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The Journal  (Webster University) - January 29, 2009
 

Comedian arrives to ice, creates delay
Due to the first snow day of the semester, New York comedian's show delayed for two nights
By: Kelly Kendall

Issue date: 1/29/09 Section: Lifestyle
 
Comedian Evan Wecksell stands on the stage set up for him in the University Center Sunnen Lounge on Jan. 27. Because of snow and ice, classes were canceled at 2 p.m. and Wecksell decided to reschedule his show for Thursday, Jan. 29 at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, the musical comedian performed at SIUE and did some mingling at WU's campus.
Media Credit: Jami Ford
Comedian Evan Wecksell stands on the stage set up for him in the University Center Sunnen Lounge on Jan. 27. Because of snow and ice, classes were canceled at 2 p.m. and Wecksell decided to reschedule his show for Thursday, Jan. 29 at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, the musical comedian performed at SIUE and did some mingling at WU's campus.

Comedian Evan Wecksell flew into St. Louis on the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 27. When he arrived by 4 p.m., there was four inches of snow at St. Louis Lambert Airport. At 2 p.m., Webster University's campus closed and by 5 p.m., the event planned for 9:30 p.m. that night was moved to the same time Thursday, Jan. 29, in the University Center Sunnen Lounge.

Wecksell, who adds music to his show with the use of a guitar, traveled to Illinois for a show Wednesday before coming back to Webster Groves.
From Great Neck Long Island, New York, Wecksell graduated from Tufts University in Massachusetts, where he studied child development in psychology. He hoped to be a camp counselor for the rest of his life, but now has other aspirations.

Q: Why come to WU?
A: I am performing at SIUE (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) Wednesday and thought "why not pack the calendar in?" I had been talking with Katie McComb in the past about getting out here, but nothing ever happen. It's good to be here.

Q: What will you do with the day and a half between rescheduled gigs?
A: I'll walk around with students at Webster tomorrow (Wednesday) and hang out and then tomorrow I'll stay at SIUE.

Q: What have some of your past shows been?
A: I'm in a frat, Theta Chi. As I moved to L.A., I started doing shows on the road so I e-mail all the schools with frats to see if I could come perform. All the guys love it when I make fun of their other brothers.

Q: You've done sports, too, right?
A: I did track and cross country in high school. I'd like to run the U.S. City marathon. I was actually on this semi-reality show called "Chase," which got me in shape. It's basically a game show where you and nine people try to out race these guys who look like Agent Smith from "The Matrix." They're in these suits, but you're wearing all this gear. It was fun, wearing the defense gear. I ended up taking the money, but I got in great shape. I was also on a pop-culture show on GSN hosted by Danny Bonaduce. I said I was a teacher because I teach one girl and help with her SATs.

Q: What do you consider your breakthrough?
A: I started doing stand up and then I made a song about a male stripper and then a song about having a baby that made no sense. For a while, I just drove around and did open mic gigs around town. Eventually I came across this club of screaming metal and emo bands. I performed a song "I Wanna be Black." I haven't performed it lately, but now (Barack) Obama's the man, and I can flaunt it! After I told the audience I was selling CDs, I had the biggest teen idol moment of my life - which is a great quote - because 40 kids ran up to me.

I've been to Missouri State University. It was another all-greek show and it ended up being much dirtier than I planned it to be. I like it to be cleaner. It's all about the moment when you're about to deliver that line, and it's like: Bam!

Q: Who's your inspiration?
A: I have two heroes: Jon Bon Jovi and Hulk Hogan. They are both very extraverted and charismatic people and they know how to hold the audiences' attention. They know how to hold a show. When I was a kid I did have pictures of Jim Carrey and Stephen Lynch on my walls. I actually just showed my wife "Liar Liar" - she'd never seen it - and what he does in that is just amazing.

Q: What about the shows you worked on with VH1 and E!?
A: That was great exposure. It's great to tell people right then that I was there. Sometimes (VH1 and E! producers) will feed you stuff, so that you're saying crass, sarcastic stuff. I was only on (VH1's) (I Love the) '80s and '70s shows for, like, five seconds. This was about the time I was just starting to tour schools. But when I came back for (I Love) Toys, we got to play with the toys, and then they told us what to say. E! actually found me. After that, I did something with Forbes, which was great because they let me do my own jokes.

Q: What's the tag line "Comedy. Melody. Stupidity." mean?
A: That's from me taking a comedy class. They make you write something like that. Sometimes my stuff was stupid in the beginnings. Stupid people might be drawn to my early stuff. The stuff I'm doing now is getting smarter, though.
I actually majored in child development and I got an assignment and I always wanted to cover Bon Jovi songs. I'm actually not that advanced of a player. I kind of like what Adam Sandler said: "All you really need to know to make a song is four chords." I printed out my own chords. Really, every comedian just wants to be a rock star.

I made this song called "The All-American Corporation Guy." It's about people who like to live in their dreams, and that's so important. You're more yourself in college than you are sitting behind a desk for eight hours. I really like making fun of Miley Cyrus. I do a great Bob Dylan, but I don't know how to put it into the show. What if Bob Dylan covered Miley Cyrus. Some schools are more apathetic. But I always connect with a handful of people. You have the 10 who walk out and the 10 who think it's OK and then the 10 who might love it. Finding something to like about someone makes life a lot easier.

Q: What can you tell me about the show Thursday?
A: I want to be really open with (the audience). I want them to be willing to shout out. If you want to scream, then scream. If you want to shout "what," then do it. Just don't fold your arms.

It'll be about an hour, maybe a little more or maybe a little less. It's a feel. It depends on the rating, whether Webster wants it kept at PG-13 or not. It's all about how you feel the crowd. You bring it up to a point and see where it goes from there.

Q: How can you read someone like that?
A: It's a lot of experience. I'm Jewish and a Scientologist. There's a tone scale with every emotion a person can feel. It has 62 emotions. I can basically look at someone and I can see right away what that person is feeling.

Q: What's next?
A: Well, on Saturday I'm trying out for "America's Got Talent." I'm performing a new David Hasselhoff song. It's so specific that it only works in one venue, but basically it's about how, because he's David Hasselhoff, he can save the world.

Q: In 20 years, what do you want your Wikipedia page to say about you?
A: In 20 years, I'd probably like to be running for office. In 2028, I will be running for president. This last election inspired me so much. I love Ron Paul. He's such a radical. I'd like to be running in office, having learned the grassroots, this kid from Great Neck, Long Island (New York). I'd like to go from being a comedian, to a speaker, to a politician. And I'd love to have a weekly radio show. Also, my wife and I did a show "College the Musical," this summer in L.A. and we want to take it on tour. Me and her play all these characters; sometimes I'm a woman and then she's a Mexican.


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