similar to Daniel Lawrence Whitney's "Larry the Cable Guy."

"It's a wacky, dark character," he said of his character. "It's not appropriate for your holiday party."

While his show has gone over well, York said the character he's chosen makes it harder for him.

"You know, I'm not going to be on a cruise ship with a bunch of senior citizens," he said. "I'm a great club comic."

York said that while he's toured the Midwest and spent countless nights performing in the upper Peninsula, he prefers shows like his upcoming show at Gibby's Lanes in New Richmond.

"When I come home, I do well," he said. "Small towns are supportive. Maybe I'm more comfortable because I'm from a small town."

The self-declared class clown said he started writing jokes as an adult after realizing how serious his life was getting.

"I don't have a message," he said. "I just want people to walk out of there with their guts hurting or their eyes wet from laughing."

York said the biggest compliment he's ever received is when a man approached him after his show and told him it was the first time he had seen his father laugh since his mother had died from a stroke.

He said he's been performing at Gibby's Lanes for the last three years and decided to team up with some old friends -- Dave Mordal, a contestant on NBC's Last Comic Standing, and Darleen Westgor, nick@nite's Funniest Mom in America - for this year's performance.

"We used to hang out at Acme Comedy Club," he said of Mordal and Westgor. "We'd stay until 4 a.m. talking comedy."

Gibby's Comedy Night is slated for Saturday, Dec. 15, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance (available at Gibby's) or $15 at the door. For more information, call 715-246-2635.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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