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Live podcast will be recorded at Tybee comedy show

By Linda Sickler/SMN

Comedian Bengt “The G is silent” Washburn says fame can be fleeting in the stand-up comedy business.

The winner of the 2001San Francisco International Comedy Competition will perform Aug. 28 atCollin’s Barefoot Comedy Club at theTybee Post Theater.

While Washburn has been seen on “Conan,” “Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and is heard daily on SiriusXM Radio, he says comedy can be a tough career.

“It’s a fame-driven business, but that’s short-lived now,” Washburn says. “Nowadays especially. They cycle through people so fast.”

Washburn took the long way to a comedy career.

“I grew up Mormon in a tiny town in Utah, but I’m not Mormon now,” he says. “I was a missionary in Seattle, Wash.

“Back then, we had to go door-to-door. It was a Spanish-speaking mission, so I tried to learn Spanish, but I didn’t do very good job.”

Later, Washburn earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine art at Indiana University.

“That didn’t turn into money,” he says. “I couldn‘t get a job.”

In high school, Washburn had tried stand-up just for fun at an assembly,

“I did really well,” he says. “If I had done horribly, I wouldn’t have ever pursued stand-up as a career.”

At the end of 1997, Washburn decided to give stand-up another try.

“I had just gotten divorced and decided to try to do this instead of teaching art,” he says. “I wanted to teach at the university and college level, but couldn’t get a job, so I started doing comedy.”

Washburn considers himself both a storyteller and a joke teller.

“I do observations that revolve around my current stage in life,” he says. “I’m 51 and I do comedy.

“I’m married and my wife is an officer in the Air Force who is about ready to retire. I have two kids, including a daughter with my ex-wife, and grandkids.”

Humor comes from everywhere for Washburn.

“Anything that is embarrassing or makes you angry, there is something funny there,” he says. “Bad things are funny.”

Growing up, Washburn experienced comedy through television.

“I grew up in a devout Mormon household, so I didn’t have access to pop culture,” he says. “I never got to hear Pryor or Carlin.

“I did get to see Carol Burnett, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman on ‘The Carol Burnett Show.’ I also saw ‘The Smothers Brothers,” Jonathan Winters and Bill Cosby.

“I loved Steve Martin and after my parents saw him doing a prime-time special, they said ‘He’s clean’ and bought his albums for Christmas,” Washburn says. “They weren’t clean at all, and after that, my parents didn’t trust any comedians.”

Well, with one exception — one ironic exception.

“The only comedian they trusted was Bill Cosby,” Washburn says. “They said, ‘He’s clean and nice and he‘s a decent man.’”

It wasn’t until Washburn was a young adult that he realized he was funny.

“I think I probably wasn’t funny as a kid,” he says. “I was funny in high school.”

Because of his late start, Washburn didn’t get on national television until later in his career.

“I was in my early 40s before I ever got on TV,” he says. “I felt relief. I am so glad I got these credits.

“If you can’t move to New York or Los Angeles, it’s hard to get on TV. I lucked out.”

While Washburn has visited Savannah while on vacation, he’s never done comedy here.

“The closest I got was Hilton Head Island,” he says.

In Savannah, Washburn says he’ll do “a little bit of everything.”

“There will be the introduction part, where they learn who I am,” he says. “I do that with humor.

“We’ll be talking about all sorts of things, including the usual topics of death and love. It will be funny, universal and unique.

“They’ll like the show, I can promise that, but there will be nothing bizarre,” Washburn says. “There will be no gimmicks and I’m not going to juggle anything that burns. It’s just me and a microphone.”

Collin Moulton, the owner, creator and host of Collin’s Barefoot Comedy Club, says he is looking forward to the upcoming show, which will be family friendly and suitable for all ages. The first installment of “Collin’s Live Barefoot Comedy Podcast” will be recorded at the show.

“It is half stand-up, half podcast,” Moulton says. “I’ll be doing stand-up and Bengt will be doing stand-up, then we’ll have an intermission.

“The second half of the show is a live podcast that will be interactive with the audience. It should be really fun.

“I have four running podcasts on my site at www.collinlive.com,” Moulton says. “These podcasts are ones that I’ve been doing a long time.”

For the comedy club podcast, Moulton will use a loose interview format.

“There will be a third guy with a computer Googling stuff to keep us honest,” he says. “A buddy with a laptop will be the producer.

“I’ll be interviewing Bengt. We’ll involve the audience in games and they’ll be able to ask any questions they have. It will be the same length of show, but lots of fun.”

“My 10-year-old daughter will be walking around with a microphone,” Moulton says. “You will be recorded so you can be part of the podcast.”

After the live show, the podcast will be posted online at Moulton’s site.

“Therein, it will be available for posterity,” he says. “You can hear the episode you were in.

“These podcasts have huge followings,” Moulton says. “People fall in love with the characters, and you get to know them like family, almost.”

But there is one major difference in Moulton’s podcasts.

“Some podcasts are done whenever a comedian is in town, but this is a terrestrial podcast,” he says. “It will live at the same location and will be updated once a month.

“I know there are probably other people doing it, but they’re not doing it in the same way. It seems like such a no-brainer.

“It’s ‘Collin’s Barefoot Podcast,’” Moulton says. “It will be the best comedy club and podcast around.”

IF YOU GO

What: Collin’s Barefoot Comedy Club

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 28

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $15; $13.50 for members; $5 for children younger than 12

Info: 912-472-4790, www.tybeeposttheater.org

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